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The Reading Connection ~ March 2018


Why Use This Tip
All families want their kids to do well at reading and in school.  One way to help emerging readers begin to
make sense of what they're reading is to help them build their vocabulary.  The more words a child knows, the
more they will be able to understand what they are listening to and reading, in and out of school.  Asking a
child questions and having conversations about interesting words is an easy, comfortable way to integrate new
and exciting vocabulary into a beginning reader's world!

What to Do
Introducing new words to a child doesn’t have to be time consuming; just a quick conversation about a word
during a reading or another opportunity can open up a whole new level of understanding for that child.  Be
careful in choosing what words to talk about, and make sure that reading doesn’t become a “chore” by turning
pleasure reading into a vocabulary lesson.  The best words to explore with a child are words that come up on
their own due to the curiosity of the child, and are usually words that are common among adults, but less
common in the reading that the child does.
1. When talking about a new word with the child, be sure to keep the following hints in mind:
2. Provide a kid-friendly, easy-to- understand definition of the word that you’ve come across or that the
child has asked about:
Ex: Scrumptious means something that is really, really tasty.
3. Give the child a kid-friendly example of the word in his/her everyday life:
Ex: Remember those scrumptious cookies that Grandma made?  They were so chocolatey and
4. Encourage the child to come up with an example of his/her own:

Ex: What can you think of that is scrumptious?  Did you eat anything really delicious today?  You're
right…that pizza was scrumptious!  I can't wait to eat it again!
5. Keep using the new word(s) as much as possible at home and while you’re out and about.  Or, make it
a challenge and see how many times the child and/or family members can properly use the word in
context throughout the day!
6. Going forward, take advantage of any opportunities to use the new word in conversation to keep
introducing the child to the word’s uses. Talk about things you see around town, throughout the
neighborhood, or that you see on TV, books, texts, stories, etc.  These real-life examples will help build
the child’s understanding of the new word(s).
Use interesting new words with your child that he or she may not have heard or read before:
“I know you’d love a snow day tomorrow, but the probability is low.  Maybe next week!” or “Great job on
that math test!  You are so intelligent!"
Enjoy watching the child’s new vocabulary grow and the pride he/she feels when she uses a word in the right

More Ideas to Try
1. Keep a word list of new words that the child has learned.  Post them in a public place so that other family
members and friends can join in the challenge to use the words!
2. Make a dictionary or word journal with all of the words and definitions that the child has learned.

– Mrs. Knapp & Mrs. Kunschaft

March  2018 Tiger Times