Last year I felt frustrated about my low increase in scores on vocabulary, so I started making vocabulary cards, using Google Images. (I make two for each word, so that they get used to seeing different images of the same thing for each word.) So far this year we have introduced one vocabulary word each day. Some of our words so far: dolphin, sea horse, zebra, snake….This month we are learning about Fall (and Firefighters), so our words have been leaves, fall, and autumn (the photos for fall and autumn were identical, as they mean the same thing). We will soon be learning apple, acorn, pumpkin, and scarecrow.
The kids love the cards, and are proud to show off the words they know. (I mentioned that 16 of my 20 kids speak English as a second language, right?) In addition to the vocabulary words, we have been learning the colors, with one color celebrated each week. This week was yellow week, and on the Wednesday of each color week, we all wear the special color. I looked fetching in my husband’s oversized yellow polo shirt. I looked particularly fashionable when I topped it off with a crazy yellow crown I made at morning meeting, to inspire the kids to choose the art center today. It worked — pretty soon the room was full of kids with crazy yellow crowns.
So, we know new vocabulary words, and we all know red, blue, and yellow. What else? Well, last week we started learning a letter of the week (I know, I know, many people don’t do that), and so far we know the names and letter sounds for Ss and Oo. The kids practically fizz with excitement about showing me how they know the letter sounds, using the hand motions I taught them.
And the mornings are going smoothly; they know how to listen, how to follow directions, how to take turns, how to clean up, how to line up, and so on. They don’t always do those things perfectly, but they are lovely little citizens all the same.
Phew! One month in, things are looking up. I’m so glad I’m here, and not back there.