Entries by Carla Kessler

Emotions Connect

A key ingredient to learning a new word is the connection a student makes with that word to background knowledge. Many of you have stated that your students are so lacking in background knowledge that it is difficult to help them find those connections. Finding emotional connections is the key. If you have looked at […]

Engaging Engagement

Many of you have mentioned improved engagement as one of your goals for teaching word knowledge. Although there are great games and activities that help with this (be sure to try out Pyramid WordUp), there are 3 general approaches that can improve any lesson. First, keep in mind that you do not need to teach students […]

Finding Time for Words

We have been taught to see vocabulary as something separate from reading, an add-on, something that takes extra time. However, if words are taught within context, then you are teaching comprehension skills simultaneously, doubling the value of your limited time. Teaching words should not take time away from reading instruction, it should be an integral […]

Vocabulary Tools for K-5

From Jenn’s  blog – at Adventures in Literacy Land  –  a quick and easy Vocabulary Graphic Organizer  which can be used K-5 and across all subject areas. From Cathy’s blog – also in Adventures in Literacy Land – Four Vocabulary Ideas to Avoid Roadblocks for K-5

The Power of Words – Building Vocabulary Age 3 to Grade 3

Fran Toomey brings a background in elementary education, communication sciences and disorders (speech/language pathology), and developmental psychology. Her work compliments the middle grade focus on my site. She  posted the following excellent blog, easily viewed as a slide show: The Power of Words – Building Vocabulary Age 3 to Grade 3

Can Words POP!?

  Learning that POPS is learning that grows your brain…popping new connection buds into place. Here are three truths about learning that POPS!… Learning POPS for you if it is personally meaningful. It POPS for you if you are excited about it. It POPS if your friends are also excited about it. Wouldn’t it be […]

A Silver Bullet for Helping Readers? Maybe…

Colleagues, you’ve got something that’s very close. I know, it’s dangerous to believe something can be that promising, especially in education! But there have been more correlations in educational research supporting the value of this “silver bullet” than in any other educational research. We have been reluctant to take on the concept of a “silver bullet.” We have been […]

We don’t KNOW words from Adam…

 I hate when this happens! The other day I was having a conversation with my daughter about foster kids and the kinds of life experiences that are most common to them. I began my typical consulting-mother/teacher sort of exchange and got stuck…I couldn’t for the life of me come up with the word I KNEW […]