Unit 2: Creating Effective Learning Environments for Vocabulary Instruction in Pre-K

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Learning Objectives

Pin.gif At the end of unit two, students will understand how to create effective learning environments within their classroom in order to enhance vocabulary instruction.


The environment within a Pre-K classroom includes an abundance of literacy which not only flows through the air, but can be found on all walls, doors, and windows. This literate filled classroom is the center, and beginning, of authentic learning found in school. Vocabulary development has a strong influence on literacy skills found within students’, seen within the later grades, as well as academic success, seen across academic disciplines. Mayer (2007) suggests that “if building a vocabulary is a prerequisite for learning to read, it is useful to ask where children’s vocabularies come from and how best to foster this vocabulary growth” (p. 63).

Teaching vocabulary is supposed to be less "drill" and more learning through reading and exploring environments. In the younger grades specifically, it is important to introduce many vocabulary words, but teachers are left wondering how to do so when provided with minimal resources. The intent of this course is to help teachers, specifically special educators or pre-k teachers, learn strategies in teaching vocabulary to their students. Vocabulary instruction cannot rely solely on children's books recommended by the curriculum. Teachers will have to introduce and engage students in vocabulary learning using different approaches. The intent of this course is to help assist teachers in teaching specific vocabulary words to their students. The benefits of teaching vocabulary as well as language development benefits will also be reviewed.

Bwestreadit.png Read the article and record your information in your document.

Learning Activities

Step 1: Create Vocabulary Cards

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It is important to create your vocabulary cards by typing the words out and pairing it with a real picture like the examples in the picture provided. If you would like to save these vocabulary cards for future use and long term stability, it's important to cut these out and hard laminating them as well.

Step 2: Plan Interactive Centers

See page 3 and 4 from your document. for examples on how to plan each center.

Step 3: Execute Lessons

Get out the vocabulary cards you have made along with all materials needed for your learning centers. Create your centers and post the vocabulary words around the room and/ or within your circle time area. Introduce these activities to your students and have them participate in these activities for a few days or weeks by encouraging vocabulary rich conversations with your students. Point out the vocabulary words while children are learning and exploring. Share a picture of your final centers and Post Progress Here


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