I am a class teacher for Year Four and five students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are a part of the Manaiakalani Google ClassOnAir.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Developing subject related vocabulary

At our CoLs meeting it was reiterated several times by Jannie, Anne and Aaron that 
We teachers are very good at extracting and asking students what they know about a topic, but do we also give enough so children can produce cutting edge information? One of our jobs is also to lift and feed students with information so we can make them cognitive thinkers who can talk about their learning.
I took this idea back to my class. This Term the topic of our study is space.
The most urgent need for my students was to stretch their language and this would require effortful, purposeful and engaging tasks.

I used a you tube video that not only had lots of information but challenging, purposeful language that would extend my student's vocabulary. We watched the video in parts and had a lot of discussion around new words and phrases. 
My students struggled to form complete sentences when they tried to use the new words to deliver information verbally. We practiced and finally we were able to frame good sentences.

I also used a transcript of the video as a reading text. 

Students need to listen, speak read and write the new words a number of times before they can begin to use them in their spoken and written language. This requires very thoughtful planning, firstly to resource students and designing tasks that will provide an opportunity to use their new knowledge and vocabulary in different contexts.

Here are a few examples of writing produced by some of the students.

The sun is the biggest object in the solar system.It has
a massive magnetic field and extensive gravitational pull
which holds the Earth and the other planets to make our
solar system.It is many times wider than
Earth and the sun is the star that
is many times closer to us.The sun
can fit more than 1,0000 planets
in the sun.The sun is a burning ball
of gas mostly hydrogen and helium.
If the sun wasn’t here there would be
no light no heat, plants would not grow and the days would grow colder.

By Dyzon

The Sun is the biggest object in the Solar System.
It has a massive field and extensive Gravitational Pull which holds the Earth and the other Planets to make the  Solar Systems.
It is many times wider than Earth and the Sun is the star many time closer to us.
The Sun can fit more Then 100,00 Planet’s in the sun is a Burning ball of gas.
By - Fine


  1. Thanks for sharing your class's learning. It is interesting the way that your students have pulled the subject specific vocabulary out and are able to use it. I think the repetition of the video and teacher and student talk really helps embed the learning of new vocabulary.

    1. That's what I have experienced. Just as Jannie says, input before output!