Reflection: Adjustments to Practice What Do We Need? - Section 3: Guided Practice


As a teacher at a school with struggling test scores, I have struggled with the concept of teaching math and reading all day to increase test scores, with very little emphasis being placed on science, social studies and health.  This unit has made me really step back and examine my practice as an educator, specifically in how I develop and expand my students' vocabulary. 

There is a push to expand students' vocabulary and schools and spent exorbitant amounts of money on buying programs to grow vocabulary.  More and more, I think this is a waste of money.  I believe more emphasis needs to be placed on the content areas and that this instruction will allow vocabulary to expand organically and meaningfully.

As I was working with my students, I heard a conversation taking place.  One student was saying that an item in the sort we were doing was a "necessity".  Wow...necessity!!  The other student asked what that meant and she know. It means it is one of our needs.  In the next round, the student who questioned the vocabulary word, used that word to describe her card that she was sorting.  That is the kind of vocabulary growth you can't get with a "canned program".

After I taught this lesson, one of my students was working in her journal.  She was busy drawing pictures.  I asked her what she was doing.  She said, "I am drawing different kinds of shelters."  Sure enough, there was a house, a barn, a hut and a snow fort and a doghouse.  I have no doubt that she understands what the word shelter means.  The understanding of that word came from her experience in our science lessons.

It is hard, but I know I need to squeeze more science and social studies into my days.  I see the value in the amazing vocabulary my students are developing.

  Shelter, Necessity and Other Cool Vocabulary for Kindergarteners
  Adjustments to Practice: Shelter, Necessity and Other Cool Vocabulary for Kindergarteners
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What Do We Need?

Unit 3: Exploring Nutrition
Lesson 3 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to identify basic survival needs by completing a sort.

Big Idea: Understanding the basic needs for survival is a foundational science concept. This interactive lesson introduces the students to the concept of needs through a popular children's book.

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3 teachers like this lesson
Science, Nutrition, food, bone
  55 minutes
needs and wants
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