Obviously, kindergarten is a developmentally rich time for improving the vocabulary. However, as a teacher, it’s also important to make vocabulary lessons enriching and exciting. In the long run, journaling is a great way to bridge this gap. Also, by journaling, students can express their thoughts and feelings. Additionally, they also get a chance to practice writing and communicating clearly. Overall, journaling has many great developmental impacts on kindergarteners. For example, it builds social and emotional skills, improves handwriting, and engages critical thought. Also, it’s wonderful for creating long-lasting memorabilia about a child’s life. Lastly, finding ways to execute incredible vocabulary teachings is easy, simple, and fun.
1. Improving the Vocabulary of Students Using Journaling Prompts
Nothing gets creative gears moving like a good writing prompt! In general, writing prompts are a great way to get kids to step outside of their comfort zone. This encourages them to write about something that they might not usually gravitate towards. Additionally, this encouragement to write about new subjects and topics is a great way to get kids to improve vocabulary skills. They will increase their vocabulary by using new or recently learned words and phrases.
Journaling prompts can be based on any number of themes or ideas. You can introduce journaling prompts that center around your current focus of study. For example, if there is a holiday coming up, you can ask students to write about what they do to celebrate. On the other hand, you could base them around a favorite movie or book that the class particularly likes. Overall, make journaling prompts open-ended and creative. Allow students to express creativity and opinions through their journal writing.
Have students create illustrations alongside their journal entries. They can use these to more clearly show their ideas and demonstrate their thoughts. Adding visuals to their writing helps develop communication skills. Overall, drawings and diagrams that supplement their writing will strengthen their understanding of the words they use.
2. Sight Word Integration to Help With Improving the Vocabulary of Students
Journaling is a great opportunity for students to practice using their new sight words in context. Whenever you introduce new words to the class, try including them in the day’s prompt. For example, place cards featuring the word on the board or somewhere clearly visible. Also, it’s helpful to also include illustrations of the word’s meaning next to the spelling. Then, students can reference the words as they are writing.
Also, you can require students to include a certain number of vocabulary words in their journal entry. Then, you can ask them to include as many or as few as they might like. However, it’s important that students fully understand the word before journaling with it. Try showing a few sample sentences they might include. For instance, you could write a journal entry as a class before having them work independently.
What’s more, you can even create vocabulary games out of sight words in journal entries. For example, games like Word Bingo or Pictionary are great ways to include sight words in journal writing. They encourage kids to try out new words and be creative with their language.
3. Diary Apps for Improving the Vocabulary of Students
Integrating your classroom’s journal writing with technology use can be a powerful tool for improving vocabulary. For example, by using a digital journal, students can find help with spelling, ideas, and illustrations all within the app. Also, there are great apps for improving vocabulary as they help students use more difficult words in their journaling. In fact, you can set them up to feature the class’ current vocabulary words so they are accessible to kids.
Also, diary apps can be used to suggest more challenging words, play games for improving vocabulary, and more. In fact, students can write notes and letters to one another, share pictures, and draw their journaling illustrations. All of these activities offer support for children who may still be struggling with writing and reading. Therefore, students are more motivated to improve their vocabulary and practice writing.
Finally, using apps to journal is a great way to document the learning in your classroom. When your students use a journaling app, you as the teacher have access to all journals easily through one platform. Then you can review their work and evaluate their progress.
4. Improving the Vocabulary by Reading Aloud
Overall, you can never go wrong with reading books for improving your vocabulary. Reading new books is one of the best ways to introduce a child to new words and ideas. Reading books aloud can get kids excited about writing and language in a way that few other activities can. Carefully select books that are at the right difficulty level. You want children to be challenged by new content, but not overwhelmed or intimidated.
After the story, encourage students to recall the events of the story in their own words. Ask for insight into the feelings or thoughts of the characters. Students can infer how a particular character might have felt during the most emotional moments. Then review the parts of the story that featured new words and ask the students about them. Ask them if they are familiar with the word. If they aren’t, ask them to guess what the word might mean based on context. Then discuss the word’s true meaning and reread that section. This can help students develop a connection with the word’s meaning and see it within real language contexts.
Also, try selecting books that are relevant to the class’s current interests or subjects of study. That makes it easier to include keywords and phrases from the book as sight words. Take a few words of interest from the story and add them to the word wall of your classroom. Then, include these new words in your class’s journaling prompts or other activities.
Improving the Vocabulary of Students Can Be Easy and Fun!
With just these few implementations for your classroom’s journaling time, you can take a good activity and make it great. These simple tips can take a regular journaling activity and dramatically improve kindergarten vocabulary. Also, students will have fun being creative and expressing their thoughts. If you haven’t started using journaling to improve vocabulary teaching in your classroom, it’s time to start!