Google Analytics

Friday, January 13, 2017

Mastering Reading by Increasing Vocabulary

Through the hallways of Mary Jo Sheppard Elementary School, young learners can be heard shouting out some pretty advanced vocabulary words.

“Algorithm! Distinguish! Fiction!” the second-graders said as the teacher gave a definition of each term.

The elementary school, like many others across the district, is focusing on building vocabulary to strengthen reading skills. The emphasis on vocabulary lines up with Mansfield ISD’s Vision 2020 strategic plan, which states that students will read on level or higher by the beginning of third grade and will remain on level or higher as an MISD student.

“We believe that if the students master their academic vocabulary, they will be reading on grade level, especially our second-graders,” said Dr. Lori Ayala, assistant principal of Sheppard Elementary School.

A teacher reviews vocabulary in the hallway.
Teachers have started using several teaching techniques to make vocabulary fun and memorable. They utilize videos, games, flipbooks and vocabulary journals in which the student talks about the word, draws the words and writes the word in a sentence.

“The teachers are constantly reviewing the words, even when they have time in the hallways for restroom breaks,” Ayala explained.

Student progress is also tracked. Word mastery has increased across the campus, and each student keeps a journal of how they are improving.

“Everyone has met their goals so far,” Ayala continued. “Our goal at the beginning of the year was to pass with 70 percent. We’ve met that goal and went beyond that.”

For more information about MISD’s Vision 2020, visit the district website.