READY TO LEARN
World of Words
Vocabulary Curriculum Trial
January thru May of 2007
Photo Journal Summary
Part I: Elements of the WOW Curriculum
Lessons always begin with a Tuning In clip, which illustrates a selected phonological awareness skill or letter sound and gives children an opportunity to practice with their teacher.
Video clips are also used during the lesson, providing key concepts and vocabulary in an engaging format. Teachers and children co-view each video segment, engaging in discussion about what they saw and heard in the video.
Teachers and students practice words and concepts together, using physical and verbal cues to help children develop listening and speaking skills. Below, a teacher leads her children in a call-and-response exercise.
Not all WOW time is about listening, though! As children think and talk about the new things they are learning, new experiences work their way into circle time. Below, a teacher's class is learning about exercise and how it makes your body feel. How long before they can't jump anymore?
Another important element of the WOW curriculum is book reading. Books have been specially developed for each curriculum category to illustrate and review key concepts. Each day teachers read part of the book with their children, making connections between book content, ideas from the video, and children's personal experiences.
Children receive take-home books to color and read with their parents. This is an important component of the WOW curriculum, as it extends children's learning time into the home environment and encourages parents to build on what children are learning at school.
Above, some children are using picture cards to help them decide how to color their take-home books. These cards represent an additional element of the WOW curriculum. In addition to learning new words and concepts, children learn ways to categorize their new knowledge and group new words. Sorting picture cards created a number of unique opportunities for children to use their new words and concepts during circle time as well as free play.
Left: A teacher begins by reviewing words with children, often asking them questions about the things they learned during the video or discussion.
Right: Children help the teacher sort cards into two groups. Insects are on the left, non-insects are on the right.
Left: A completed sorting exercise from the Pets category. The snake in the middle represents a "challenge" word. Children were asked to debate whether a snake could be a pet, based on the concepts they learned that define what a pet is. Some felt that a snake could be a pet, others disagreed.
Right: Teachers often used sorting cards as a way to give each child an opportunity to say what they had learned and to practice sorting.
Left: A child practices sorting with the picture cards from the Pets category. Teachers often combined cards from different categories to create new ways of sorting words and to review across categories.