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Vocabulary Staff Meeting

Discussion in 'Primary' started by felix8, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. felix8

    felix8 New commenter

    Hi - I hope someone out there can help - I’m running a staff meeting on vocabulary and I need some activities for the staff to do. Any ideas or activities that you have used and have worked a treat?
    Thank you in anticipation!
  2. Josh7

    Josh7 Occasional commenter

    In what context?

    To help build subject specific vocabulary or the vocabulary of language - parts of speech?

    Some subject specific activities I've used for science vocab.
    1) Give them a completed crossword for which they have to write the clues.
    2) Have a set of vocabulary cards, an individual has to read one and then describe the word without being allowed to use the word or a version of it, the others have to be first to guess the word & then it's their turn.
    3) Present a word and three definitions, which is the correct definition.
    4) Sets of the words & definitions, match up.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The vocabulary needed in reception is so very different to that needed in year 6, it seems an odd topic for a staff meeting.
    Are you really going to 'teach' staff subject specific vocabulary? Is that not ever so slightly insulting?
    BetterNow and digoryvenn like this.
  4. felix8

    felix8 New commenter

    No - the importance of vocabulary and the fact that it has been identified as an area of weakness across the country. What can we do as professionals to ensure that vocabulary is high quality.
  5. felix8

    felix8 New commenter

    Neither - to enrich vocabulary throughout the Primary curriculum. I think I wa probably a little woolly in my initial post. Sorry.
  6. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    You have a good question.
    Put the question to the staff and ask them to answer it!

    They can work in pairs, in teams, three's (lesson study), teams, in key stages, across key stages or whatever.
    As a collective, you will think of more ideas than one person ever can.
  7. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    I'm still not very clear on what you are expected to achieve in the meeting, but that is quite a brief.

    Surely this would be better led over a period of time by subject co-ordinators who can examine the use of vocabulary specific to their subjects.
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    Why is vocab weak?
    is the nat curr vocab requirement out of step with modern life?
    do children develop poor vocab because......?
    not sure what you can hope to achieve in an hour, if a couple of staff get on their usual individual hobby horse, possibly not a lot.

    Might be worth considering how often, how and for how much time your school specifically addresses vocab.

    Perhaps creating a set of laminated vocab cards for each subject for the entire year might seem huge, but probably won't be. Then at every weekly meeting, every classroom vocab could be updated. If not done in one go, I could see something like that starting well, happening twice then stopping.
  9. lrw22

    lrw22 Established commenter

    Sometimes, I come up with some very choice vocabulary during staff meetings. Manage to keep most of it in my head though.

    Seriously though, reading and discussion of good quality texts where effective vocabulary has been used? Further up ks2 teach effective use of a thesaurus? Lots of class discussion where children share and are encouraged to "magpie" good vocabulary?
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Is it an area of weakness in your particular school?
    If so, why is it a weakness?
    Work collaboratively with staff to get ideas that will work in their particular classrooms for their particular children.

    Activities I might use in my school, with amazing effects, might be utterly useless in your school because the needs are different.

    If I were to go to a staff meeting and sit through some naff activity about improving the use of creative vocabulary in year 5 (or some such) I'd be bored out of my brains, insulted and might not be all that professional if asked for my opinion at some stage.
    hammie and digoryvenn like this.
  11. crfgoodman

    crfgoodman New commenter

    Getting others to give you their ideas from their own professional experience I think is positive: builds staff morale. Plus gives you an idea of what their starting points are. What you could do is give them some generic as well as KS specific ideas (in brief), then get them to discuss in KS and feedback to rest of staff. Make them part of the process and solution. What has worked for me personally (upper KS2) is using handwriting to reinforce target vocab, having words of the week and spellings displayed clearly, as well as Grammar skills lessons and early work. In addition, you could also review resources in their groups to discuss if would be worth buying them (if you've got a budget to do so). Make sure you get written feedback from each teacher at end of session: what went well, any other Qs/individual needs to progress further. Aim to have an agreed list of non negotiables as an outcome of the session (i.e. a week or so later), acknowledging the staff's help in creating them. Team work always yields a better and more lasting positive impact than just you on your own! Hope this makes sense and helps!
    felix8 likes this.
  12. felix8

    felix8 New commenter

    Thinking more along the lines of: ‘The Reading Rope; where children need to be to cope in secondary school and what our role is in prepping them; tiered words hierarchy; word consciousness; word gradients; formality registers; zones of proximity etc. and how this can affect us whatever Year group we are and however much experience we have. What works etc. so that we can build up a good working practices together as a school to address the statistical data that implies children are not accessing secondary education because of poor vocabulary skills. I very much want to harness the expertise of all our staff to work towards a common goal .
  13. felix8

    felix8 New commenter

  14. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    totally agree with thesaurus, children really enjoy using them too

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