Word A Day Project

Posted June 16, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Psychometrician Johnson O’Connor studies factors leading to career achievement.  His studies cover a wide range of areas, including age and level of education.  Every time he analyzed the data, he got the same results: the better a person’s vocabulary, the better correlation with success.

Scientists think that that a bigger vocabulary is connected to the ability to think in more complex ways.  O’Connor suggests four ways to increase your vocabulary:

  1. Be aware of words
  2. Read
  3. Use a dictionary (circle the words and make a note of them)
  4. Study and review regularly
If you’re looking for a fun summer activity to do with your kids, consider the Word a Day project.  Each morning pick a word that is unfamiliar to your children.  Look it up in the dictionary, discuss or act out its meaning, draw a picture or symbol to help remember it, and then try to use it several times throughout the day.   Post the new words on index cards.  Try to use them in a story or poem.  By the end of the summer, your children will be at least 60 steps–or words– closer to success.
by Marcia Chamberlain, Writers in the Schools

Word Party!

Posted June 6, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

School’s out!  It’s time to celebrate.  In addition to going to a summer fest, we invite you to throw a party for poetry!

 That’s right.  Grab a pencil and go to town!  You’ve got all the time in the world to play with words. No tests, no teachers.  Just you and the wide world of words.  So, invite some friends and see what your collective brains spurt out!

Here is one 4th grader’s “word party” poem to inspire you:  

Celebrate words for the fun of it!

In the middle of your brain is a word warrior.

It spurts out words like neon rain and crunch of gold.

Tangled, loopy.

Frizzy, iggily.

Words are an ancient song of praise.

Busy or slow?  Crowded or desolate?

East or west?  Left or right?

My world of words, a personal world.

I’m keeping its eyes and ears open!

Can you see under my skin?

I have blood cells of words.

I keep my promises.

It’s time to head home.

See you at next year’s celebration of words!

By Clarissa, age 10

by Marcia Chamberlain, Writers in the Schools