As an NQT, there are so many different things whizzing around your head, sometimes it can be important to bring it back to whats important and consistency with your teaching and the content. Little and often, regular and building on what went before. As an NQT, you obviously are not in a position to make decisions about the wider school, but you have got the control within your classroom, and this is where vocabulary school start.
If you are an NQT thinking about making vocabulary a small, consistent, yet manageable priority in your classroom, then you have made a wise decision. Here are three pieces of essential advice that can help you be prepared for stepping in to the classroom and allowing vocabulary to help you be a better teacher.
Consistency vs Intensity
In education, regular consistent approaches to learning and referencing content is far more effective that doing a whole day on ‘roman numerals’ for instance. It’s much more powerful to develop ways of referencing the desired content a regular and spaced intervals, so each day, every few days or even each week. Vocabulary is the same, you aren’t going to deliver hour long lessons on specific groups of words, however being ready to discuss, record, celebrate and be excited by vocabulary is the state of mind that you need. The Word of the Day is a way to do this.
Word of the Day
Each day Vocabulary Ninja publishes the Word of the Day on the website and on social media. Giving you everything you need discuss a valuable word. the Fledgling WOD is for EYFS, the Grasshopper WOD gives you a tier 1 piece of vocabulary and the Shinobi WOD gives you a tier 3 piece of vocabulary. the choice is yours.
Ideally you would spend 5-10 minutes exploring the WOD, either at the start of the day or even at the beginning of a specific lesson such as literacy. But this has to be right for you. Then record it!
Effective classroom display is something that VN is adamant about. It has to promote independence and support pupils’ learning in the classroom. Once the WOD has been taught and referenced, it must be displayed effectively in the classroom, preferably on your Vocabulary Ninja display board. Resources for this can be found for free on this website, so you just need to print and use.
Guaranteed that if you don’t you will have children asking how to spell the word or what it was, causing you some unnecessary problems and possibly some behaviour to manage. Whereas, if you display the language in a consistent location, this will become an essential part of your classroom, your teaching and your dialogue with pupils!
These three pieces of advice are really just skimming the surface, but are a great place to start.