Upon close examination of both national and state reading standards, our charge as teachers is not to teach students vocabulary directly. Rather, the charge is to teach students the skills necessary to determine the meaning of new words as they encounter the unfamiliar words in context. This shift of our teaching practices will not only save time by freeing up the precious instructional minutes spent teaching lists of random words, but will allow teachers to maximize learning by requiring students to think critically as they read. As we know when students think critically, their brains are growing at a much more rapid rate than when they are simply listening at a retrieval level. Teach on!
Dr. Kendra Strange