Taking every opportunity to extend and use a child’s vocabulary is an important part of the Language Experience Approach and any classroom program. Extending an older child’s language is equally crucial. Many of the wonderful teaching experiences which are child centred and engaging should be embedded into all year levels.
Last week my Intern (student teacher- 4th year) Jacinta did a fantastic measurement lesson that not only had the children exploring measurement but building language. The children had to predict if a toy car travelling down a bumpy ramp would go further than a car travelling down a smooth ramp. They tried the car ramps and then used string to measure the distance. To find out how long each string was the children had to measure using informal units. Some children used little teddies, some used unifix cubes and others used round counters. They discovered that you have to choose a consistent measure e.g. same size teddies and counters.
The photos display the different words the children came up with to describe their measurement. Take a look at the lesson photos and you will see the children’s language used in the class recording. All words are excepted, some children used fun slang and others used mathematical language.