Monday, January 30, 2017

#SOL2017 Vocabulary Learning Thanks to Sandra Boynton!

If you have toddlers or if you are the Grammy to toddlers (like me), you probably know Sandra Boynton's books, such as her Hippos Go Berserk.  There is rhythm and rhyme that makes this book easy to memorize (for the reader) but also appealing to little listeners who for whatever reason, love the song-like patterns of rhyming books

If you have toddlers or if you are the lucky-Grammy-who-gets-to-read to toddlers, you probably know that toddlers LOVE to hear the same story-of-the-moment again and again.    So, as I read about how one hippo all alone, called 2 hippos on the phone for the 6th or 7th time not so long ago, through the eyes of a literacy specialist as well as a Grammy, I thought about the many subtle messages and powerful vocabulary Boynton infuses into that story.  I love her out-of-the-box word choices and even though not everyone loves her wacky books, I am sure now that her books provide a foundation for "success" on primary, universal screener vocabulary tests, such as AIMSWEB!

Here's the connection!  One of the vocabulary words on the AIMSWEB screener is distressed!  I must admit I have been totally surprised by how many students seem to understand what that word means!  At first, I thought they connected with the word stressed.    However, after multiple readings of the same story in one sitting, I had one of those AHHHHA moments!

I'm thinking that those students I know as beginning readers and writers were once toddler story readers like my Jack and Vivi.  I'm thinking they too heard again and again and again how..Seven hippos headed west leaves six hippos quite distressed!   As I read slowly, I smiled thinking, perhaps, that multiple readings of those Hippos going berserk over the 5 years prior to kindergarten MIGHT just be having a positive effect!   

If you don't know the story, you might want to ask the parents or the Grammy of a toddler or two or three.  Or check out the story here!


Maureen said...

I love that connection and I love Sandra Boynton! What if it is Sandra Boynton's book that has lodged in their heads? I teach preschoolers, and know so well the joy and work of reading the same book over and over. Think about the vocabulary that begins to grow within every child if we are reading, reading, reading!

Elizabeth Thompson said...

Our school district is implementing 4K oral language groups. The students participate in repeated read aloud, nursery rhymes, and phonemic awareness revolving around a theme. I think Hippos Go Berserk and other Sandra Boynton books would incorporate rhyme, rhythm, and themes.

Lisa Corbett said...

The early learning books can be monotonous for our adult brains, but the constant repetition has been so good for my own children and their vocabulary development! We love Sandra Boynton too!

Terje said...

This was an unexpected connection you made. I am not familiar with this book, You made me curious.