Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Direct Vocabulary Instruction

Last month, I attended my first in-person professional development in two years when I presented at and attended the Ohio Library Council’s Convention and Expo in Columbus, Ohio.  While there, I saw amazing speakers like Jason Reynolds and Saeed Jones and attend other sessions focusing on youth services. To me, the most impactful session was entitled “Rich, Robust and Expressive: Vocabulary Building in Storytime; Storytimes for School Readiness and Community Needs.” Presented by Dr. Maria Cahill, Associate Professor in the School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky and Janet Ingraham-Dwyer, Library Consultant—Youth Services for the State Library of Ohio (and truly the MVP for youth librarians in my state), the session focused on Direct Vocabulary Instruction (DVI). 

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Kids Need Monstrous Words

“Procrastination,” “negotiation,” “dramatically,” “in-lieu”; these are words that you would probably not expect to appear in a picture book. Which, in my opinion, is unfortunate. I am a picture book author, (Monster & Me™ series published by Mighty Media Press) and one of the reasons I like to write is to introduce new and interesting words to kids. Vocabulary is so important in the art of communication, so why do we as parents, writers and educators insist that children can’t fathom a monstrous word? When my first child was born I fell into the same idea that a young child would never be able to understand a big word. It wasn’t until my son was three and I needed to take him for a physical. Blood needed to be taken and I figured this was going to be a horror show of screaming and fear. I don’t like needles so…