No Series: College Talk: Improving Students' Vocabulary


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • L:  Language Standards K-\x80\x935
  • 2:  2nd Grade
  • 5:  Demonstrate understanding of word relationships
    and nuances in word meanings.

    a. Identify real-life connections between words
    and their use (e.g., describe foods that are
    spicy or juicy).

    b. Distinguish shades of meaning among closely
    related verbs (e.g., toss, throw, hurl) and closely
    related adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny,

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

College Talk: Improving Students' Vocabulary

Lesson Objective: Make high-level conversation part of your classroom's daily routine
Grade 2 / ELA / Vocabulary


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Kim make vocabulary a natural part of the classroom?
  2. Notice the synonym list and vocabulary cards that provide visual references. How does the students' response to this strategy change over time?


  • Private message to Mary Salmon

Ms. Kim introduced high level words for everyday words to her students.  She provided them with list and well the defination of the new word.  The students learned new vocabulary words and used them in a sentence when Ms. Kim asked them for feedback.  

Recommended (1)
  • Private message to Avery Baird

This is a really great way to improve the student's vocabulary in a very easy way. When you repeat a phrase, students will understand the meaning of it, but when you add a challenging word, this allows the students to use critical thinking and context clues as to what word was used before the challenging one. They are learning new words and meanings without even realizing it and when the teacher said that they will use the new word in an answer, that is very rewarding because they understand the work and understand how to use it.

Recommended (0)
  • Private message to roberta hoffman

  Dont apologize for improving yourself as a teacher. All processes have their merits.

Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Nicole Jones
I will be incorporating this information into next year's school's protocols and norms for class.
Recommended (1)
  • Private message to Tynice Duffie
Awesome! Love it.
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Penny Kidd
I teach second grade and am always looking for ways to extend the children's vocabulary in speech and in writing. Many students will write: I like apple. I like pizza. I try to find ways to encourage them to use a more extended vocabulary. I really like how Ms. Kim used the words in everyday speech to model how to use it correctly. I also like her poster of the synonym wall to have students refer to when they are speaking or writing.
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to roberta hoffman

I like your approach. I like all the supports.What a great way to up the level of vocabulary.

Recommended (0)


  • TIPS & TRICKS: Jinny Kim – “College Talk”
    Jinny Kim (Interview):
    A tip that I use in my

    TIPS & TRICKS: Jinny Kim – “College Talk”
    Jinny Kim (Interview):
    A tip that I use in my classroom is what I refer to as College Talk.
    “College Talk”
    Kim (Interview):
    I just thought of the most common phrases that we use in the classroom, such as
    “Stop talking,” “Take out your book,” you know, “I need you to focus and pay
    attention,” “This is important,”… and I just developed more, higher level—or
    college talk for saying those very same phrases.
    For example, “Stop talking”… I used “Stop socializing,” or “We’re being very
    When I’m saying, “I need to tell you something very important,” I’ll say, “I have an
    imperative announcement,” “This is very critical for you.”
    So in the beginning, of course, the kids are very confused, they look at each
    other, and they’re, like, “What did she say? What is she saying?” And I explain it
    once or twice, but I think the constant repetition os using the same phrase over
    and over… they get it.
    So now, when I go up to my kids, and I say, “What do you think is the situation?
    What am I upset about,” and instead of saying, “We’re talking too much,” they’ll
    really say, “We’re socializing,” or “We’re being garrulous, and it’s interrupting the
    learning.” So, it’s very exciting to me.

School Details

Charles White Elementary School
2401 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90057
Population: 335

Data Provided By:



Jinny Kim


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