Stretching everyone’s vocabulary with the Word of the Week was an idea that Chris Clouet was enthusiastic to introduce his first year as school superintendent in Shelton, Connecticut.
“We know the idea of building deeper thinkers starts with exposing students to more and more vocabulary,” Clouet said. “It helps them not only in terms of their academic growth, but also their opportunities in life.”
The Word of the Week was started so that all city students would have a new word each week to learn, think about, spell, use, and remember. Some of the words are common, like distort or appropriate. Others such as paradigm and albeit are more challenging. The selections all encourage conversations in different subjects and stretch minds.
“There are layers,” Victoria White, Shelton’s supervisor of literacy said. “The Word of the Week gives us a connection between schools and the community.”
The district is initiating a larger vocabulary project so that students will sharpen their critical thinking skills, and enhance their abilities in language arts in preparation for the SAT test. In addition, the Word of the Day is just plain fun.