Roots in Vocabulary Plants Seeds to Success

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"I did indigo, benchmark, and I know I did irk."

Juwon Jeong points out the new vocabulary words she has learned this semester.

"The whole vocabulary forest is about learning new words so you don't go into fifth grade and use words like nice and other little words like kindergartners use and use fifth grade words like sophisticated, intelligent to improve your vocabulary."

The Kate Sullivan Elementary School principal says the students are excited about seeing their forest grow.

"Each leaf, each flower, each bud represents a vocabulary word that kindergartners through fifth graders have learned this year."

Guidance counselor Toylene Railey said she came up with the idea to help improve reading and writing skills.

"We are required to do a great deal to make sure these kids are excelling to the utmost and sometimes we have to kinda come up with ways to make things fun and make the learning process an enjoyable one."

Educators say having strong roots in vocabulary will help plant the seeds to success.

“Research shows that an increase in vocabulary helps students to do better in reading," said Rodgers.

Railey says it’s proof because this year's third grade FCAT scores were up.

"The kids have done an excellent job bringing up their FCAT reading scores and writing scores."

With a big smile on his face, Alvontrez German says he likes being rewarded for hard work.

"It's cool cause when you win, if your class wins for getting the most leaves at the end of the year, you get to have ice cream, and we won last year."

It’s cool enough to make any student want to learn.

The principal says educators from other schools around the district have come to visit the vocabulary forest with many talking about implementing the same project in their school.