Lily and I were in the garage the other day sorting some artwork I am going to get rid of. I was holding a framed picture and trying to read the back of it, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a scorpion running across the picture toward me. I instinctively threw the picture on the ground and screamed.

Lily looked at me surprised and asked what happened. I told her that a scorpion was on the picture and I didn’t want it to sting me. She responded with “Well, quit alarming me!!”

I had to chuckle, as that is the first time I heard her use the word ‘alarming’, but I remember when she learned it. About a week ago I was trying to get the Amazon Firestick to work on the TV, and was having trouble with the volume. All of a sudden, it came on, and was very loud. In fact, it was quite alarming.. I quickly turned it off. Lily plugged her ears. I said, ‘Well, that was alarming. Alarming is when something scares you. Did you think that loud noise was alarming? I sure did.’
That was the only instruction she ever received for the word ‘alarming’, yet it was enough. It’s a reminder to organically incorporate language development into the way you speak to students.

A Few Tips:
I adjust my use of language to the point needed to deliver an understandable message. From that place, you can slide in a new word, and then immediately explain it with a simple definition. Usually it’s a simplified synonym of the word. For example, ‘exceptional’ means ‘really good’ or ‘excellent’. The other tip is to reuse new words in conversations whenever it makes sense to solidify new vocabulary.
1. Shut the door immediately. Immediately means now.
2. I am concerned. Concerned means worried. I am concerned because….
3 This dress is stained. Stain means there is a spot on it. I want to get the stain out of this dress.
4. I am astonished! Astonished means surprised. I’m so shocked!