Stage C
Enhance Vocabulary & General Knowledge with NYT Word of the Day

Are your students, like mine, vocabulary poor?  Do they have a large "vocabulary gap?"  Having a wide vocabulary is one factor that helps students in reading and writing. However, many students lack the vocabulary knowledge needed to take them to the next level.

Our rBooks and ReaL Books give students many opportunities with academic and target vocabulary, but students still need more. 

More vocabulary.  

More  connections.  

More general knowledge. 


This marking period, I began introducing my students to NYT Word of the Day from their LEARNING NETWORK. 

The words and their definitions are from Vocabulary.com. However, the NYT's LEARNING NETWORK takes each word to another level by including how many times the word has been used in NYT articles and a short excerpt from one of those articles that illustrates the word and its meaning.  

I have found that the chosen articles also offer a slice of life that students can connect to and learn from as "teachable moments."


  1. Introduce the Word of the Day (WOTD) to students.
  2. Read and discuss the article excerpt. Have fun with it–I certainly do!
  3. Scroll down the Word of the Day page where students have a quiz question that can help assess understanding of the word. 

Here are some examples from the LEARNING NETWORK WOTD feature that my students loved:


With pantomime appearing in 37 NYT articles over the past year, plus the entertainment aspects of the word and related mime, my students enjoyed this WOTD (as expected).

The selected article, "He's the Michael Jordan of Darts, He Just Has to Prove It" by Andrew Keh, not only helped students with the assimilation of pantomime and mime into their vocabulary, but also strengthened students' understanding of metaphors.

Scroll down to see the Pantomime Quiz question, discuss with the class, and decide (click) on the consensus.  The next page reveals the correct answer and an explanation. Want another quiz question? Hit the back arrow, which refreshes the page, and you'll be given another Pantomime quiz question.


Meek has appeared in over 60 NYT articles in the past year, with an article from the Neediest Cases column "Becoming a Confident College Student, With the Help of an Angel" by John Otis.

The article had the added benefit of addressing how students change in high school as they become less meek and start to figure out who they are as people.

Scroll down to see the Meek Quiz question, discuss with the class, and decide (click) on the consensus.  The next page reveals the correct answer and an explanation. Want another quiz question? Hit the back arrow, which refreshes the page, and you'll be given another meek quiz question.


Who would have guessed that such an old-fashioned word would have appeared in 318 NYT articles in the past year?  Baroque needed some visuals to bring it home, which a quick Google search supplied.

The related article was published in the New York Times on January 19, 2017 in its "Party Coverage: Scene City" column "Matthew McConaughey and Bryce Dallas Howard Party for 'Gold'" by Taylor Harris.  The article relates McConaughey's new film "Gold" to the after-party setting in a baroque-esque tea room at the Plaza

Scroll down to see the Baroque Quiz question, discuss with the class, and decide (click) on the consensus.  The next page reveals the correct answer and an explanation.  Want another quiz question?  Hit the back arrow, which refreshes the page, and you'll be given another baroque quiz question, and perhaps this one will be a visual quiz of 4 architectural styles.


One of my concerns with using the New York Time's Word of the Day LEARNING RESOURCES feature; however, I was assured by the NYT that ALL of their content directed toward students, Word of the Day among others, is free.  So check it out and see how much fun you and your students can have with learning new vocabulary and expanding experiences.


Word of the Day can easily be inserted into your Do Now or Wrap Up time. 

Have you ever tried the NYT's Learning Resources?  Do you have another way you encourage your students to increase their vocabulary?  

Stage C READ 180 Educator

January 1, 2014

It has been a while since I have updated my profile, so long that I had to search to find the edit button! I continue to teach three READ 180 classes this school year, which I absolutely love, after one-year of teaching 2 READ 180/English 1 blocks and one ICS English 1. The 2013-2014 school year is my 7th year teaching READ 180/English 1, and my 20th year as a SPED teacher.  

Oakcrest High School is one of three regional high schools in southern South Jersey. At Oakcrest, I teach a combined RC English 1/READ 180 90 minute course (10 credits) to freshmen special education students whose skills range from being on grade level to 5 or 6 years behind grade level. My district mainly uses the READ 180 curriculum for SPED freshmen who are not ready for the gen ed curriculum, either because of learning or moderate behavioral disabilities. About half of my students move from the RC placement to an ICS placement for English in their sophomore year.

I have enjoyed writing the Stage C READ 180 Blog for the past two years, sharing my classroom with the READ 180 Community Members. Check out all my blogs HERE. In my blog, I try to respond to questions I see in the Community Message Boards, as well as questions from READ 180 Teachers, and things I have tried and found successful in my own READ 180 classrooms. In my blog, I also try to focus on the Common Core and Next Generation Assessment skills our students will need, sharing tips and enhancements I have made in my classes to help prepare my SPED students. Last summer, I was also invited to serve on the Scholastic READ 180 Advisory Board in NYC, and learned about some of the amazing things Scholastic is implementing to help introduce our students to the Common Core and Next Gen. Assessments, which were the topic of my December 2013 blog: Stretch 2 Supports Common Core Reading & Writing.

During the last READ 180 National Summer Institute in New Orleans during July 2012, I presented one of my class best practices to many of the READ 180 teachedrs attending the conference. You can find information and resources from that presentation in my blog HERE. The folder system outlined my "Success" Blog is easy to set up and easy for students to use and teachers to implement.

CryUnfortunately, I will be unable to attend the upcoming 2014 NSI in Florida as the new dates conflict with my annual family vacation in Duck, NC. Cry

Besides the enhanced focus on the Common Core, this year my students have been blogging about their books with two other READ 180 classes. Students have enjoyed blogging and, although we had to take a break the last few weeks, they are looking forward to picking it back up and restart their blogging this month.

  • Thank you so much for sharing!