I like to do a sort of pre-test/post-test with my students at the beginning and end of a theme to see how they have (or have not) learned the vocabulary words. I try to do it in a fun way whenever I can to keep the kids motivated. For Valentine's Day, we took the pictures out of a mailbox.
Basic concept- out
First, to get a quick baseline of the vocabulary words that they know, I do quickly go through the pictures with each child and collect data on the words they know. The, the playing begins!
The students need to take turns--turn taking is a basic conversational concept; I say something, you say something. A verbal tennis match! As they choose a picture, we talk about how they are taking the card out of the mailbox.
Then, they get a chance to label what they got! If they get it right away, we *high five,* reinforce the word by repeating it, and move on. If they get stuck, I give some cueing. For the basic words, I may just say "it's a /h/" and then pause for them to say "heart" after I told them the first sound. For harder words, or for kids who have a really hard time, I may give a choice--"Is it a dog or a cupid?" That's right--cupid! *high five!*"
We repeat the activity over and over again to reinforce those words.
I tend to see the kids who are simply late-talkers learn the vocabulary words more quickly than those who have fundamental difficulties with speech and language--just an observation ;)
Happy turn taking!