Sunday, September 29, 2013

Student Vocabulary Books

Because my whole class is ELL students, it is incredibly important to expose them to vocabulary from all different domains.  Ms. Meredith, our ELL teacher, went to an ELL conference last year and informed us that ELLs should be learning 400 new words every year.  400!

We needed a way for students to record all of the content-specific and interesting words that they learn throughout the year.  Ms. Meredith was so WONDERFUL to create these vocabulary books for each student in 3rd grade!

Inside are three sets of colored pages.  The gold pages are for Social Studies words, the blue are for Science words, and the white pages are for Reading words.

Each page has room for two words.  For each word, students write a definition and sentence, draw a picture and write synonyms.  They also circle their understanding of the word on a scale of 1 to 4.

1- I have never heard the word.
2- I have heard the word, but don't know what it means.
3- I know what the word means, but don't know how to use it in a sentence.
4- I know what the word means, and I can use it in a sentence.  I can teach this word to somebody else.

Ms. Meredith comes in to our class every day for an hour during our literacy block.  But on Mondays, she comes and teaches new vocabulary for the week.  On those days, we do not do the Daily 5.  

To introduce the words, she uses a power point presentation with the word and picture.  They practice saying the word multiple times, and then she works with the students to come up with a definition and sentence that they will understand and remember.

Once we add the words to our vocabulary book, I use Ms. Meredith's power point to print out the word and picture to use on my word walls.  Occasionally, we will play a vocabulary game to review the words we learned thus far.

My goal this year is to try and get my students to regularly use these words, and retain their vocabulary knowledge.

What kind of vocabulary instruction do you do in your classroom?  I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward

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