One of the skills my building needed to strengthen according to test scores was vocabulary. To be specific, vocabulary and synonyms to go with the vocabulary. One way that I am addressing that weakness is with my vocabulary wall. For each book, we pull a word or two for our vocabulary to learn. Then as a visual reminder, I place those vocabulary word cards on a copy of the book cover. This is an easy way to help students remember what the word means by remembering how it was used in the story or text. I require that they be able to read the word and be able to tell me a synonym that goes with the word. When we have a couple of seconds, we can easily go over the wall, reading the words and naming the synonyms. I am finding that it is helping the students remember vocabulary better this year.
In addition to the vocabulary wall, we also fill out a vocabulary sheet so we can dive in a little deeper with the word. We discuss the definition and what the kids come up with becomes our definition. I don’t want them memorizing a bunch of words that really don’t have any meaning to them so the language needs to be from them. I also like to have different versions of their answers and let the students write what fits them best.
We were discussing loitering with The Three Little Pigs folktale unit. The students discussions on loitering were funny! We finally came around to when the author uses loitering, he is trying to convey to us that the character is probably up to no good!
Of course the discussion on scrumptious got us all hungry for lunch!
We keep our vocabulary sheets in our Interactive Reader’s Notebook. This is the vocabulary section of it. We have several versions of vocabulary work in the notebook to choose from when using it.
The notebook has been a really great tool this year. Helps keep everything organized in one place and an easy way of seeing the progression of skills by the students.
How are you working on vocabulary this year?