Saturday, July 11, 2015

Word Nerds Chapter 2 -Word Confident classrooms

I love words.

Then again, I love reading...a lot.

I'm reading the book Word Nerds because even though I think I do "okay" with teaching vocabulary, like many others, I struggle with getting the students to actively incorporate new vocabulary into their everyday lives. They are really good at making flashcards and memorizing....until a few weeks later, after the unit test, when they can't remember what a word means OR how to use it correctly.

I really like the idea of Tiered words. Chapter 2 gives some guidelines for choosing Tier 2 words based on importance, instruction, and conceptual understanding. One thing I'm working on this summer is choosing words for sixth grade that are across the content areas. 

I also like the framework for introducing the words. The vocabulary planner is much like the Frayer models we have been using. 

The book talks about giving a student friendly definition, which validates how I changed last year. I would have the kids look up the meaning of each word, but then we would discuss the definitions together ( because the definitions were so very different based on the dictionary used) and come up with a common class example. After I switched to this, I noticed at the kiddos had a much easier time understanding the words.  This chapter also talks about giving students an image to help remember the term and I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. Last year, I would have the kiddos draw their own image.....sometimes it related to the word, sometimes it didn't ( in an obvious way that made sense) I think that giving them the picture/image might take away from their ability to make their own connections to the word. I'm thinking that perhaps for the first few vocabulary cycles, I'll start off giving them the image and then transition to having them decide on their own. 

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