Vocabulary is required learning. While the teacher must direct the learning of specific vocabulary for their content area in each lesson, students should also consciously construct their own improved vocabulary. How students learn new vocabulary should not just be teacher directed, but also interest driven (new buzz word: passion). These activities provide opportunities to listen to our words in conversation and discussions and in written work for class or on blogs. Which brings us right back to listening: Wordsmiths listen to the way words work wonder in our minds. So if you find your classroom filled with wordsmiths, grab this badge to share with them; place it on your blog. Write a comment on the Wordsmith Agora Blog about your wordsmithing: Wordsmith Agora Welcome
Robert Marzano research suggests this format for vocabulary learning and review:
Word Connections 1 – Understand the word using your own words.
In order to understand a word, the student needs to describe the word in his or her own words; making connections from the text and his/her own life deepens the understanding.
Students draw two- three triangles on their paper. In the center, students write one vocabulary word. On two of the lines, students write connections directly from the text, problem, or image. On one of the lines, students write a personal connection that relates to the concept. Think-Pair-Share.
Once students begin to understand and use the words, use activities that support this use.
Students bring their best new vocabulary words, ready for Word Whirl. Students think about a poem or speech with their words for two minutes so that in one to two minutes they speak on a topic or recite their poem. They try their ideas out with a partner, seeking questions on content and format, and offering those to their partner. Students rethink their work for two minutes. Now the whirl: students pop up and share their work to the class. Listeners write down the in teresting word(s) they hear, and one compliment. Next person pops. At the end all students either turn in their list/compliments or type them into a shared google doc. The document is discussed as a class as it is projected, or a leader shares the compliments and key words. What did you like? What did you notice? What was confusing? What word will you try? Students add their whirl to the Wordsmith Wonders, their own blog, or a common wiki or site.
Students or teacher insert (copy/paste) text into site. All the main words of the text appear in a box. Choose the content area from the menu below the word list (science, math, academic) to highlight those words.. Analyze the word map which is created below the word list to choose vocabulary words. Create a visual word map for discussion by dragging the words from this list deemed most important to the lesson into the workspace (you may need to click the me nu item "Create a Workspace." Add the images (click "make images draggable") and words. Discuss. I took screenshots of these; students can too, or project all on board.
Here is a tour of how wordsift works: http://wordsift.com/site/videotour/newFeat
This dictionary offers word definitions in learner terms rather than dictionary terms:
You or the students can access these for better word understanding. It’s free to use and students with email can create their own account.
Word Connections 2 – Understand the word in your own pictures and words.
Describe and sketch word meanings on paper or use online tools. Share and discuss; verify understandings. The thinking behind these, either online or on paper, solidifies the learning.
Toondoo: free -- just sign-up.
For fifty students for 12 month use in a private social space, the cost is $105.
MakeBeliefs -- no sign up required; can email to teacher; I took screenshot.
Study – Teacher or student created study cards.
Free Online (for a fee, more options):
More options are available for only $19.95 a year!
Easily upload words via a spreadsheet or a Google Document with two columns labeled Question and Answer.
Central Tendency Google Spreadsheet
Central Tendancy Flashcards (Click Study)
Free for many items. Thirty students for one year is $49.95. With premium membership, the site tracks all activity for spelling, vocabulary, and writing. Students can be grouped for differentiation. Grades can be transferred to your gradebook. Many more games available. Writing can be emailed to teacher; feedback from teacher added.
The following are free:
Create an online word wall for links, descriptions, images about your vocabulary. Make it public so anyone can post. You can still moderate each post.
Source: Six Vocabulary Visits, my teacher blog
Know the research on Vocabulary Instruction by Marzano– see a review and many resources here: jc.schools.net
TMTW Wiki (resources listed below) TMTW ELL Page (not listed here)
Like wordsift, but web of text and prettier — most used are larger —
Idea: choose a word; enter synonyms or definition; create poster
Idea: Enter vocabulary words; Use for writing prompt for review
An entire academic vocabulary program 15 min/day - once in each content area (twice in LA).
List of SAT words; find student created videos of definitions
Enter the contest
Search for a student’s reading book/magazine in google books
Search that text for school vocabulary words in that text
A list of text from that book with that word shown with page numbers will result.
Lesson Plans -- Math Vocabulary
Vocabulary lesson plans here: http://ning.it/afD7GI Math-ese OPSU
Inspiring Middle School Literacy
Reading and Writing in Science and History
An entire site to find and create lessosn plans with video clips
Vocabulary ThinkSheets and Homework
Building Schema through re-reading, context attention, and connections.
Google Reading Level Search
Ask a question; embed on your webpage or blog. Anyone can answer.