Vocabulary: A New Approach to Teaching - EB Academics

Grab Your Free Writing Guide

Become an EB Insider Today

Vocabulary: A New Approach to Teaching

June 2, 2016 2 min read

Vocabulary: A New Approach to Teaching

June 2, 2016 2 min read

We’ve always disliked giving students a list of vocabulary words, having them look up the definition, and then immediately use the word in a sentence. Often, their sentences end up with the word not quite in the correct form or even in the right contest. This year, we’re hoping to avoid this issue by starting our language arts classes with a new graphic organizer using the vocabulary we’ve selected from the opening novels we’re reading (Charlotte’s Web in 3rd grade, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in 4th grade, and The Westing Game in 5th grade, just in case you were wondering!).

So here’s what we do.
  • Create a three column table using the list of vocabulary words we want our students to learn.
  • In the first column, is the vocabulary word.
  • In the second column, is a sentence we create using the word with ample context clues,
  • The third column is left blank for students to speculate the meaning of the word.
We are requiring our students to highlight the context clues in the sentence before generating a prediction of the definition. We will then discuss the different theories as a class before writing down our final definition.
The vocabulary words are continuously reviewed on subsequent days by playing pictionary and charades, among other activities, to include different learning modalities, so that hopefully the meaning will stick!
Finally, when we assess our students on the new words, they will have to go above and beyond simply matching the definition or filling in the blank. For example, on the first quiz from the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, students will be asked, “What would be more monotonous? A one minute roller coaster ride at Disneyland, or a two-hour math lesson on subtraction? Explain your reasoning.”
Fingers crossed that students retain the definition, and even better, that they start using the words in their everyday language!
How do you teach vocabulary in your classroom? Let us know in the comments below! 
 
 
 
Caitlin

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Hi there! We're two middle school ELA teachers with a mission to share ideas, tips, and tricks for effectively teaching reading and writing in the secondary classroom. We're so happy you stopped by!

Caitlin + Jessica

Your 15 Free Resources Are Waiting!

Immediately receive access to our
Free Resource Library

We promise we won't spam you.

Let’s Connect

Popular Posts

Our Latest Posts

Categories

Instagram

  • What’s your go-to teacher outfit? Mine is almost always a dress because it’s SO easy! It’s one piece, and you’re done! 💕 I also love dressing up for school because it puts me in a good mood - what can I say ...? I love a cute outfit! 😘
  • Double tap if you agree 💕 ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
I had an aspiring teacher DM me the other day to day she was second guessing her decision to go into education ...⁣⁣
⁣⁣
The reason? ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
That she felt like she wasn’t creative enough or that she wasn’t good enough because of all of the incredibly creative teachers that she’s seen on Instagram. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
And you know what? That made me really sad. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Because teaching is not all that Instagram shows in any capacity whatsoever. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
And I told her all you really need to know that first year of teaching is that you need to love your kids and be kind to them. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Above all else that is the most important.⁣
⁣
So with that ... Love your kids and be kind 😘 ⁣
⁣
Love you guys!
  • There are few things I love as much as teaching literary analysis! My kids have an in-class essay tomorrow, and these posters outline the exact framework they should follow 💕 If you’re in the FB group that @doccopteaching and I started, this is a free file in there! If not, DM me, and I’ll send you the link to join! 😘
  • HS and MS ELA teachers ... Will you be joining @buildingbooklove @readitwriteitlearnit @readingandwritinghaven and @doccopteaching and me next week?! Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to DM you the link to register!! It’s 100% free and 100% online 😘 Love you guys!!
  • Loving this collection of Sarah Dessen books from @elaclassroom ! Have you read any / do you love them? Hope you guys are having a great weekend! Love you all! 😘
  • You can never hear this enough 💕 One more day, team, one more day this week ... to make them feel loved, to show them kindness, to create memories, to impact their lives and hearts forever. Seriously 💕

Follow @ebacademics

×