Get ready to makeover your word study routines! Share your email below and I'll send you a free unit of word searches and word study notebooks aligned to Words Their Way. You'll also be subscribed to the Tarheelstate Teacher newsletter for upper elementary teachers!
Vocabulary instruction must be explicit. Explicit vocabulary instruction includes an easy-to-understand definition presented directly to students along with multiple examples and nonexamples of the target word, brief discussion opportunities, and checks for understanding.
Instructional time is precious, and teachers are not able to address every unknown word students might encounter, so careful word selection is key. When deciding which words to target for explicit instruction, consider words that are
ELs may require even more careful word selection and extensive vocabulary instruction because they may be learning conversational language and academic language at the same time. Colorín Colorado provides additional information about selecting vocabulary words to teach ELs.
Teachers use a simple graphic organizer to preteach the meanings of important words in about 5 minutes per word. During this routine, teachers introduce target words with definitions, visual cues, and examples. Students engage in immediate practice using the words through collaborative student turn-and-talk activities.
One way to have students extend their knowledge of important words is through a Frayer model. This graphic organizer builds vocabulary and conceptual knowledge across content areas. The strategy requires students (not the teacher) to define a vocabulary word and then list its characteristics, examples, and nonexamples. Frayer models can be completed in collaborative groups using textbooks and other subject-matter materials while the teacher circulates around the classroom and assists students.
Multiple opportunities to practice using new words is an important part of vocabulary instruction. In previous TCLD research studies, brief review activities were built into novel unit lesson plans to help students practice (and remember) the meanings of important words. Each of these activities takes 5 to 10 minutes and is easy to prepare.
Explicit instruction of words is important, but it is impossible to teach all the unfamiliar words students will encounter. One way to help students develop strategies for approaching unfamiliar vocabulary is to teach morphemes (prefixes, roots, and suffixes). Students can be taught the following morphemic analysis routine to help them engage in independent word study.
Vocabulary homework: Write a sentence for each vocabulary word. You may use the word in it's noun, verb, or adjective form if there is more than one definition. You should have 12 sentences total - this is not one big paragraph. Underline the vocabulary word in the sentence.
We work hard to teach our students the correct way to spell words. We spend countless hours creating spelling practice activities that are fun and not just writing the word multiple times. Are you ready to get some of those hours back! Take a look at these fabulous EDITABLE Spelling Activities we have created for your students to practice their word lists.
These spelling activities can be sent home as homework, used in a word work center, or as independent practice. You can find all of our editable spelling activities, (general, seasonal, and holiday-themed) on Education to the Core Premium. Join today as a monthly or annual member for instant access to this resource and thousands more.
Students practice separating their spelling words into syllables. Count on fingers, clap your hands, or stomp your feet to see how many syllables are in each word. Then circle the corresponding number.
Charades is set up similarly to Pictionary. However, instead of drawing, students act out the vocabulary word. If you have timid students, consider assigning 2 people to act out the words at a time, or breaking the class into smaller groups.
For a quieter activity for individuals or smaller groups, try having students look for pictures or articles in newspapers or magazines that relate to each vocabulary word. Give your students a set amount of time to complete the assignment then have them present their findings in groups or to the class.
Every Monday my seventh grade English teacher would have us copy a list of 25 words she'd written on the board. We'd then look up the dictionary definitions and copy those down. For homework, we'd re-write each word seven times.
The truth is, and the research shows, students need multiple and various exposures to a word before they fully understand that word and can apply it. They need also to learn words in context, not stand alone lists that come and go each week. Of course the way we learn words in context, or implicitly, is by reading, then reading some more. (This is why every classroom should have a killer classroom library stocked full of high-interest, age appropriate books.)
Ah, so many words, so little time. When choosing which words deserve special instructional time, we don't have to do it alone. One of the biggest mistakes we teachers make in vocabulary instruction is selecting all the words for the students and not giving them a say in the matter.
My first year teaching, before my tenth graders began reading Lord of the Flies, I went through every chapter and made lists of all the vocabulary words I thought they'd have trouble with, so that I could pre-teach them.
When I looked at those long lists, I began to freak out. How will I teach all these words, and still have class time for all the other things we need to do First off, rather than waste my time compiling lists, I should have let the kids skim the text in chapter one and select their own words.
Read through them all and use the results as a formative assessment. This data will show you which words they know, those they have some understanding of, and those words that are completely foreign to them.
Beck suggests that students will benefit the most academically by focusing instruction on the tier two words (since these appear with much higher frequency than tier three words, and are used across domains). So, this is when you take a look at the pre-reading vocabulary charts your kids created and choose \"kind of\" and \"don't know at all\" words that you deem to be tier two words. Go ahead and select some content-specific words (tier three) but only those directly related to the chapter, article, short story, or whatever you are about to read.
At this point, you might be thinking that there just isn't enough time for all this pre-reading word analysis, direct instruction of vocabulary, and game playing. (You have content to teach!) So, I'd like end with a few quotes for you to consider:
Because each new word has to be studied and learned on its own, the larger your vocabulary becomes, the easier it will be to connect a new word with words you already know, and thus remember its meaning. So your learning speed, or pace, should increase as your vocabulary grows. -- Johnson O'Connor
The word of the week is important for not only student vocabulary learning but also for their confidence. This activity can help provide middle school students with the space of using sophisticated vocabulary in their writing and speaking.
There are a variety of different organizers out there specifically made for vocabulary. This one is great because it can fit more than one word but still gives enough information to help your kiddos actually understand the word.
Bingo is a loved game and a super fun activity. Whether you have definitions from your vocabulary list on the Bingo boards and words in your hand or vice versa, it is sure to help build your middle school student's academic vocabulary.
Spice up your middle school vocabulary lesson this week with sticky ball tic tac toe. Students will learn to quickly use their critical thinking skills in order to comprehend the definition or picture used to describe the word. Whoever hits the correct word with their sticky ball gets that box.
Working with the upper-grade levels can often be challenging for an English Teacher. Finding different ways for engaging vocabulary instruction should be at the top of your list. Activities for teaching vocabulary like this one are perfect for both getting middle school students to work together and gaining a deeper understanding of the words.
Bluff is a game that is a bit more complicated, but super fun. This game can be used as an informal assessment and help you to understand middle school students' connections to vocabulary words in a particular unit or lesson. This will also help students to figure out their poker faces early on.
This will challenge your middle schoolers in both spelling and vocabulary. Using the week's assigned vocabulary, set this game up for students. Instead of writing the letter for hints, it might be beneficial to write words from the definition. You could even sort of making it into a fill-in-the-blank activity. Try using cards or a slide show instead of writing on the board.
Vocabulary trading cards! This creative activity can easily be created by the teacher for any class vocabulary instruction. Students will enjoy creating the vocabulary cards and will also love trading cards with other students. Allow students to trade their cards or put them up on the word wall!
Jenga is hands down one of the best games to keep in your classroom. Simply purchase a wooden Jenga set and print out the definitions (or words) on pieces of paper and tape them onto the blocks. When students pull out the block they'll have to define what they see. Jenga can be used in small groups or if you have more than one set make it into an exciting review tournament.
Having a word wall is essential in the middle school classroom. With a proper functioning word wall, students will be able to recognize and understand more vocabulary. A constant reference of vocabulary words has been proven to aid students in better vocabulary retention and spelling. 153554b96e