Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Build Your Vocabulary

Do you find your students struggling with vocabulary words?  I have pretty high readers in my class this year, but they have a really hard time using context clues to figure out what words mean.  I have taught this skill over and over again!

So, I decided during my Word Work/Word Study time I would create a vocabulary rotation.  We use Reading Workshop, so we do not have a reading series to follow that would provide me with vocabulary words for my class.  This has been hard for me, but I do like that I am able to choose words that might broaden their vocabulary.  I have also encouraged them to use these words during their writing time.

I post my vocabulary words or "exciting words" on my door due to my lack of classroom wall space. We review the three words for the week, and the students then have to look them up using a dictionary, tablet, or computer.  I have taught them how to use all three.  They are getting pretty good at it!

Students also write each word in a sentence and draw a picture of it.  You can tell from my photos below that this is a skill we are still working on. ;/

Then, I have a mystery word for the week.  The students are given clues each day to help them guess what they think the mystery word is.  Here is a list of the clues I give:

1.  number of letters in the word
2. first letter of the word
3. rhyming word
4. antonym
5. synonym

On Friday, we go over the student guesses and I tell them the word!  They get so excited if they guess correctly.  I even had a student ask me if they looked up other synonyms for the synonym would that be cheating.  Hah!  I told him no because I was impressed he was smart enough to think of that!

We also find "exciting words" in the stories we read together, and I post them on our door.  Students are also encouraged to write down "exciting words" from the books they read.  Then, we put them on the door and discuss their definition.  Once we have mastered the words we place them on our word wave.  Then, students can reference them throughout the year!  I encourage them to use them during writing. 

It's a work in progress, but I hope by the end of the year their vocabulary skills will improve. 

Check out my Build Your Vocabulary packet in my TPT store.  You can download the preview and see the booklets the students use each week.  I love it!

1 comment:

  1. Love your post on vocabulary!! I've enjoyed reading your blog!

    I've nominated you for the Liebster award (although I think you've got one already, but more is never a bad thing).