Sunday, April 22, 2018

5 Tips to Help Students Master Vocabulary

5 Tips to Help Students Master Vocabulary

Hi, teacher friends! Let’s talk about an important topic that is part of just about every classroom…teaching vocabulary! We know that understanding vocabulary is highly connected to reading comprehension, and allows students to communicate their thoughts and express ideas about a topic.

Vocabulary acquisition is a BIG part of our science and social studies units. Check out 5 ways to help students acquire vocabulary in your classroom starting NOW!

  1.       Exposure, exposure, exposure!!!!
--Did you know that it can take students anywhere from 4-40 exposures to learn a new word? This is all dependent on their previous vocabulary knowledge, but for many of our students, this background knowledge can be limited. It is our job to provide direct and indirect exposure of words, so make sure to provide many opportunities for this!

   2.    Read Alouds and Independent Reading
--Choose books for your class that emphasize the content and vocabulary words from the unit you are studying. If you are using one of our pocketbook units, there are titles listed for perfect texts to choose from!

This book by Gail Gibbons is a favorite with our students when we learn about Tornadoes! 

                                    (Amazon affiliate link)

3. Choose or create your non-fiction text so that the vocabulary words stand out amongst the other words with bold text, underline or using a different font. This allows the students to see how the word is used naturally within context and will allow them to generalize the information. Each of our science and social studies units includes reading comprehension workbooks that have the embedded vocabulary in a different bold font allowing the words to stand out.

4. Incorporate Hands-On Activities to reach those kinesthetic learners. Decide what your students enjoy best and try incorporating that into each unit. Create movements to go along with each word, play charades or incorporate centers with puzzle pieces {vocabulary word-definition-picture} to reinforce understanding. We include puzzle pieces in this format with every unit!

5. Explicit Instruction. Since your students are coming to you with a wide range of background knowledge, its important to level the playing field in the beginning of the unit. TEACH the meaning behind each word with several different visuals. We like to pair clip art pictures along with real photographs whenever possible. We also like to use hands-on vocabulary flip books for the most important words in each unit. Students have an opportunity to write the definitions, cut and paste to match the corresponding picture and share with a partner.

Check out one of our pocketbook units to enhance science and social studies vocabulary in your classroom!

Discovering The Solar System Pocketbook MEGA Unit
Cloud Types, Water Cycle, Weather Tools Pocketbook Research Unit

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