6 Simple Strategies

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

“A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the word you first thought of.” —Burt Bacharach

6 Simple Strategies for Learning New Words

  1. Teach synonyms. Provide a synonym students know, connect enormous to a simpler word such as large.
  2. Teach antonyms. Not all words have antonyms, but thinking about opposites for those that do requires students to evaluate the critical attributes of the words in question.
  3. Paraphrase definitions. Having students use their own words increases their personal connections and provides the teacher with a useful formative assessment, “How deep is their understanding?”
  4. Provide examples, including visuals whenever possible. The more personalized, the better. Make connections to things you know about the kids’ learning. Provide non-examples. Providing non-examples requires students to evaluate words. Be sure to ask the students to explain why a word is not an example. (See yesterday’s blog.)
  5. Ask for sentences that “show you know.” Students construct novel sentences confirming their understanding of a new word, using more than one new word per sentence to show that connections can also be useful. I love using my “Connect 2” activity. (See tomorrow’s blog.)
  6. Teach word sorting. Provide a list of vocabulary words from a reading selection and have students sort them into various categories. Students can re-sort words into “guess my sort” using categories of their own choosing.

Word of the Day Poster Set 1 # 8 Third Grade

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Happy birthday to my brother, Joe!



  1. I am loving your blog! My students are always scoring low on vocabulary so your ideas are giving me hope that maybe this will be the turning-time. Thanks so much for helping me out.

  2. Thank you, I hope you will continue to find it helpful.

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