vocabulary development

Visualizing Vocabulary

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in vocabulary, vocabulary development | 2 comments

Visualizing Vocabulary

You may be interested in this linky for ELA task cards.

Robert Marzano, a guru of vocabulary instruction, tells us that the bright kids need about 4 exposures to a word to own it, average students need about 14, and our struggling students need at least 40. How can we expose our students to words this often? There are so many words and there is never enough time.

 

Of all of the many ways to expose students to a word, one of the most effective is a visual. Students need to make a visual connection between the word and its meaning. We need to help students have  a visual picture to go with the word.

 

Very often teachers have kids draw pictures to represent words. However, children with a minimal understanding of a term will have difficulty creating a visual representation for themselves with any depth of meaning. At the very least, students should be shown a visual of a new concept before being asked to draw their own.

A better approach is to have kids find photos or illustrations to represent the words. For example, if the word is “rural,” students have to find a photo that represents “rural.” If it’s “custom,” they find a photograph, possibly from a magazine, that represents “custom.” Elementary teachers could possibly find photos ahead of time and then have them available to the students. Teachers may want students to look through magazines and newspapers on their own.

To take the idea of using visuals a step further, you might have kids look for two photos – one that represents the word and one that represents the opposite of the word.If the word is “rural,” have students find a picture to represent “rural,” Then they find a picture that shows the opposite meaning. In this case, the student has to determine that the opposite of “rural” is “urban” and then find a photo that represents “urban”. This really deepens meaning and understanding because students have to know what the word means and what it looks like in a photo, but they also have to have an understanding of its opposite. This is a harder, higher level thinking and increases their exposure and understanding.

This is the perfect time to weave in technology standards. After teaching students how to access the clip art, they could look for graphics that represent each of their vocabulary words. This is a whole lot less messy than cutting photos and less time consuming than drawing pictures.

 

Many Marzano forms with places for the word, an understanding rating, definition, related terms, and drawings are found on the internet and designed by schools. I have created this “My New Word” template to be used in a similar fashion with words student choose to keep in a My New Words binder.

My New Word

My New Word

 

I have many vocabulary products available on TpT. Each word that I present is defined, used in a sentence, and illustrated. For some of the words I provide synonyms, for others, I provide multiple meanings. Here is an example and a link to my vocabulary products. You would be most welcome to try using this format with vocabulary in your classroom.

Vocabulary presentation idea

Helping our students own their new vocabulary is an important part of teaching. I hope my ideas have in someway helped you.

Ann

 

 

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Discover, Decode, Dissect, Develop, Discuss, DEFINE

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in comprehension, conversation as learning tool, Freebies, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 0 comments

Discover, Decode, Dissect, Develop, Discuss, DEFINE

Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.

Harvey Fierstein

Well, now it is time for definitions. We’ve found the word, decoded the word, looked at the parts to learn more about the word, done activities to get to know the word, and talked about and used the word. The word should be our word now. It is time to tell what it means. When students define words they shouldn’t spout words found in a dictionary. They should be able to explain, make connections, use analogies, and draw the word.

It is OK, I think, if some of our quizzes involve matching new terms and their meanings, but it is only OK if the meaning that the students have actively built in their heads will be able to be  matched to the words on the quiz. Students should never be asked to memorize new words and definitions with little or no regard to meaning. The words will never be retained and never be used. Time and paper will both be wasted.

It is better for the new words to be used and tested in real context. It is much better for the words to become an established part of the student’s vocabulary. It is best for students to assimilate words as their own for life.

This activity could be a weekly addition to a vocabulary journal. Students should be given the opportunity to share their new words with classmates, family, and any other interested learner!

My New WordMy New Word

More vocabulary development to come.

Ann

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Discover, Decode, Dissect, Develop, DISCUSS, Define

Posted by on Jun 20, 2013 in conversation as learning tool, Freebies, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 2 comments

Discover, Decode, Dissect, Develop, DISCUSS, Define

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

Yogi Berra

Do you ever feel like Yogi Berra in your classroom? There is so much talking, how can there be any learning? I wonder at times, being a strong intrapersonal learner, what prompted me to be a teacher. I love quiet. I love calm. Fortunately, I can put that aside for my commutes and computer time. I understand that students need to talk to cement their learning. My kids speak to their shoulder partner no less than 10 times a day. And I listen in and am amazed almost daily by their insights and their learning. In our daily poetry moment, the kids first predict the type of poem based on the title and a quick glance. They use complete sentences (learned by having stems on the whiteboard for as long as it takes to learn) to explain their thinking to their neighbor. Everyone gets a chance to talk. To train them, I sometimes have the partner closer to me go first or the partner closer to the door, etc. Next, we look at the poem and describe what we see and what new ideas we have with our partners. Then, we read the poem and add to what we know. Finally, students answer questions about the poem… setting, theme, author’s purpose, new title, what a certain line means, etc. Often I sum up what I am hearing by bragging about the great thinking that is being expressed.

Here’s a great source for daily poetry, http://www.gigglepoetry.com/

Another great source for vocabulary discussion in my class is Alphaboxes. I am including a generic form for this. I have made subject specific ones, but truly a piece of paper or student sized whiteboard works just fine! This activity can be done before a new unit of study, say frogs, everyone independently tries to fill the alphabet boxes with one or more word about what they already know about frogs. After 5 – 10 minutes of quiet time (I have to have some sometime), the students pair with their shoulder partner, sharing ideas and adding to their boxes. Again after 5- 10 minutes the pairs are asked to form squares by 2 pairs “squaring” up and the last conversation ensues. When the kids are all done talking, we quickly run through the alphabet shouting out words. This part is fun! It is also a good time to throw in any words that go with the unit that no one thought of.

This activity also works well at the end of a init of study. As you listen in you will see which of the vocabulary words of importance the kids are remembering.

AlphaboxesAlphaboxes

 

This may be my very favorite “D” word, so I would love some discussion about how you use conversation in the classroom or if you would be interested in trying mine.

Ann

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Discover, Decode, Dissect, DEVELOP, Discuss, Define

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Freebies, Uncategorized, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 0 comments

Discover, Decode, Dissect, DEVELOP, Discuss, Define

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.

Dale Carnegie

Knowledge Rating Chart created by Ann Fausnight

Knowledge Rating Chart created by Ann Fausnight

Today I want to look at how to develop new words in the classroom. When teaching content subjects , it is beneficial to students to have some introduction to new words before learning more about the topic.  Of course, the new vocabulary we want to develop may not be new to everyone. It is important to have an idea of how familiar your students are with any set of words. This is why I developed my “Know or No” strategy. This strategy allows students to rate their understanding of a word. Do they “know” it already? Or is their answer, “No”, I do not?

Another way to develop vocabulary is to use the List-Group-Label strategy. With this strategy student groups make lists of all the words they can think of related to a topic. The next step is to find words in the list that go together in some way. Lastly, they label the groups by how they are related. This both a good introductory and concluding vocabulary activity.

List - Group - LabelMy List-Group-Label product is free on TpT.

I also have a book of vocabulary development strategies available on TpT.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Vocabulary-Development-Strategies-268011

This is such an important topic. I will be sharing more ideas over the coming months!

Ann

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Understanding Multiplication

Posted by on May 18, 2013 in conversation as learning tool, math vocabulary, Uncategorized, vocabulary development | 0 comments

Multiplication – The art of increasing gold or silver by magic, — attributed formerly to the alchemists

Younger students need to have the magic of multiplication broken into little pieces of reality! I think the best starting point is showing that multiplication is repeated addition. If I add two 6 times, I have multiplied two by six. It actually takes saying that word “times” quite a few times before everyone catches on to the idea that we also say “times” when we multiply.

Of course, by showing I actually mean showing. Students need manipulatives in their hands. If they are edible all the better! 15 candies in one roll of Smarties. If everyone on your team has one roll, how many candies does your team have? We make arrays out of cubes, then we draw the arrays with circles or Xs. Sometimes we get fancier and do hearts or stars, but it is important to be able to draw quick arrays to see that they can be useful in problem solving when you get stuck on a problem.

Important vocabulary surrounds multiplication. I love to have them figure out the analogies such as, plus: addition :: times: multiplication and addend: factor :: sum: product. Later on, we realize addition: multiplication:: subtraction : division. Besides factor and product, there’s other important multiplication vocabulary or key words. Each and every usually mean to multiply. I tell my class to watch out for same number and equal groups, because those words change each and every to division, every time. Kids need to know the words twice, double, triple, and quadruple means to multiple. Then we have total and altogether, which they already recognize as addition words. These words provide a chance to reinforce the idea that multiplication is actually just FAST addition.

When learning our facts, we use many strategies: fact families, number lines, repeated addition, arrays, groups, sets, music, movement, discussion, breaking apart numbers.

I made this poster for my kids to discuss all the ways they know to multiply. I have attached the pdf for you.

Understanding Multiplication

Understanding Multiplication

I have made an Understanding Multiplication Scavenger Hunt. Here is a page from it:

Understanding Multiplication Scavenger Hunt.

It also explores multiplication as repeated addition, arrays, skip counting, and fact families.

I hope that you find some magic in multiplication in your classroom!

Ann

 

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Compare and Contrast Matrix

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in comprehension, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 0 comments

Morpheus: There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. The Matrix 1999

Wow, I just found a new graphic organizer. Or maybe I knew about it before, but I didn’t understand it well enough to realize its potential. This matrix should be great for vocabulary development. It will help students make connections, organize their thinking, and use their new vocabulary appropriately.

Here is an example from a new product I am currently creating. Students will grow in understanding about the similarities and differences among these various grasslands as they research information to complete the matrix. The new words prairie, savanna,  steppes, and pampas will become more familiar and better understood. (My newest product “Grassland Animals Scavenger Hunt” could be used with this matrix.)

Compare and Contrast matrix

Another matrix that could be used with many grade levels compares the seasons. From kindergarten upwards students could add information at their own level of understanding.

Comparison Matrix Seasons

Comparison Matrix Seasons

I am excited to explore further uses of this matrix, especially anything that could be vocabulary specific. Does anyone have any ideas?

Ann

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