Friday, July 25, 2014

How Do You Integrate Vocabulary Into Your Classroom?

We all know how pertinent it is to teach vocabulary in our classrooms. It's ALL OVER the state tests, ACT, SAT tests and is important for all other subjects in school, especially reading comprehension.  I almost feel like I can't teach it enough.

So, how do you teach vocabulary in your classroom?

For me, I integrate it EVERY DAY.  I include it during "bell work," "direct teach," "partner work," and "centers."  For example, when students walk into my classroom, they are introduced to a new vocabulary word of the day: they write this word in their journals and answer specific questions regarding that particular word.  They might use it in a sentence, draw out the word, write a synonym or antonym with this new word, or discuss it with their "shoulder" or "face partner."

During "direct teach," we're constantly reviewing prefixes, suffixes, root words, antonyms, synonyms, homophones, homonyms, and using context clues to figure out unfamiliar words. In addition, we create anchor charts, play games, sing and act out songs, and watch memorable videos to learn challenging words. One set of videos that my students absolutely LOVE is Flocabulary. I do too. Flocabulary highlights the new words and their meanings, so it's all visual and memorable. These videos are GENIUS! My students beg for more when I play them (and you might actually even catch me playing a video twice and dancing to them).  They're that addictive! One of my third graders' favorite videos was:

Check out all their videos. You'll be amazed at how catchy they are!

For centers, we complete various activities such as look up particular words and give synonyms/antonyms using and on iPods and use the word in context. Students might also draw out the words or create their own posters with word webs or word trees. I found this FREEBIE on Gay Miller's blog site: FREE Root Words Tree Printable

During "technology time," I've created a folder on all my iPods and iPad called Word Work. They love the games in this folder. Some of my favorites are: Popwords, WordCollapse, Word Warp, Chictionary, Opposites, and Word Ball. Some of these cost and some are FREE. I also have a Symbaloo page set up with vocabulary games and videos. If you haven't checked out Symbaloo, you MUST! It safely houses your favorite websites in one webmix. Click here to register for FREE: Symbaloo

Furthermore, students love challenging themselves with task cards. They can either complete these independently or with a partner. Some of the task cards I've created and use during my centers are:
Context Clues Task Cards
UPPER LEVEL Context Clues Task Cards
Context Clues with QR Codes

I'd love to hear how you integrate this very important skill into your classroom.

Blessings and happy teaching!

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