Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vocabulary Journal

The teaching of new vocabulary is SO important and can be overwhelming.  SO MANY WORDS, and SO LITTLE TIME!  No doubt you are using a variety of methods when it comes to introducing new vocabulary.  Have you tried a Word-of-the-Day?  I like to post a word each day that my 4th graders will learn and place in their vocabulary journal.  Of course the days of simply writing definitions are gone.  We all know that this is not the most effective way of learning and "owning" new vocabulary.  So in our vocabulary journals I try to give a variety of tasks that will give students more "experience" with each new word.  They write the word and definition and use it in a sentence.  They come up with synonyms and antonyms for the word.  Next, I have them construct a Verbal Visual Map on which they will, again, write the definition, as well as draw a picture to illustrate the meaning. Finally,  they create a quick visual of a personal experience they've had with the word.  Here's an idea of how it might look:

Another thing I like to do is encourage my students to USE their "new" words in their daily conversations.  I keep a poster on which I tally incidences of students using our daily words in everyday conversation.  Then a popcorn party or other reward is chosen after so many tally marks.

What are YOUR vocabulary teaching strategies?  Please share!

It's Saturday.  I'm taking a nap now.

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