One of the major things my students have difficulty with is vocabulary acquisition (I'm sure that is a common thing, especially in a Title 1 school). We've been working very hard this year to not only know the words, but to also be able to apply them.
Each group of students gets a bag with vocabulary words related to our topic. We happen to be studying the middle ages right now in 7th grade.
The students then debate and group the words together. This is how they really use the words and interact with the words. How could you group them if you don't know what they are? They are allowed to use their KIM vocabulary folders. Click HERE for that post!
After getting them all into a group they circle the words and label the group.
Then the students write the words onto the poster, so that they can take the cards off of the poster! This creates a finished product that can posted around the room.
After the students create their own I give them my groups and have the students re-place the cards into the categories I gave them. This is yet another way to work with the vocabulary words.
Here is a completed sort that a group did. For directions on how I explicitly taught the vocabulary words click HERE for that post!
In a classroom I've been spending a lot of time in, we've started looking at non-fiction or informational texts. The students are supposed to come to this grade with a large vocabulary of informational text features. But, with a quick pre-assessment it was quickly realized that they did NOT have an extensive vocabulary (it was actually quite small.... as in, what is the difference between fiction and non-fiction).
Well. like any good teacher, the only thing to do is to soldier on. So, I helped (in that free time we have a lot of!), create these easy to use informational text features posters for my friend to hang in class.
They are helping immensely in increasing the student's vocabulary. What is helpful is that each poster has an actual book example.
To first review the word (or introduce it to many, ouch) Marzano's vocabulary strategy has been used. First, the teacher says the word. The students then repeat it. The teacher gives a definition and then an in the moment appropriate definition (in this case it is the picture example on the poster along with one in a book that has been found). After that the students add these words into their KIM charts. For more on vocabulary acquisition, check out my post, here!
They have been spending lots and lots of time using sticky notes to find these features in their own books to share with their sharing partners! Hopefully, the post unit results will be much better than the pre!
To get these posters for FREE click HERE for the download!
Today's post is in honor of our youngest. She turns 5 today and is eagerly awaiting kindergarten next fall. In honor of her excitement I wanted to share with you what we have been working on for the last few months getting ready!
First, we found this great checklist for all of the things that she needs to know. It's very comprehensive and spot on! Click on the picture to go directly to the post.
To begin we started tracing the alphabet and numbers. This great idea was suggested by Jan Richardson in her book The Next Step in Guided Reading. If you have not read it yet, I highly suggest reading the pre-A lessons. Our youngest says the letter as she traces both the capital and lowercase. She does the same for the numbers. Click on the picture to go to my store to see it for yourself.
We've also really loved these ABC Cut and Paste pages from the Moffatt Girls. She gets to color the letter, trace it and then cut and glue different lower and upper case letters. Deciding which is upper and which is lower (all the while navigating different font types). There are a number of beginning learning products on their Teachers Pay Teachers page. They are great for parents just starting out working with their child, parents helping their child out, or for teachers. Click on the picture to go directly to their store!
Once she knew most of her letters we began practicing finding those letters in a word search created just for her.
To work on her letter sounds she has really enjoyed this Leap Frog Factory Phonics bucket. She uses it sort of like a puzzle and love placing the letters in. It sings and works on letter sounds in a sing-song way. This is a huge hit with our now 5 year old!
The most recent thing we've begun to work on is learning high frequency words. The first 100 high frequency words make up at least 50% of the words up to third grade students will encounter. We have begun looking at these words and playing matching games with them.
Once summer comes we will begin to work with her in a more formal setting to actually begin reading. For now, we've been very informal only working on her letters only when she is interested. We will post more once we begin! Happy Birthday youngest!
Bulletin boards are NOT my thing. They always seem so nice looking, but they also seem like a waste of time to me. Jen shows me these crazy put together boards from pinterest. And, I just think to myself that I just don't have enough minutes in my day to spend hours redoing the boards around my room or outside my classroom (I am lucky enough to have one right outside my door). Boards that provide a dual purpose, or teach, make sense to me.
This is the board in the hallway outside my classroom. I've set it up so I can change the work as often as I want, but it only takes a few minutes to to do. Even my middle school students love seeing their good work on display!
First we placed some globes and the Liberty Bell inside circles. I wanted to make them super sturdy so we also placed them onto cardstock.
For even more durability I laminated them!
Jen got a chance to hot glue for me (she loves it). On one side we placed the circle. I used the Liberty Bell for my history students, and the globe for my Eastern Hemisphere students.
One thing I have learned is that the clothespins need two tacks on them. It keeps them from slipping on the board.
Here is how it looks without student work on it!
Here is how it looks like again with all of the work on it! The best part is, it only takes minutes to change the work on it and it becomes an all new board!