See other posts here: Ch 1, Ch 2, Ch 3, Ch 4, Ch 5, Ch 6, Ch 7
This chapter offers some advice about how to create a comfortable space where students feel supported while exploring new vocabulary. There are tips for routine, classroom management, and design considerations for both primary and intermediate classrooms.
The Importance of RoutineAll great teachers know that investing time during the first several weeks to establish flexible yet structured weekly and daily routines will pay off with more efficient learning in the long run. The authors also suggest repeated modeling of vocabulary activities so that students can understand what correct procedures look like and feel like.
Classroom Management in the Vocabulary ClassroomSince some students may come to school without having developed appropriate emotional responses or the needed social skills to work cooperatively in groups, it's often necessary to explicitly teach those skills. Again, some investment up-front in teaching and practicing appropriate academic behavior should help develop students' self-control and lead to greater success as the year progresses. (They even have their students practice getting excited and then calming down again!)
Classroom Space & DesignWhether you are teaching primary or intermediate grades, creating a space that is "student convenient" rather than just "teacher convenient" is key. Some questions to ask yourself: Are materials clearly labeled and easily available for students to use as needed? Does most of the space belong to the children or the teacher? As plan your space with vocabulary instruction in mind, here are a few things you'll want to have:
- Space to display vocabulary anchor charts
- Dictionaries and Thesauri in an accessible place
- Small group meeting space
- Large group instruction area
- Desks grouped for quick collaboration
- A variety of methods for grouping students
- A designated time for vocabulary development
The 5-Step Vocabulary CycleThe term "cycle" is preferred over "unit" since there is no specific end to studying a set group of words as they may come up again later. As you plan your 10-day Vocabulary Cycle, you'll need to choose 6-10 words. You can pick words from your reading program, content-area terms, or tier two words (See previous post for an explanation.) Then, for each word, prepare the following: a kid-friendly definition, a sentence to introduce the word, two synonyms (or examples), two antonyms (or non-examples), an image to represent the word.
Here are the 5 basic steps of your Vocabulary Cycle.
1. Introduce the Terms
2. Add Synonyms & Antonyms
3. Practice Using the Words (whole & small groups)
4. Celebrate Vocabulary Learning (whole group)
5. Assess Learning (teacher created in standardized test format)
We'll explore those five steps in much more detail in the Chapters to come.
ThoughtsThe modeling of correct behavior reminds me a lot of Daily 5 - and I agree. If students are not doing what it expected, they need more practice and need to see more examples. Having my 5th graders work well in groups was a huge challenge this year. I'm really looking for some strategies to help that go more smoothly.
Questions1. How can I help my students work better together?
2. Do all the vocabulary words for a particular cycle have to go together? Or could I do half Math vocab / half literary terms?
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