Favorite ways to teach vocabulary?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MsMar, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I teach a high school nutrition class which can get a bit heavy in new vocabulary. What are some strategies you use to get your students to learn new terms? Any and all ideas are appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  3. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I use Frayer Vocabulary Cards and give vocabulary tests/quizzes. The Frayer card makes them give a definition, example, and non-example. For some things, I also make them draw a picture of the item.
     
  4. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    We also use Frayer in third grade. It works really well with our kids!
     
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I'll have to try that, I know it could definitely work well for some of the vocab. Have you ever done it as a group activity? I'm thinking it could be a good warm up activity. Just wondering if you've tried it that way successfully.
     
  6. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    We play SWAT. Words on the board or screen. Two kids face away from the board- each holding a fly swatter. I give a clue and say GO. First kid to swat the correct word stays and the other kid gets replaced with a new kid. Play continues until everyone has a turn. Last kid standing wins =) There are many variations, I'm sure, you could use, but my kids LOVE this game!

    I also have the kids make matching games- index cards: one set of words, one set of definitions. Play like memory/concentration.
     
  7. BCPMWK

    BCPMWK Companion

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    I use the swat game for review. This year I'm having my 9th graders make ppt slides for each word like those on gotbrainy.com. I hope that they enjoy doing it and that it helps. I'm also using SAT cartoons to introduce the words.
     
  8. Mrs Ski

    Mrs Ski Companion

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    one time we put the words on cards and turned off the lights, the groups had flashlights and they chose the word I was defining by shining the light on to it. Of course there were ground rules about where you could shine the light and what not. Worked in Elem, not sure if secondary kids would think it was cool.
     
  9. JTeach619

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    Vocabulary Charades is a good one. The kids have to try and act out the words as the class tries to guess it. It's really amusing to see how creative the kids get in acting out the words!!
     
  10. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oooh, I've heard of this but have never tried it. I'll do that this year. I think my high schoolers would totally get a kick out of it.
     
  11. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I just checked the site, very clever! I'm not sure I could make it work with the type of vocab I have though. Will bookmark it though for possible use. Thanks!
     
  12. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Could be especially amusing on my chapter that covers digestive disorders :eek::lol::lol:!
     
  13. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    They probably would enjoy it but my classroom set up (room arrangement issues that I can't control due to size and tables) might make it hard for me to see who shines first. Might work though, thanks.
     
  14. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Our Health teacher went to the same Whole Brain Teaching seminar as I did, and she found that her students (freshmen) really liked using gestures and teach/okay. Basically you make up a gesture for each vocabulary word. Like, I might teach that "loquacious means overly talkative" while making a talking-duck gesture with my hand, and then I'd tell students, "teach." They reply, "okay," and then teach a partner the same word and definition, using the gesture. You tell them "switch," and then they change roles. It can be a bit silly, which is okay, since they'll tend to remember the content more. The WBT website has all the info.
     
  15. BCPMWK

    BCPMWK Companion

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    When we play the flyswat game, I add extra words to the board too. Sometimes I add old vocabulary words and other times I add synonyms or antonyms just to make it more fun. It is a fun game for them. I don't know how many fly swatters I've gone through over the years! :) I also hold my neon flyswatters up when we go out for a fire drill so that my kids can always find me and line up behind me. I have a friend that has a plunger that he carries on those occasions. The kids laugh out loud about him and that old plunger traipsing outside during a fire drill. :)
     
  16. historynut

    historynut Rookie

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    Wow my school did a whole year's worth of professional development devoted to vocabulary and this model never came up. I like it. I think this is going to go into my 'must do this year' folder.
     
  17. Apple125

    Apple125 Rookie

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    How do the Frayer cards work, exactly? I've never heard of them. My kids get so bored with vocabulary. I can't wait to play SWAT.
     
  18. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    I use the WBT method that MrsK described teaching vocabulary heavy 8th grade science. Retention is excellent. My kids can accurately recall definitions months after they are taught.
     
  19. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Frayer cards have the students write the word in the center and in the 4 corners write the definition, an example of the word, a non-example of the word, and a picture of the word. I have my students do them on 3 x 5 index cards so they have the cards to study from. Google it and you will get plenty of examples because we cannot attach documents on this board.
     
  20. Bumble

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  21. Lynn K.

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    For a fun review, I have one kid from each of two teams sit with his back toward the screen. Then I flash a word up there. The teams take turns giving one word clues to the mystery word and the seated student who guesses correctly first gets a point for his team.

    I love it because all the kids are involved. The hardest part for the team to work together to come up with only one word clues.
     
  22. demijasmom

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    I work with younger students, I write the vocabulary words on the whiteboard, we read the words aloud together. Then I'll give glues about the word, the student guesses the word. He/she go to hte board and underline the word, or box it, or put a heat around it or a squiggly line or whatever else they imagine.

    I think I lke to try swat and the flashlight.
     
  23. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I do the Swat game, Bingo, that sort of thing. My kids also like doing a vocabulary puzzle. You divide the paper (I use cardstock) into squares. Each side (except the outside) gets a word on it, just inside the lines. On the other side of each line, the definition goes - putting it in the next box. This continues until you have filled all the squares. The kids cut them apart, then reassemble them and glue them down on a new sheet. If anyone wants a copy, since it's hard to explain, PM me and I'll send it to you. I use these sometimes for reviewing multiple chapter vocabularies, and the kids love it.
     
  24. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I LOVE this idea!! :thumb:

    One of the things that bothered me in the beginning with SWAT was that only two kids were actively involved at a time, but now I have the kids open their reading books to the page with the vocabulary words listed, and they start with hands behind their backs & try and beat their partner in pointing out the correct word on the page while the two kids compete up front ;)

    But what I love about your idea is that it goes a step beyond simple knowledge and makes the kids come up with clues, which demonstrates that they've got the meaning! THANK YOU!!
     
  25. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    :lol: Would love to be a fly on the wall for that lesson!
     
  26. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I like using the spinners from Triptico

    16 space spinner http://www.triptico.co.uk/resources/randomSixteen/randomSixteen.html

    8 space spinner
    http://www.triptico.co.uk/resources/eightLabel/eightLabels.html

    I type the words in, we "spin the wheel" on my Promethean board and the groups write the definitions on their whiteboards

    They love this.

    I also like to play Quiz Quiz Trade with vocabulary definitions and Match Mine (in match mine you give half the kids words, and the other half definitions, and have them find each other.)
     
  27. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    What's Quiz Quiz Trade? Match Mine could work for sure. Will have to check out the links to see if it works without a Promethean or Smart Board and just a plain computer with overhead projector. Thanks.
     
  28. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I do something similar, but with only one student at a time. We call it "Hot Seat." The class works together to get the person to guess the word. Depending on the activity, they might not have to give one word clues, either. This worked EXCELLENTLY when we were doing geometry vocab in math this year!

    I like to play "match 'em" sometimes, too. Also, sometimes I have the kids do it without talking. I've also done it by putting the word on one card, and the sentence from the book on the other (with a blank). When partners find each other, they come to me. If they're right, I send them off to work together; they write their "best-guess definition," then look it up in the dictionary and write a revised definition. Finally they work together to write a sentence using it. Pairs then teach their vocab word to the class.
     
  29. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    You can also give each student a card with a word and have them hold it to their forehead or tape it to their back. Then students have to ask each other questions to figure out which word they have.
     
  30. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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  31. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    My students always loved the vocabulary fairy tales assingment. They had to use the vocab words in a story, but the catch was that the words had to make sense both in the context of the story AND in the mathematical sense.
     
  32. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I love this idea...
     
  33. bandnerdtx

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    I really like the strategies in Alana Morris' book Vocabulary Unplugged. The site gives you the link to order it and some sample lessons.
     
  34. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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