Spelling and vocab. dilemma

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by carrieteaches, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. carrieteaches

    carrieteaches New Member

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    Aug 10, 2009

    I have been racking my brain all summer trying to decide what to do with spelling and vocabulary with my 7th grade LA classes. I hate giving a list on Monday and a test on Friday. I feel it is pointless because they forget it (if they even knew them) by Friday afternoon. Does anyone have any good ideas for incorporating spelling and vocabulary into LA class. I have read so much research on the topic, my brain is spinning.
     
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  3. kstar03

    kstar03 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2009

    I would be interested in hearing about this as well!
     
  4. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    Aug 11, 2009

    When I came into my 7th LA class they already had a routine in place. (It was exactly what you are describing). They wanted me to keep it the same, so the way that I made it more fun was by adding games. I know they're 7th graders, but they love a good game.

    For vocab we played the game where you have a student sit on a chair facing the classroom and behind them on the board you write the vocab word. They call on 3 students to give them ONE word clues to define the word, then they take a guess.

    The kids LOVED it. Although some tried to ruin it of course. (I had 7 ED kids).

    For spelling, we would play the usual spelling games (sparkle, spelling bee)

    I also did centers with my 7th graders, they loved this as well. This was done on Wed afternoon. We had vocab and spelling centers where there were games that they could do with their words.

    They had a lot of fun and their grades really improved.

    We also played Jeopardy with the kids to help them with the books that we were reading and we always added a Spelling & Vocab section to the game. (I had a special ed teacher in the room with me that is why I use we all the time LOL)
     
  5. ILoveGrammar

    ILoveGrammar Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2009

    For vocab we played the game where you have a student sit on a chair facing the classroom and behind them on the board you write the vocab word. They call on 3 students to give them ONE word clues to define the word, then they take a guess.
    Great game! I am def. using that!
    We would have silly story contests. Who can use all their vocab. words PROPERLY in a story. Who has the most creative story.
     
  6. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    Aug 12, 2009

    I was told about a book called AbraVocabra... It has different vocabulary activities... I have ordered it and am waiting to see how is it laid out...
     
  7. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 12, 2009

    I am having the same struggle with the weekly spelling list and meaningless spelling test too. I just decided that I'm not going to do it. I'm going to make sure students are given activities to do for the spelling list and for the vocabulary words but they will not have a weekly spelling test. I'd rather have them use the words correctly in context that make them memorize 30 words for a memory test. Does anyone think it's important to give the weekly spelling test?
     
  8. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Aug 13, 2009

    We used AbraVocabra for years as our vocab program. However, it is just lists of words and the tests. You have to come up with the activities yourself. There is a small section in the front of the book with some suggestions, but not a whole lot.
     
  9. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    Aug 13, 2009

    That's good to know... Thanks!
     
  10. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

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    Aug 13, 2009

    Does anyone think it's important to give the weekly spelling test?[/QUOTE]

    :unsure:good question!
    I have been doing the Friday spelling test with my eighth graders-- I think every grade in the school does a weekly spelling test from lower elementary on up, so I never thought of getting rid of it, but it did seem like a pointless, trivial exercise of memory that was torturous hard work for some each week and a breeze for others.

    I did, however, work on altering it. Instead of a seemingly random list of 20 words from who knows where (passed on to me when I got the class), I developed shorter lists of words based around 3-4 Greek or Latin roots. I added definitions, so it became spelling and vocab instead of just spelling. This made me feel a little better because they were learning a little bit about how words are put together. My goal this year is to do more work with the words in class throughout the week so that the Friday quiz (I stopped calling it and grading it as a test) is more of a review of the week's work rather than something they had to do almost completely on their own.

    I still feel, though, like it is more of a memory exercise than anything else.

    I know what you mean about too much research making your head spin, OP-- every time I think about making a significant change to my class, I get overwhelmed at the prospect of delving into the vast amount of research and opinions!
     
  11. carrieteaches

    carrieteaches New Member

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    Aug 14, 2009

    Thank you

    Thank you very much for the great ideas and suggestions. I am glad to know that I am not the only LA teacher with this dilemma! But I think I have an idea of where to start, so thank you!!
     
  12. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Aug 14, 2009

    What about a memory type game, where you print the word on one card, definition on another, then put them all face down. The student has to turn one card over from the word side and then one card from the definition side, and decide if they match. If they don't, the student returns the cards to the original spots and the next student goes. It is a review for all as well as a memory type game, and you can make a few individual games so a few groups can be playing at the same time.
     

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