Vocab.

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by blue678, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. blue678

    blue678 Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2010

    Hi,

    Just wondering if any fourth grade teachers have a good system / strategy for vocabulary? Particularly with Science and SS vocab. words I find that the definitions are often long and copying them down can be difficult / time consuming for some students. But, I prefer not to type up definitions for them because I feel they are less likely to learn the words if I do that.

    Any thoughts/ideas would be great!

    Thanks :)
     
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  3. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Sep 5, 2010

    For English Language Learners, and even the other kids who are not classifed ELL's I have them make "Vocabulary flip books". They have to write the definition, then flip it over and there's a sentence using the word, and the other side has a picture of the word. The kids love this. I also do context clues, which is actually an activity in our reading anthology where the kids have to figure out what the words mean based on the context clues surrounding the words. A game where they can also act out the words is also fun, especially towards the end of the week before you test them on Fridays. (that is if you test them at the end of the week?) Hope this helps some.
     
  4. substitutesftw

    substitutesftw Companion

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    Sep 6, 2010

    Try as many vocabulary games as possible, and see which ones work most effectively.

    Also, using graphic organizers for vocabulary words works better than simply writing down a list of definitions. Depending on which you use, students can draw illustrations to help remind them of what the word means, build context, etc. Try assigning a few words per student, who become "experts" for their particular term. Then, they can teach the class what they've learned about the word, and learn the rest by listening to the other students' words.

    "I Have, Who Has" is a good activity. They could make the cards themselves, with each student writing a couple of clues, and then they could play a couple of times a week as a whole class.
     
  5. JY Teacher

    JY Teacher Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2013

    Here are some ideas!

    As a general rule when it comes to vocabulary instruction, students need multiple exposures to words in order to deeply understand words and their meanings. These multiple exposures can happen in a variety of ways. I know one of your concerns was that having students copy down the definitions for science or social studies vocabulary words can be strenuous and take students a long time. Have you even thought of maybe having them restate the definitions in their own words? Perhaps then the definitions would be slightly shorter and you would be activating higher order thinking by making them write definitions in their own words.
    Another great strategy is to have students draw pictures demonstrating the words that they are learning. Students could also act out definitions physically if possible. You could come up with a way for the students to act out or model the word, or you could even ask them to come up with a way on their own. This would be a great kinesthetic way of teaching the vocabulary words and provide students with an experience to connect words and their meanings to. Likewise, it is often helpful to provide visual aids that represent definitions. This may include, but is not limited to, use of pictures, videos, models and/or diagrams.
    When it comes to vocabulary instruction, teacher modeling of vocabulary words has been found to be very effective. In other words, if you as the teacher use words the students are learning in sentences as often as possible, it will help with providing students with multiple exposures to the words. Maybe you could even have students practice using the words with friends. You could say “okay, now everyone use this vocabulary word in a sentence with your neighbor.” After this, you could have some of the students share the sentences they came up with (multiple exposures again!).
     
  6. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    Apr 5, 2013

    I did a lot of vocab games as well. I always liked activities that made them explore the word more than just writing down a definition.

    Word frames are good for that. They have a piece of paper or an index card that gets divided into four sections (like a window pane). The word goes in the middle, definition in one pane, then a synonym and antonym in one, a sentence in another (I would let them do a silly sentence sometimes), and a picture in the last one.

    I also did a lot of vocab charades with my fourth graders. They did vocab hunts (looking for the word in other texts/places). I think my favorite vocab activity I did with them last year, I had them pick one word and they had to create a city that had that word in it. They had to make a travel brochure for city describing its attractions, restaurants, climate, etc using synonyms and antonyms for the word throughout.

    To intro new words, I like to do it explicitly. I show the word, get a rating of how well them know it, get some predictions, reveal the meaning and a picture, then ask a question in context.
     
  7. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Apr 19, 2013

    Another idea is to have the kiddos tally the number of times the words are used in a week/day - a simple index card on their desk would work for that.
     
  8. EiffelTower

    EiffelTower Comrade

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    Apr 20, 2013

    I teach vocabulary by having my students create signals for each word. For example, if the word is precipitation, they might raise their hands up and motion rain/snow falling from the sky by wiggling their fingers downward. Then we play Around the World, Hot Seat, Vocabulary Bee, Pictionary, Slap It, Eyes Closed to practice the signals before we start using the words in the context of reading/writing.

    You can see a video of how my students present their vocabulary signals here.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2013

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