Sunday, October 01, 2006

Word Choice made easy!!

From a post by fellow blogger, Passionately Curious, comes a nice "gadet" to help teach students word choice. Using Word of the Day from Primary Concepts, this innovative second grade teacher uses it in this way:
A new word is introduced several times a week during our Morning Meeting or as a time-filler in between activities. Some children have really taken to the challenge of using the word five or more times during the school day or at home. The word is written on a 3x5 index card and placed into our Word Jar (a large pickle jar). Throughout the year, we will pull a word out of the jar to see if the kids can remember its definition and use it in a sentence.

How are you using word choice?

7 comments:

Shirley said...

What a great way to develop and extend childrens' vocabularies and word choice! Thank you for an easy idea that can be used at all levels.

Melodee said...

A vocabulary activity that one can use at the middle school and high school for nonfiction is called word splash. You write five or six words on the board that you want the children to know from their reading. You asked them to write sentences (using the words in the order presented to them) to create a paragraph. Then the students share what they have written. Next they read the text. They then go back to the sentences they have written and see if they used any words in correctly or had any misconceptions. This is a great way to check and engage prior knowledge, as well as, getting them to clear up any misconceptions or add to their new learning concerning the words.

Theresa G said...

Hey Melodee!
Here is how I use Word Splash a bit differently. When I want to assess what kids already know BEFORE we teach, or when I want them to make some connections AFTER the teaching, I give them a paper with the words randomly "splashed" on it. The students need to connect the words - writing on the connection line their reason for the connections. Hopefully - they start to connect the vocab with the context in ways that are meaningful for them, while at the same time using it appropriately. As a pre-assessment, it lets me know what the students remember and other connections they have. It's always interesting to do both with a unit and see how their connections deepen.

LisaG said...

What happens when students use the words in a sentence successfully but don't really deomnstrate a deeper understanding? I have students who would write I am eccentric, I am intellectual, etc. Any suggestions as to what I could do to avoid this?

LisaG said...

I can't get the links to writing and word choice to work. The page I am requesting can not be found for either link.

Theresa G said...

Hi Lisa!
First - the links at the bottom aren't really links to anything but are "tags." In blog-speak, it is a way to track the topic of articles in blogs so that when you want to search for one thing in particular (like "word choice") you can find only the posts that deal with that. I am new to using them and am experimenting.

As for using sentences correctly - first, that helps me to see what they do/don't know (sort of a diagnostic). Then, using Step Up strategies, I might have them work toward writing better sentences. For example "I am intellectual" would get the "frown" face (not enough to show understanding of the word, not enough detail) and with a little dictionary/writing work, it might become "I am an intellectual because I read every night, do all my homework and participate in class" (a smiley face!) I don't love the faces but it helps get the point across!

TimC said...

Word of the day would be helpful in Social Studies. So many new vocabulary words each week can make it hard. Since the kids are already writing in journals each week, word of the day could be incorporated into it. Good idea.