Monday, September 21, 2009

52 Teachers, 52 Lessons #30: Best Practices for Teaching Vocab

This week's entry comes from Kelly Lichoff, who teaches Algebra, Geometry and Japanese (talk about well-rounded!) in Memphis, TN.

I think some of the most useful things to hear/read as a teacher are best practices that can be implemented in one's classroom immediately. Here are two ideas both my students and I love to use:

VOCABULARY (math, foreign language, science, etc.)...
  1. Distribute copies of blank BINGO cards (5x5 grid printed on front and back of printer paper).
  2. Have students write the 25 teacher-selected vocabulary words in the boxes in a random order on the front of their BINGO cards.
  3. On the back of the BINGO card, in the same box where they wrote the word on the front, students can draw a pictorial representation, write a definition, etc. (basically whatever is it that you want them to be able to match to the word).
  4. Play a few rounds of BINGO alternating between using the front and back of the BINGO cards.
  5. When you're done playing BINGO, have the students cut out the individual squares and voila! instant flashcards.
SEQUENTIAL VOCABULARY (math, foreign language, English, etc.)
  1. Find something that can be easily tossed around the room. (I use a large koosh ball.)
  2. Tell the students what sequential vocabulary they will be using. (math- prime numbers, multiples of 3, perfect squares, etc.; foreign language- alphabet, counting, time, months, etc.; English- prepositions, linking verbs, etc.)
  3. Toss the object to the first student, that student will say the first word and toss the object to another student who will say the second word in the sequence. This will continue until the sequence is complete.
  4. You can time this activity to make it more competitive.
Read more about this project here, then email your entries to teachforever AT gmail DOT com. Week 31 is scheduled for next Monday, September 28th, but as of this writing that spot was still open.