Teaching Vocabulary

Yesterday Education Week offered a FREE Webinar titled “No More Word Lists: Teaching Vocabulary in Context.”  The presenters included a professor from the University of Michigan (Cervetti), a professor from Michigan State (Wright), and a special education teacher from Nevada (Westmont).  The hour went quickly and was filled with lots of good tips.

Below are the three big things I hope to remember for next school year:

  1. Text Sets – The presenters found that students learned vocabulary better when they read 6 books about the SAME topic verse 6 books on VARIOUS topics.  As a result, they are working on creating text sets on a variety of topics.  What I loved was that they provided a link to the rough drafts of these sets!  If you would like to explore the text sets they have created they can be found at https://www.edmodo.com and the group code is sma265.  After exploring what they have created, I want to think more about the topics that are covered in social studies and science for my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at the beginning of the year and then start pulling together a text set for one topic for each grade.
  2. Sensational Six – In this idea students were encouraged to locate and discover six new vocabulary words from a text that exemplifies the main idea.  These six words were then used in text discussions as well as in sentence and summary writing.  I appreciate the presenter pointing out that identifying the sensational six was difficult to do at first but got easier with time.
  3. achievethecore.org – This website was listed in the Webinar as a place to go for professional development, lessons, and training opportunities.  I hope to find time to explore the site…even if Virginia does not practice the common core!

    If you would like to see the FREE Webinar it is available on-demand at: https://vts.inxpo.com/scripts/Server.nxp?LASCmd=AI:4;F:QS!10100&ShowKey=25386&partnerref=TOC&Referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Fmarketplace%2Fwebinars%2Fwebinars.html

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