WHAT'S IN A WORD? VOCABULARY BUILDING
How many times have students failed to understand what they read because they haven't been exposed to the words that passages use? I can't begin to count!
Our students often fail tests, fail to understand instructions, and fail classes in a number of content areas because they simply haven't been exposed to the vocabulary used in different environments. Memos, filament, credit, aesthetic, intrinsic, femur, diagnose, hypothesis, torque are just words. They are letters put together that have no meaning to our students. They can decode them if they are literate, but they can't apply and interpret them unless they gain practice within a context that is relevant to their lives.
Reading strategies suggest that we use inference and context as major tools for interpreting new context. But can students define and begin to apply words once they are able to interpret their meaning in context (something we all encourage, of course)? Maybe, and maybe not!
Student-created flashcards allow students to reinforce vocabulary once they integrate the meaning into their experience. Don't give them the cards; have them create them! On one side, they write the word. On the other, they define it in their terms and insert the word in the sentence that introduced them to it from a reading or from class notes.
http://www.kitzkikz.com/flashcards/ - Talk about easy! You don't even have to sign in. Students just type in words and definitions and either print them or save them as PDFs.
http://www.scholastic.com/kids/homework/flashcards.htm - Now there's an idea. Type in two numbers on the front of the card, select =, and you have students creating basic math equations. No need to sign up!
http://www.flashcardmachine.com/ - Sign in, but it's free. Check it out.
http://www.flashcardexchange.com/ - You can select "Create," or choose from the options among cards that have been created.
http://www.aplusmath.com/flashcards/Flashcard_Creator.html - Math teacher? Here's another site!
In fact, simply Google "flash card creator," and follow the trails. There are many!
He's making a list and checking it twice.
So fine. I get the idea of reinforcing vocabulary, but how do I know what terms are common to different disciplines that might interest students, especially those who want to pass their GED exams?
Words lists can help a lot. Have students tag ten words a week from a word list, Google the word, put it in context, and create the flashcard (above).
Here are some lists to get you started.
http://www.vocabulary.com/ has a number of lists and tools, such as the ones below. The site opens with a vocabulary quiz, much like rice.com, another favorite. Check out the tabs on the home page. The"My Progress" tab shows how fast you are learning.
http://www.vocabularya-z.com/- "All vocabulary-building lessons are automatically generated online for printing. Our vocabulary lessons are based on vocabulary strategies supported by research and in accordance with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) criteria."
http://www.esl-lab.com/vocab/index.htm - ESL lists (Another favorite site with loads of ESL resources)
http://www.manythings.org/vocabulary/ - This has to be one of my favorite learning-resource sites.
http://webs.rps205.com/curriculum/ssandvoc/vocab.html - Lists by grade.
http://wps.ablongman.com/long_licklider_vocabulary_2/0,6658,418005-,00.html - Longman Vocabulary Site. You know about Longman. Here, they introduce vocabulary in a number of disciplines in the form of multiple-choice quizzes. Cool.
http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/vocab/ - Download cards or simply see the list of words by grade. The bottom links are for secondary levels.
http://www.neok12.com/vocabulary-games.htm - Love this set. The exercises/games are fun and reinforce the terms.
SOCIAL STUDIES (You asked, Randy, and it is here given.)
http://www.mi.gov/documents/10-02Glossary_48851_7.pdf - Opens in Acrobat with lots of SS terms.
http://quizlet.com/2019607/cset-multiple-subjects-history-and-social-science-vocabulary-flash-cards/ - This site has a double benefit: words in disciplines and flashcards with sound clips!
PDF file from www5.esc13.net with 12 good suggestions on how to teach SS vocabulary.
Social Studies Vocabulary Strategies - A very nice page with a variety of strategies to teach SS vocabulary.
http://education.jlab.org/vocabhangman/ - Play hangman with science-related vocabulary.
http://www.spellingcity.com/science-vocabulary.html - Play with the words and spell them. Lots of other disciplines listed.
http://education.jlab.org/beamsactivity/6thgrade/vocabulary/index.html - Nice little site with lots of other resources.
http://www.gedsource.com/GED_Science_Vocabulary_Worksheets.htm - GED Science vocabulary with worksheets with answers.
http://quizlet.com/subject/literature-vocabulary/ - Another quizlet/flashcard page. I looked over the vocabulary, and it appeared to be helpful for pre-GED/GED students.
http://www.english-for-students.com/Vocabulary-Literature.html - English for students has other resources, too.
http://quizlet.com/4343855/ged-math-vocabulary-flash-cards/ - Surprise! Quizlet again.
http://www.learningtrends.com/ged_math_vocabulary.htm -Nice little list. See other links on the page.
http://www.nwlincs.org/wygedtran/mathindex.htm - This is not a vocabulary site, but it has some great exercises for GED Prep!
http://quizlet.com/780931/ged-vocabulary-flash-cards/ - Quizzlet again. Good stuff.
http://objectiveged.blogspot.com/2009/05/vocabulary-list-from-ged-reading.html - This is a PDF file with a whole module on building vocabulary.
http://www.enhancemyvocabulary.com/ - This site has loads of stuff. Scroll down to "PSAT & GED Vocabulary Prep.
http://www.flashcardexchange.com/flashcards/view/417591 - Another Flashcard site. Click on the "List/Edit Flashcards" tab at the top, and the vocabulary is listed in alphabetical order. See links leading to more pages at the right bottom of each list.
Well, these will get you started. If you want more specific resources, simply drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org. There are lists for nurses, builders, mechanics, and more.
You have all of those folders on your desktop, hopefully organized! They all look the same. So why not turn your desktop into a nice little Christmas tree, with ornaments that match the intent of each folder? Change the look of your folders!
Right-click on a folder. Select "Properties." Select the "Customize" tab. Go to the bottom of the box that opens, and click on "Change icon." Use the scroll bar at the bottom to go through your options. If you find a look you like, click on it, and click "OK." Your folder appearance will now match your choice. Give it a couple of seconds.
TEACHING ACROSS THE MILES!
Those of us teaching students in Chevak, Alaska might benefit from know a little more about Chevak and its people. Click on the link below if you want to read the article or if you want to hear the sound clip with the drumming. I really enjoyed it!
(You might want to post these on a wall for students to interpret! Post riddles and other puzzles on walls, too.)
1. Several of you are teaching health courses. Match the medical term on the left with a definition on the right.
||a. back door of a cafeteria
||b. what doctors do when treatment fails
||c. search for kitty
||d. letter like a-e-i-o-u
||e. study of paintings
|6. Caesarian Section
||f. a musical instrument
||g. occurring yearly
|8. Cat Scan
||h. a district in Rome
2. What does the image represent?
(From a PBS TeacherLine course I just closed.)
You've heard of RSS (Really Simple Syndication), but you may not use the tool. I hadn't either, until I started teaching with blogs. I wanted to know what my students were saying without having to go to each of their blogs ("the old way") to find out what they were posting. RSS came in really, really handy!
The following PBS video is a quick and easy intro to using RSS. Use it with students but also just to keep up with your interests or theirs. In fact, teach they to use RSS when they are conducting research or simply wanting to keep up with items of interest.
Send us your ideas, contributions, and requests! We want to meet your "tech-knowledgy" needs! Use the Contact information below.
Happy holidays, one and all!