Posts tagged ‘Vocabulary’

My Silent Victory

Teachers do a lot of talking. Sometimes I feel like my students aren’t even listening. So when I decided to try something new in word study, I just quietly hung a small sign in my office like the one pictured to the left (with the first week’s word family in that big empty space).

It didn’t take a full minute before kids started noticing and asking, but I wasn’t going to give up the game so fast. I made them wait until the regular English period before explaining that they were to find their own spelling words this week by looking in their reading and writing for examples of the latin root posted on the sign. They immediately began generating examples and comparing definitions. In fact, they were so interested in vocabulary for the next two weeks that I had to make a new class rule not to discuss vocabulary during any other period!

When we allow students to make the first move, they become invested in the learning. It is not forced upon them, but something they chose to be interested in. And when we withhold information – such as by providing a visual prompt but restraining the deluge of explanation – it engages even more curiosity. Way to build the buzz.

Verdict: For the already breathless teacher, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words.

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October 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment


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