Instead of just telling students to use words surrounding
an unfamiliar word to figure out the meaning, why not teach them an acronym to help them remember specific types of clues to look for? This vocabulary strategy will create more independent readers who will carry the ability to decode context clues throughout their reading life. Have them practice using the acronym on a chart until it becomes an easy reading habit. This strategy applies across the curriculum and across standards. Make the rigor of common core more accessible to students and build their confidence by giving them specific ways to find the meanings of unfamiliar words.