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Any teacher knows that vocabulary acquisition is essential in the development of readers and writers. In my classroom, I ask my students to use this glossary all day long and throughout the entire year. They will enter words they’ve encountered in all academic areas and from a variety of sources. By keeping all of these words together, students will notice vocabulary that is repeated in different subjects and quickly identify these as academic words. They will also make connections between words and the various ways in which they are used. By formulating their own definitions prior to looking words up in a dictionary, they are empowered and are able to practice determining the meaning of words independently.
This glossary asks students to identify where the word was encountered and then infer the meaning. There is also a place for a student to write synonyms, antonyms, the actual dictionary definition and then draw a picture to help remember the meaning.