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With the standards movement beefing up the expectations with more depth and less coverage, I truly had no problem going back and re-thinking the way I'd been teaching vocabulary; I knew I could be doing a better job with words beyond assigning rote memorization. I used to give a weekly list for students to memorize by Friday, but I knew even back then that was the lowest rung of the thinking ladder.
Based on a brand new approach I took to weekly vocabulary expectations during the 2012 school year, I created a package of ten Common Core-friendly Vocabulary & Writing tasks; I completed these over the summer of 2013, and I have never been happier with my students' work with new vocabulary. I successfully found a way to combine vocabulary assignments with several other important skills with these ten lessons: 1) grammar, 2) poetry, 3) etymology, and 4) writing/revising. And since I am using this new weekly vocabulary expectation as a substitute for one of my past reading accountability tasks, I have actually found a way to save time in my classroom.
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for a free sample of three of the eleven lessons in this package. All eleven lessons contain models, rubrics, discussion tools, and require reading and discussing poetry or prose with good vocabulary in it.
When examining the sample lessons, please note how--in addition to setting high expectations for students--I either introduced or reviewed other Common Core learning expectations; during one vocabulary lesson, for example, a lesson that requires students to use the four sentence types becomes the "side skill" of the lesson. As with all things grammar in my lessons, I tried to make grammar fun or game-like, which my kids appreciate way more than D.O.L. drills and worksheets. I also tried to sneak the grammar objective in very casually, but the students learning the difference among the four types of sentences becomes critical to continued participation in the lesson. This is just one of my attempts to consolidate more objectives into my lessons since the bosses expect more of me with new standards, and I didn't have a lot of time to spare as it was. Consolidation is key to me being able to make more time for myself to fit new things in. Grammar + Vocabulary = Writing Skill
And whether you choose to have your students collect words weekly and write about their own list of vocabulary words (like mine do) during your school year or not, at the very least, these Powerpoint presentations can be used to teach great partner/small group word/writing tasks that can be used as transitional lessons or activities; a transitional activity with a basis in language skills is the kind of transition I want to see more of in my classes and my teammates' classes. And yes, I am teaching all of my teaching teammates these activities so they can use these vocabulary challenges as transitions in science, history, and math classes.
Thanks for looking at this product. Be sure to check out our Vocabulary Quick Poems for Socratic Seminar