Thursday, May 3, 2012


I am always trying to switch up my vocabulary instruction and keep it interesting.  I want my students to be engaged, excited, and above all to learn their targeted vocabulary words.  :)  I don't want them to memorize, test, and forget.  I want them to remember them, savor them, & make the words a part of their written and spoken vocabularies.  Sometimes this is easier said than done, but it doesn't have to be that way.  Helping kids to conceptualize, explain, and play with words has great benefits.  {Duh, right?}

Well, today, my students were introduced to their new vocabulary Holly-Word style!  :)  I spent some time explaining the process to them, and we looked at slides in my Strategic Readers bundle on the SMARTboard as we discussed each role card.  (I left my posters in my car by mistake, so luckily digital files do the trick!  In fact, it was nice to enlarge it for the time being anyway!)

After we reviewed the role cards, I explained that they would be grouped and each member of the group would be given a specific job to do.  This time, they would only be given one vocabulary word instead of multiple words.  {I sorted the cards into little sandwich baggies prior to the lesson to make grouping a little less time-consuming.}

My thirdsters were told to look up the meaning of their words in the glossary and to think about what they already know about their words from their own lives/experiences. They recorded the definitions on the backs of their cards, and then spent a few minutes planning a little acting gig.  Each group got a chance to share the word, the definition, and act out a little skit to teach the class about their words.

In between each group, I had the kiddos turn and talk.  They used each word in a sentence to help cement the meanings, and they were totally in love with it.  I literally got an "Ooo la la" out of this lesson, and I never underestimate the power of an "Oo la la".  Especially when it's from one of my wigglers.  :)

We also used the Magnificent Minute cards & printable this week.  I didn't snap a picture, but here's a few shots from last week!  This was a quick way to assess prior knowledge, but the cards cover self-reflection and a wide range of skills/purposes.  :)

In other news, one of my students has informed me that he is working on a new book.  Apparently tributes from 90 districts carry really heavy lumber all the way around the world.  The main characters are two kids named Mason and Ashley, and I have been told that it's going to be more exciting and more "appropriate" than "The Hunger Games".   Get ready for "The Lumber Games"!  ;)


  1. Super love this idea:) My kids are doing vocab a way you posted about a while ago and it's working awesome but this is super fun to change it up:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. Suki's Kimino?!? LOVE THAT STORY!!!! Great idea :)

  3. Can I borrow...YOUR brain? :) I like this a lot. RS Vocabulary needs this! Just fabulous!

  4. The Lumber Games is my next read. Especially after the book I just read, I need something "more appropriate" than The Hunger Games. :)

  5. The Lumber Games is my next read. Especially after the book I just read, I need something "more appropriate" than The Hunger Games. :)

  6. Somehow I was following your FB page and not your blog!!?? Well I am following now (-;

    You ideas and creativity is motivating!! Thank you for sharing your brain (-; LOL

    The 3AM Teacher
    Visit The 3AM Teacher FB Page

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  8. I am so loving these! Will have to check out your store! Thanks for sharing.

    Tales From a Traveling Teacher