Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Effective Vocabulary Instruction

Greetings Global Learners!

I've had the opportunity to serve dual roles as a global learner and a STAR teacher. One of the focuses (besides, of course, technology) is vocabulary instruction and building background. I've used the SmartBOARD now consistently for giving my first time vocabulary instruction a "kick," and since this is one of the focuses of the recently implemented district strategies plan, I figured I would attempt to serve as a liaison between the two programs and talk a little bit about what I do.

We had Jane E. Nelson-MacColl present on the "Cornerstones of Good Vocabulary Instruction." Here are a few tips that she shares...
  • Vocabulary instruction MUST be intentional and systematic
  • Choose vocabulary words thoughtfully
  • Teach students a process for learning new words
  • Provide students with a system of keeping track of the words they've learned
  • Collect evidence to indicate what students have learned
  • Model higher-level vocabulary on a daily basis

From a technological standpoint...generally, I deal with about ten formal vocabulary words a week. A break these into several five minute mini-lessons throughout the week and create PowerPoint presentations that start with the word itself, usually in WORD ART format. I then show a series of pictures or videos without the definition. Each new picture reinforces the older one and allows students to place in context to figure out what they mean. I then give them a few formal definitions and we lead discussion, build examples, etc.

What vocabulary ideas do you have and use? How do you incorporate technology into the mix?

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and sharing them with STAR teachers.

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