“A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the word you first thought of.” —Burt Bacharach
6 Simple Strategies for Learning New Words
- Teach synonyms. Provide a synonym students know, connect enormous to a simpler word such as large.
- Teach antonyms. Not all words have antonyms, but thinking about opposites for those that do requires students to evaluate the critical attributes of the words in question.
- Paraphrase definitions. Having students use their own words increases their personal connections and provides the teacher with a useful formative assessment, “How deep is their understanding?”
- Provide examples, including visuals whenever possible. The more personalized, the better. Make connections to things you know about the kids’ learning. Provide non-examples. Providing non-examples requires students to evaluate words. Be sure to ask the students to explain why a word is not an example. (See yesterday’s blog.)
- Ask for sentences that “show you know.” Students construct novel sentences confirming their understanding of a new word, using more than one new word per sentence to show that connections can also be useful. I love using my “Connect 2” activity. (See tomorrow’s blog.)
- Teach word sorting. Provide a list of vocabulary words from a reading selection and have students sort them into various categories. Students can re-sort words into “guess my sort” using categories of their own choosing.
Word of the Day Poster Set 1 # 8 Third Grade
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Happy birthday to my brother, Joe!