Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wonderful Words

Looking for a way to incorporate more vocabulary into your regular routine? Trying to build your students schema? Want your students to be "word collectors"? One of our fifth grade teachers wants these things and more for her students. That is why she began having her students collect words for extra credit last year. To receive the points, they had to complete a frayer model that included where they found the word, a sentence using the word, a definition, and a picture or synonym/antonym.

This year she has taken it a step further and requires them to collect a word a week. They have the week to find an interesting word and research what the word means. This is done on the students' time. She does not give them time to do this in class, although she is available to them during the noraml course of a week to answer questions and discuss their words. They have to be able to put the definition in their own words by the end of the week. On Friday, she gives them time in writing class to create their frayer model. It is then assessed and hung on the wall alphabetically. These word are then expected to show up in their writing.

Each nine weeks the words will get taken down and stored somewhere so that they can be used as a resource. (There is just not space on the walls to leave them up all year.) She is currently brainstorming efficient methods of storage. (If you have any fabulous ideas, please leave them as a comment on this post.)

What a great way to collect, celebrate, and incorporate new vocabulary. We know we need to build up our students' schema in order for them to be better writers. This is just one of the many ways to do just that.


  1. WOW! I didn't know you planned to post this. When I found it, it was Friday--our day to make a new word card. I put the post up on the TV screen and didn't say anything. As the kids entered the classroom and saw the screen, they said things like, "Hey, that's just like ours." Then I could tell them they were famous because it was theirs. It also gave me a chance to reinforce the importance of doing their best work because you never know where it will end up. Thanks!

  2. Uh-oh! I hope you don't mind that I posted them-- it's such a great idea and they did such nice work, I didn't think any of you would mind. I hope the idea spreads!

  3. Ginger Hughes27.10.09

    I love this!