At the beginning of each year, I poll students concerning what they enjoy and dislike the most about English class. So far, learning vocabulary has a sizable lead in the most disliked category. During that same poll, I also ask students to list what they feel are their greatest strengths and weaknesses in the classroom. It shouldn't be a surprise to them that vocabulary comes up again and again as a weakness too!
When I first began educating, systematically teaching vocabulary was a problem for me. It seemed as though it was always the same. Either I would have students write definitions and write sentences with words in context, or I would have them do activities which involved drawing pictures or creating stories. The problem I ran into was that the former was not always effective, and the later would take too much time. After all, there was still the matter of teaching the lesson that the vocabulary went with!
Things changed for me after attending a seminar by Dr. Kevin Feldmen, one of the co-authors of Scholastic's reading intervention program, Read 180. Ever since adopting his strategies, my students not only are able to remember new words for the long-term, but they also look forward to the lessons!
Here's a systematic, engaging, and effective way to teach vocabulary using PowerPoint and higher level thinking.
The whole process can take some time when you first begin, but after students are used to the procedure, it becomes much quicker. Using this strategy, vocabulary has become engaging and empowering for my kids.
For my fellow Read 180 teachers out there who want to give this a try, let me get you off on the right foot! Download my PowerPoints for all nine Stage C rBook Workshops by clicking on the link below!
What are some creative ways that you teach vocabulary?
Rosemead High School
El Monte Union High School District