Monday, August 9, 2010

Building Vocabulary

According to Dr. Debra Pickering, vocabulary knowledge is one of the highest predictors of academic success on standardized tests.

She went on to describe six guidelines to help students build vocabulary. She pointed out that these guidelines are not meant to be followed lock-step, meaning these guidelines are flexible depending on the needs of the students.

Help students develop sufficient initial understanding by:
  • Providing a description, explanation, or example of the new term.
  • Giving them an experience (story,  video, simulation, etc.).
  • Establish a record keeping system (some place to keep the terms). The notebooks should include: Term, Describe, Draw, and a Self-evaluation measure
  • Asking the students to restate the description, explanation, or example in their own words.
  • Asking students to construct a picture, symbol, or graphic representing the term or phrase.
Provide multiple opportunities for students to:
  • Engage in activities that help them add to their knowledge of the terms in their notebooks.
  • To discuss the terms with one another. 
  • Play games using the terms.

Here are some games Debra Pickering suggested:

- Word Association Game: (think 10,000 Pyramid)
- Show Me: (think charades)
- Quick Draw: (think Pictionary)

Check out these links for more information on games that build academic vocabulary:


Puzzleman said...

It all sounds so familiar.....I like the background

Cate Sword said...

I use much of this in my classes (except for the notebook part) teaching adults new software. :)