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Word study/Vocabulary

66 Writing Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Here’re a wide variety of writing tools for students. Some practice good habits, others offer options for writing requirements. See what works for you:writing

  1. Character Trading Cards
  2. Context Clues Millionaire
  3. Friendly Letter Maker
  4. Garfield teaches Writing Skills
  5. Identify the Main Idea
  6. Letter Generator
  7. Main Idea Battleship
  8. Make another story
  9. Monster Project
  10. Newspapers, posters, comics—learn to create
  11. Using a table of contents
  12. Videos—using Sock Puppets (iPads)
  13. Writing games

Blogs

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Categories: Websites, Word study/Vocabulary, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

50 Sites to Add Rigor and Authenticity to Word Study

Memorizing word lists and testing on them doesn’t really work very well. Here are 52 websites that will make student academic and domain-specific word study more relevant and sticky. I’ve collected them into various categories–pick what works for you:

  1. Character Trading Cardsword study websites
  2. Context Clues Game
  3. Context Clues Millionaire
  4. Flashcard Stash–collect words, view sentences and images
  5. Friendly Letter Maker
  6. Identify the Main Idea
  7. Jelly Fish
  8. Katie’s Clubhouse
  9. Main Idea Battleship
  10. The Patchworker
  11. Using a table of contents
  12. Web-based Mad Libs
  13. Word Balloons
  14. Word Central—Merriam Webster
  15. Word Family Sort
  16. Word Games
  17. Word Magnets
  18. Word Play
  19. Word Pond
  20. Words in Context

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Categories: Word study/Vocabulary, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Power of Symbols–What does ‘Turkey’ mean?

Here’s an authentic use of technology to support discussion on math, language standards, and the holidays. As a summation to your discussion with students on symbols, idiomatic expressions, geography, farms, or another topic, post this on your Smartscreen. The poll includes lots of definitions for the word ‘turkey’–from objective to idiomatic. Have each student come up some time during the day (or class) and make their choice.

[polldaddy poll=7398424]

Did your students come up with other definitions I didn’t list?

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Categories: 1st, Geography, Holidays, Kindergarten, Math, Word study/Vocabulary | Leave a comment

4 Subjects Every Teacher Must Teach and How

tech teacherTeaching technology is not sharing a new subject, like Spanish or math. It’s exploring an education tool, knowing how to use computers, IPads, the internet, and other digital devices to serve learning goals. Sure, there are classes that teach MS Word and C++, but for most schools, technology is employed strategically and capably to achieve all colors of education.

Which gets me to the four subjects every teacher must teach, whether s/he’s a math teacher, science, literacy, or technology. In today’s education world, all of us teach–

  • vocabulary
  • keyboarding
  • digital citizenship
  • research

They used to be taught in isolation–Fridays at 8:20, we learn vocabulary–but not anymore. Now they must be blended into all subjects like ingredients in a cake, the result–college or career for the 21st-century student. Four subjects that must be taught–and thanks to technology, CAN be with ease. Let me explain.

Vocabulary

 Common Core requires that:

Students constantly build the transferable vocabulary they need to access grade level complex texts. This can be done effectively by spiraling like content in increasingly complex texts.

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Categories: Classroom management, Digital Citizenship, Education reform, Keyboarding, Research, Word study/Vocabulary | 4 Comments

5 Sure-fire Ways to Teach Vocabulary

vocabularyHave you ever been around someone who knows exactly the right word when they talk? Don’t you conclude they’re smart? Capable? The one you want in your study group? How about the inverse–an individual struggling with language, maybe picks words that aren’t quite right or can’t come up with one at all. What do you conclude then?

Teachers have always taught ‘vocabulary’ using labels like word study, site words, Dolch, Hi-Frequency words. Common Core considers proper terminology part and parcel to preparing for college and career. They fall into three types:

  • Tier 1: Words acquired through every day speech, usually learned in early grades
  • Tier 2: Academic words that appear in textbooks, precise words that refine meaning, i.e. ‘sprint’ instead of ‘run’.
  • Tier 3: Domain specific words tied to content, included in glossaries, highlighted in textbooks, and considered important to understanding content.

The ‘tier’ you focus on in your teaching depends upon student age and material being taught. Here are five ways technology will make the time you spend on this subject more effective, fun, differentiated, and authentic:

  • Context clues
  • SpellingCity
  • Online graphic dictionaries
  • Word clouds
  • Vocabulary websites

Before we begin, let’s lay some groundwork. Vocabulary (or word study) isn’t done in a vacuum. You don’t pass out lists and have students memorize words and definitions (you don’t do that, do you?). If you used to, that’s changed with Common Core. Now, you are expected to integrate vocab into learning. Every time students run into a term they don’t get, you need to pause and help them decode it. It may be obvious from context, its parts (roots and affixes), but always–always—pay attention so students know unfamiliar words are not skipped. With Common Core, every nuance is important. It’s about uncovering knowledge.

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Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Word study/Vocabulary, Writing | Tags: | 2 Comments

Weekend Website #119: 4 Great Websites to Teach Letters

teddy bear lettersHelping munchkins learn their letters is one of the most frustrating–and rewarding–tasks in Kindergarten. Te ability to decode words leads to the vastness of the universe available through reading. If you’ve every met someone who can’t read, you know first hand the pain and embarrassment that dogs them every day in a world where literacy is expected not exceptional.
,,,
Anything to make this process fun is a good thing. Here’s a great list of websites that do just that. Students can see the letters, trace them on the screen with their fingers, play games with them, and suddenly find A to Z as comfortable as their favorite teddy bear.
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Categories: Language arts, Websites, Word study/Vocabulary | Tags: | Leave a comment

Monday Freebie #34: How to Teach Dolch Words with KidPix

This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while insuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:

…and start each week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.

I love giving my material away for free. Thankfully, I have a publisher who supports that. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

Teach Dolch Words With KidPix

Reinforce Dolch words and sentence structure with KidPix text tool and drawing options. Before you start this project, be sure to go through How to KidPix I and How to KidPix II.

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Categories: 2nd, Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans, Word study/Vocabulary, Writing | 2 Comments

Weekend Website #91: 16 Word Study Websites for 2nd Grade

Every Friday, I’ll send you a wonderful website (or more) that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.

Here’s a list of 16 Word Study websites for 2nd Grade. I’ve used all of these in my classroom. Usually, I create a ‘box of links’ on theinternet start pageand put them all there, let students pick. Sometimes, we all use one together. Enjoy!

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Categories: 2nd, Websites, Word study/Vocabulary | Tags: | Leave a comment

Monday Freebies #35: Sponge Activities for Vocabulary Building

This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while ensuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:

…and start each week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.

I love giving my material away for free. Thankfully, I have a publisher who supports that. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

Sponge Activities for Vocabulary Building

There are lots of great online vocabulary websites to help kids learn high-frequency and Dolch words. I’ll share five of them. Maybe you have some to share with the group. (more…)

Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans, Word study/Vocabulary, Writing | Tags: | Leave a comment

Monday Freebies #32: Color my Grammar

Students type several sentences in MS Word. Use the font color palette to label parts of speech, i.e., blue for subject, red for verb. Use sentences from a book they’re reading in class, spelling words they’re working on, or a teacher hand-out. Makes grammar fun.

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Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans, Word study/Vocabulary, Writing | Tags: | 1 Comment