Monday, August 17, 2015

Language Tools for Building Back to School

Happy Monday Everyone! 

This week we are discussing language tools.  Thank you again to Denise of #TeacherMom for holding this awesome linky party for the third week.

Because I teach middle school English, one of my largest language focuses is building my students' vocabulary.  It drives me up a wall (sorry, I couldn't help the idiom) when my students continuously use the same, cliche, elementary words for description or even just in their vocabulary (good, bad, stuff, thing, etc.); therefore, every two weeks my 7th and 8th grade students receive a new set of vocabulary words.

Where Do I Find my Words?

I always pull my vocabulary words from the piece that we are reading.  Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, there are always sophisticated words that I think are important to add to my students' vocabulary.  Honestly, choosing random words doesn't help the students in the long run.  Finding words that they are currently reading makes the words more applicable.

How Do I Implement These Words?

So, here is the catch for my students.  I only focus on ten words every two weeks, which doesn't seem that bad.  Wellllll...when they are quizzed on these words, they do not receive a word box.  They have to know the spelling, the definition, and how to use to the word in context without anything in front of them.  Yes, this does not happen over night, and that is why we work on these words for two weeks.
During week 1, the students define the words, write sentences, and draw pictures for the words. I use interactive notebooks in my classroom, so I incorporate the vocabulary words interactively. Here is an example:

The students cut the columns out for their notebook, glue them in, and the definitions go on the back, and the sentences go on the actually notebook page.

During week 2, my students are then instructed to incorporate these words into context by creating a short story with 7 of their words.  Here is an example:

At the end of week 2, the students will take the vocabulary quiz.  By now, my students are very familiar with the words, and I hold extra help, so the students are familiar and confident with the words.

I truly am extremely passionate about expanding my students' vocabulary, and I hope you are too!  Therefore, this week I am giving away my first set of Vocabulary Interactive Notebook-10-15 weeks of vocabulary words, quizzes, and other activities!

Enter the RAFFLE below to win this awesome Interactive Vocabulary Notebook Product!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks everyone!


Don't forget to hop around to the other blogs!


  1. Such a great idea! I love that you take the words from the book they are reading!

    Learning with Sunflower Smiles

  2. This is great! I distinctly remember a teacher teaching my that "thing" is never ever an appropriate word to use in writing. To this day I am still intentional about coming up with a replacement word when "thing" is the first word that comes to mind! ;)

    Great job! And thanks for linking up!

    Denise Hill, #TeacherMom

  3. This is a great idea! I love the foldables!

  4. What a great idea! I love that it is spread out over two weeks. I think that really gives the students time to use and understand the words. Thanks for sharing!

    Notes From the Portable

  5. These are great ideas! I love the interactive vocabulary notebook.

  6. This is fabulous! It puts excitement into learning vocabulary. I love the idea of concentrating on a few words and interacting with them in a deeper level.