So, I think I am officially addicted to these little ASCD ARIAS books.
With Common Core looming over us all, one of my main goals for this summer is finally establishing a vocabulary routine for my students that works.
My Requirements for Vocabulary Routine:
- It cannot take up more than 30 minutes of in-class instruction time (including testing) per week
- It has to be organic, but still organized
- I want to do about 5 new words a week
- It needs to go beyond the old define, make a sentence, match them routine
- It needs to be something sustainable all year long
- I can’t kill myself with grading
- It has to be fun and educational
I honestly thought it was too much to ask for.
And then in comes this handy little book by Marilee Sprenger.
You may have seen my review of another ASCD ARIAS book The Five-Minute Teacher by Mark Barnes–if not check it out here. These little books pack a punch and attempt to give educators as much bang for their buck as possible. They are relevant and could easily be read in on a Friday and incorporated into class on a Monday. Vocab Rehab is definitely worth the 5.99 price!
Cool Ideas from Vocab Rehab
- Be purposeful about the words you choose
- Ditch the 20 word a week lists
- The goal is to teach vocab to the point where it is easily accessible…so that it actually becomes part of their working vocabulary
- Ditch “Kid Language”
- “Teach Up”–>aka use academic language and require your students to do so as well
- Put words everywhere and celebrate them (I especially like the idea of putting words on the windows!)
- Vocabulary can be taught and reinforced in 10-5 minute instructional blocks. She has loads of ideas in the book.
- Improving your vocabulary is all about connections: draw a picture, connect it to synonyms and antonyms, make it a song, act it out, play games, have fun with it!
- Bring back the Word Wall–>I’m going to call mine the Wicked Word Wall for added alliteration.
- Assessment should go beyond the small quiz and vocabulary should be incorporated in writing and oral assessment as well.
The Bottom Line: Overall, I found this to be a perfect read for what I’ve been trying to do in my classroom next year. I also think that some of her strategies could help with grammar instruction as well. This book really made me believe that vocabulary instruction is important, fun, and doable!