I have always loved words and am a self-proclaimed word nerd. I actually read the book Word Nerds, met the authors at a conference a few years ago, and got to lead a PLC in my school all about it! Research shows that a child’s vocabulary is a key component to their success in school, on standardized tests, and in life in general! Those three reasons alone should be proof enough to any educator that VOCABULARY INSTRUCTION IS IMPORTANT!
What I love about vocabulary instruction is that it’s cross-curricular. The words found in children’s literature are just as important as those found in content areas, like science and social studies, which, in my opinion, makes it almost effortless to incorporate into your instruction. However, the hard part of vocabulary instruction is making it interesting and engaging to students. Merely writing definitions can only go so far.
One way to make vocabulary instruction more engaging is to provide your students a variety of ways for them to engage with a vocabulary and then allowing them to choose what type of activity will help them best learn the word and internalize its meaning. A vocabulary menu can accomplish this.
Students are instructed to choose from the menu and engage with the vocabulary word using the given activities. This menu includes twenty activities – everything from the generic define and draw to including the word in a conversation and recording the dialogue to drawing pictures that would use the word as a hashtag! (This particular menu is found HERE and will fit on a standard sized poster board.)
If you wanted to make a bulletin board or even introduce the activities during whole group instruction, these 8.5x11in posters will help you do just that!
If you don’t have the wall space for a poster or bulletin board, another option is to add the activity strips or the smaller posters to a metal ring. Students could either maintain their own set or you could print several copies for a literacy station or writing center.
Once students are familiar with the instructions for each activity, provide them with a bookmark that they can take home or keep in their desk for easy access. The activities are numbered so that students can easily reference which activities they complete on their work mats! Alternatively, the non-numbered bookmarks can be laminated and students can simply check them off with a dry erase marker and paperclip them to their vocabulary notebooks or work mats when they turn them into you.
Lastly, for those of you who use a vocabulary notebook, you can either use the print-and-cut activity strips or the printable sticky notes for students to use! This is a great way for students to show their work on a regular basis no matter the content area.
This complete resource can be found HERE so that you can create your own vocabulary choice menu for your students. You can also download a FREE sample using the form at the end of this blog post.
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Grab a FREE set of Manuscript and D’Nealian letter practice worksheets that can be used in preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classrooms for students who are learning the alphabet. Each page includes a corresponding picture and lined spaces for practicing letter formation.
Click the corresponding graphic to download your set!
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I’ve taken a month-long hiatus from blogging to catch up on life and the end of the school year, so I’m popping in real quick to let you know I’ve created a Facebook group to connect with y’all on a more personal level. I might even get brave and try a Facebook LIVE. #gulp
I also posted a FREE download that you can use as you plan out your summer, your life, or even next school year! It’s perfect for personal, professional, and educational use, and it’s designed to be editable!
Here’s a sample…
Want your own FREE set? They’re available to anyone who joins Inspired Teachers on Facebook! I’d love to have you and to be able to connect!
Click HERE or the graphic below to join Inspired Teachers!
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This post originally appeared on Teachers Love Amazon! Be sure to check them out!
Children’s literature is one of my absolutely FAVORITE things to shop for because there’s so much value in a well-written, perfectly illustrated kid book that I always feel like I get my money’s worth! It, literally, took me a hot second to purchase Before You by Rebecca Doughty as soon as I came across it. #oneclickshopper And, of course, Amazon Prime had it on my doorstep and into the laps of my kiddos 48-hours later.
Do your kiddos have a number sense kit at the ready for use during small or whole group math activities? If not, I’ve put together a FREE number sense starter kit that you can download, print, and start using NOW!
I find that they store VERY easy in a clear plastic sleeves, gallon-sized baggies, OR these amazing dry erase pockets. I own the neon set (pictured in the images below) and I LOVE them. They’re 9×12″ so they’re plenty big to slide toolkit pieces and activity mats in and out of with ease.
(The activity mats pictured above can be found HERE.)
ETA: If you are not able to access the materials via the links or graphic (they’re working for some, but not others – I have no clue what the issue is!), here’s the link you can copy and paste into your browser to take you to the resource:
Lastly, here’s an affiliate link to the dry erase pockets:
I know plans for February are well underway, so I wanted to pop in to share a few things you might find helpful as you prepare your units! I’ve elaborated on some of these in previous posts and have other posts scheduled about others, so this is simply a Cliff Notes version 😉
First up, is Groundhog Day! (Side note: Bill Murray in that movie – hilarious). Here’s a cute little groundhog craft to make with your kiddos!
Then, of course, we have Valentine’s Day! This writing activity is SO GOOD for showing gratitude towards a special staff member and teaching letter writing.
Don’t forget Presidents’ Day on the 20th! This fact sort is a fun way to share little bits of presidential information with your little ones!
And, just because February isn’t thematically full enough, there’s Dental Health month after eating all the candy hearts and hoarding them in your desk drawer pre-party…or is that just me?
My word, February is going to keep us twelve kinds of busy!
Here’s where you can grab the featured activities:
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Omigoodness, I’m relying HEAVILY on Punxsutawney Phil to NOT see his shadow this year. I NEED SPRING! We’ve just endured an eternity of germ bugs at our house, and I am ALL THE OVER IT. I need fresh air and sunshine, wagon rides around the neighborhood, and the color restored to the outside baaaaaad.
So, I hope it’s the gloomiest of days on February 2nd and that chubby little rodent doesn’t forecast six more weeks of winter. Because this quarantine can’t last much longer! Rant over 😉
Some of my favorite read-alouds during the beginning of February center around this curious creature. Your kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students will LOVE to read these fiction and non-fiction selections! Here are some of my favorites (these are affiliate links):
And, while you’re learning about this shadowy little character (see what I did there?), you can record your students’ knowledge on this fun little anchor chart!
Or, provide your students with the templates and let them create their own groundhog craft to adorn their school work, the classroom, or your hallway! Fun and EASY!
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Do you need a fun little freebie to add to your bag of tricks before the holiday break? Then this math graphing activity is for you! Check out the video below for more details OR go to the bottom of this post to grab yours NOW!
Happy Sunday, friends!