...sharing strategies for teaching second graders...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Plan for Word Detectives...

First, I evaluate my students with the National Reading Vocabulary. It's an awesome list of words~by grade level~that I use to test my students. Students receive a copy of the National Reading Vocabulary list at their reading level for home practice. I am going to present each student with his/her Word Detective Kit individually when I finish evaluating. I think getting the kit individually will make everyone want one and be eager to get started! ;)

Here are the directions I plan to give so far (I'm open for suggestions!):

"You are now a Word Detective! You have a job to do each day. You should find a word you don't know each day (from a book, speaking with a friend, or the dictionary). Write the word with its definition and the pronunciation on a sticky note so you can learn it. Use your new word in three sentences that day. By Friday, you should have four new words (or at least three for some students...we'll see). Choose your favorite new word and complete the Word of the Week sheet (by Rebecca Rojas) for a grade." 
{Rebecca: please post a comment and remind me of your blogspot address..I'm having a brain fog this morning! I love, love, love your Word of the Week sheet!)

Note: It may take a while to build up to three or four words. I plan to build stamina with this just as we will build stamina with reading and writing.


 I love word play. My dad and I played Dictionary when I was a child. He'd try to stump me and I'd try to stump him. If he found a word to which I did not know the meaning, he got the point. If I knew the meaning, I got the point. Same went for him. We took turns with the dictionary he used as a little boy! I dearly loved this because it was time with my precious daddy! So...I tell my students that story, introduce them to the dictionary, challenge them to find a word I can't use in a sentence, and they get "points." They never do anything with the points, but they love getting one over on their teacher! ;) I make a big deal about having three college degrees and WOW! they still stumped me! It is so much fun and my students seem to love it. I challenge them to play dictionary with their parents so they'll learn new words and maybe their parents will learn new words, too. We can all learn something new every day! I'll make sure I tell them this story before giving them their Word Detective Kits. You are welcome to tell my story to your students about your "friend" who loves the dictionary! ;)

One of my favorite memories was Daddy asking me to define conquistador and pronouncing the "qui" like kwi with a short i sound. When I said, "That's conquistador! It's like a Spanish cowboy or gunslinger..." (I was in third grade, I think) he was amazed that I knew the correct pronunciation and the definition! He asked how I knew and I replied that we'd studied them in school. I don't really remember studying that, but I read all the time so I'd probably read about them. I am so thankful for my Daddy's influence! I usually tell my students this little tidbit later on during the year when interest wanes. As always, some students like the dictionary better than others. Hopefully, all the students gain vital dictionary skills through this! Comments and suggestions welcome and requested...

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