July 31, 2011

A peek into my classroom--Part 1

Sorry for the lapse--it's been a rough couple of days! With the twins going through their nine month growth spurts, I've been busy! One is teething (her bottom teeth are slowly coming through) and the other one is trying to master sitting up! Both have forgotten their bed times and stay up very, very late!

Luckily, they're busy playing, so I have a few moments to share this:

it's one of my favorite bulletin boards (I can't remember where I read about this, but I've been using it for years with great success!)

As part of my word study program, I designate a day on the schedule for vocabulary. I find a short text with 8-10 vocab words--I read aloud the text and when I get to one of the words, I stop. With the students, we use the context clues to figure out the meaning and identify synonyms and antonyms. (In the picture, the word is written on the top card, which you lift up to reveal the definition.) For homework, the students write sentences using each of the new words and draw a picture. (The format is an adaptation of the Frayer Model.)

This is the graphic organizer I use: Word-Study Boxes. (This year, I'm going to try something new. I want to add another section to the box--evidence from the text. This is where the students can list the specific context clues they used to figure out the definition.)

For the bulletin board, the word and definition are first. Then there are 3 columns--read, heard, used. If the students read the word in their book, they put a tally next to the word in the first column. (At times, I would have them share the words during share time by having the student read the sentence without the vocab word and the other students would guess the word.) If the students heard someone using the word, then they put a tally in the second column. If the students used the word in their writing, they draw a tally in the third column.

When a word has a lot of tallies (like the word: delete), then that word would be retired. I take the retired words down and keep them in a basket in the word study area for students to use as reference.

The students get so excited to be word detectives! Even the 5th graders :o)

I'd love to hear how others integrate vocabulary instruction into their classrooms!



  1. Lovely blog! I'll be following you from now on :) I can't believe you have twins and still rock the teaching. Good for you!

    Good luck as you prep for school!

  2. I love this idea!! When I click on "word study boxes" it takes me to the time for kids website. Where do I go from there? Thank you for stopping by my blog and entering my giveaway! I am your newest follower:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    1. Hi Holly! When I originally wrote this post, the graphic organizers on TFK were free, which is why you can't access it.

      Luckily I was able to find the document on my thumb drive, so I uploaded it to Google Docs. If you reclick the word study boxes link, it should bring you there! Let me know if you need anything else :o)

      Thanks for following!