Friday, November 7, 2014

Pick Two and Possible Sentences - applying vocabulary knowledge and writing

This week's strategy I learned while attending my colleague Ann Eifler's session at the IRC Conference in Springfield back in October.  Since attending this session, I've used it several times in different contexts and have loved it each time!  Here's how it works:

  • Decide what your goal is for the activity.  You can do this as a pre-reading activity where you use a combination of words the students will know and may not know or use it as a post-learning activity where you're asking students to apply their knowledge of their newly-learned vocabulary.
  • Decide how you want your students to record their sentences - white board, pen/paper, large paper with markers, or electronically.
  • Make a list of words you want to use for your students.
  • Have students work alone or in partners to match words up that would likely be found in the media (text, video, electronic media, etc) together.  
  • Ask students to create sentences with their paired words.  If you're using this as a pre-learning activity, remind students to use this as a way to predict how these words will be used.  If you're using this as a post-learning activity, tell them that they should try to remember how these words were used before pairing them up so that they can create sentences that effectively communicate what your students want.
  • Share out with the class or post them around the room.
  • If you used the activity as a pre-learning activity, revisit the sentences after learning and reflect on misconceptions with your kiddos.  This is a GREAT way to teach them how to use mistakes and misconceptions as a learning tool.

I thought I had taken pictures of their work, but after looking through my camera, I can't find them, and since I'm writing from home I don't have access to student notebooks this weekend.  If I think of it I'll post some examples on my Facebook page so you can see them. I used the writing activity as a post-learning activity where I was expecting my students to apply their knowledge of vocabulary they had learned.  They wrote really fantastic sentences and showed me that they owned those words.

Feel free to share ways you have used or can use this strategy in your content area in the comments below.

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