Sunday, October 4, 2015

Extending Student Vocabulary: ABC Chart & Portable Word Wall *Freebie*

So, I am almost ashamed to share a post, considering that I haven't blogged consistently for a month or so now. Where did September go??? Anyway, while I haven't been blogging, I have been collecting pictures and ideas to share... as soon as time allowed me to actually create a post or two. *sigh*

This is a little update on one particular vocabulary exercise I have incorporated into my instruction with older students this year. I love this little Word of the Week center. I purchased it at the end of the year last year, so this is the first year I have actually used it into my classroom. As I began planning for it, I wanted to make sure that I provided multiple opportunities for my students to use these words frequently in my classroom. Ultimately, the goal is for students to carry these words outside the classroom as well.
We begin by reading the example and illustration, and then the students try to guess the meaning of the word. Once I share the actual definition, students map the word onto a bubble map as a group exercise. While I do love this vocabulary center, I needed a good space for students to accumulate the words as they learn them. With the center, you can only display the current word for the week. In order to provide a space for students to revisit all words as we go throughout the year, I created this small, simple ABC chart onto which students could transfer each week's vocabulary word and definition. 
The process is simple: we use folded post-it notes to create a lift-the-flap idea on the chart. First, the student writes the word on top of the post-it, and then he/she writes the definition on the inside. Once the word and definition are complete, they stick the word onto the chart under the appropriate letter.
I have to admit: The next step is probably my favorite part of the whole experience. After adding the word to the ABC chart, my students transfer their weekly vocabulary word onto their own portable word walls as well. This simple little word wall is a nifty personal reference tool for students to maintain as we explore new vocabulary terms. I have it available as a freebie in the Tally Tales TPT store. You can download it for free here, and then store it in student binders, folders, or even in a center as an easy place for students to document sight words, vocabulary terms or thematic terminology as needed. Younger students can certainly use this, but it is an ideal tool for older students to consistently extend alphabetic knowledge skills.