Vocabulary development is an essential skill for reading and overall academic achievement. We use a hands-on, developmentally driven approach to word study where we are not just asking students to memorize words but asking them to understand their synonyms, antonyms along with how they might see them in their reading. In our 5th grade classrooms, we use daily vocabulary instruction using words selected from our curriculum and content. Explicit, consistent instruction leads students to vocabulary growth and a greater love of language. Word mastery and confidence is achieved from daily routines that engage students with new words in a classroom community that promotes academic risk-taking.
Each week, the 5th grade will introduce five new vocabulary words over the course of four weeks. Each introduction will be done as a class where we will talk about their meanings, what type of word they are and their synonyms and antonyms. We will also use different activities over the month to practice these vocabulary words, from writing a story, comic strip, Google slideshow, mind maps, Pear Deck, and lots of other activities. We have found that students tend to just memorize words and we are trying to get them to use them as much as possible in order for students to truly understand their meaning. On the assessment/check in we will do at the end of the 4 weeks we only ask students to spell one of the vocabulary words and the rest are multiple choice options that let us know the students understanding of the words. Most of this work will be done in their vocabulary journals and these will be sent home to complete any assignments. These journals will need to come back to school the next day.