This Literacy Routine addresses the following questions:
How do I help students internalize new words?
How can I liven up my vocabulary instruction?
How do I scaffold vocabulary for all students?
How to implement Pump Up the Vocab in your classroom:
Identify a handful of key vocabulary terms.
As you are planning your unit, identify a handful of key vocabulary terms. Preview your curriculum and adoption materials to identify terms that are critical for students’ understanding of unit concepts. Select terms that will get the most bang for the buck in terms of future learning. Jot down notes about word parts, origin, and meaning of the term in the context of your lesson.
Quickly assess students’ familiarity with terms.
Show students the term, say it aloud, and have students repeat. Ask students to give you a response signal* such as Fist-To-Five to show their level of familiarity OR have them write or sketch what they think each term means.
Point out word parts and cognates.
Break down the words for students, leading them to analyze the roots and affixes to understand how these interact to create meaning. If the word is a cognate, solicit prior knowledge to help students make the connection between the Spanish term and its English counterpart. Point out false cognates that may lead students to misinterpret word meaning.
Provide a simple definition, example, and visual.
For each term, give students a simple, student-friendly definition and illustrate the meaning with a relatable example and visual representation.
Have students generate personal definitions, associations, examples and visuals.
Give partners a few minutes to work together to generate their own simple definition, association, and example then quickly draw a sketch or symbol. Have students consistently record their entries in the same manner, using a graphic organizer on an index card or in a vocabulary notebook or foldable.
Re-assess, post, and revisit new words.
Quickly re-assess students’ understanding of the terms through formative assessments such as response signals or Exit Tickets*. Keep terms visible and updated on Word Walls – include a visual (which can be student-generated) and a synonym or short definition. Create opportunities in future lessons to refer students to the word wall and apply their new vocabulary in writing and speaking.