There's a wealth of research that shows the old traditional
vocab tests don't really have an impact on students'
vocabularies. The brain can't retain memorized definitions for
I try to enrich their language experience - I will use words in
my speech that they don't know and I explain them in the next
sentence. " We can't linger....long on this day. We can't take
our time with this project today."
As we read in our book, we encounter words we don't know and in
context. We go over those words. We occasionally play
vocabulary games like I give them a word they don't know and
they guess at the definition and then I tell them what it is.
Sometimes I'll give them a word and tell them the class gets a
point every time that week someone uses the word correctly.
"Ms. Smith does your car have a musty... smell?" "Excuse me, it
does not, but the class gets a point for you using musty
correctly even if you're wrong about my car!"
Language and its myriad words are fun - as I see it, if kids
aren't having a fun voyage of discovery with new vocab words,
then something's wrong. If we make learning vocab too mundane
and too staid, their brains don't really get much from it.