Vocabulary in the Content Area

March 17, 2007 at 4:23 pm | Posted in uncategorized | 16 Comments

What steps can we take to assist students who struggle with vocabulary to make up the deficit they have when they enter our class? 

Pick your top 2 vocabulary strategies and describe how you would use them in your content area?

Hannah, Sara, & Michael



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  1. I suppose the question refers to vocabulary strategies that are in our binders. I had to teach my first lesson during my first observation and I needed a quick introduction/ice breaking method to get me in the teaching zone. The only thing I could think of was the “Word Splat”. It was great – it allowed me to walk around the front of the class writing words on the board while I relaxed and got my “Center”. So that one worked great but it is not on the list.
    My favorites on the list are:
    1) Concept of Definition click here
    2) Frayer Model click here

    I think both of these models are great in that they get the students to think about vocabulary and go through the process of diagramming. Beyond that I think by having the students work together in groups they get to know one another. By getting to know their classmates they may overcome some of the awkward teenage problems.
    This is the real benefit of these strategies.

    I have noticed that high school has not changed since I left. There are still the cool kids, the shy kids, the beauty queens and all the different cliques. As a teacher I would want to knock downs these walls that separate kids. By doing this the students should be more open to learning content and learning vocabulary which is the foundation of content.

    I also think I could have used one of these strategies in a modified fashion during my first lesson. These tools help teachers start of the day with a calm assertive state of mind and get them into the “Teaching Zone”.

  2. When my students have trouble understanding vocabulary in the science classroom I will need to use different strategies to help the students know the meaning of important content words. Coopertaive group strategies can be helpful.

    As Christian said “Beyond that I think by having the students work together in groups they get to know one another. By getting to know their classmates they may overcome some of the awkward teenage problems.
    This is the real benefit of these strategies.”

    When the students work in groups to discuss unknown vocabulary, they can help each other in understanding what the terminology means. They will become comfortable discussing the words and content with each other which will help understanding.
    If I want to teach my students to understand the content, the foundation will be understanding the vocabulary we are reading, speaking, writing and hearing.

    As Paula H. said on the website
    Why Study Vocabulary? Why is a good vocabulary important?
    People judge you by your vocabulary. An impressive vocabulary makes an impression.
    So you can speak concisely and precisely.
    So you can better understand what you read and hear. When you don’t recognize a word in your reading, it depletes your understanding of the piece.

    I agree with Paula that a student needs to know the meaning of vocabulary in order to understand what she is reading or hearing in class. If the student does not understand the terminology, she will not be able to understand the content being taught. The student will not be able to progress in the content understanding. Vocabulary is best learned when reading how the words are used in the context. As the students read different sources to help in understanding of science content, I will use strategies to help students with unfamiliar vocabulary. When students use good vocabulary, they are able to better understand and think about the material.
    I would use concept cards to teach my students vocabulary they are unfamiliar with. The purpose of concept cards is to help the students learn vocabulary they are encounter in their reading. The cards are like flash cards so the students interact with the words. This will help them retain the meaning and be able to use the words in writing. I will tell the students to write down at least five words they are unfamiliar with in the reading.
    The students will write down the new word on the front of the card as they read different material. After the reading, the students will go back to the cards and on the same side write a sentence from the text that uses the new word. On the back of the card, they will write down the definition from the dictionary. The students will write characteristics, synonyms, ideas associated with the word and adjectives that describe the word. The students will write down examples of the words or provide small pictures. Finally the students will write a new sentence using the new word. I believe concept cards are a great way to find unfamiliar words, study the definition and use the word in their own sentences. I feel the students are not just memorizing a definition of a new word but working towards finding the definition, characteristics and an example of the word.
    I would also use a word meaning graphic organizer to help my students with new vocabulary. This graphic organizer can be use during and after reading. The students will think about the unfamiliar word and notice when and how the word is used. My students will work in small groups when working on the graphic organizer as the joint knowledge will help learn the meanings. Janet Allen described this on page 57 of her 1999 book, Words, Words, Words. I believe working in groups on the graphic organizer will be helpful as the students will discuss the words and help each other understand the meaning. The cooperative work group will get the students talking and involved with new word. I feel this interaction and communication will help in understanding instead of just looking at a dictionary and trying to memorize a definition.

    The students will write three to six words from the assigned reading that they are not familiar with.
    At the top of the paper, they will write down the target word. An example is from page 139 of the 2004 textbook, Subjects Matter, by Harvey Daniels and Steven Zemelman. There are eight boxes in the graphic organizer.
    The top box will be the target word. An example is exothermic.
    The box below the target word will be a sentence describing the “topic where word is found”.
    The box below that will be “parts of the word we recognize”.
    Next to this box is an example of the word.
    Below these boxes can be a box titled “so the word means”. This is a description of the word.
    There are three boxes at the bottom of this graphic organizer. The first box is titled “Why it’s important”, “where is the word used?” and “How it connects to other words”.
    I agree with the author’s Harvey Daniels and Steven Zemelman that this organizer will deepen the students’ thinking about the material. The students can work in groups, talking about the new words and use their joint knowledge to understand a word. The organizer will really get the students thinking about where the word is found, examples of the word, the meaning, where the word is used and how it connects with other words.
    On the website

    The Education Department Center, Inc. wrote
    “In providing vocabulary instruction teachers can help students by:
    Activating their prior knowledge
    Defining words in multiple contexts
    Helping them see context clues
    Helping them understand the structure of words, e.g., prefixes, roots, and suffixes
    Teaching them how to use a dictionary and showing them the range of information it provides
    Encouraging deep processing. Students need to integrate new words into their working vocabularies.
    Giving them multiple exposures
    Focusing on a small number of important words. “

    The use of concept cards and the graphic organizer will help my students see the context clues, help them understand the structure of words, teach them how to use the dictionary and encourage them to integrate words into sentences. These strategies will definitely prove useful in helping my students understand vocabulary and in turn understand the content being taught.

  3. As a teacher of struggling students, I have determined that when the students don’t understand the vocabulary, they can’t even attempt to solve the problems. My observation is supported by research and applies to more than just the struggling student.

    Vocabulary knowledge is as essential to learning mathematics as it is to learning how to read. In language arts, mathematical words conjure up graphic representations of the objects they label. But when it comes to abstract mathematical concepts, words describe activities or relationships that often lack a visual counterpart.

    Children learn mathematics best by using it, and understanding the language of math gives students the skills they need to think about, talk about, and assimilate new math concepts as they are introduced. ~Dr. David Chard.

    I plan on assisting the students in their education by using the vocabulary of a chapter as building blocks for student’s knowledge. After reading about the different vocabulary lesson plans and activities, I see how teaching vocabulary can be the day’s lesson or a part of the day’s lesson. In order to truly help the students, vocabulary usage needs to become a daily part of the student’s lessons. Vocabulary needs to be engaging and fun to learn. It also needs to be interactive with the content. Vocabulary can not be learned in a vacuum.

    One of my favorite strategies was the vocabulary tree. I love how visual it is. My students are given a vocabulary list and definitions of those words at the beginning of each unit. I don’t believe this is effective. My students rarely look at the list, don’t use the words, and don’t really understand what the definitions mean. However, if the vocabulary tree was used the students would be given a different way to look at vocabulary. I would also change this method a little. I don’t want the students to have all the vocabulary words at the beginning of the chapter. I want the vocabulary tree to be interactive and grow with the knowledge of the students. In order to do this, I would create a tree without the words on the branches. The words would have Velcro on them and as the students learned different parts of the unit, the tree’s branches would fill with words. I was also thinking that leaves could be added to the tree with examples written on them. This would also allow the tree to be used for more than one unit.

    I also really like the Word Meaning Graphic organizer. This vocabulary strategy gives the students a definition and also makes the students use the word to create a connection with the world around them. When the students are just given a word and its definition the word is not connected to the subject matter and doesn’t become part of the student’s vocabulary. The students need to actively use new vocabulary to integrate it into the subject matter and daily vocabulary. However, after rereading the example, I think that the amount of time it would take to create the organizers for all the vocabulary would be too great. In order to shorten the time needed, I would jigsaw the vocabulary. The students would be paired into groups and given one or two vocabulary words to work on. Paul hit the nail on the head when he said

    When the students work in groups to discuss unknown vocabulary, they can help each other in understanding what the terminology means. They will become comfortable discussing the words and content with each other which will help understanding.

    Students also have a way of teaching and understanding each other. Then the students would share that information with the class. I also think I would add in a section for the students to write the definitions in their own words.

    Math Vocabulary

  4. I agree with Paul. He sums up the purpose of all the vocabulary strategies.

    These strategies will definitely prove useful in helping my students understand vocabulary and in turn understand the content being taught..

  5. Teachers need to make vocabulary fun by reading stories, using technology to show struggling students tools available on the web, and most importantly, providing materials students can successfully read. Students with vocabulary deficiencies can and must be helped if they are ever going to keep pace with instruction. This is especially true in math, and can be accomplished with targeted help and consistent application of terms. Students well behind their peers can benefit from many of the books on math topics which introduce terms and concepts in a fun story or poetic form. Many of these books are available at lower grade level reading ability and are suitable for independent student exploration. Examples include Fractals, Googols, and Other Mathematical Tales by Theoni Pappas, Mathematicians are People, Too by Luetta and Wilbert Reimer, and Looking for Numbers by Dina Anastasio.
    Exploration of the many vocabulary games and activities available online at sites like:
    http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/jeather/maths/dictionary.html and
    http://www.math.com/school/glossary/glossindex.html can give students more ways to build vocabulary skills.
    Additionally, we would want to use graphic organizers to help students see connections between words and visualize examples. The vocabulary tree would be an excellent tool to use with a student deficient in vocabulary because it is readily expandable and can clearly present all the vocabulary on a given topic in a single representation.

    The next thing we need to do as teachers is actually teach the vocabulary with the content, and not leave it as an after thought. This will help all students, but is of particular value in preventing deficiencies in the first place. From page 246 of our text, Subjects Matter,

    Vocabulary should be taught directly and indirectly. Repetition and multiple exposures to vocabulary items are important. Learning in rich contexts, incidental learning, and use of computer technology all enhance the acquisition of vocabulary.

    For any given topic, providing materials at a variety of levels helps avoid the trap of bombarding students with loads of vocabulary they don’t understand.
    In the article from eduplace.com, Vocabulary Strategies for the Mathematics Classroom, Dr. David Chard presents four simple strategies essential for inclusion with every lesson:

    Pre-teach Mathematics Vocabulary,
    Model vocabulary when teaching new concepts,
    Use appropriate labels clearly and consistently, and
    Integrate vocabulary knowledge in assessments.

    Dr. Chard further states that

    preparing students with background vocabulary information at the start of a lesson better equips them to put that information to use. The lesson then serves to reinforce new words that stand for concepts as they are learned.

    Insistence on use of proper terminology is illustrated with an example about reciprocals,

    If the concept is described as “flipping fractions upside down” without using the mathematical label, students miss the opportunity to connect the right vocabulary word with the concept as they are learning it.

    Perhaps students with deficiencies have not had vocabulary properly presented to them or have been allowed to avoid it. We must not allow that trend to continue.
    Moreover, from our text, Subjects Matter, reading groups can be effective tools for handling vocabulary. As described on page 208, the role of vocabulary enricher –

    the lookout for especially important words – new, interesting, strange, important, puzzling, or unfamiliar words – words that members of the group need to notice and understand,

    is vital to staying ahead of vocabulary challenges.

    While the Vocabulary tree would be helpful for students with deficiencies through its visual representation and multi-sensory engagement, the Stephens Vocabulary Elaboration Strategy (SVES) and Concept Cards are my top 2 strategies. The SVES is adaptable for teacher led or collaborative group activities and helps students understand context of use, define meaning in their own words, list examples and non-examples, and develop appropriate graphic organizers. In algebra, this strategy could be used with the terms equation, identities, equivalent expressions, conditional equations, solving the equation, solutions (of an equation), and inequalities.

    The Concept Cards are similar to flash cards and help students look at words in context, use multiple ways to illustrate meaning and use of words, and can be readily used as study tools. They have great value with technical vocabulary and would be great for introducing algebraic concepts like Commutative property of addition, Commutative property of multiplication, Associative property of addition, Associative property of multiplication, and Distributive property.

    As noted in the literacy matters site (http://www.literacymatters.org/content/readandwrite/vocab.htm) revealed to us by Paul,

    Teachers can help students by
    Activating their prior knowledge and
    Defining words in multiple contexts

    and the final summation of the value of these strategies to which Christian heartily agreed,

    understanding vocabulary facilitates understanding of the content being taught.

    There are multiple vocabulary and pre-reading strategies available and so many ways to hook students – stories, poems, games, art, etc. – that we can get the language into the students’ vocabulary if we make it fun and engaging. By showing them early how to handle it, we can turn them loose on countless learning adventures.

  6. Vocabulary knowledge is obviously important in understanding any content area. As Renee L. Donohue states in “A case and strategies for vocabulary instruction,”

    A large portion of vocabulary is learned in context, but research concludes that if active instruction is not undertaken, students will be robbed. Both comprehension and fluency are affected by vocabulary knowledge. Understanding this vocabulary must be included across the curriculum.

    She also goes on to say,

    For comprehension to take place, it is necessary for students to have some prior knowledge of the subject matter and vocabulary because both are fundamental to comprehending text. Thus prereading vocabulary instruction enhances students’ ability to construct meaning from text.

    So from both of these quotes, it is incredibly important that students understand vocabulary across all content areas and it is our jobs as their educator to provide them with the methods and strategies to help them in understanding the vocabulary in our content area.

    I do think that the strategies we have learned so far are great tools for our classroom, but I also think that it is important to teach our students where and how to look for comprehension of an unknown word by using today’s technology. I cannot count how many times I have used wikipedia to gain more knowledge on a vocabulary word. Granted sometimes the vocabulary that is used on the site is difficult to understand, but there are great pictures, diagrams and real-life examples of the word. Even searching the word online at google can help gain understanding. With technology these days, it is important for us to keep up-to-date so we know when new sites or technologies become available that are really good at breaking down a word into terminology that students will understand.

    Other than the use of technology in aiding greater understanding of vocabulary, the textbook can be a great reference for students to use. I think the textbook scavenger hunt is a great idea to use during the beginning of the school year. At least students will know that the information is there and available where needed and it can be used as a reference later on.

    In terms of answering the question of how we can assist students who struggle with vocabulary understanding, it is important for us to be patient with those students, be understanding of their deficit, and make the learning process fun. Students know when they are behind and if we show them patience and strategies to better their vocabulary comprehension in a fun and interactive way, hopefully they will become more excited and involved in their learning process. Repeated exposure to terms is also key, like what Michael stated,

    Repetition and multiple exposures to vocabulary items are important.

    From personal experience, if I did not study terms or concepts repeatedly, they would have never “stuck.” The same applies to our students. By hearing a term once or twice, it will not “stick” when compared to those that are repeated multiple times.

    I think that my favorite vocabulary strategies are Concept Cards and the Concept of Definition Map. Paul does a great job in explaining how Concept Cards work. I think it is nice for the students to be able to use the vocabulary term in their own sentence to validate their own understanding of what it means. The examples and pictures are also useful. The Concept of Definition Map is helpful as it is a very visual way of understanding a word. It has space for the definition, examples, and the properties. Again, students are able to use their own words to describe the term and list their own “reminders” in the examples and properties to link it back to the meaning of the term.

    As everyone so far as stated, vocabulary development and their learning strategies are important. If I had used some of these strategies in high school, college would have been so much easier! I will definitely keep our binder and textbook handy when I get into my own classroom.

    Reference used:

  7. The literature tells us that even though we may be teaching a middle or high school class, chances are there will be several students in our classes who can’t read above a 5th or 6th grade level. Therefore, those of us in the content areas cannot simply assume our students will muddle through our classes with textbooks written for 12th graders and beyond. For these students struggling to make meaning out of the words, we need to EXPLICITLY teach the vocabulary. One approach is to pick out the most important vocabulary words in each unit right at the beginning of the unit. Students can use techniques such as the Concept Cards Paul previously discussed, to create definitions for crucial vocabulary in their own vernacular. One of the most powerful parts of the Concept Card is the nonlinguistic representation. The act of thinking up a way to draw a concept really forces the student to consider more than one way of looking at the topic/concept/word. I intend to post the most important words for each unit on a poster on the wall, along with student generated definitions. Teaching specific words before the students read the text can help them understand the text more fully. Plus, the literacy research indicates that students need to be exposed to words many times before the word can be ‘owned’ by the student (i.e. before they can be easily used in context and beyond). When the kids get confused in class about an important term, they can simply look to the “word wall” to look up the definition again.
    Another approach is to use pre-reading strategies with the text we ask our students to read. If nothing else, this will help them get more our of the text than they ordinarily could if they were left to their own devices. I’m particularly fond of the KWL chart mainly because the students are asked to take charge of their own learning right from the start, and because it helps them see the importance of the topic (i.e. the purpose for learning) right at the start.
    Another important vocabulary technique is to use questioning to help students generate information about different types of terms. In Math and Science many of the vocabulary words are more of a concept than a term that needs defining. As a result, there are many characteristics associated with the “term”. Robert Marzano et al. in the book A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works presents this questioning technique as a research-based method that gets results. An example he gives is for the term “CAT scan” the teacher would ask What is it? What is its purpose? What is it used for? Who uses it? This technique can be used during or after reading to help students make more sense out of the text. I have witnessed the effectiveness of this technique first-hand with my own elementary-school-aged children. When there is homework to be completed, they read as fast as possible just so they can be finished, with the result being a great lack of comprehension. I have sat with my daughter Emily and read a science article with her. When I asked her to summarize the article she had no idea where to start. However, when she remembered to use the worksheet her teacher had given her, there was a nice framework of questions that helped her access the material from start to finish.

  8. Over the past few days I have realized just how important vocabulary is. I have been grading the NYS mathematics exams. I hate seeing the number of points taken off for simply not using the correct word. The student may understand the concept nearly completely but use one wrong word and we need to take off points.

    Just a side note about the state and vocabulary: the state has a list of suggested mathematical language.

    After realizing just how important it is to know the vocabulary it means that much more trying to learn how to teach the students. I think the most important thing is for the teacher to use the correct words all the time, not just some of the time and not to use their own indirect phrase for the word.
    Beyond that I love the idea of concept cards. These would be a great reference when studying. I totally agree with Paul when he says that the students can interact with the cards. The students have to put some thought into it and therefore making it a more meaningful task. If I were to use these it would be ideal to start this at the beginning of a school year so that the student will have a collection to study from and to reference.
    The second idea I would like to implement and will implement when the appropriate unit comes is the vocabulary tree. So many times I like to represent these ideas using a Venn Diagram. This can be good to reinforce the Venn Diagram concept provided that they have seen it before and have a decent grasp on it. I think that the tree would provide students with a better understanding. I really like Andreas ideas about the leaves as examples. I have every intention of stealing that idea, thanks Andrea.

  9. Before taking this class when I thought of vocabulary I pictured lists of words with formal definitions. When I was in high school I remember my teachers giving me long lists of vocabulary words and the formal or “dictionary” definition of the word. We were inevitably asked to memorize these words and their definitions. Within a day or two we were then given a vocabulary quiz. A day or two after the quiz I would completely forget the words and the definitions we were asked to memorize.
    This example is obviously not what we want from our students. When we say we want to enhance or add to our students’ vocabulary we really want our students to know and understand the vocabulary words. We want our students to be able to use the vocabulary words in the proper context. Eventually we want our students to see the vocabulary words and instinctively know what the word means and how to use it.
    In high school I wasn’t exposed to the words repeatedly. As Michael, Sara, and Cathy all wrote multiple exposures to a new word is very important for student comprehension. The old standby vocabulary list just doesn’t work.
    I completely agree with what Andrea wrote,

    In order to truly help the students, vocabulary usage needs to become a daily part of the student’s lessons. Vocabulary needs to be engaging and fun to learn. It also needs to be interactive with the content. Vocabulary can not be learned in a vacuum.

    Teachers need to consistently use the proper words when instructing our students. I am also a firm believer in making our lessons fun and interesting. What student is going to want to pay attention to a boring lesson.
    One problem we teachers may have is actually recognizing the words that students might have trouble understanding. To us many words like; weight, mass, substance, compound, force, exothermic, ect.., are common to us but to a student these words can be very confusing. That’s why I like Paul’s idea of having students write down at least five words they are unfamiliar with as they complete their reading. This eliminates the problem of us teachers not recognizing words that may cause students problems.
    Teachers should also keep in mind the multiple learning styles when teaching vocabulary. Not all students are successful with a lecture-based classroom. Students with learning disabilities have an especially difficult time learning in a lecture only class. Check out the article, “Teaching Science to Students with Learning Differences” on the NSTA website http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_teacher.php?news_story_ID=53487.
    The author Marcee Steele gives many good strategies for teaching students with learning disabilities.
    The Two strategies I would implement in my class are the Frayer Model and the word meaning graphic organizer. I could use the Frayer Model for all vocabulary words. I like the Frayer Model because it includes not only the definition of the work but, examples, non-examples, and a picture. Plus it doesn’t look like it would be that time consuming for students, so I could have the option to have students work in groups or independently.
    Like Cathy wrote,

    In Math and Science many of the vocabulary words are more of a concept than a term that needs defining.

    I really like the word meaning graphic organizer for the words that are more of a concept. This really helps students break a concept down and put it in their own words. If I were using a graphic organizer I would have students work in groups, because this strategy is very time consuming.
    Using either the Frayer Model or the word meaning graphic organizer I would have students make posters of their vocabulary words to hang around the class. As we all agree consistent, repeated exposure is very important in helping students comprehend new terms/concepts.

  10. Vocabulary is vital to the understanding of many different subjects, especially the sciences. It is important for students to understand science vocabulary to be successful in both their current science and future science classes. Science generally builds upon itself; therefore, in order for students to understand upper level science, they must have a good science foundation. Much of this foundation comes from having a good science vocabulary. In college, professors often expect students to have this vocabulary foundation and will not spend anytime explaining terms.

    As Paul put it, “If the student does not understand the terminology, she will not be able to understand the content being taught”

    Students who fall through the cracks in terms of vocabulary will have a disadvantage in later science classes. Also, just looking at the list that the state gives us for the regents
    (http://teacherweb.com/NY/Arlington/Siebert/vocabulary-abc.doc) we can see how much vocabulary our students are expected to learn. If you do not understand a vocabulary term in a question, even if you understand the process, you cannot answer the question!

    As teachers of adolescents we will be faced with students who are already behind and struggling with vocabulary

    “it is important for us to be patient with those students, be understanding of their deficit, and make the learning process fun.” -Sara

    As Sara stated, patience and understanding are necessary for helping students who are behind in vocabulary. Also, using certain vocabulary strategies could help stop these students from continuing to fall behind. I feel that the best vocabulary strategies are those that logically organize the vocabulary and put it into the context of the entire topic.

    Of all the strategies we looked at several really stood out for science education. The Frayer model would fit nicely into any science class. The use of concept cards does not simply give a term and a definition; they also show the terms relationship(s) with other terms and topics. You can also adjust the model so students are drawing diagrams or flow charts on their cards. This will give students an organized and comprehensive way to study vocabulary for each test and the regents.

    Here is and example of the Frayer model:


    Another strategy I am fond of is the Semantic Feature Analysis. This would be a good way to help students make connections between concepts. They will not only see what feature a vocabulary word has, they will also see its connection to other words. This would be particularly useful for topics like ecology. Students can see the relationships between mutualism, parasitism, and predation etc.
    Here is an example of how to use it in a science framework:

    Putting vocabulary into a larger framework of understanding will increase the likeliness for students to remember it. Both of these techniques achieve this.

  11. I think that there are a lot of different things we can do for our struggling students. Each student is going to learn vocabulary differently so we need to be able to teach our students in many ways. I agree with Paul’s research that said, “Vocabulary is best learned when reading how the words are used in the context.” I would have my struggling students read math literature. Even if the literature is just math picture books they will still read the vocabulary and learn what it means. I also have a CD that has song that talks about vocabulary and their meanings. The link to buy the CD is http://www.songsforteaching.com/guffee/mathspeak.htm. I know that for some people learning a song is a lot easier then memorizing a list of vocabulary words.
    I also think that expecting that the students do not have a good vocabulary will help the students. If you think they do not know what things mean then you will explain them when they come up in your lessons.
    I agree with Andrea when she said that vocabulary learning has to be a daily activity. I think that I will start a list somewhere in my classroom of all the vocabulary words that we use in class. To make the students involve with this I will have them tell me what words should be on the list.
    I really like the websites that Michael posted. They seem very user friendly and I feel like I could use them in my class.
    In the school that I currently teach in, we basically have the same students from grade 7 to 12. We have them keep a math glossary. They start it in grade seven and add new words each year. This is very helpful with retention also. A website that I have use to get math vocabulary is http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/3-8/pk-8glossary.doc this is the New York State Education Glossary for Math.
    One of my favorite vocabulary strategies in the textbook is the vocabulary tree. The vocabulary tree links groups of words together. The textbook example is about polynomials and all the parts of polynomials, its very organized and easy to read. This also helps the students connect words to each other; this helps them when they are reading problems. If a student does not know what polynomials are when they read the question they might remember the tree and think of other words on the tree and be able to figure out what a polynomial is and then answer the question. I would use this in my classroom at the end of a unit where I am wrapping up everything and showing the students how everything connects. Some of the topics that I can use this with are quadrilaterals, polynomials, fractions, and radical numbers.
    My second favorite vocabulary strategy is the concept cards. I think that theses are an amazing idea. I know that when I was in high school and even in college I would make flash cards to help me learn my vocabulary. The concept cards are good because the students can use them to study but they also give more information than just the definition. I would make my own topics of the cards. The one thing I would have is a picture of the word and also how they have seen it being used. I would use this during a unit. I would have them create a concept card when we learn a new concept. This way they can study for the tests and for the midterm or final. This would especially help for freshman not taking the regents until the middle of their sophomore year.

  12. Test with bold

  13. Test with italics

  14. Not Working

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