Thursday, May 1, 2014

Vocabulary Tutorial #2: Brain Buddies & Partner Talk FREEBIE!

Vocabulary Strategies - Apple Tree Learning

Educators have known for years that deep vocabulary knowledge must come from much more interaction than just looking up words in the dictionary. Ahhh... memories of 1982.  :)

In fact, research has proven that classrooms and students should create their own definitions to truly learn in-depth meanings.

AcademicVocabulary - create definitions

One of the best strategies for students to gain academic vocabulary knowledge is to SIMPLY TALK!

I like to incorporate this strategy with BRAIN BUDDIES.  This strategy can be used with just about any subject area, topic or student expectation.  

Brain Buddies with academic vocabulary words works like this:

  • Buddy up students (I like for students to keep the same buddy for about 2 weeks ~ just enough time for them to really feel comfortable, but not too comfortable)
  • Students should be sitting beside each other (I prefer to have them sit on the carpet)
  • Share the academic vocabulary word on a large card that you will keep on display throughout
    Vocabulary Instruction
    the following weeks
  • Ask students to think about what they know about the meaning of the word
  • After having some think time, tell students to whisper to their partner what they believe the word means
  • Take suggestions aloud from the Brain Buddies and discuss
  • Next, draw an illustration of the word
  • Have students explain to their partner how the illustration represents or connects to the academic vocabulary word
  • You will want to give your students numerous opportunities to share and practice the words with their partners.... draw pictures, act them out, use them in sentences, etc.

Brain Buddies is one of my most used strategies.  You can use Brain Buddies for just about anything.

My teacher friend, Mrs. Lott, is an amazing Kinder - 5th grade Title 1 Reading teacher on my elementary campus.  She shared a handout with me, "Ways We Can Partner Talk" that she found on Pinterest.  Trying to give credit where credit is due, I tried to locate the original author of Partner Talk.  

I found the same thing on Pinterest in about 20 different ways...from about 20 different people.  I did retype the sheet because it was a little fuzzy, had a typo, and I wanted to change it up just a tad.  

Improve vocabulary instruction

Here is a FREE link to the document:  Ways We Can Partner Talk FREEBIE.
Ways We Can Partner Talk
How do you encourage students to practice and discuss new academic vocabulary words?  I would LOVE to hear from you.

Encouraging a LOVE of learning and thinking.