Home » Book Chats » Word Nerds Book Study

Word Nerds Book Study

Word Nerds

Sabra over at Teaching With a Touch of Twang has been hosting a book study on Word Nerds by Brenda Overturf, Leslie H. Montgomery, and Margot Holmes Smith. I read this book in ONE sitting. Could not put it down! The ideas and strategies are so practical and doable in the classroom. However, keep in mind that if you’re not already devoting part of your day to vocabulary instruction, you will need to carve out a chunk of time to begin. 🙂

You can read about it, and I think even preview it online, or buy a copy at Stenhouse. Here’s a little description of the book:

Word Nerds

Teaching All Students to Learn and Love Vocabulary

Brenda J. Overturf, Leslie H. Montgomery, Margot Holmes Smith

Word Nerds takes you inside classrooms at a high-poverty urban school and shows how two teachers implement creative, flexible vocabulary instruction that improves their students’ word knowledge and confidence, enhances classroom community, and increases achievement.

Here’s a study guide: http://www.stenhouse.com/assets/pdfs/wordnerdsguide.pdf

And here’s a video of 2 of the authors being interviewed: http://www.whas11.com/great-day-live/video/Teachers-write-Word-Nerds-about–201062181.html

My goodreads summary:

Now this is an AWESOME book about strategic vocabulary instruction. Not only does it offer strategies for teaching vocabulary, but it also gives you a 5 day plan and 10 day plan that you could follow if you wanted. Another practical PD book that I’m in love with.

Now let’s get started with my thinking on CHAPTER 7!! 🙂

Chapter 7-Spreading Vocabulary Wings

This chapter begins with the study of morphology which includes root words and affixes. This is an important part of the Common Core State Standards. The authors of this book call their activity-“Crystal Ball Words”. It’s an awesome activity that begins with 1 word and ends with about 41 words!!!!!!!!!! Wowza! Talk about expanding vocabulary! 🙂 Here’s the example from the book:

20130724-210059.jpg

They also talk about how explicitly teaching vocabulary not only adds vocabulary to a child’s knowledge bank, but it teaches them about the world as they make connections and inferences when reading texts.

I LOVE the “talk like rascals” activity where the teachers wrote “pirate talk” sentences on index cards, and the students had to work in groups to change them into “rascal talk” sentences that are more sophisticated. One example was:

“me cut rock with me tool”-pirate talk

“My chisel blazes through the rock like a swift runner”-rascal talk created by students

And of course they ended with a pirate vocabulary celebration!!!

Some books they mentioned as ones to extend vocabulary were 13 Words, Frindle, and The Boy Who Loved Words.

I just have to say that I’m in love with this practical book and all of the strategies and ideas they provide. I absolutely LOVE their Crystal Ball Words activity, and the “rascal talk” activity is great as well.

I’ve already devoted a small bulletin board in my 6th grade classroom to our EXPLICIT VOCABLUARY INSTRUCTION that is going to take place everyday!!!!!!!!!!!

Can’t wait to begin SPREADING OUR VOCABULARY WINGS!!!!!!!!! 🙂

5 thoughts on “Word Nerds Book Study

  1. Sounds GREAT!! I’ve been thinking about how I can change up my vocabulary lessons. Question: What does the book say about assessing vocabulary?

    • Cindy-

      The devote an ENTIRE chapter to assessment. They talk about formative and summative assessments. For formative assessments they use thumbs up-thumbs down, teacher observation, analyze student work, teacher questioning (oral) (and with use of whiteboards so they can question all students at once), and student generated questions about vocabulary.

      Their summative assessments (tests) are created to look similar to standardized tests with cloze fill in the blank and multiple choice items. They also teach their kids how to approach tests and have them create their own vocabulary tests after lots of modeling.

      They analyze the tests according to rubrics they’ve made up and actually reteach if they need to!! They chart student progress using a rubric form.

      This is an awesome book written by teachers!! Look it up on the website I listed. I think you might still be able to preview it online like the ENTIRE book!! 🙂

    • Sabra,

      Thanks! I’ve never done morphology but will now! Wish I could have kept up with the entire book study-this summer has been BUSY! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Musing Monday – Vocabulary Instruction | musings and motion

I love hearing from you. Let's have a conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s