Word Nerds Book Study

Word Nerds

Sabra over at Teaching With a Touch of TwangΒ 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. πŸ™‚

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 NerdsΒ 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:Β http://www.stenhouse.com/assets/pdfs/wordnerdsguide.pdf

And here’s a video of 2 of the authors being interviewed:Β 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!! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚ Here’s the example from the book:


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 wroteΒ “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!!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

Uploaded vocabulary

I might spell this entire post incorrectly because my eyes are crossed from doing these vocabulary words and uploading them! πŸ™‚

All of the units (1-6) vocabulary word cards have been uploaded for Reading Street. Whew….

Somebody has already suggested I do a cloze vocabulary activity for each week-if you have any other things that you want me to do (try) just leave me a comment!, e

This is what’s in the works for the near future: powerpoints for each week (more like a teacher guide to keep you on task) πŸ™‚ and a week at a glance sheet for you to be able to see the STUFF that you need to cover, etc.

I hope everyone is able to use some of this stuff! πŸ™‚

Coming Soon to a Post Near You: Vocabulary Cards

My next project for the Scott Foresman Reading Street Resources for 6th grade will be Vocabulary Cards for all of the vocab. words in each story. Keep checking back often-they will probably be finished and uploaded about this time next week. I’m really being optimistic here! πŸ™‚

On a sidenote, I have a teacher who can’t seem to open the trifold discussion documents sooooo…… I also have plans to convert these to pdf documents so that nobody will have any problems. And I’m being REALLY OPTIMISTIC-they might be done about this time next week, too!!!

I’m about to head to the AEA Leadership Conference (and board meeting) down in Mobile, AL (LOVE LOVE LOVE Mobile) for the remainder of the week so I don’t think I’ll get much done until afterwards.

I’ll still be posting my book a day challenges (thinking about loading up some picture books to take with me AND I just downloaded 3 books to my kindle!!! ) so “HAPPY READING”! πŸ™‚

Vocabulary Word Wall

A few months into this school year I talked with a 4th grade teacher in my school district about the different things she was doing in her classroom with the Scott Foresman Reading Street program that we are in the 3rd year of using. One of the things that I “borrowed” from her is an idea on how to emphasize the vocabulary for each story. There are usually about 4-7 vocabulary words with each story. After introducing them at the beginning of the unit(story) I write them on sentence strips and give 1-2 words to each group. They have to discuss the meaning of the word, make a sentence with the word, and state what part of speech the word belongs to. We then share as a whole class. NOTE: I always make them use a sentence that would help the reader/listener know the meaning of the word (I encourage complex sentences). πŸ™‚ We then put the word cards on our “Parts of Speech” word wall. Here are a couple of pictures of what our word wall looks like this year.