Category Archives: Vocabulary

Word Cloud Alphabet Book

I found this example on KB Connected.  You can see more examples and find the link to Mr. Zetterberg’s site on her blog post.  This idea could easily be modified for higher grades or more advanced students by using more challenging words or asking them to create their own books.

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Word Sort

Word Sort is one of the many “brain games” offered by Lumosity.  In this particular one, cards are revealed one at a time.  Each card has a word on it, and the player must determine whether or not the card “follows the rule”.  At first, the player has to randomly guess, but should soon see a pattern in the words that fall into the rule-following pile.  Once the player is able to correctly classify 6 words in a row, he or she is eligible for the next level.  This is a good game for practicing vocabulary and logical reasoning.  It would also be  a neat idea to extend it further for higher level students by asking them to create their own games with words from the curriculum.

The Learning Network – NY Times

According to its website, “The Learning Network provides teaching and learning materials and ideas based on New York Times content.”  Although the site is designed for students who are 13 or over, I have found many lessons that can be adapted to my elementary level Gifted and Talented students.  The site includes lesson plans with links to related stories in the New York Times, as well as news quizzes and crossword puzzles.  I find the “Student Opinion” section to be a treasure chest of engaging questions that can help students connect themselves to the real world.  The “Poetry Pairings” section is also intriguing.  The site is a great resource for teachers, and gives teenagers a voice and a place to see how the news relates to them

Mensa for Kids

This site offers resources for teachers and parents, as well as games, activities, and contests for kids who like challenges.  I like the “Living Poetically” challenge, as well as the “Excellence in Reading Award”.  In the games section, there is a neat “Family Crossword” that is updated twice a week.  It includes clues for kids and for adults, so families can participate together.  The “Word Roundup” is a fun way to learn new trivia and vocabulary, and there are several math games as well.  According to Mensa’s website, Mensa for Kids just won the 2011 APEX Grand Award in the category of Electronic & Video Publications (Nonprofit/Small Office subcategory). With its treasure trove of lesson plans and entertaining activities, I can certainly see why!

Guess the Wordle

What a Great Idea!Whether you use the Wordle riddles that “Jen” has created, or set off to make some of your own, this is a great concept that integrates technology with practically any topic you are learning.  You could use your Wordles to introduce a topic or to review something that has already been taught.  You could have students create their own Wordles that others need to guess.  One of the cool, and quite simple, features on this site is the way that she embedded the Wordles in her blog so that when you roll over them the answer appears.  This can be done when you add the alternate text to a picture you are inserting in your blog or website.  Of course, Wordle is not the only site that creates word clouds.  Tagxedo is another fun way to make these, and allows you to format them to different shapes.

Teacher Book Wizard

This site, produced by Scholastic, is a nice tool to use in helping teachers to select books.  It includes leveled searches based on the “Level System” your school uses.  Another nifty feature is the “Book Alike” search, which allows you to look for books which are similar to certain ones the student already likes.  For the latter, the teacher can even use a toggle switch to indicate whether to search for books at an easier, harder, or equivalent level to the book cited.  A Book Wizard widget can be added to your website or blog for students and parents to utilize as well.

 

 

Vocab Ahead

Vocab Ahead would be an appropriate site for gifted students from 3rd grade and up.  English/Language Arts teachers of secondary students would also be interested in using this site.  It is designed to prepare students for the SAT and ACT tests.  However, anyone who is interested in advancing his or her vocabulary skills would enjoy the free features on this site.  After registering, a teacher can design individualized lists of words.  Students can view short videos using the words in context, practice learning them with flash cards, and take quizzes.  The customized lists can be embedded into a teacher’s website or blog.  In addition, students can create their own videos for words that can be uploaded to the site.  For this reason, I would advise the teacher to preview any of the videos he or she chooses to add to a list.