2 Ways to teach new vocabulary that make the words stick to the brain:
It seems that with the mile-long list of standards I have to crunch in each quarter, vocabulary often gets the back seat. One of my personal teaching goals for the year is to include more vocabulary instruction, instead of randomly throwing words and definitions at them.
Research from Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Comprehension recognizes the regression in tests scores due to teachers teaching vocabulary by:
1. Writing the word several times
2. find the definition
3. Use the word in a sentence
I remember doing these three in school myself. The research must be right because I don’t remember the words.
Two things that have helped make vocabulary words “sticky” for students (they stick to the brain and the kids actually remember what they mean and how to use them) are: Relevance and Relationships.
Relavance: Students have to connect the word to something that they alreay know. Students have to be able to put the word in a folder of their brian that already exists. This way its not floating around without a home.
Relationships: The brain must be able to see a pattern. As learners, we crave patterns. When students see the relationship of a word to another it becomes sticky.