Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Stenhouse Pub (February 13, 2013)
Available via Amazon
Teaching vocabulary is one of my favorite parts of the school day. I love words and I am personally passionate about them.
So, when I heard about Word Nerds I could not wait to get my hands on the book. Honestly, I read the book in ONE night…it was a long night but I was so into the book (the strategies, the plan) that my brain was in overdrive as I was reading.
Even after I was reading, I remember going to bed and taking a while to fall asleep…I just could not turn off the switch.
You may be wondering what makes this book so great. Below are my top takes and highlights:
1. Plenty of really practical vocabulary activities. I appreciated the opening which discusses and frames the book around research of vocabulary instruction (this is huge for me)
2. Easy to follow suggestions and guidelines
3. Connects vocabulary instruction to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Even though the strategies used in the book were created and applied before them, the book makes great connections many of the standards
4. Emphasizes the importance of
systematic vocabulary instruction
5. Shows how to effectively choose vocabulary words and the time/or cycle spend working with them
6. Clear and detailed routines for introducing and working with words (two approaches: one for primary grades and another one for the upper grades). This was my favorite part of the book!
7. Many printables included at the end (appendix)
8. Suggestions for assessment and extending vocabulary instruction
What does the vocabulary routine look like?
- Sentence predictions (a sentence with spaces where students may ‘add’ the words they think/believe go/make sense)
- Word predictions (make predictions about the ‘NEW’ words and here very rich conversations take place)
- Trying out the words (students try to figure out where each one of the new words go. In which sentence should each word go?)
- Vocabulary journals (using a modified version of the Frayer Model, students are given time to write down the word, a child friendly definition, a drawing, and writing a sentence with at least 7 words). The definition, and other info is provided by the teacher (NO dictionaries at this point)
- Add synonyms, antonyms (examples or non-examples)
- Student discussion
DAY 3-4 or 3-9 (depending whether you choose a 5 day or 10 day approach respectively)
- Other activities such as: vocabulary rings, vocabulary rap, word charades, word illustrations (elaborated), power point activities, celebration and teacher made test
Here is a GREAT Prezi presentation by Haley Reimer. It is another great detailed description of the book.
Overall, this book has made me take a closer look at the way I teach vocabulary and my brief review does not really covers all the AMAZING strategies and approaches discussed in there. I invite you to take a look, read some other reviews and try the book if you feel like vocabulary is an area you would like to improve. Word Nerds is a book I will keep close. (Remember, I am not compensated in any shape or form if you buy the book. If you can borrow it from a friend…go ahead and enjoy it).
What is your approach to vocabulary instruction? I would love to know.
*The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own. I have not been compensated by anyone including the publisher or any other distribution channel.