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Unit-Based Studies, or Mental Warm-Up?

 
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chan58



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 18
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:54 pm    Post subject: Unit-Based Studies, or Mental Warm-Up? Reply with quote

We begin each school day with a mental warm-up vocabulary exercise. In one corner of the classroom there is a standard Webster's. Each child goes in turn to open it to a page and point to a word.
Teacher uses some discretion in word selection, as there is always a better word choice near where they have actually pointed.
This word often becomes the starting point for some unit-based study. I may be using the term incorrectly (enlighten me if I am), but basically what I mean is we branch off from there into all kinds of discussion and activities.
For example, maybe the word is "Confidence", and we might use this as a way to explore self-esteem and do a confidence-building activity. Or recently one of the words was "Ideal", and we spent a lot of time making lists of ideal things - like ideal things for a picnic. Then we divided those things into categories on the blackboard, like "Weather Conditions", "Location", "Games", "Guests", "Foods", etc. Then we spent some time drawing our "Ideal" picnic.
This concept can really be much more effective with just a little planning, which I rarely do. But it seemed to me that with a little forethought the night before, you could select some words that you could almost build an entire lesson-plan around.
Another thing we do with this vocabulary exercise is award "kid bucks" when they use the words correctly in everyday conversation. With these kid bucks, they get to buy toys at the toy store.
Bribery? Hey, it works. Wink
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chan58



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 18
Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Replying to my own posts is a natural - my wife points out that I talk to myself all the time.

Just wanted to point out that the boys RARELY remember their words when we review them the following day. I'm not too pressed about it. I figure its a worthwhile exercise, and I know they'll remember the word when they hear it in context in a conversation.

I have noticed that the words "stick" a little better when we act them out somehow. The only problem with this is that when you ask them the meaning of one of these vocab words, they will answer by simply acting it out. Anytime I want a laugh I just ask them the meaning of the word "Panic"!
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ffsnuff



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Georgia

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:35 pm    Post subject: Making Vocabulary "stick" Reply with quote

I have a suggestion to make the vocabulary words stick, It was share with my by another homeschooler. Pay your kids everytime they use the word during the day!
Of course this can get costly if you have more than one, but it can be modified.
My friend gives her daughter a quarter, every time she uses one of the vocabulary words their working on during the course of the day.

You could adapt this, lets say 10 cents, or 25 with a cap. And tell them the sentence has to make some sense....

Budgeting skills and vocabulary all in one pop!
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Paul
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that the vocabulary that my wife and I use in the household becomes the vocabulary that my children use. Two of my daughter's early words ( at 12 - 13 months ) were "suboptimal" and "decapitate". More to the point, she used them correctly.

In fact, I had my nose rubbed in the ability of children to sponge up words recently. A word, unused in our household except in a minor anacdote ocasionally retold was played against me in Scrabble ... xarf on a triple word score ... leading to 48 points in my child's favor. Oh ... our house rule in both Scrabble and Upwords is that if you play the word, you must give able to give a definition for it to score.

Paul
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