Oh- vocabulary! Third grade is such a crucial time to build and expand students vocabulary. They take the writing STAAR test in fourth grade and a few "colorful words" can help them get more points... if used correctly...!!
I haven't always loved teaching vocabulary. I wasn't sure how to do it effectively and hold the students accountable for not only defining them but actually using them in their writing and speaking. That all changed when I found an AMAZING vocabulary chart with cards at the Teacher Store and the ideas just started flowing (with the help of pinterest, of course)!!
You can also find this on www.reallygoodstuff.com
On Mondays there is a new word in our "Word of the Week" Chart. The comic and definition is not up yet. One part of their warm-up on Monday is to define the word of the week by looking it up in the dictionary and drawing their own comic using it correctly. After we check it and share I put up the definition and the comic. It stays there for the rest of the week for the kids to constantly see.
On Tuesdays when they come in I give them a "colorful card" and they write the word of the week down, it's part of speech, the definition and use it in a sentence. They then add their card to their ring of "Colorful Words" that they keep in their writing portfolios.
These cards stay in their writing portfolio so they can refer back to them while writing. If they use one of their colorful words, they can use a colorful pen (idea from pinterest!) to write it when they publish. I love how colorful their published papers look- it is easy for me to see and monitor their use of the words. Plus it is encourages them to use colorful words so they can write in pinks, greens and oranges!
At the end of the week I put the word and it's definition up on our word wall,
so they still continue to see it all year long.
If I hear them using the word of the week correctly I always give them a "whammie" (a sticker to go towards earning coupons or other prizes) and praise to encourage other students to do the same. By the end of the year their "Colorful Words" ring is completely full and so it their vocabulary!!
Happy Teaching Friends!!!