Word Association Tasks for Teaching Vocabulary

7 Jul

It’s time to talk about strategies for teaching vocabulary again. Vocabulary is the cornerstone for most of what is taught in our schools and is important at every level. Studies have shown that a good vocabulary is a good indicator of success in the classroom.

Students acquire vocabulary best if they are taught through activities that allow them to think about the words rather than just memorize the definitions. Figuring out the similarities and differences in word meanings is a good way to study and retain the information.

My word association task cards are based on this principal. I made this post to tell you about additional features that are now included. If you have purchased the task cards in the past, you now have additional access to EASEL on Teachers Pay Teachers. This gives you two instructional methods. You have the option of two sided task cards that can be printed out and used as flash cards or a digital activity. The digital activity is a multiple choice activity which gives immediate feed back.

The already prepared digital activities are available with individual sets and as part of the bundle. Below are screen shots of the Animal and Household sets to give you an idea. All 3 sets are similar.

If you have purchased these in the past, go check out the new features. If it looks interesting to you, follow the link to see the Preview. You save by purchasing the bundle.

TPT link

Comprehension of Complex Sentences EASEL Update

12 May

    

As you probably know, I like using task cards and have many on this site. EASEL on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) opens up new possibilities for how task cards can be presented to students. I recently took a course on TPT on using the new features on EASEL. I have been updating some of my products so they specifically use some of the new features such as, movable pieces, multiple choice answers, and immediate feedback. If you have previously purchased some of the task cards I bring you Good News. You can use them on the TPT site without making another purchase. The EASEL digital download is part of the old products. When you make a purchase you are now getting two products; the task cards to be printed on cardstock and the digital version created by the seller, me. I will continue to do upgrades so make sure you take a frequent look at your previous products.

     Today, I want to review a recent update of Comprehension of Complex Sentences. For those who are not familiar with my original set of cards, Comprehension of Complex Sentences consisted of cards  targeting words  used in complex sentences that throw off the meaning for our students who are language  learners.  Words are presented within the context of a short paragraph, two to four sentences in length. A question is then asked targeting specific words. Words specifically targeted  include; neither/nor, either/or, instead, usually, unless, if/then, except, both, after, before, while, when, any, until, during, although. Prepositions  such as first, last, between, and middle that indicate a position of individuals are also included.  I’ve included a few screen shots of the student view on EASEL.

movable pieces, student view
student view using self check feature

As you can see the the EASEL version is similar to the original task cards but have some increased capabilities. I hope you take this opportunity to check it out especially if you have already purchased the task cards in the past.

TPT link
TPT link

Update on Before and After Picture Cards

23 Apr
Before  and After cover

This post may look somewhat familiar to you. I am bringing it back up to the top to make you aware of changes occurring to my products on Teachers Pay Teacher (TPT), in particular the Before and After Picture Cards. You may be aware that TPT has a program called EASEL that allows purchasers and authors of Teacher Pay Teachers products to create and use products on digital devices. New features have been added such as movable pieces, color choices, writing, text, and uploading of pictures, clipart, and videos. Teachers can create their own lessons from the products or use ones that teacher authors have created. As a start, I updated my Before and After Picture Cards. If you have purchased these cards you will now have access to a pre-created digital version using features of EASEL from the TPT site.

You may have bought Before and After Picture Cards in the past to be used as flash cards. At that time I suggested using a “Top Secret UV Pen” (often found at book fairs) to write the answers before or after in the blue boxes. Students could light up the answers with a pen light and some found this very motivating.

Now, you will continue to have the ability to print and cut the cards out, but in addition teachers can use the EASEL feature to assign lessons to students through EASEL. I prepared the Before and After cards for you to try out. Students will have the ability to drag the words Before and After to the appropriate spots on the cards. They will not need the fine motor coordination to write the words out. When students have completed the assignment they can turn it in digitally to be reviewed and corrected by the teacher.

I also updated the EASEL version of Sentence Sequences for Complex Sentences. If you purchased this activity in the past, you will also have access to the EASEL version. The digital version gives instant feedback when the students make answer choices. Go try it out.

Click below for a direct link to my store The Spontaneous Speech Spot

One Cut Book on Bean Growth Cycle

1 Mar
One Cut Book Bean Growth Cycle
Growth Cycle of Beans

The days are getting longer, it is getting warmer, and thoughts of planting a garden come to mind. It is a good time for students to plant seeds and watch them grow. I made a one cut book to help show the sequence and introduce the vocabulary for the activity.

bean pod
Green Beans

The project may look familiar to you because the book uses the same template as a previous one on the development of a butterfly. It folds up the same and only needs the printed booklet and a pair of scissors.

To complete the activity, students plant seeds in a plastic bag or cup of dirt and watch their mini gardens grow. They can observe seeds as they sprout and grow a stem, roots and leaves. They can use their booklets to label the parts. Plant extra seeds so you can uncover seeds along the way to see their progress. Make sure you plant a few extras for students in case they get a bean that doesn’t sprout in their container. We don’t want any disappointed students.

Making the plant booklet would be a good activity to do before students start planting. I am providing a free down load for the booklet. You can print out what you need for your students. Please refer people back to this site for the download and do not use for commercial purposes. Use it with your students when planting those bean seeds. They can then follow their plants progress. The free download contains the book and complete directions as pictured below. It only requires folding and one scissors cut. You can get the free download by clicking on the yellow star below.

Happy Planting!

free download
One Cut Book/ Plant from a Seed

Valentine Social Group Activity

10 Feb

Many schools have returned to in classroom instruction so there is opportunity for social interaction. Students need this now more than ever. Some classrooms celebrate Valentine’s Day with group activities and would benefit from a themed version. This activity is a way to celebrate the holiday and still have a learning experience with your social skills groups. It is the same as Trial and Error Pass except with Valentine clipart. I am making it a FREE download activity to celebrate our ability to be social. It is presently on my Teachers Pay Teachers store and you will be able to download it free until the end of February. There is a link at the bottom of the post.

This activity requires students to use a trial and error method of problem solving. This is quite difficult for some students who want success on the first attempt and have difficulty when they fail. This activity reinforces the idea that mistakes are not necessarily bad and can be used for learning. It also teaches students to work together toward a common goal. The solution will be found by observing the mistakes of everyone and it would be very difficult to succeed individually. It also requires students to use their short term memory and make inferences to predict the pattern.

This activity can be used with small groups of students, two competing teams, or with one or two students. The object of the game is to cross the grid in 6 moves stepping on the correct sequence of images.

Valentine TandEgrid
Trial and Error Grid

A judge, who could be a student or teacher, is selected. The judge takes one of the pattern cards that will be the solution to the stepping pattern. A student begins the challenge by stepping on one of the cards in the first row and moves one row ahead for each step. As the move is made the judge indicates if it is the correct one by saying right or wrong move. If a buzzer is available that can be used for the wrong step. There are some buzzer sounds available on apps for electronic devices that students really enjoy using. If it is the right step the student continues to move forward. If it is the wrong step the person returns to the start or the end of the line and waits for another turn. Students can watch the attempts of others until they get to the front of the line again. The students may notice that a pattern is developing as students discover the correct moves. This will speed up the progress until someone finally makes it across. The students should be reinforced for working as a team and not make it an individual competition to make it to the finish.

free download
click here for link to TPT and free download