Happy Spring everyone! We have Spring break here so I finally have time to finish a project. I have been working on this one for a while and have tried out a version of these vocabulary cards with my 4th through 6th graders. I seem to have quite a few students with low vocabulary this year. The Common Core State Standards put a strong emphasis on nonfiction, and informational text. If they have difficulty with vocabulary it affects their comprehension. The teachers are beginning to really notice with test preparation in full swing.
I had a student transfer in with a goal that referred to Tier II Vocabulary. I decided to investigated so I could address his goal. Tier II Vocabulary turned out to be those words that occur frequently in academic text. Students may find these words when reading Science, Social Studies and English text I wanted something that would make the most impact for my students and also have a way to track progress. I decided to make a list of words from Tier II vocabulary lists and then use them in the contexts of short paragraphs. This way I could also address comprehension and making inferences from text. There are two different activities. One involves describing the meaning of words and the other is answering comprehension questions. One set requires students to find the answers from given answers and the other is answering the questions and referring to the answers. The level of support can be quite flexible depending on how you cut and fold them.
The words used on my task cards are not a complete compilation and come from a variety of 3rd and 4th grade vocabulary lists. I used what made sense in the context of the paragraphs I wrote. I used a total of 106 words. A few are used more than once and cover multiple meaning. I now can write a goal for teaching Ter II Vocabulary to 80% and measure it. I love making data collection simple.
I made a trial set for you to try. It gives you an idea of what they look like up close.
If you find these fit your needs, there is a full set available on TPT, just click the button below.
I use Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking® curriculum with many of my students. One of the concepts that is explored in this curriculum is “I have thoughts about you and you have thoughts about me.” In other words, people are always thinking about each other and they may have comfortable or uncomfortable thoughts depending on their actions. This may affect how they treat individuals in the future. People want to be with people they are comfortable with and have good thoughts about. They may avoid those that don’t make them feel comfortable. Therefore being able to tell the difference between what is expected behavior in given situations and what is unexpected can help us when making and keeping our friends. You can find more information on her concepts at http://www.socialthinking.com/
I needed a good set of task cards to review actions that students may do or observe others do. You may find them useful if you are teaching from this curriculum. They are double sided with an unexpected behavior on one side and a matching expected behavior on the other side.
I put the cards in a draw bag. The students reached in and drew a card out, and placed it on the table. They then decided if the side facing up was an expected behavior or unexpected. They talked about how the actions make them feel. If the unexpected is presented first, students can talk about what they think the expected behavior would be on the other side.
Students checked their answers by using the Top Secret UV light which I got at our book fair. I put a U or and E in the box for them to check. There is also a QR code for those who would prefer to use a scanner. My students find this motivating and they can self check if they are working in small table groups.
The draw bag is an easy thing to make. I took a sleeve off an old sweater and sewed across the bottom. The cuff makes a nice finished opening and the bag is stretchy. It has got to be the easiest bag I have ever made.
In my TPT packet, there are 28 expected cards and 28 matching unexpected cards side by side. They are meant to be printed on card stock, cut on the horizontal lines and folded back to make a double sided card. I put a box on each card so I could write with my UV light pen a U or E in the box. Students can light the answer up. I also put a QR code for those who like that option. The QR code is from http://www.qrstuff.com/. When scanned it will read expected or unexpected to correspond to the side it is on.
I am putting 2 pages of the cards below for you to review as a freebie. If you like them consider getting the full set at TPT. Just click on the cover page button at the top for a direct link to the product. Your patronage covers the cost of this website and keeps it advertisement free, except for me I suppose. I am trying to keep the commercial aspect down and provide resources. I know most of us are on really tight budgets.
I have several students who are answering a how question with a why response. Our students with language delays, autism, and 2nd language learners often have trouble with these skills. “How” and “Why” questions are question forms that require a higher level of thinking and language skills to formulate responses. The students often need the ability to problem solve or take on another perspective when answering them. When looking through the Language Arts section of the “Common Core Standards” I discovered this would be a skill they would need. Like many of you, I am rethinking what is most valuable to my students as we try to align curriculum with the “Common Core Standards”. I made task cards to specifically address how and why question forms from a given text.
Students may require some direct teaching on the differences between how and why questions. How question have a few variations. It may require a student to tell how something is done in steps, how something is done descriptively, the amount of something, or state of being such as with “How are you feeling?”. The answer may contain an adjective or adverb.
Answering why questions often involves finding the antecedent or cause of an event. The answer recalls facts that happened before an event. For example the question “Why did the dog dig a hole?” He dug a hole because he smelled a bone under the ground. Compare this to the how question. “How did he get the bone?” He dug a hole with his paws and grabbed it with his mouth.
Answers to how question often relate an action and possible steps. These response can seem to be quite similar to a student. For instance, look at these questions and answers. “Why did the lights go out in the storm?” or “ How did the electrical wires get knocked down in the storm?” The answers, “The electrical wire was knocked down in the storm because a branch hit it.” and “A strong wind blew a branch off the tree and it hit the electrical wire which was torn down.” They seem interchangeable except the because is used in response to the why question and how elicits a series of events. Our language learners will shorten their response to, “A branch fell off the tree”, for both questions.
The packet I am posting on Teachers Pay Teachers has 30, 3 inch by 3 inch cards with 3 questions on most cards. In the packer there are 4 cards that deal with how many questions and amounts. 26 cards deal with the variations of how and why listed above. There are 17 cards that also contain a question on vocabulary within the story context. This provides opportunity for students to derive word meanings from the text and verbalize it. You can find them here or by clicking on the picture button at the top of the page which takes you to TPT and also gives a preview.
I made a free trial packet for my readers. You can get it by clicking on the button.
There are 3 pages of cards for a total of 9. You can see if they are something of value for your students. I have been using them with my 3rd through 6th graders. I try to keep the picture cues meaningful and appropriate for middle school range. I have a lot of boys and they don’t tolerate things that look cute. I make them double sided so they have possible answers available. This helps when I have groups and it is motivating for them to flip them over and see if they got it right.
Teachers Pay Teachers is having their Back to School Sale on Aug 4th and 5th. If you are waiting for the right time to get back to school materials, now is the time. Don’t forget to use the Promo code when you check out to get the full discount.
In a previous post I mentioned how I worked with students to recognize comments and questions and how they should make a reply. I made comment and reply cards last Spring. I have since updated them to include pictures. I’m putting a trial set here for my readers to try out. If they look like something you could use, the full set is on Teachers Pay Teachers.
We are coming to the end of the year and it is time to see how much progress my students have made. I have been working on new irregular past tense verb cards. My commercial cards have pictures that don’t reflect the past event and also have the printed word below. I end up hiding the written word when doing post testing which is annoying. I also find that students do not always generalize to other contexts. I wanted an activity the students could use after they have memorized the verbs according to the usual prompts of what happened today and yesterday and would be a better indicator of what they know. I made the cards so the past tense would be elicited within the context of answering a question. The cards may also be used for interpreting questions that use the words before, after, during, and while and used for making predictions. I usually have students working on different goals in the same session. The answers are hidden. Students can use a QR reader to get an answer. I have a UV pen I bought at a school book fair that I use to write answers in the blue boxes. The students find it motivating to self check their answers.
I am posting 3 of the pages so you can try them out. You can download them by clicking on the button..
The complete set is at TPT which you can reach by clicking the button below.