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

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

Tier II Vocabulary Task Card Challenge 3

23 Nov
Tier II Challenge 3 Cards Cover

Take a look at my latest set of Tier II Vocabulary Task Cards. Challenge 3 is written using words off 7th and 8th grade vocabulary lists. If you have used the Challenge 1 and 2 cards using lower level vocabulary, these are similar. Words are presented in a short paragraph and students complete word meaning and comprehension tasks. I have included a free sample in this post for you to try out. Scroll down to find the free download.

The cards are flexible for a variety of teaching situations and student ability levels. I always liked materials that I could tweak for different learning styles and students don’t appear to be getting something completely different from their peers. I think the instruction sheet below, included in the download, best explains the different options available.

The full set of task cards are on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT). You can assign them to individual students digitally on their EASEL platform. This allows for paperless teaching if you wish. You can also download and print them out on cardstock. They can then be used with individual students for home work or in learning centers. 126 words are covered in 20 cards/slides. A variation of the 20 cards using the same words means there are 40 cards/slides total. The free sample provides the word list used.

click here for free sample.

If these cards work for you and your students, you can purchase the whole set at my store “The Spontaneous Speech Spot”. Click below for a direct link to the full set.

Summer Games For Speech

26 Jun
Summer game toys

Summer is here and thankfully we are getting back to normal for summer play. The age old question may be coming up now. “What can I do?” Take advantage of that boredom to review language concepts. Students may be interested in participating in their own Summer Olympic Games. Just go into that toy closet and bring out the beach or nerf balls, balloons,  pool noodles, frisbees, and jump ropes  for some fun. Students won’t even know they are reviewing concepts at the same time.  These items can be adapted for almost any ability level.  Here are some ideas I have used in the past.

For a game of badminton, tie a jump rope between two chairs, trees, or poles to make a net.  Use the pool noodles to hit a balloon over or under the net in a game of balloon badminton. Review vocabulary such as over, under, beneath, high, and low. Best of all, the noodles won’t hurt anyone who is accidently hit in the enthusiasm. Also the balloons are slower moving for individuals who need a slower pace. Make sure you have back up balloons for when they break.

Take a few of the noodles and bend them in an arch. Fasten them to the ground with dowels, sturdy sticks or lawn stakes. Use the center holes in the tubes to fit over the sticks after you pound them into the ground. Make a course similar to the one used in a game of croquet. Use other noodles to hit nerf balls or balloons through the arches. The dog may even let you use his frisbee. Count how many hits it takes to get through the course and use comparison vocabulary such as less, least, more, and equal.

pool noodle arch

Make circles with the pool noodles by joining two ends. with a dowel. Fill juice or milk jugs with water to make good sturdy targets for a ring toss. Practice throwing the circle or hoops around the jugs as you would at a carnival. Use distance vocabulary such as close, further, near, and far.

noodle ring

Fasten rings to chairs, trees, and poles with bungee chords, or tape. Make an air golf course. Use straight noodles to hit balloons through the hoops. This may not work with a breeze but you can change to nerf balls or a frisbee You can also switch it up by throwing the noodles like spears through the hoops. Review vocabulary such as almost, close, far, near, and through.

I hope you enjoy your summer and come back refreshed. Hopefully these ideas give you a good start for making your summer games a success.

Family Dog

Life Cycle of a Butterfly: A free one cut book activity

31 Mar

Spring is here along with new life. In past years, several of my schools, ordered caterpillar eggs in order to watch the life cycle of a butterfly as a science project. Students watched them grow into caterpillars and then magically change into butterflies. They would release the butterflies the last week of May. I found it helpful to review this classroom experience with some of my speech students. I made a one cut book template to commemorate the event. I thought you may also like to use it as a review with students. It is a free download at the bottom of the post. Read on for the directions.

All you need to get started is paper, a printer, or drawing tools. There is are two templates provided in the free download. One is blank for students to draw their own picture sequence. The second template has pictures already provided. For your own version, you can make a template in Power Point using a 3×2 table without a border, inserted into a 8.5 x 11 inch page in landscape mode. Students can draw or paste their own pictures in the template.

Remember when adding pictures to the template, the picture needs to be flipped upside down on the top section. The printer needs to be set to print the full 8.5 x 11 inch page, without a border. This will allow each page to be the same size when folded. You may need to go to custom settings on your printer to select “without border”. You need to print in landscape mode as well.

  1. After printing your template, fold it in half on the dot and dash line. This makes it easier for you to cut the red line. Cut just the red line.

2. Fold on the dash lines so it looks like the first picture

3. Push the section on the right half behind the other. The pages will be double sided.

Finished one cut book

Click on the star for a free download of the templates.

free download
click on the star for a free pdf download of templates and directions