Tag Archives: vocabulary

They can say the word but can they explain what it means? The “illusion of explanatory depth”

The use of a particular word can support children’s communication about their understanding of natural phenomena and sometimes obscure the amount or depth of their understanding. A full day preschool class of 4-year-old children explored the use of motion in … Continue reading

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Public Posts

I am hoping to have “word walls” in my classroom for subject areas. What would be some beneficial words no matter the age level for the science classroom?  — H., Iowa Great idea! I have always maintained that teaching science is … Continue reading

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What’s the word in science?

What are some of the best practices for teaching science vocabulary? —D., Florida Science has a language unto itself; it is not surprising that many students struggle with vocabulary much like English language learners (ELLs). Because of this, I used … Continue reading

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Taking a nature walk

Upon reflection on last year’s practice of taking children on “nature walks” outside, I see how much they enjoyed nature, made gains in vocabulary and became familiar with diversity in plants. In June, at the end of the school year, I had the occasion … Continue reading

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Games for vocabulary

I like to provide activities that help students learn science vocabulary, but at a recent department meeting we discussed the value (if any) of word games and puzzles. Do you have any insights or research on the topic? –W., New … Continue reading

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Science vocabulary: See it, say it

How do you make vocabulary terms meaningful for students? I’m talking about really getting them to understand how the word or words are used in context. I feel students often just copy down a definition and never truly grasp how … Continue reading

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Putting Science Words on the Wall

I’ve seen “word walls” in elementary classrooms, but I wonder whether older students would find them helpful in dealing with vocabulary. What should I consider in trying this idea? —Wendy, Chattanooga, Tennessee When I first learned about word walls, I … Continue reading

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It's a puzzlement

How many of us in the K-12 science environment use word puzzles to help students review concepts and learn vocabulary? I haven’t been convinced of the value of find-a-words or jumble puzzles are effective learning tools, but crossword puzzles and … Continue reading

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Boosting science vocabulary

Each chapter in my science textbook is loaded with new vocabulary. How can I help students to deal with this specialized vocabulary? —Dan, Ramapo, New Jersey This task can be overwhelming. High school texts may have more than 3,000 specialized … Continue reading

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