Tag Archives: vocabulary

Wordsmithing

How do you keep students from losing attention when you’re teaching difficult science terminology? —M., Iowa Regardless of the grade, you should approach science vocabulary just like teaching another language. It is very important that you teach new words in … Continue reading

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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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