Secret Santa Blog Hop

Happy holidays friends, here at The Elementary Entourage we've been cooking up some extra special holiday fun that we can't wait to share. We are having a Secret Santa Blog Hop for the rest of December in which each of our bloggers has a special Secret Santa surprise for you. So please take some time to hop through the different blog posts and score some treats for yourself! 

We also want to thank you for following our little blog. We hope you take some time over your break for you and your family so you are refreshed and recharged for the upcoming year.  We know you'll find some awesome ideas to try out and can't wait to hear from you in the new year. We'll see you in January!

Word Study in an Upper Elementary STEM Class {w/ iTeachSTEM}

What does word study look like in an upper elementary science classroom? Content vocabulary and root words. Breaking down words and making connections through visuals and common experiences enables students to better understand the meaning of complex science words.
What does word study look like in an upper elementary science classroom? Content vocabulary and root words. Breaking down words and making connections through visuals and common experiences enables students to better understand the meaning of complex science words.

VISUAL VOCABULARY CARDS:
At the beginning of each unit, I hang a set of related "visual vocabulary cards" on my cabinets. This gives students a reference for the most important terms to be used in the upcoming weeks. What I love about these cards is that each one has a picture to help students make a connection. (This is especially helpful for my SPED and ELL students.)
What does word study look like in an upper elementary science classroom? Content vocabulary and root words. Breaking down words and making connections through visuals and common experiences enables students to better understand the meaning of complex science words.
I recently started hanging them on the cabinet doors because it's super easy to hide them in the case of a pop quiz or test. Just open the cabinets!
What does word study look like in an upper elementary science classroom? Content vocabulary and root words. Breaking down words and making connections through visuals and common experiences enables students to better understand the meaning of complex science words.

FOCUSED HIGHLIGHTING:
Another strategy I use when teaching vocabulary is to have students highlight parts of the word and/or definition as they are recording it in their journals. I find that looking at each word and the meaning of its root helps students to better remember the meaning. For example, students struggle to understand what "binomial nomenclature" means, so I have them highlight and note the meaning of each part of the terms. I sometimes have to tweak the meaning to fit better in what we are learning without adding more confusion.
What does word study look like in an upper elementary science classroom? Content vocabulary and root words. Breaking down words and making connections through visuals and common experiences enables students to better understand the meaning of complex science words.
Another unit where I do a lot of highlighting during vocabulary instruction is when teaching students about the types of symbiotic relationships in an ecosystem. For each term, we highlighted a part of the word and then the portion of the definition that showed the meaning of the root or prefix. We also drew silly faces (#emojisareawholelanguagenow) to help students remember the subtle differences in each type of relationship.
What does word study look like in an upper elementary science classroom? Content vocabulary and root words. Breaking down words and making connections through visuals and common experiences enables students to better understand the meaning of complex science words.
Because these terms cause so much confusion for my students each year, I also have them come up with their own "mini-poster" to illustrate the meaning of each word. I love how this student included such well-mannered organisms in his examples. Not only does drawing pictures help students learn and remember the meanings, but they ENJOY it too!
What does word study look like in an upper elementary science classroom? Content vocabulary and root words. Breaking down words and making connections through visuals and common experiences enables students to better understand the meaning of complex science words.

SONGS AND VIDEOS:
Another way I try to help my students when studying new vocabulary terms is through music.
We actually just listened to this song about heat transfer today. My hubby stopped by to bring me lunch and commented that my classroom was "killing music" one cheesy rap song at a time. Hey - the kids loved it and I figure whatever works is worth it!

Now, to be fair, I CANNOT sing well. And my rapping leaves something to be desired. But, YouTube has some really great channels with so many fun songs to help students learn science concepts. I've got a bunch of them saved to this board on Pinterest.

SYMBOLS AND DIAGRAMS:
Sometimes during notetaking I realize that students would benefit from some "silliness" that actually helps them along the way. Last week I was trying to define "heat conductor" in a way that would stick with them. It's so close to the holidays so I started talking about how I love watching the movie The Polar Express. In it there is a train conductor whose job is to get the children from their homes to the North Pole to see Santa as quickly as possible.
What does word study look like in an upper elementary science classroom? Content vocabulary and root words. Breaking down words and making connections through visuals and common experiences enables students to better understand the meaning of complex science words.
I connected this to heat conductors whose job is to move heat more quickly from one object or location to another. After trying to make the connection I started doodling in my journal and drew a train. My students started giggling and whispering "Are we supposed to be drawing that too?" So I wrote the letters H-E-A-T in the train cars to represent heat being transferred quickly from one place to another by a conductor. They laughed and a few of them have even referred to that drawing in later discussions.


The Magic of Word Study {with Mrs. Thompson's Treasures}




When teaching students to learn to read, one of the best places to start is with CVC words. 

CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words are so great for students to put into practice all the sounds that they have learned. With so many words in the English language that don't sound like they look like they should, it is nice to have predictable words for students to learn. 

When introducing CVC words, I like to do it in the context of word families. It groups them together in a way that forces repetition, which is a key to building fluency. 

I love using a CVC interactive notebook that lets students interact with the word families in different ways. First, we make the words from letter tiles.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CVC-Word-Families-Interactive-Notebook-1235903


Then we move on to reading a word and matching it with the picture.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CVC-Word-Families-Interactive-Notebook-1235903

Next, we trace the word, read it, and match again.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CVC-Word-Families-Interactive-Notebook-1235903

Making reading fun is something I strive to do. So, I love incorporating some mystery pictures using color by CVC words to review. The pack of 16 mystery pictures I created can be found HERE.  

Or you can get the whole set included as a free bonus with the CVC Interactive Notebook




The Magic of Word Study {w/ The Super Sparkly Teacher}



There is so much to cover when it comes to Word Study time in first grade… Long vowels, short vowels, r-controlled vowels, so on and so forth. I couldn’t resist sharing my teammate, Miss Gomez's, method of introducing and sharing phonics patterns week by week.

word study first grade

First, she introduces the pattern and posts the magnetic letters on her whiteboard (a pocket chart in the past). Then, she introduces various teeny, tiny objects (or toys) that have that sound. For instance, under the /sh/ she placed a shoe, shell, shrimp and shamrock.

word study

She recently began putting magnets on the back of those objects and placing them under the phonics pattern. I love how excited the students get about finding objects around their own homes. They are often eager to share and donate their toys to her collection.

first grade teachers

This is my Miss Gomez's 12th year of teaching first grade (she's AMAZING), so she has quite a collection! I love how she teaches word study and would like to eventually adopt this practice. It’s a great way to support English learners, which make up a large portion of my classroom population. The visuals and personal connections are so impactful!


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The Magic of Word Study with Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching

Word Study can look and sound different in every teacher's room. Sad to say, but sometimes it is non-existent! Manipulating words through direct instruction and various practice opportunities has huge payoffs when students independently transfer that knowledge and meaning of new words in independent reading. 

Some people are confused of what word study can be or is. This is how I infer it:

Term: Word Study
Definition: Alternative to spelling lists and traditional spelling instruction. Using multiple resources to teach students word patterns. According to multiple research, word study teaches children regularities, patterns and conventions of orthography needed to read and spell. Students transition from the alphabetic stage, to the pattern stage and lastly to the meaning stage.


As a 5th Grade ELA teacher I focus on the layer in this process of meaning! Students that are struggling in the pattern stage, I use a small group time for them to remediate.

My main focuses currently are roots, prefixes and suffixes.

I do a Root of the Week with my focus board.


Throughout the week, students work with their neighbors and independently to apply the root to known and unknown words in context. We practice writing with the words and spend time sharing new learnings. (To read more about how I incorporate my Focus Board, click HERE or on the photo above.)

Why are Roots so important to learn? Well, it's definitely an important part of building better readers. Misunderstanding words in text changes the meaning of the text. This is no good for comprehension. Plus, studying roots helps to prepare students for the meaning of specific vocabulary words in careers years after you have taught them. As educators, we all care about the people are students become. Well, adults come to a career path and having the background knowledge of roots will help them in their line of work.

I also go over prefixes and suffixes throughout the year. We learn the meanings and chart these together. Same as with the root, we spend time working with neighbors and independently to apply the new words in context. 

The biggest take-away I have learned, is NEVER to teach ONLY in isolation. When teaching any sort of Word Study, you always want to take it a step further and apply it to context. Either using it in writing or documenting it when read. When doing so in writing allow students to use a colored pencil, crayon or pen. Using colors helps leave a visual imprint in a student's memory. Therefore, repeated practices and occurrences help retain the meaning.


The Magic of Word Study with The McGrew Crew

Each week my second and third grader have a 10 word spelling list to work on through the week. Because we have home school COOP on Fridays we only have 3 days to do word work before we test on Thursdays! While the workbook has some great activities, I find that adding in some extra things throughout the week is helpful...and sometimes fun! :)

Monday:  Read and copy the words, practice using them in sentences (verbally and/or written) and complete a practice page from the book.
Tuesday: A practice page from the workbook and use Bananagrams or letter tiles to spell out words. I like a day for some type of hands-on activity with the words. Another idea is making the words from play-dough or using alphabet stamps.
Wednesday: A practice page from the spelling book, sometimes we do a practice test on the whiteboard, and a word search created at education.com
Thursday: We play a game called Spelling Bee on the iPad. I love this app for word work because you can record the words you want and make your own lists for different profiles. It's $1.99 on the iPad but I've found it to be well worth the money!
After the games, I give my kids their spelling test! I love using the FREE ones on TPT by 1st Grade is WienerFUL. Click HERE to see the December edition Spelling Tests!

Happy Holiday's from our Crew to yours!  

The Magic of Word Study with The Learning Chambers


Word Study is super important in the elementary classroom.  This year, I am at a new school and I  have started to teach word study using Greek and Latin Roots.  Let me begin by saying that the teachers at my new school are amazing at teaching word study.  This idea is not my own but an idea from one of the amazing teachers at my new school.  It is very simple to implement and it really helps my GT students understand words and their meanings.  Here is the Greek and Latin Roots routine that I follow.


In the morning as my students arrive, I have the new roots posted on the activboard.  I pick the roots to use based on my unit of study for the day.  This example was from the day that we created and programmed our ozobot mazes.


I want to make sure that my students will use the words of study during our lesson and activity.  It really helps them visualize the meaning and apply our words of study.  My students fill out their roots sheet and add an example with the root.  Then we go over the words together and I have students write their examples on the activboard in the blank column.


During our lesson and activities, we refer back to our roots often.  I love using them as part of my content vocabulary.  It really makes the words that we study more relevant!  Do you use Greek and Latin Roots in your classroom?  I would love to hear how you implement into your word study.


The Magic of World Study {with Stephany from Primary Possibilities}



These are some of my favorite ways to practice words in the classroom.  They would work with anything from sight words to vocabulary words!


I make these flip folders for my students at the beginning of the year.  You glue a sheet with lines (the line size and number depends on how many words you assign your students to learn each week) in a file folder.  Laminate the entire file folder and then cut two slits to make 3 flaps.  Students write the words under the first flap and then practice under each flap without looking.  

Another great way to practice words is hands on.  Kiddos love play-doh and my friend Stephanie over at Primary Possibilities has these great sight word mats.  You can pick them up HERE.


If you are looking for a fun way to get students to practice throughout the week at home, you can grab up these STAR spelling freebie.  Students choose from several options throughout the week to practice their words.    You can grab it up for FREE HERE.


Wiki Sticks are always an easy standby for word work.  Keep them in a container with a list of words and your students will always have something easy to grab up when they are finished early with another activity.


I love keeping these Word Wall cards on hand in my classroom.  There are tons of fun ways to practice sight words with different motions and voices.  You can grab them up by clicking HERE

What are your favorite ways to practice words in the classroom?