Am I the only one that gets bored doing the same old thing with vocabulary? I'm certain that I'm not the only one that has students that struggle learning vocabulary. Many students are given vocabulary and asked to study their definitions for a quiz that they'll be given later. I don't know about you, but when my own children are asked to do this they groan! One of my children learns vocabulary fairly easily, but my son struggles with simply reading a definition over and over trying to memorize. It definitely doesn't help him make connections. So, what does a teacher mom do? I go out and try to find something that is visual and not so boring!
Here are a few ideas that you may like and also use for students in your class room.
I found a great visual vocabulary sight called http://flashcardstash.com/. You not only put in your vocabulary word and definition. You also go to a database of pictures to put with it. So....you basically get a visual flashcard stack. You can then study traditionally or through matching with and without pictures. This would be great to create as a teacher and use whole group to introduce or review vocabulary.
You probably already know about www.quizlet.com . It is also a favorite of mine for learning vocabulary as well as any information for a test. It's similar to Flashcardstash. You can get the free app too. My son has this one on his iPhone and creates many flashcards for vocabulary and tests. He shares them with his friends by making them public. If you are a teacher you could create the flashcards for them and share them. They could then go home, search for them, and have access. It gives different options for practice too. My son loves the matching game the most and tries to beat his time each time he practices.
www.animoto.com in her Language Arts class. It immediately gave me the idea to use it for vocabulary. Students can create awesome slideshows with images, music, and text to show their understanding of their vocabulary. You can create an educator's account for free. This gives you the option to have up to 50 student accounts under your name. I did this and it was very easy. If you don't already know how to create student accounts under a main Google click here http://help.animoto.com/entries/104077-How-do-I-set-up-accounts-for-my-students.
Here are some other ways to practice vocabulary on a deeper level.
*Have your students interview one of their words. They can ask thoughtful questions that would require and answer that explains it's meaning.
*Have students use their word as a piece of artwork for a scene. The catch is that their word must be transformed as a part of the scene, and others must be able to infer the meaning through the visual clues in the scene.
*Have students write a story but placing a blank where their vocabulary word would be. Their classmates must use the context clues in the story to figure out the word.
*Use http://www.conversationpieceslearning.org/vocabulary.html Word Wonder's Vocabulary Program. Students learn vocabulary at their own pace, challenging themselves. There's a competitive twist as they work through lists up through 6th grade. They take quizzes, earn, points, and get their name on the Vocabulary Hall of Fame on the website.
More ideas to come as I am creating an independent vocabulary learning contract for students for my gifted endorsement. I'll be posting it soon for you to grab. :)
I hope you've gotten a few ideas you can use.