Sunday, August 21, 2016

Vocabulary for Elementary School

Many students with challenges in literacy have particular frustrations over learning a group of words.  But a group of words, the weekly word list for vocabulary and spelling, remains an important educational construct.

To help students learn, there's technology. The irony is that kids cannot test themselves on a list of vocabulary or spelling words. Or they could not before VocabularySpellingCity arrived.  They have 37 different activities so that students can learn on their own.

In addition to activities, hidden in their teacher resources, there are many word lists and lessons for each grade. For example, lets look at 2nd grade spelling and vocabulary words.

VocabularySpellingCity offers hundreds of free second grade spelling and vocabulary lists that correlate with 2nd grade state standards. Second grade teachers have the option of importing from a wide variety of word lists and assigning interactive games and activities to students. Teachers can also access supplemental literacy tools, such as free handwriting printables, via VocabularySpellingCity.
Second grade spelling word lists include Dolch and Fry sight word lists, Words Their Way® word pattern lists, and word structure lists (compound words). Second grade students can build sight word fluency and phonics mastery through the use of VocabularySpellingCity’s interactive online games. Second grade games feature both audio and visual elements, an effective learning tool for all maturing readers and writers, specifically English Language Learners (ELLs).
There are also lists for second grade for science words, math words, social studies words, sound-alikes, multimedia word lists, and basic phonics and phonological skills.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Metaphors, Similes, and Analogies, Oh MY!!

I'm sitting here with my dog on my lap. He is sweeter than...most dogs. Metaphors. It can be difficult to think of good ones. It takes practice, lots of it.

So what would have been a good metaphor for me to use about my dog? He is sweeter than cotton candy! Not great. I bet you could do better.

We often get analogies and metaphors mixed up. Add similes to the mix and it gets even more confusing! How can we expect our kids to understand these concepts if we struggle with them?

Basically, metaphors describe something by assigning something else in its place. For example we speak of snow being a blanket or life being a roller coaster.

Similes usually have the words "like" or "as" in them and compare two different things. Some common similes are "cold as ice, bold as brass and, cute as a kitten."

Analogies tend to be a little more complex than either of the other two. They tend to be a bit more brainy, using logic to back up the comparisons. Some very common analogies are: "I felt like a fish out of water at that party." or "That girl is as quiet as a mouse."

So hopefully, this will clear up some of the confusion so that you can help your kids have fun with these great ways to use language!

Here's a fun vocabulary exercise? Do you know the difference between STEM, STEAM, and science? STEAM includes Art whereas STEM is just science, technology, engineering, and math. And science, well, it's just science.  Robotics is robotics. AI is artificial intelligence.