...sharing thoughtful, mentor text-inspired lessons your students will love!
Now finishing its fourth year as a weekly routine in my classroom, my Vocabulary Collecting/Writing Expectations have definitely blossomed into one of the BEST original strategies I've ever designed to complement my own reading/writing curriculum. It's also Common Core-friendly, so--take that, Common Core! Last June, Dena and I finally felt confident the ideas we'd been developing for vocabulary instruction were rock-solid enough to sell them as a "new product" at our website, and so many of you trusted us enough (based on using our other products, we assume) to purchase that now-one-year-old vocabulary package. THANK YOU! There will be several vocabulary updates sent out to all who have already purchased in the next month or two--at no cost, of course. We added some new mini-lessons and binder-friendly resources this year that helped a lot, and we want to share those with you so you can share them with next year's students.
In case you've forgotten, I teach 6th-8th grade students, but I firmly believe this weekly vocabulary routine I've created could be easily incorporated into 3rd-12th grade classrooms; the vocabulary words students "collect" simply need to get more challenging as the years progress. All three of my grade levels this June had a two-part final, both parts designed to show off what new skills of writing my students had developed over the year: Part 1) an in-class essay based on a sophisticated novel we read as a class; and Part 2) a take-home vocabulary final that celebrated words from the sophisticated novel mentioned earlier. With the take-home portion--for the second year in a row now--I ran a two-part competitive contest between all of my classes.
Who won "Over-all Vocabulary Collector" Prizes? I will follow this blog post with a post showing off my six "Over-all Vocabulary Collector" winners' work. The kids were amazing this year in trying to win this one. It was very difficult to choose just one winner from each class. I might have to have two awards per class next year.
Who won the "Vocabulary Warrior" patches? I am attaching a PowerPoint that shows off the ten "Vocabulary Warrior" winners' vocabulary/writing tasks. The students nominated their favorite in each category, I photographed all those that were nominated more than four times, and Mrs. Harrison ultimately chose her favorites:
I had sixteen very happy students during our last week of school (which was last week! Hooray!) because they had earned a coveted "Vocabulary Warrior" patch, which could be glued in their writer's notebooks, attached to their classroom binder, or simply stuck to to their own foreheads with duct tape. All three of those scenarios actually happened! There was no extra credit for winning a patch--just a patch and "bragging rights." My vocabulary warrior patches, by the way, are just Boy Scout patrol patches that my student aides attached some fancy ribbon too with hot glue. It's always amazing to me to see how hard kids will work for a $2.00 patch, and spending $32.00 to have some amazing exemplars to show next year's new students...it's totally worth it.
The price for our full set of Vocabulary Collecting Lessons and Materials (currently $17.50 at our website) will be increasing to an even $20.00 in August. If this post (and perhaps my student samples) interest you in trying something new with vocabulary next year, be sure to order before the end of July. When you purchase ANYTHING from our website, you are automatically sent any and all updates of the products when and if they are created...just so you know.
Keep scrolling down after this post so you can see photos of my students who were awarded the "Overall Best Vocabulary Collection" awards last week.
Thanks for being interested in my students' awesome work; they love knowing they have an audience who looks at their stuff when they win anything.
Yours in teaching!
--Corbett & Dena Harrison (http://corbettharrison.com)