Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tweaking Transitions & Word of the Day

Last tweak of the week in this post :) I am just loving and adoring using Word of the Day this year! My kids this year are much more gung-ho about these words and it seems like they are always on the hunt for new words to add to our class bin. I use Word of the Day business cards first mentioned HERE that kids put into a bucket and I can choose from, especially when my brain is empty :) Another great resource is the iPad/iPhone App mentioned HERE.

This year, I'm tweaking it a bit and here's how:
As you can see, our display only looks a bit different- I write the word in red and underneath, in black, I write the definition or synonyms to help kids throughout the day. I will also draw a picture and include the word in a sentence from time to time as well. We are also trying to incorporate gestures (in true Whole Brain Teaching style) when we can.

Another tweak I have made came about from realizing that I was the one getting all of the practice with saying the words, but not the kids (not a good thing!). Therefore, when I say the Word of the Day to start our transition, they have to repeat it back to me as a class and do the gesture that matches the word. For a fun switch, I use the "Class-Yes" concept and however I say the word is how they have to repeat it (whisper, loud, slow, crescendo, etc.). This has been such a simple tweak but it's had a great impact!! They also have to gesture when they repeat and that's really helped some of my strugglers that may not retain the definition otherwise. Plus, it keeps wandering hands busy with gesturing instead of starting the transition early ;)

I have noticed kids are using these words a lot more since these simple changes. Some of my advanced kids started adding Word of the Days to their independent spelling lists and the best part is that all kids hear and act out these words throughout the day- yay!

I hope these adjustments can help you out if you are using Word of the Day in your class!

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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