vocabulary

Phonics, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and more!

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milehimom
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vocabulary

Postby milehimom » Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:25 pm

What about vocabulary? I'm not doing anything formal with vocab for my 5th, 3rd, or 2nd grader. We read together, we discuss what we read, we stop and figure out what the unfamiliar words mean, or I tell them. We have Spelling workbooks and Grammar workbooks, but should I have a vocab workbook? Or should I have them looking up words from their novels?

My sister's Middle Schooler comes home with a list of 20 vocab words each to memorize. While I think this may be a bit excessive, her usage does seem to be improving especially since my sister is really good about using the words herself that week to help her daughter. I wonder if I'm doing my 5th grader especially, a disservice by not doing something more formal in the area of vocabulary? It certainly helps to have a great vocab when taking tests like the SATs.

Any thoughts, advice, or opinions?
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Lily
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Postby Lily » Sat Oct 20, 2007 8:49 pm

We don't use vocabulary books, although next year for 4th grade we will be using a workbook for Greek and Latin roots. We already explore this informally, but I believe vocabulary should be approached like phonics - finding out what the parts mean in order to understand the whole.
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milehimom
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Postby milehimom » Sat Oct 20, 2007 8:59 pm

Who's the publisher of your Greek and Latin Root workbook?
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Morgan
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Postby Morgan » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:34 am

Wordly Wise 3000 is an amazing informative workbook that you can get for any grade. I am using it this year, and I will be continuing my use of it until I graduate.

It contains 5 lessons of about 15 vocab. words each, and at each 5-chapter-interval, there is a fun review activity such as a crossword. It's fun, informational, and easy to use. You can get Wordly Wise 3000 books on Amazon, eBay, or just about any bookstore/online store.

They come in grade K-12, and the publisher is Educators Publishing Service. Hope this helps!
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Postby momo3boys » Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:11 am

I have a very expansive vocabulary, compared to the people around me, and don't attribute that to vocabulary lessons, I attribute that to reading. I learned so many more words just from reading them, and I rarely even looked them up. I would figure out what they meant by the context. Don't do the sin of all mother's and compare, your children are far more likely to retain the vocabulary for their lifetime if you teach it to them through reading than if you use a curriculum. IMHO
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Lily
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Postby Lily » Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:01 am

milehimom wrote:Who's the publisher of your Greek and Latin Root workbook?


We'll be using Word Roots A1 and Word Roots A2 from the Critical Thinking Co. I've been pretty happy with their material so far for logic and grammar (aside from one mistake, which the company promises to fix in future editions), and learning descriptive writing.
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

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Ginia
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Postby Ginia » Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:29 pm

I have to agree that I don't like making the children memorize.

And yet I've come to see that requiring them to memorize vocabulary definitions helps them stretch their mental skills.
We use aBeka Language, and the children are required to memorize about five vocabulary definitions in the younger grades, and about 10 per week in high school. In addition, the assigned reading uses these words that the children are learning.
I have a pretty extensive vocabulary myself, but by Grade 11, I'm finding that the students are learning words I haven't seen before. This is EXCELLENT preparation for SAT and ACT!

Also, in their science work (I've used both Apologia and BJU Press), learning the science vocabulary can be a large part of doing well.
And foreign language? That requires memorization of vocabulary, too.
If you get them started on it at a younger age, then they've got a good handle on memorizing vocabulary definitions before it hits them hard in these other subjects.
Ginia - Author of the online program: Preparing Your Student to Win College Scholarships, a blueprint for parents.

StellarStory
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Postby StellarStory » Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:11 pm

I've found that a good reader will get plenty of vocabulary while enjoying reading.

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Theodore
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Postby Theodore » Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:56 pm

I've had little or no formal training, but my vocabulary is quite good anyway because I read lots of books.

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Postby ncmom » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:18 am

I agree that the best way to expand your vocab is by reading. My kids love to read and have always had a vocabulary that was above their age level. We do use Abeka so they are required to memorize the vocab words that are in their spelling lessons, but if they weren't there I probably wouldn't worry about it. Something else to think about is the difference between knowing how to use the word and knowing the definition of the word. I know how to correctly use lots of big words that make me sound real smart, but that doesn't mean I can give you their definitions. I make sure I speak to my children intelligently and use the big words so they learn how to use them too and encourage them to read. Seems to be working so I don't add any extra vocab words to their English or spelling lessons.

Ron Horton
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How to improve your Vocabulary?

Postby Ron Horton » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:27 am

One of the best ways to improve your vocabulary is to read editorials daily. Reading and trying to understand them is the best way to improve upon your vocabulary.

tsmama24
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Postby tsmama24 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:46 pm

A wonderful site for having fun with vocabulary words, and finding vocabulary word lists by grade: Vocabulary.co.ilCheck it out...but be careful, I discovered the hard way that moms can get addicted to the games as well! :wink:

Shari Nielsen
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Postby Shari Nielsen » Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:20 pm

I'm a high school teacher and am amazed at the words that the kids don't know. I hear them studying for their vocab quizzes/tests and the words seem so simple yet they really don't know what they mean.

Unfortunately, these kids don't read a lot on their own and even if they do and they don't know what a word means, they typically gloss over it and plow through. I believe kids really do need to be forced to broaden their vocabulary on a regular basis.
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oneofthegirls
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great idea

Postby oneofthegirls » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:17 am

I think what you've been doing- taking unfamiliar words in context to their reading is the best way to improve their vocaulary. My girls were weak in vocabulary and were introduced to a speller that had vocab words to memorize. They would memorize them, but afterwards- would forget the definitions quickly. However, if we would see those words in our reading - they would be excited and would thereafter remember the definitions.
I think reading, reading, reading is the key to a superior grasp of the English language-and an expanded vocabulary. Continue what you are doing.
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.â€


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