Posted by: waldropcv | June 18, 2010

Vocabulary Instruction Reflection

I think that the math teacher, Donna Hash, had the most difficult challenge to incorporate vocabulary instruction in her classroom.  There is very little room to add vocabulary in a math course.  Students have a difficult enough time learning everything else, so why through vocabulary quizzes at them too?  However, she made it work.  The one activity of hers that stood out to me was where she had students find out the etymology of words and similar words.   Words like “circumfrence” or “median.”  This can be very helpful.  If the student knows what the word “circumscribe” is, they will not forget what circumfrence means when that test rolls around.

The art teacher, Donna Link, deserves to be the North Carolina art teacher of the year.  The activities she came up with to incorporate vocabulary into her art class were incredible.  They introduced vocabulary to students, but not in a way like “We have to start teaching more vocabulary,” but in a way that made learning new words fun for the students.  Every one of her activities mixed her art class with vocabulary perfectly.

The idea of vocabulary in science class just seems natural to me.  In nearly all of my science classes up to 11th grade, most of the tests and quizzes were just on vocabulary anyway.  So Linda Miller got off easy on this one.

The English teacher, Lucas Pasley, would seem to have it easy to, as vocabulary is normally associated with English class.  Yet, he went out of his way to make vocabulary a prime focus in his class.  He incorporated Vocabulary Notebooks in his class, interestingly enough, I wrote about Vocabulary Notebooks for a Learning Strategy in a blog for last unit.  However, I didn’t think his strategy for the “final exam” was very good.  Sometimes a normal written test is the best choice.  As Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.”



  1. I agree with you that the math teacher had the biggest challenge in incorporating vocabulary into the classroom, but I agree that he did a great job with it. I like the vocabulary notebook idea as well, but agree that this teacher did not do so well with it.

    Did this give you any new insights into teaching vocabulary that you hadn’t thought about before?

    Carey Sink

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