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What do you do for Vocabulary


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#1 ciskegal

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:16 PM

What do you do (if anything) for vocabulary in Middle School age? We use Rod and Staff English, and up to now, we've done the spelling, too. So I didn't feel the need to include anything extra just for Vocab. However, I want to let my 7th grader drop spelling. I would require correct spelling on assignments, but no real formal spelling. But that means I'd miss the vocabulary that came with those spelling books. 

 

I'm thinking about requiring 10-15 new words per week. He'd have to write the words down, use it in a sentence, and give it's definition. He'd get those words from sermons, reading, even tv shows... He's always been pretty good with spelling, averages 95% throughout the last few years... 

 

Just wondering what others do.



#2 EKT

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:51 PM

Now, overall, I'm of the mindset that vocabulary is best learned in context of whatever my kids are reading. At the same time, I don't think a little overt vocabulary building ever hurt anybody! I've JUST started a new practice (we're a couple weeks in) and so far, it's been fun! (I don't remember where I got the idea; it might have been these boards or maybe a podcast? Maybe I made it up myself? I honestly don't remember, lol.) But this is what I'm doing: I've been working from this list; while my kids are swimming at the pool, I recline on a beach chair and write each vocab word and its definition on an index card. (I also include an example sentence.) I then tape the index card to the bathroom mirror for one week. The kids see the vocab card every time they use the bathroom, shower, brush their teeth, etc. Their challenge is to study the word while brushing their teeth and try and wedge that word into their everyday speech over the course of the week. It's kinda becoming a little family game where we all cheer when someone manages to use the word! So, I'm not sure yet if I will be able to keep up with it, but I made a huge stack of cards that are ready to go in a little box, so I just have to be diligent about changing it out every week. I think this is a practice that might stick! (So far, so good!)

 

Note: I am also considering this SAT prep shower curtain. (If you Google "educational shower curtain" you'll get a surprising number of hits! I saw one with the periodic table that looks pretty awesome, too.) 


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#3 ScoutTN

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:52 PM

Nothing formal.
She looks up unfamiliar words, reads constantly abd does Latin.
It's plenty.

#4 CaliforniaDreaming

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 09:48 PM

We have been enjoying Vocab Cartoons this past year for middle school. My kids do a couple of words each day. The pictures and funny situations make it stick pretty well for them. It only takes a couple of minutes and they never complain about having to do it :)

#5 heartlikealion

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 11:30 PM

not at middle school level yet. This year will be our first year trying Wordly Wise 3000. I think it looks good.



#6 ClemsonDana

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 10:02 AM

In late elementary we used wordly wise - if my kids liked it better we'd continue in middle school (I loved it when I did it in school). Vocab with classical roots has bee very popular with my older child - he started with it in elementary and will continue with it in middle. We're also using MCT's language arts - the Caesar's English has been really enjoyable for my older child, and we'll be doing book 2 next year.

#7 SusanC

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 10:47 AM

I started having my middle schoolers read through Caesar's English last year. I like that it ties in our Latin studies and Spanish and also talks about famous classic Sirius that I would like us to be reading but for the most part aren't (yet). There are Quizlet decks available that they play with sometimes. I want this topic to be low key for all of us.

#8 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 10:53 AM

My first kept up w/R&S spelling all the way through the program precisely for vocabulary. I never tested her on the spelling. She did fine on spelling, but I felt the vocab and language lessons in the last section of the spelling were fantastic. She also kept up Latin study and is actually quite good at looking up unfamiliar words in the dictionary as she reads her schoolwork, without prompting. 

 

The next 7th grader is a different story. She did Latin and Spanish and we discussed some words as we read through her reading together. She hasn't had nearly the word study that her older sis has had, but she is a different student with a different focus.


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#9 MerryAtHope

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 11:25 AM

You might consider working on Greek and Latin roots to build up vocabulary, or a book like Vocabulary Cartoons. I mainly used read-alouds and daily conversations to work on vocabulary. When I would read or use a word I thought my kids didn't know, I would restate (the way children's books often do with vocab). Or, sometimes I stopped to see if they knew what a word (or phrase or expression) meant. If not, I defined it or we looked it up together in the dictionary. We always challenged our kids to try to use new words the rest of that day and gave lots of encouragement when they were able to incorporate a new word into their speech. 


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#10 KAM

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 04:28 PM

Once the kids drop spelling, I have them do Wordly Wise or Vocabulary from Classial Roots. I let them pick. Before that we just discuss any unfamiliar words as they come up.
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#11 Sneezyone

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 06:40 PM

Worldly wise was too scattershot for DS and the words weren't challenging enough so I switched to vocabulary from classical roots for this fall. DD is also doing Book A this summer as enrichment. BONUS: It compliments her French studies.

#12 Mrs Twain

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:05 PM

I do Word Wealth, Jr. (out of print/oldish book) over 6th, 7th,and 8th grades. We recently finished it with my eldest who just completed 8th grade. It had been my favorite vocabulary resource.

#13 Earthmerlin

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:14 PM

Now, overall, I'm of the mindset that vocabulary is best learned in context of whatever my kids are reading. At the same time, I don't think a little overt vocabulary building ever hurt anybody! I've JUST started a new practice (we're a couple weeks in) and so far, it's been fun! (I don't remember where I got the idea; it might have been these boards or maybe a podcast? Maybe I made it up myself? I honestly don't remember, lol.) But this is what I'm doing: I've been working from this list; while my kids are swimming at the pool, I recline on a beach chair and write each vocab word and its definition on an index card. (I also include an example sentence.) I then tape the index card to the bathroom mirror for one week. The kids see the vocab card every time they use the bathroom, shower, brush their teeth, etc. Their challenge is to study the word while brushing their teeth and try and wedge that word into their everyday speech over the course of the week. It's kinda becoming a little family game where we all cheer when someone manages to use the word! So, I'm not sure yet if I will be able to keep up with it, but I made a huge stack of cards that are ready to go in a little box, so I just have to be diligent about changing it out every week. I think this is a practice that might stick! (So far, so good!)

Note: I am also considering this SAT prep shower curtain. (If you Google "educational shower curtain" you'll get a surprising number of hits! I saw one with the periodic table that looks pretty awesome, too.)


I love this last bit about educational shower curtains! Who knew?
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#14 Earthmerlin

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:31 PM

You might consider working on Greek and Latin roots to build up vocabulary, or a book like Vocabulary Cartoons. I mainly used read-alouds and daily conversations to work on vocabulary. When I would read or use a word I thought my kids didn't know, I would restate (the way children's books often do with vocab). Or, sometimes I stopped to see if they knew what a word (or phrase or expression) meant. If not, I defined it or we looked it up together in the dictionary. We always challenged our kids to try to use new words the rest of that day and gave lots of encouragement when they were able to incorporate a new word into their speech.


I like these ideas! I don't have a systematic vocab. program in place as yet (she's entering 3rd) but am listening in for addtional ideas to strengthen what I already do. I completely agree with re-phrasing & using synonyms are quite helpful in explaining words. My daughter has a homemade dictionary (an A-Z sectioned composition book) she periodically adds newly-learned words..so it's ever expanding. I like this idea because it also allows me to ocassionally review words we've studied & I can quickly fold them into conversations (for review), which helps with long-term retention. I totally agree with mutliple exposures to contextual use of vocabulary & for this reason I am intentional in re-using/recycling words in daily talks. When we formally start Latin, there will be more hooks onto which she will easily & quickly hang new words. However, since we already speak Spanish & French, I currently point out adopted/Anglicized words & phrases from these languages. I also am intentional in using higher- level words in normal conversations ( i.e., 'al fresco' instead of 'outside'; 'transparent' in lieu of 'see through'; 'iridescent' instead of ''shiny', etc.).

Edited by Earthmerlin, 15 July 2017 - 09:32 PM.

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#15 PeacefulChaos

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:33 PM

We do Vocabulary from Classical Roots and I really like it.  I've actually learned a few words lol!


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#16 rushhush08

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:20 AM

write each vocab word and its definition on an index card. (I also include an example sentence.) I then tape the index card to the bathroom mirror for one week. The kids see the vocab card every time they use the bathroom, shower, brush their teeth, etc. Their challenge is to study the word while brushing their teeth and try and wedge that word into their everyday speech over the course of the week. It's kinda becoming a little family game where we all cheer when someone manages to use the word! So, I'm not sure yet if I will be able to keep up with it, but I made a huge stack of cards that are ready to go in a little box, so I just have to be diligent about changing it out every week. I think this is a practice that might stick! (So far, so good!)

We use to do something similar, we only were writing on the cards and reading three cards (one word per card) three times daily, once a day revising the words from lhe last week, once a month all of them, but then at a point it was too much and we stopped  :laugh:

Right now everyday day I choose the most interesting fact "today in the history" and write about that on the whiteboard. After briefly explaining myself we watch something about it on Youtube. We always find one new word, or two, and when we find them I write them down on the board and it remains till next day, sometimes two or even three days. It's depending on our activities timetable :)


Edited by rushhush08, 16 July 2017 - 08:23 AM.

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#17 madteaparty

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:08 AM

I love the idea of vocab in context but I think some of the classics are harder to read if you have to look up every single word (looking at you Dickens). Or maybe we are not as perceptive as the rest of the population here. Anyway he does Sadlier Oxford indipendently and just recently we started Word Wealth together. It's fun. He also studies a couple foreign languages and so that has some effects.

#18 Sneezyone

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:21 AM

My son learns well in context, DD not so much. We like vocab from classical roots also. It's painless.

#19 nansk

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:05 PM

I'm thinking about requiring 10-15 new words per week. He'd have to write the words down, use it in a sentence, and give it's definition. He'd get those words from sermons, reading, even tv shows...

This is a good, organic approach. You can have him read classics for middle school age, and select his words from those books.

 

My dd12 also learns from reading and context, but she also enjoys reading about etymology. She read Vocabulary Cartoons for fun in the 5th and 6th grades. I didn't quiz her about those words. But to make it a bit more formal now, we are reading through Vocabulary Energizers: Stories of Word Origins and I quiz her on completed words.



#20 chiefcookandbottlewasher

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:08 PM

Mrs. Twain, could you tell us a bit more about Word Wealth Jr.? I can find it for sale but there are no pictures of the interior of the book (too old) and, while the reviews are outstanding, no reviewers say exactly what the exercises are like. What is the format, are there new word lists weekly (what types of lists/words from where?), how is each list learned, etc.? Thank you.

 

For my middle school son (8th grade) I am currently looking at Wordbuild  and Vocabulary from Classical Roots. I am signing him up for Witty Wordsmith an online class from Lukeion this fall. My focus for him mostly will be working with, and learning vocabulary from, Greek and Latin roots.


Edited by chiefcookandbottlewasher, 16 July 2017 - 10:12 PM.


#21 HeWillSoar

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:30 AM

I love, love, love Caesar's English.  We have been doing this together, just a short time each day, and are now half way through book two.  The books have a lot of review and only five words or stems a week so the kids have really learned most of these words/stems and it has increased my vocabulary as well, and I love that I actually come across the words when I'm reading. In fact, last night I made flash cards to use when we are finished with the book so that we can keep practicing after the book is done. 


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#22 Targhee

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:37 PM

Read aloud to them from great literature
Marie's Words (a card a day with review days interspersed)
Latin

#23 Mrs Twain

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 05:22 PM

Mrs. Twain, could you tell us a bit more about Word Wealth Jr.? I can find it for sale but there are no pictures of the interior of the book (too old) and, while the reviews are outstanding, no reviewers say exactly what the exercises are like. What is the format, are there new word lists weekly (what types of lists/words from where?), how is each list learned, etc.? Thank you.

 

For my middle school son (8th grade) I am currently looking at Wordbuild  and Vocabulary from Classical Roots. I am signing him up for Witty Wordsmith an online class from Lukeion this fall. My focus for him mostly will be working with, and learning vocabulary from, Greek and Latin roots.

Word Wealth Jr:

 

There are usually twelve new words in each "unit."  Each unit has a theme with related words.

 

There is a short introduction activity to try to match the new words with a description.

 

Next each word is defined using several synonyms and example sentences with the new word in context.

 

Next are two or three sets of practice exercises.  One exercise is to copy the new word and write the appropriate definition of that word considering how it is used in the sentence.  Sometimes an exercise is a story with blanks to fill in with the new words. The student does the exercises on a separate piece of paper.

 

A spelling unit is mixed in every few units.

 

I thought the book was our best resource for vocabulary because of the excellent word lists and because I was forced to discuss it all with my child.  Since there is no answer key or teacher's manual (at least I couldn't find one), my child and I figured out the answers together.  This lead to a lot more talking and use of the new words in sentences, which is the best way to learn new vocabulary.


Edited by Mrs Twain, 27 July 2017 - 05:23 PM.

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#24 Susan in TX

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:33 AM

We use Christian Light Reading which does a great job of covering vocabulary. It also teaches literary terms and all the other stuff one would expect from a Reading curriculum but I think it is worth it for the vocabulary alone.

 

My oldest never needed a spelling curriculum. She was a natural speller but I did use 7th and 8th grade Rod and Staff Spelling with her for learning vocabulary. (We weren't using CLE at this point). I really like the 8th grade Rod and Staff book because it teaches Latin and Greek roots and there is a section that covers the history of the English language.

 

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