Tag Archives: vocabulary

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I am hoping to have “word walls” in my classroom for subject areas. What would be some beneficial words no matter the age level for the science classroom?  — H., Iowa Great idea! I have always maintained that teaching science is also like teaching a new language to students. Working on vocabulary to use when communicating […]

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What’s the word in science?

What are some of the best practices for teaching science vocabulary? —D., Florida Science has a language unto itself; it is not surprising that many students struggle with vocabulary much like English language learners (ELLs). Because of this, I used some ELL best practices to teach science to all my students. Early in my career, […]

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Taking a nature walk

Upon reflection on last year’s practice of taking children on “nature walks” outside, I see how much they enjoyed nature, made gains in vocabulary and became familiar with diversity in plants. In June, at the end of the school year, I had the occasion to write to the school families about their children’s nature learning from experiences in the […]

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Games for vocabulary

I like to provide activities that help students learn science vocabulary, but at a recent department meeting we discussed the value (if any) of word games and puzzles. Do you have any insights or research on the topic? –W., New York Many K-12 teachers use word games and puzzles to help students review concepts and […]

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Science vocabulary: See it, say it

How do you make vocabulary terms meaningful for students? I’m talking about really getting them to understand how the word or words are used in context. I feel students often just copy down a definition and never truly grasp how it relates to the topic at hand.   —S., Missouri Science students at all grade levels […]

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Putting Science Words on the Wall

I’ve seen “word walls” in elementary classrooms, but I wonder whether older students would find them helpful in dealing with vocabulary. What should I consider in trying this idea? —Wendy, Chattanooga, Tennessee When I first learned about word walls, I was intrigued. Many of my middle school students struggled with the specialized vocabulary in science, […]

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It’s a puzzlement

How many of us in the K-12 science environment use word puzzles to help students review concepts and learn vocabulary? I haven’t been convinced of the value of find-a-words or jumble puzzles are effective learning tools, but crossword puzzles and others that ask students to think of words to fit the clues could be useful. […]

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Boosting science vocabulary

Each chapter in my science textbook is loaded with new vocabulary. How can I help students to deal with this specialized vocabulary? —Dan, Ramapo, New Jersey This task can be overwhelming. High school texts may have more than 3,000 specialized terms! We want our students to understand and use this vocabulary to communicate their comprehension […]

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