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Academic Vocabulary - how to make them stick

posted May 3, 2016, 9:54 AM by Caroline Suh   [ updated May 3, 2016, 9:59 AM ]
Welcome back, teachers! When you think about the top 10 words you want your students to be able to remember by the end of this year, what would they be? Academic vocabulary can be incredibly challenging to stick, because who normally uses that vocabulary when they speak? Even teachers do not use academic vocabulary regularly in their day to day speech. Knowing that your students will only walk away with remembering a handful of words from the year, 
what should they be? I've included a couple of resources to consider while you are planning for May and June. You will find a short list of essential academic words by Jim Burke, that show up in a variety texts and directions. I am also including resources from Word Generation, a great vocabulary focused website that encourages the internalization of a few key words each week with highly engaging mini-units. I've broken down the Word Generation's method of getting the key words to stick, so even if you have no interest in their mini-units, you can adapt their process, which has been pretty effective in schools where teacher teams are committed to increasing academic vocabulary. Even if you and that one other teacher on your grade team are targeting 5-6 words for a week, your students will know those words. The Word Generation mini-units are excellent resources that use super interesting essential questions and texts that are appropriate for middle school. Please check them out and get started!