Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Unit Vocabulary: Finding What You Don't Know

Confucius — 'True wisdom is knowing what you don't know'

Something that is hard for me, and probably for most people, is knowing what I don't know. After all, it takes knowledge ans self-awareness to get that far.

I feel that I am slowly moving in the right direction in my career at least, and that comes with experiences, as well as reading, PD, and connecting with other people.

As we were starting our unit in Weather, I wanted to try something different with the unit vocabulary. I not only wanted to assess where they were, but I also wanted to see if there would be any effect on the students if they knew what they did not know.

I started by writing the word "weather" in the middle of the board and having them do the same in their notebooks. I then had them grab their favorite color from the colored pencils I had set on their tables.

I then had the students write all the words they could think of related to weather in their favorite color. When they were all done, I took their ideas and wrote them on the board in my favorite color (or the closest marker).

I then had the students pick a different color they liked, and had them write any new words down.

The last component was for me to add the new unit vocabulary for them. I asked my class to choose a third color for these words.

I did think that my students were using the unit vocabulary much more than they had before, but I cannot say this was the reason. Still, it is something I will try again but will try to emphasize more. Maybe it would be good to do the same thing at the end of the unit and compare the two.

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