I love this strategy. I love love love love love this strategy. Did I mention that I love this strategy? I do. I love it. I loved it the first time. I loved it this second time.
The Texas Literacy Initiative vocabulary strategy engages students. The kids are actively involved in learning the material.
1. They repeat the word. I have them do this in different ways for my own enjoyment - say the word, say it like a cat, say it like a dog, say it like a boss. I definitely see some future actors and actresses coming from my classroom.
2. They are analyzing usage and providing informal assessment information with a thumbs up/thumbs down response. I can scan the room and visually see who is understanding within a matter of seconds. Both times I have conducted the routine, when a student provides an incorrect answer, he/she will go back to the sentence and process again until he/she figures it out. Watching a student take the initiative to actually correct himself is pretty impressive.
3. I learn a great deal about my students through my examples and non-examples. Case in point: Today, one of my sentences said that parents are vexed when kids take the initiative to wash dishes on their own. One boy told me that he is not allowed to wash dishes because his parents think he is does not clean them well enough. I think this is one smart child!
4. The kids are speaking to one another in complete sentences with the Seven-Up Sentences. I did not complete this part of the activity last time. This time, I added it, and the practice was magical. I am one of two eighth-grade ELA ESL teachers, and getting my ELLs to speak in front of others can be a struggle sometimes. This was a no pressure partner conversation, and everyone was talking, in addition to working with the given word.
5. They are learning. It has been a few weeks since we went through our first vocabulary routine. When I referred back to our gripes lesson, I was immediately barraged with a chorus of "to complain." Sure, a few kids forgot, but after a few seconds, the first lesson seemed to pop right back into their brains.
6. They made connections between two lessons and were able to write about it using the words.
I have not yet taught this strategy to my campus colleagues, but the training is coming up soon. I cannot wait to share and model how this works with them.