Sunday, September 12, 2010

Word Study

Locust, or cicada, is chicharra in Spanish. I know this because as we were looking at the shells and corpses of cicadas that one of my girls brought in (you go, GIRL!), one of my Spanish-speakers walked up and said with an authority that he does not have yet in English, "Chicharra." We all tried to roll our r's as well as he did and the more we said chicharra, the more we sounded like a bunch of cicadas in the trees. Say it! See what I mean?!?

I love that my students are bringing their passions to school already in the third week, and I love that we are adding first-language words to our "juicy" words we're collecting. When the one-third of my class who were gone for Eid on Friday return this week, we'll see if there are words from their language and their celebration that we can add to our list and learn.

Here's where we collect our "juicy" words:

This is the best solution for covering our classroom's mirror that I've ever come up with -- "Reflect on These JUICY Words." The classroom assistant has a pad of sticky notes, and whenever anyone come across a "juicy" word in the book they're reading or I'm reading aloud, in class discussion, overheard in a conversation, etc., they help the assistant put it on a note and post it on the mirror.

Every so often, I type the newest juicy words onto a blank page in the SmartBoard software. This is our electronic Word Wall! I've made each of the words on the word wall a piece of movable text so that we can sort the words, looking for similarities and differences, categories, parts of speech, prefixes, suffixes, etc.

Soon we'll need to make a second page, we've collected so many words. I can't wait to see how this Word Wall project develops. Out of all the ways I've tried to integrate my new SmartBoard into my teaching, this is my favorite so far.


  1. Love the idea of being able to move the words around on the SmartBoard never thought about that!

  2. Great idea! Love that you call them "juicy" words! : )

  3. Oh what a wonderful thing you got going on here!! Powerful teaching but also appreciation and respect!!! Great job my friend!!!

  4. Mary Lee! What a post. Cicadas, word study, and making Spanish sounds together. Is this going to be one of your chapters in your professional book about how to use a SMART board in a smart way? I hope yes! I can't wait to pass this along. Donavan in DONAVAN'S WORD JAR might have done this if he had a SMART board! A.


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