Wednesday, May 14, 2014

End of Year Curriculum Review: Vocabulary

Vocabulary:  240 Words Kids Need to Know Grade 3 by Scholastic

During the fall, it was evident Madeline was done reading level readers. But tackling the chapter books she wanted to read was difficult due to the more advanced vocabulary.

To read more challenging chapter books, I knew we'd have to start vocabulary lessons. Enter 240 Vocabulary Words Kids Need to Know: Grade 3. We began this book in January of this year {2014}.

Our vocabulary lessons definitely helped Madeline read more challenging material. This also meant we were able to jump to the next homeschool book club level, Grade 3 and up. Prior to vocabulary lessons, we were reading the Kinder - Grade 2 book club selections.

In the beginning of the book, most lists have four lessons. Some lists have only two or three. Total, the book has 24 word lists. Depending on your pace, you could finish the book in a semester or even over the summer. The first list: foe, vast, purchase, drowsy, absent, prank, feeble, annual, sturdy, reply. The last list: awareness, laziness, frightful, tactful, recently, quietly, arrangement, contentment, performer, trainer.

This is a reproducible book, meant to be used by a teacher. I photocopy the pages and keep my master book clean so that it can be reused later. You could also use a plastic sleeve with one side cut open to protect the page your student is currently working on. Use dry erase markers and wipe away after each lesson :)

The lessons are short, usually four lessons per word list. There is a variety of exercises including crossword puzzles, matching, synonyms, antonyms, fill in the blank, and picture clues. An answer key and master word list are provided at the back.

I also love the way the definitions are presented. The first exercise shows the definition in a short sentence. The vocabulary word is bolded. This enables the student to learn the definition without memorizing lengthy definitions.

Even though the lessons seem easy, the student really learns the vocabulary! Madeline has already recognized some of the words in our book club selections like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Pippi Longstocking. I love this book and the results!

Yes! We plan to continue with 240 Vocabulary Words Kids Need to Know: Grade 4. I plan on alternating between Scholastic and Sylvan for vocabulary. Once we finish Grade 3, we'll tackle the vocabulary portion of Sylvan's Super Reading Success 3rd Grade

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