Saturday, April 28, 2012

Inside Outside Circles....

Last weekend, I had a talk this week about vocabulary strategies...I planned to talk about a different one a couple of days this week.  And then, life hit...I can't even say I had any thing special, but I seemed to be super busy!  My goal this weekend is to try and get the posts written so I can just press publish during the week.

Anyway....we are getting close to state testing time and the main thing we are noticing with our kids at risk of passing is that their vocabulary is weak.  No surprise right?

One way you can build this is using Inside Outside Circles. Now, this works best if you have a lot of room in your classroom to make a large circle.  You have half of your students make the outside circle and match them up with another student to make the inside circle. It looks something like this:

There are many ways you can use this format as I am sure you know...for review, spelling words, sharing weekend news, as a greeting... (for more ideas see this link)

Here is the way I use it to help build vocabulary in my classroom... First I pick a topic or category such as Holidays. Then we face each other and students on the outside circle share their word such as Christmas.  The person across from them then says a words that reminds them of that holiday - such as presents.  Then the outside circle moves to the next person.  I repeat the category "holiday" and they can either use the same holiday or choose another one.  The person on the inside circle will say a word that they think of. 

Why do I do this?  Well, I have found that a) it is fun and b) it allows our language rich students to expose our language poor students to new words in a fun and non-threatening way. 

I have created a PDF with a list of categories that will be available for FREE along with the other vocab strategies that I am going to feature this week.  It will be posted very soon on my TPT store. 

I hope you can use these to engage students in your classroom.

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