Thursday, April 17, 2014

Digging Into Dictionary Skills

Happy almost Friday everyone! I'm stopping by to talk a little bit about....dictionaries! So thrilling, I know.

Something we are really big on in Room 4-6 is using dictionaries. During writing workshop, students are constantly asking me, "How do you spell...?" and my response is always "You get a dictionary and look it up". I know, I'm mean like that.

They hate when I say this, but I really think making them look it up themselves is so important. It not only requires them to correctly spell the word, but students are also getting a peek at the definition, part of speech, etc. 

I also like that it requires students to take ownership of the moment. No more lazy asking Mrs. Burns to spell for me. I have to figure it out myself. 

And as an added bonus- dictionary skills! When my kiddos first came to me, some of them didn't even know how to use a dictionary, much less look something up in them. Months later, it's April. During writing workshop (when I'm not conferencing with students) I like to take a moment to sit back and watch. I have trained them so well by this point, that most of them don't even bother to start saying, "Hey Mrs. Burns..." They go straight for the dictionary shelf. Some of them even ask to get dictionaries during reading time! I just love it so much!!!

So why am I talking about dictionary skills? Because I have  a way to get your kids started in the dictionary world! My latest TPT project is "Dictionary Dig".

In this activity/literacy center/whatever you want it to be, students choose from 30 Tier 2 (super fancy) vocabulary words to look up and record. They record the definition and part of speech, then as a challenge, use the word in a sentence on the back. We use classic dictionaries in Room 4-6, but you could always throw in some technology by using a dictionary app or website instead. Always good, right?

So there you have it! My dictionary spheel is over. How do you do dictionaries in the classroom? Are you a fellow dictionary lover? Any ideas to share? 
Leave me a comment!
Have a great Easter :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cute in the Classroom Joins Instagram!

It's true! Cute in the Classroom is now on Instagram. Follow my day-to-day teaching life in pictures!

Click the instagram banner on the right hand side of my blog or find me as cuteintheclassroom and give me a follow.
I'll follow back!