Word Nerds Fun and a Flash Freebie!

I am linking up with Teaching Maddeness for her Must-Read Monday {A Book Lovin' Linky Party}. I was so excited, because I started this blog post this morning, then later I saw her mention this linky party on Instagram!
Must-Read Monday Linky
I have been loving the book Word Nerds. It is an excellent resource for vocabulary instruction and practice. There are tons of ideas to get students to really embrace the words they are studying, not just memorize them for their weekly tests. The ideas in the book are engaging and fun! I am all about the fun, because if it isn't fun, it's hard to motivate the students. I love it when they are having so much fun, they don't realize they are learning! That's an added bonus!

One idea from the book we have been using is using vocabulary lanyards. I have heard of doing this with a word of the day, but I never thought to do it with all of the vocabulary words! I am doing this activity a bit differently than the book explains, but basically I write the vocabulary words on cards which are slipped into badge holders with clips, and the students wear them. I started out with homemade ribbon lanyards attached to the badge holders, but the kids played with them and they fell apart, even though I tried to train them to leave them alone. They would get nervous when it was their turn to speak and fiddle with them. The badge holder clips work perfectly. I bought the badge holders at Staples and the clips on a later shopping trip to Office Max. Throughout the day, I call on certain vocabulary words. Students give me the definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and use the words in sentences. This is a perfect way to get all of my students up and speaking, especially my ELL students. At recess and lunch the students turn in their cards. After these breaks, new students are chosen to wear the cards. There are other many other ways to use the cards, as well as many other fun and engaging vocabulary ideas. You really have to grab a copy of this book and check it out! The students have done much better on the two tests they've had since beginning the strategies in Word Nerds

Here are our badges from a few weeks ago.
And here are two of my boys. In this particular activity, I asked "the line where the sky meets the land" to go look for "tunnels dug by small animals". They really got a kick out of this! I have never seen them so excited about vocabulary!
If you can use the cards for the badges, I am offering them as a freebie. You can find them here!


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  2. I am screaming inside! Aaaaahhh!! I have been racking my brain all year long with a need to find motivating ways to work with vocabulary. This is exactly what I need. I love, love, love the lanyard idea. Especially since I too have ESL students I need to engage. I want this book RIGHT NOW! Thank you!

    1. Thank you! You will love the book! I downloaded it onto my Kindle because I just couldn't wait, but I really wish i had a hardcopy to flag all of the great ideas!


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