Since all learning is language-based, understanding vocabulary is a primary factor in developing literacy in any subject.

Practice SAT vocabulary words with this site: Vocab Ahead (best for middle- and high-school students). Also, check out their free app (Visual Vocab Lite):

SAT Visual Vocab combines words and their meanings with visual cues and contextual sentences to deliver a media-rich and highly memorable experience. Each word is supplemented with pictures, sounds and stories. This makes it easy to learn and fun to remember. With over 1000 words in the application, students get a wide choice of high-frequency SAT words with which to enhance their language skills.


from The Core Six: Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with the Common Core by Silver, Dewin, and Perrini. After each strategy, you will find a suggested web 2.0 or other technology tool that you can use, if desired.

Remember Vocabulary's CODE:

Connect: First, help students form a strong initial connection to the term.

Strategies to use:
1. WORD WALL (A collection of words is organized into categories and posted on the wall for students to use in their reading and writing.)
Padlet (formerly Wallwisher) __
2. POWER DECODING (Students use "attack skills" like prefixes, suffixes, roots, context clues, and substitutions to decode new words.)
3. ASSOCIATIONS (Students generate words, pictures, feelings, physical reactions to words, or whatever else comes to mind.)
Popplet __http://popplet.com__
4. SEE IT, SAY IT, SHOW IT, STORE IT (Students look at the word, pronounce it slowly, write it out, and record its definition in their own words.)
Although a handwritten list is best here, asking students to record their speaking practice and listen back to it engages the senses.
Vocaroo __http://vocaroo.com__
5. PICTURE GLOSSARY (Students keep a glossary of new words, defining the terms in their own words and including icons or images of the terms.)
Google Docs with Read&Write plugin for Chrome browser. Go to Chrome Store and search “Read&Write” to install.
6. WORD CATCHER (Students "catch" a new word each day and record it in their vocab journals.)
Study Blue __http://studyblue.com__
VocabGrabber __

Organize: Students remember information better when it is clearly organized. Ensure that students understand how terms relate to one another and fit together to make up a larger structure.

Strategies to use:
1. PRIORITIZING VOCABULARY (The teacher or students determine which words are essential, which are important, and which are good to
Word Sift: Visualize Text __http://wordsift.com__
Google Docs DRAWING
2. CONCEPT MAPS (Students create visual representations of hierarchical relationships among a central concept, supporting ideas, and
important details.)
Creately __
3. FIST LISTS AND WORD SPIDERS (The teacher provides a category in the "palm" of a hand organizer, and students generate five words
that fit the category, one for each "finger" of the organizer. Word spiders are similar, only with a "body" and "eight legs.")
Google Docs DRAWING template created by teacher, shared with students, copied by student, completed, and shared back to
4. WORD BANKS (Students examine a list of words and place them into specific categories or the appropriate slots of a visual organizer.)
Exploratree __
5. GROUP AND LABEL (Students examine a list of vocabulary words and place them into groups based on common characteristics. For each
group, students devise a label that describes what all the grouped words have in common.)
Gliffy __
6. A DIAGRAM TO DIE FOR (Students create a diagram that shows the relationship among all the words on a Word Wall. This resembles a
concept map.)
Lucidchart __

Deep Process: Students use thinking strategies and multiple forms of representation to develop a deep, conceptual understanding of the most important vocabulary terms.

Strategies to use:
1. VISUALIZING VOCABULARY (Students create images, sketches, or icons with brief explanations to demonstrate understanding.)
Pinterest __http://pinterest.com__
Flickr __http://flickr.com__
2. STORYTELLING (Students analyze a selection of stories and then use basic story elements to define important concepts.)
Storyjumper __http://storyjumper.com__
Storybird __http://storybird.com__
3. METAPHORS AND SIMILES (Students use words deeply by exploring their relationships to other words and concepts. An example: How is
democracy like baseball?)
Screencastomatic __http://screencastomatic.com__ Use this tool over top of another visualization tool such as PowerPoint.
4. DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS (Students build a multilayered definitions by focusing on essential characteristics: What is it? What is it used for? Why is it valued? Where does it come from?)
Pearltrees __http://pearltrees.com__
5. ETYMOLOGIES (Students investigate word histories, analyzing how a word's original meaning is intact and how it has changed.)
6. THREE-WAY TIE (Students select three words from a unit's vocabulary and arrange them on a triangle. They connect the words with lines and explain the relationship between each pair of words by writing along the connecting lines. They may also summarize these relationships in the
middle of the triangle.) __

Exercise: Engage students in MEANINGFUL review and practice activities that help them commit new terms to their long-term memory.

Strategies to use:
1. VOCABULARY GAMES (Students play vocabulary games such as BINGO, Jeopardy!, Concentration, and Word Baseball to review vocabulary in a competitive and fun manner.)
PowerPoint templates exist in abundance on the web. Try this site for Jeopardy, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Hollywood Squares templates:

SMART Notebook activities. If you have SMARTboards in your school: You do not need a SMARTboard in your classroom to use this, just a computer and a projector. Install SMART Notebook software on your teacher computer. Then, join the SMART teacher exchange at __ and download games. If your school has Promethean boards, then install the personal edition of ActivInspire, join the Promethean Planet community at, and download game templates.
2. USE IT OR LOSE IT (Students use a specified number of new words in their writing assignments, such as a WORD SPLASH.)
Google Docs. Share best examples with entire class.
3. VOCABULARY CAROUSEL (The teacher sets up five or six stations that include a variety of vocabulary activities. Students rotate through all the stations, working in small groups.)
Use BlendedSchools/Blackboard. Inside course, create a StudyMate assignment.
4. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (The teacher models the principles of effective practice, including how to mass and distribute review sessions, use words often, and make stronger connections.)
Wordia __
5. THREE'S A CROWD (Students decide which word from a group of three doesn't belong and explain why.)
Voicethread __http://voicethread.com__
6. PEER PRACTICE (Students work as peer partners. Once student serves as coach, the other as player. While the player works to define key terms from the unit, the coach provides assistance, feedback, and praise. Students then reverse roles.)