Vocab Handbooks

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Ryan Painter, Vocabulary Leave a Comment

One part of the CIA program that I really enjoy is the vocabulary handbooks.  This is a great way to teach new vocab words to students.  By introducing them to a word before they hear/read it in the text it really helps students with their comprehension.  This allows them to identify these words and how they are used in context instead of reading over the unknown meaning of a word.  I use the CIA Teacher Manual Vocabulary Mini-Lesson Routine every day that we start a lesson with a vocab word.

This aligns perfectly with Common Core standards by focusing on prefix, root word, and suffix.  It also touches on synonyms/antonyms and making connections to the real world and to self.  Sometimes you only get a fragment of the sentence that covers the word in the book.  I take advantage of the page number reference and I read the surrounding sentences with the new word.  We started a little jingle to hook the kids with “What it is, What it is, What it is, What it isn’t!” (Macklemore lyrics snippet).  This is where we talk about words that are the SAME/synonym or OPPOSITE/antonym.  The next thing I will always do is look up the word in the dictionary to get an “official” definition.  We then put it in our own words as a class and complete the pages.

After completing the Mini-Lesson Routine we begin reading the chapter.  When we come across the word in the chapter the students get really excited and usually want to shout out that they just heard the vocab word of the day. J

I have also found myself using the CIA Mini-Lesson Routine while identifying other words outside of our reading block.  I have used this in science vocabulary and most recently in our school wide Respect Theme program.  Each month we focus on a different Respect Theme (friendship, loyalty, cooperation, etc.).  Last month I had students define the word friendship and give examples of Text to World and Text to School connections by a word/phrase/picture .  We put this up for our monthly Respect Theme bulletin board.  This month I put up four large posters that said “What it is/What it is not” for the two words Loyalty and Cooperation.  Students will now be able to add their synonyms and antonyms to these charts are we learn about these new words this month.


Written by Ryan Painter — 4th Grade Teacher

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