In looking at William Chamberlain’s Blog, I was encouraged to see that he is willing to use different methods to bring his reading and vocabulary scores up. He took into account that his students were bored with the typical routine. He offered them a choice of which activity they wanted to participate in, which I find interesting. He let them choose whether they wanted to use flashcards with a partner, draw pictures of what they thought the word meant, look up synonyms and antonyms to create a word web, or just simply write the definitions. He used the website Visuwords for the students to reference to create their word web. He also has an ELL student that he didn’t push to the side. He downloaded the information onto his iPod for her to listen to.
He stated that these methods were highly effective in bringing their scores up. By having the students truly understand the meaning of a word will ensure success on a reading test. They have to have to know what the word means before they can ever understand a story. Mr. Chamberlain is doing his best to offer many activities for the students to participate in to maximize their learning potential.
One suggestion that I made to Mr. Chamerlain was that he should try to have the students use these activities as a center time rather than always letting them choose. His students may not know what method works for them best. If it were my daughter, she would choose to work with a partner every time, using the flashcards, because she is a social butterfly. This may not be the most beneficial choice for her. We need to always consider that although we are trying to get our students more engaged, they need to be exposed to all of the methods before they have a clear understanding of what will work best for them.
Example of a word web.