Monday, April 23, 2012

This week is a pretty important week for me as it marks that last week of 3 assignments due.  For the past 15 weeks I have had 3 assignments due every Saturday night.  I would venture to say that some were fun, but most were difficult as it took reading 5 chapters in a text and then completing the essay prompt or doing some research to complete the prompt.  Although today marks 13 years since I graduated college, my writing skills came back pretty quickly!

I still have another year to go with this program.  I'm crossing my fingers (and toes) that I can get a job at a local high school so that my coming seminars and assignments will seem even more applicable.  

The past month I've been attending biology classes at the high school our boys will attend.  After my assignments and then seeing dynamics of a classroom, I'm wondering how I can best teach vocabulary.  Most people think that if you know vocabulary then you can read.  I disagree with that.  I can teach my students biology vocab, but that doesn't mean they'll be able to break down a passage in the text book and understand it.  So how can I teach vocab without assigning words for homework that students have to define?

I'm playing with the idea of a Vocab Journal.  Half a page can be dedicated to a word. On that page will be the word, a sentence to give context, the "real world" definition and a diagram (if applicable).  My only question is do we do this as a class or what?  Sure it will take up some time, but if I'm sure my students understand what the words really mean, won't it be easier for them to grasp the rest of the lesson?  If they truly learn the vocabulary, won't they be in a better position to do well on the SOL?  

I dunno.  I'm going to have to keep throwing the idea around in my head.  I hope I'll find something that works well and the kids won't roll their eyes every time I ask them to get out their Vocab Journals.

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