Mary Dotson

Sk…Sk….Sketch It Out- Visualize Vocabulary

The Visualizing Vocabulary tool by The Thoughtful Classroom is a resource designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of new vocabulary words by engaging their visual and cognitive skills. I have implemented this tool in one of my 4th grade classrooms to help increase their vocabulary knowledge. With an increase in vocabulary knowledge, my hope was to increase student comprehension.  Very early on in the year, I noticed that my students’ area of weakness was understanding complex text. Almost all text in 4th grade is complex text. I knew I had to find a resource that would help me tackle this huge problem. I began implementing the tool weekly. I use the tool to help students understand the meaning of unknown words and key vocabulary words. Implementing this tool I have seen an increase in weekly formative assessments, Lexia levels, and STAR assessments. I have also seen an increase in student engagement during vocabulary review.  The tool also gives students the opportunity to express their creativity. I was able to tap into different learning modalities, like  visual and verbal, to help students better comprehend and retain new vocabulary. The students were engaged and had visual representations of the vocabulary. This allowed the students to internalize the meanings and then apply the vocabulary words.  I hope to continue utilizing this tool the remainder of the year and plan on implementing the tool at the start of next school year. I would like to see the effect of the tool when implemented consistently with a large number of students. I will also share this tool with my colleagues and teachers across the district.

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