I am currently looking for new ways to introduce vocabulary in the classroom. I currently do vocabulary in Math and Communication Arts daily, but I am looking for new ideas to introduce it. As a third grade, we have about 35 to 40 words that we are focusing on in Math. Those words the kids need to know what they mean by the time they leave third grade. I currently discuss the words and look them up in a Math Dictionary, we write definitions of them and practice them throughout the week. I currently use "showdown" to practice the words where I give the definition, then they write the word on the white board and hide it from their neighbors. I then say "showdown" and they all show me. My kids absolutely love this, but I would like to try something else. Any other ideas are so welcome!



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Spelling City recently changed its name to Spelling & Vocabulary City.  You put in your words and it puts them into several games, tests the kids or teaches them the words.  The student chooses whethere to teach, test or play.

I have this program I use called visual thesaurus.  It's an online thesaurus for people to see how words are connected. They have a few activities you can get from them.  It costs about $20 for the year to use. The site is visualthesaurus.com.


I also have an activity where make a sheet of definitions.  You can split the kids into groups or individually go around the room and find the words posted on the wall.  It gets them moving and they love it.  If you split them into a group of two people each, you can make it a game to see who finds all of them first.  It works well in differentiated instruction, since you can pair weaker students with better ones, or have specific words for certain groups to find.


Good luck,


I love Vocabulary and Spelling City! They have a huge database of words and lists. You can easily find and use lists already created by other teachers, or you can create your own. They have fun games that my students love. The games work perfectly on our interactive white board. You can create worksheets to use with your word lists. Best part is that most of the features on the site are FREE!


Have you read Robert Marzano's books, Building Academic Vocabulary? He has some great ideas. Also, you can try www.quizlet.com or www.classtools.net


Hope this helps,


Thank you everyone for the wonderful ideas!


I have used this site to allow students to make their own crossword puzzles. The site offers a variety of puzzles. The students can use classroom definitions or compose their own. They enjoy using the technology and trading printed puzzles to complete for still more vocabulary practice.

Spelling City is excellent.

For mathematics (I use 'mathematics' to get round the math /maths problem!) there are lots of great online resources - a real favourite with my students is  Jenny Eather's dictionary.

I have put together various vocabulary/spelling/writing resource links for my students here.

(Hover over the writing tab for Writing / Spelling / Vocabulary).



I love spellingcity.com, too!  There is a site called wordia.com.  It is a "video" dictionary that contains video clips giving the definition of the words.  It is relatively new, but you can add to it.  My students are working on creating their own video clips of the vocabulary words for our reading story this week.  They are so into it and I really believe they will have a better understanding or retention of the words.

I use discoveryeducation.com all the time to make quick word search and crossword puzzles. Tip: When you make one, you can save it as PDF file from your print menu and save it electronically in a file for next year.


In my tutoring i use little psychomotor activities such matching or bowling.  A book you might check out is called Remediating Reading Difficulties Sharon Crawley. We use it in my teacher education coarses to tech vocabulary and other essentials.

I teach 2nd graders this year. I have had a lot of success this year with vocabulary in my classroom by creating a vocabulary game using Google presentations. I reveal picture and word clues one at a time while students volunteer guesses. I never say they are right or wrong; I just say, "maybe." We play the game at least 2 days in a row. Even though my class is over 1/2 ELLs, they are making 100% on their vocabulary tests! I have posted examples and links to these slides on this site.


Please share if you create something we all could use.

Quizlet is a site where teachers/students can create flashcards or search for content flashcards made by other users.  There are review games students can play with the flashcards and there is even an audio feature that allows students to hear the pronounication of each word.  These flashcards can be downloaded to the Flashcardlet app on iPods/iPads.  Quizlet resources and the Flashcardlet app are both FREE!


Quia is also a resource that allows teachers to create fun review games out of vocabulary words.  Quia is also an online testing resource and you can try it out with a free 30-day subscription.  Read this Quia brochure for more information.


I work with teachers who use both of these resources in their classrooms and they LOVE them because they are easy to use for both teachers and students.



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