The other day, Reagan reminded me of something I learned during my ESL Methods class last term - the vocab visit!
In a vocab visit, you place pictures on magnets on whiteboards (if you happen to have magnetic whiteboards.......... unlike myself) that preview the topic you're about to study. Students have a chance to study the pictures and then write notes, questions, or comments near the pictures. Later, you can use the pictures and comments to add new information to them as you learn new concepts!
This can serve as a pre-assessment and you can use the comments to determine what is going on in their brains. Also, you can regroup the pictures (with help from the students) as they learn new things as well.
Anyway..... we did this today! We started our matter unit today, which I was anticipating to be a difficult subject, as several of our vocabulary words are mighty abstract. My wonderful amazing cousin Kelley googled and printed 21 pictures generally related to our vocabulary and topics. I gave them 2 minutes to look at them quietly (note to self and to you: 2 minutes is too long!) and then I was going to give them about 3 minutes to write about the pictures but they were so into it that I just let them go for a while!
And here are some highlights of what they wrote:
|This was my first model. I wrote "cat" right above the picture (which was an example of a solid). Everyone else felt that they needed to add "cat" for some reason. I did appreciate the two questions though!! And the one answer, haha.|
|Are these melting?|
This really opened up great conversations about our new unit and the students were excited to start learning! I quickly defined each of our vocab words and they seemed to grasp the meanings. It was definitely the highlight of a day that was a little difficult the farther along we went. :)