I often find that students need variety and a short time frame to keep them focused on learning; therefore, I really love setting up vocabulary learning and review centers. Here are my tips for successfully using learning centers to enhance vocabulary instruction! Plus, five printable vocabulary activities I use in learning centers.
Tips to Successfully UseLearning Centers to Enhance Vocabulary Instruction
While I thought I knew the basic structure, I found Dr. Katie McKnight’s free eBook on Literacy and Learning Centers incredibly helpful. Language arts teachers can use centers for vocabulary review and so much more! Some tips for successfully using learning centers are:
Have no more than 3–5 students per center, even if that means duplicating centers
Have clear and short instructions written by at each center
Have clearly labeled movement from one center to the next
Have a “catch up” center at the end where students can finish any remaining work from previous centers
Have a rehearsal with students before using centers for the first time to set expectations
Vocabulary Centers Setup... The Hardest Part
The hardest part about vocabulary learning and review center work, I find, is setting up materials and directions for 4–5 different activities. Therefore, I have done the work for you; you can print out the directions and materials for each of these vocabulary activities with a few clicks of the mouse!
Now, you can facilitate and help individually as needed the day of your center rotation for vocabulary learning and review. Just remember to have the list of vocabulary words you want students to use easily available.
The You're on a Roll Vocabulary Game makes vocabulary instruction fun and social with a dice game. Playing with dice gives students an opportunity to practice their vocabulary in an enjoyable way. Have students roll dice to see what they have to do with their given vocabulary word.
*Note: you will need dice or a dice app on a device.
Vocabulary Paint Chip Vocabulary Activity
Time to paint your words! With the Vocabulary Paint Chips Activity students will choose a vocabulary word that they have a hard time remembering and then fill in the paint chips with similar or contrasting words.
Picabulary Vocabulary Game
The Picabulary Vocabulary Game, similar to Hasbro® Pictionary™, is a quick and often hilarious way to review vocabulary words! Divided into teams, students have to creatively draw out vocabulary word meanings for their teammates to guess. The team with the most points wins!
Falling into Haikus Vocabulary Activity
Have students compose nature haikus with the Falling into Haikus Vocabulary Activity. Instruct students to use precise vocabulary words and vivid imagery in their writing. Once completed, hang the nature haikus around the classroom!
You can switch some of the vocabulary learning and review centers for some about grammar and writing. See my friend Tiffany’s activities to see which ones you might substitute for a few of the vocabulary activities.
No matter what activities you use, let me know how you are successful with your center rotation! And don't forget to download Dr. Katie McKnights free eBooks on learning centers below.
FREE LEARNING CENTERS EBOOKS:
Literacy and Learning Centers: Not Just for the Primary Grades
Literacy and Learning Centers: Assessment and Student Growth
Literacy and Learning Centers: Planning for Diverse Students