The idea behind these units is all about building vocabulary. You will work with your students to build vocabulary around a specific theme (Thanksgiving, Living Room, Animals, etc.). You can work on receptive vocabulary or expressive vocabulary. For receptive vocabulary skill building, you will say the name of an item and the student will show on the picture board which one it is. This is great for students who are nonverbal. For expressive vocabulary, you will point to an item on the board and the student will say the name. After each answer, you take data. The data part is key! So often we practice vocabulary but don’t take data on it. When you are taking data, you know which words need to be worked on more and when students have mastered words.

There are a lot of reasons that I love these units. They include a ton of important components to teach vocabulary and have built in differentiation. Here are the reasons these rock:

1. Visual Data Sheets

The visual data sheets couldn’t possibly make me any happier. If you are taking specific data on student responding towards each word, it is hard to scan a data sheet to find the right word. We NEED our data collection process to be quick. If it isn’t, our student may lose or focus and we will probably stop taking data. Having tiny visuals on the data sheets is KEY. It makes taking data so quick!

Check out this quick video preview on building receptive language with Halloween words!

2. Easy Setup & Flashcard Free

You know I love a good flashcard but for these activities, the simplicity is beyond words. For these units, students use the picture board instead of flashcard. We love to throw it in a page protector and go. Because we want to move between themes as the students master the words, I need easy prep here. Once one group of words is mastered, it takes me 13 seconds (literally I timed) to switch to the next on. Pop the new picture board in the page protector and photos copy a few data sheets. Done and done.

3. Differentiated Extension Activities

Your work isn’t done after taking data on the vocabulary words. We want to give our kids continued exposure to these words. And hey, remember how all of our classrooms are understaffed and we need a ton of independent work in our classrooms? Yep. Me too… Well, this unit has perfect independent work activities to go along with each set. Your students can match picture to picture or word to picture as well as practice tracing, spelling, or writing the words. We love to use the picture board to copy the words and write the correct spelling. I usually only laminate the pieces and put everything else in page protectors. #easyprepforlife

4. Tons of Theme Options

I got on a big roll with making these because they were working so well for my students. It’s important to remember that once our students learn the structure and setup for a task or activity, it’s much easier to just switch out the content and learn new content within that same structure than teach an entirely new activity. Once your students learn the setup of this activity, keep switch out the vocabulary words and they will fly through these! Check out all of the seasonal and functional sets we have. Click on the image to learn more!

Sasha Long
Sasha Long

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