Friday, April 5, 2013

Key Word Dance- A Strategy by Lori Oczkus

I recently went to a professional development seminar with the wonderful, and talented Lori Oczkus. She has a new book out called Best Ever Literacy Survival Tips: 72 Lessons You Can't Teach Without. You can click on this link to order the book from Amazon. She has another book our called Reciprocal Teaching at Work  through the International Reading Association's Website. You can find that here. I learned so much from her, and one of the best strategies I have used in my work with intervention students has been Key Word Dance. It is a difficult task to teach concept vocabulary words to our students. They may remember them after hours of study and practice, but we all know that students have a much easier time remembering these words when they are paired with a hand motion. I call my hand motions "TPR", which stands for Total Physical Response.

We all have students in our class who are wiggly, and have a difficult time sitting in their seats for a prolonged period of time. For some, a prolonged period of time is 5 minutes, for others it may be 10 or 20. Pair students who are antsy with concept vocabulary that can, at times, be obscure and you have yourself a recipe for disaster!

So...I have an awesome strategy for building vocabulary. Here are the steps:

1. Write down concept vocabulary words on index cards
2. Review the index cards with the students, and assign each word a hand motion. I also do this while they are reading to reinforce my hand gesture.
3. Select 6-8 students from the class to come and form a "conga line"
4. Assign one student to be the band leader
5. Put on music (I chose Gagnam Style by Psy) and have the students start marching around the room.
6. The band leader will hold up the vocabulary index card. The students in the conga line respond by doing the hand motion and saying the word. 
7. The band leader will change the cards every 15-20 seconds, so the conga lines needs to stay ready! They also need to continue to do the hand gesture, and saying the vocabulary word until the card is changed by the band leader.
(Oczkus, 2009) Activity cited from 72 lessons book.
It is so much fun! Hope you like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment