10 Ways to Study Your Vocabulary Words For Tests/Re-Tests
NOTE: All of these ways can be put into your INTERACTIVE JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT PAGES and will receive credit. J
YouTube video search the word. Sometimes, hearing a word in context can really make it stick. Try doing a YouTube search for the word you have in mind. A YouTube search for inchoate makes me aware of the phrase inchoate crimes, which I can hear in context and internalize. A search for laud reveals a number of songs containing the word. The list goes on!
Create flashcards and take them everywhere! The repetition of seeing the words everywhere you go and many times throughout the day, makes flashcards perfect for studying vocabulary. I like to pick a word at a time and repeat it, with its various definitions, 10 or 20 times before moving to the next. After the first read, try doing the rest of the repetitions from memory.
Put a face or motion with each word. Some people learn kinetically, and most of us benefit from learning in more than one way. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are the four classic ways to learn language, but adding in motion and other sensory learning methods can really help. Associating a word with a grimace, a disgusted face, a sigh, a huge smile, a growl, a sly look, or a jump into the air can help cement its meaning in a way that memorization can’t. Try it!
Use Google Image search to picture words. A general Google search is of course a great learning tool, but don’t forget about Google Image. An image may stick in your mind in a way that words don’t. Image search a word such as lavish or luminous, and it will stick with you. You can even print out an image that really helps you and put it on your flashcard for this test, that’s often definition enough.
Color-code or sticker your flashcards or notes. Once upon a time, you read and defined the word, but it’s not cemented in your memory. In those cases, even a glimmer of the word’s meaning can make a difference. Think about putting all the bad words in red and all the good words in green. Or putting smiley face stickers on all the words that define something positive or pleasant. At any convenience store, you can buy a pack of round label stickers in red, green, yellow, and blue “why not assign those colors to mean bad, good, happy, and sad?
Match a stack of words to a collection of items. For me, forcing words into categories helps me to understand them. It makes me tell a story, which causes me to think about the word in a new way. Sorting words is one great way to do this. But, for a different take, try taking a collection of items and assigning each word to one of the items. This might mean you dump out a box of crayons or the contents of your spice rack, and then force yourself to assign each word to one of those items for whatever reason you can come up with! The collection doesn’t have to be physical items, it could be your list of Facebook friends or the contacts in your phone. Searching your mind for qualities that each word’s definition shares in common with an item or person in the collection helps form connections that stay with you.
Write the word in a way that shows its definition. Writing is often neglected as a learning tool, especially with more students printing or buying pre-made flashcards than ever before. But if you’re stuck on a word, try writing or doodling it in a way that mixes the word with the meaning. (Here’s where your interactive journal will be of good use!)Maybe you turn the O in loquacious into an open mouth, talking and talking. Maybe you write the word lethargic long and melting along the bottom the page, or the word inimical covered in spikes.
Label a magazine or newspaper with words. Whether you print your trouble words on actual labels or just crack open a magazine with a pen, try putting those words on other words, images, or ads that evoke the correct meaning. When you go through the process of searching for words or images that match the word and meaning you have in mind, you are actively using the words and their definitions and that’s the best way to long-term memory!
Post your top-ten hit list where you’ll see it. Despite all the unique, multifaceted ways you find to study, there will probably be some words that elude them. Pick ten of the worst offenders, and give them each a one-word definition. Then, put those words and their definitions on a Post-it note, and put that note somewhere you can see it. Sticking it on the bathroom mirror and reviewing it while you brush your teeth is a great option, or posting it by your computer at work. Once you feel you’ve mastered those words, make another hit list. Short, manageable chunks and lots of repetition are key.
(Extra-Assignments)/Ways to Study For Grammar or Text Tests For Tests/Re-Tests
Google the grammar skill or “text.” There are a plethora of web sites with quizzes, games, worksheets, etc. you can use to review and test yourself. Print those activities out and staple them to your retest sheet.
Write a poem or song about the skill or story. This is a GREAT way to interact with the skill or to memorize the main ideas of the text. Read your song or poem to the class for extra credit or put it in your notebook for credit.
Create a graphic organizer or an image that details the important parts of the skill or text. You can highlight the definition, the process, the important parts of plot, or any variety of other things.
Create a collage, poster, or powerpoint that highlights the learning targets for that skill or concept were. You can bring your creations to class, present them, and add the points to your test grade for that concept.
16 . YouTube video search the skill or text. Sometimes, people create projects, videos, songs, poems, etc for these same skills and texts and post their videos. Watching them can generate ideas or make the context stick in your head.