I want students thinking and writing right from the start of class so as they enter the classroom I have the following question up on the whiteboard. My students have a required binder with a Quick Write (QW) section they are graded on, however you can choose to just have students write on paper.
"Pick three terms that you are familiar with and define in your own words:
arithmetic, geometric, sequences, series, recursive rule, explicit rule, domain, range, function, addendum, ratio, finite."
The point of this QW is to get them thinking of the vocabulary needed for the introductory unit. They will be building on preexisting knowledge and helping each other in the following section to define vocabulary needed for the unit.
The point of this investigation is to engage students in developing their vocabulary for the unit. Students will be participating in a scavenger hunt "Here Is Where is" using either their text book (as a teacher you can edit based on your textbook definitions if you open up the (.notebook file) or looking up the definitions on their electronic device to discover the definitions of the terms needed for this unit. The teacher prints individual pages and places them randomly around the room/hallway. Students, using their recording sheet, will start anywhere, record the "Where is the definition" portion of the paper they are at, and proceed to look up the definition in whatever manner. They then search the room/hallway for the definition to the word they just looked up in the "Here is..." portion. Once found, they record the letters/symbols in the star and the definition on their recording sheet. They then keep working in the same pattern, searching for the definition of the next word they find in the "Where is the definition" potion of the paper. Once completed, the letters/symbols in the stars will spell out the phrase "I am so good at Algebra I could steal your x and you wouldn't know y!" Tell the students that the exclamation point is the end of the phrase, so wherever they start they know how to order their phrase. I ensure that students understand the definitions throughout the entire unit using Quick Writes at the beginning of the class regarding a major vocabulary word(s) that we will be discussing that day. I also check their "redefine in own words" (next section) to allow them to explain to me what they think that word actually means.
In order to have students own the definitions, they will fill in the right most section of their "Here is.... Where is...." Recording sheet with their definitions with their own words. If time allows, students will share with class or groups. One idea is to share with their shoulder partner and change definition if needed. You could also have students use various text reading strategies in the rephrasing sections student samples that I believe exemplify what I was looking for as far as redefining the definitions.