Prove your Knowledge: Vocab Quiz

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SWBAT verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word by using their vocabulary words in sentences and stories based on an image.

Big Idea

Students already wrote stories using the words. But can they do as good a job if I provide the topic?

Getting Started

15 minutes

Before any vocab quiz, I always give a "5 minute cram time."  I do this for a few reasons:

  1.  I really do believe that a last minute review of the trickier words can be useful.
  2.  It gives me a chance to answer questions and clarify.
  3.  I use the time to see who has prepared for the quiz, with flash cards or sentences written.
  4.  I also use the time to see how those who didn't prepare spend their time: do they just suck it up and decide that they will fix it next quiz? Do they pair up with someone else and use their flashcards, and if that's the case, is it a friendly relationship or a forced one?


These moments, when they don't think I'm watching, can be the most telling. Freshmen are still finding their way and figuring their peer groups out, but they're smart and often don't want teachers involved in this process. I try to arrange group work and seating plans based on what I learn in these few moments.


Of course, all of this takes more than 5 minutes. It usually turns into 15 minutes, but the 5 minute warning creates a sense of urgency.

The Quiz

40 minutes

Today we have a quiz on 12 vocab words and 4 commonly confused situations. This quiz asks students to write sentences or a story about the image using all the vocabulary words listed (L.9-10.4d). We practiced this skill extensively this week, using the same words. I am hoping for positive results. I think it is really important that vocab quizzes are meaningful. I very very rarely give a quiz that asks students to match the words with their definitions because it just isn't enough to know what a words means; they need to know how to use it. These quizzes take more time and are harder, but they are best way to encourage students to actually learn the words, words that they will see in our reading, on the SATs, and in life (W.9-10.10).


Take a look at a couple of excerpts from their work.

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

Most students will be done with a few minutes left in class. As the last few finish, I will gauge the difficulty of this quiz from their perspective. Was it hard? Which words were the hardest to use? (SL.9-10.1)