Reflection: Gradual Release Revisiting Vocabulary Strategy: Context Clues - Section 2: Guided Activity


What worked in this lesson? I used a gradual release process to help the students pay attention to look at a word within a sentence and to look at a sentence within the context of a page and the informational text we were reading. Also, I remind them how to use photographs and captions as context clues. I feel that I did a good job in creating awareness of how text carries meaning.

While using white boards can be a management issue, I believe it helped my students have an engaging experience. It was challenging for some of my students to write the clue words on the white board, but I still resorted to using them because it gave them a more concrete experience. And, it having them write the context clues, I helped them dig into the text. I do invite you to think about the best way to use/introduce the white boards. 

I set aside 20 minutes to do the guided activity, but it took longer. I believe it took longer because they were learning how to handle the white boards, their anthologies, and the directions of writing clue words on the white boards all at once. It was not first time working with white boards, but there were some students who needed redirecting.

I also moved slowly with my demonstration, and I feel this benefitted them.

In teaching the strategy of context clues, I also used some notation that might be helpful for you to use with your students: I was using a plus sign after each clue word and then an equal sign after all the clue words time and time again because I see it helps my students understand the concept.

I work at giving my students a concrete experience of the words as much as possible. So one thing I asked my students to do was to divide the word(s) in syllables before finding the context clues. This gave them a repeated experience with the word and helped them when the word could be broken down into its structural parts. I gave them the word invented as way to review the concept of what we are reading.

Finally, as you notice in the video, I had the students draw a graphic organizer to write down the clue words, but I quickly scratched that idea because it was to much for them. With this lesson, it was just best to keep to the white boards.

  Gradual Release: Guided Activity
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Revisiting Vocabulary Strategy: Context Clues

Unit 11: Inventors
Lesson 4 of 9

Objective: SWABT use vocabulary strategies to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar/key words in their informational text.

Big Idea: Good readers use context clues and other vocabulary strategies to help them make meaning of unfamiliar words.

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dividing the word in syllables
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