Soaring Through Secondary Blog Hop | Science in the City

Dec 15, 2012

Soaring Through Secondary Blog Hop

Soaring Through Secondary Middle and High School Blog Hop

I am excited to be participating in my first blog hop.  Thank you to the other bloggers who made the logo (, and organized the blog hop (  Next in the hop, after me, is  To visit the next blog in this blog hop, click on the link at the bottom . 

I am trying a new strategy I am using this year in my classroom with a lot of success.  Many of my students (and perhaps yours too), struggle with 'academic' words that show up often in textbooks and test questions.  These may not be content words, specific to science, math, English, or Social Studies.  They are, however, academic language.  They are  not words that students use in everyday conversation, or probably hear at home, particularly if they are not from well-educated homes.  

These are called "Tier 2" vocabulary words.  They can also have different meanings in different contexts.  These are discussed well here and I also learned more about them in my ELL Professional Development, discussed here   

I am trying to spend more time explicitly teaching these words.  I am setting expectations for students to use these words in their writing and verbal responses.  One strategy I'm using is to make these words bellwork.  I am then using more traditional bellwork questions as a 'ticket out.'  Each day's bellwork includes a new word, context clues, pictures, or choices to figure out what it means, and use it in a sentence.  Then at the end of a week we have a matching quiz on the words.  Ideally my ticket out has the bellwork question in it!  Most of the time at the end of the week kids say something like "Oh!  These are the words we have been doing!!"  They are doing really well on the short mini-quizzes on these words, and their test scores and confidence reading test questions has gone way up.  I wrote about that when I started this strategy here 

As part of this blog hop, I am offering the following prize: 
Inferring Vocabulary Cards Set 1                             Inferring Vocabulary Cards Set 2

Leave a comment stating 

  • your email address 
  • how you would use this product in your classroom, or what strategies you use to teach your students these type of words.  
I will randomly choose a comment to receive either set of your choice free. 

Check out the next blog in our blog hop!!



  1. Great strategies to use for learning vocabulary! Could be used across other subjects as well.

  2. What a great idea to teach tier 2 words! I have quite a few students who need help with this too. I think giving them a quiz every week would be a great way to keep bringing it back into the classroom and would hopefully build their confidence.

  3. As an ELL teacher in China this is a great idea! Thanks so much for the resource with a list of words, it was very helpful.

    jessilcaldwell at

  4. Thank you. Nice to make the connection. I am at a school with a high population of ELL students, and am actually looking into getting ELL certification next year (I have a scholarship), just trying to figure out the details. I am looking forward to reading your blog and hearing more about your adventures.

  5. Thank you for the comments and for visiting and checking things out! Congrats to our winner. She has been contacted and emailed the product. Hope she and her students enjoy it!


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