Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Spotlight on Strategies: Concept Circles

May5

spotlight on strategiesEven though there is always a mind-boggling amount of invaluable info shared on the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), one of the best resources available is the Spotlight on Strategies (S.O.S) series, a must-see DEN favorite designed to provide teachers with simple yet effective instructional practices for using digital content to support student learning.

To date, there are 70+ teacher tried and tested strategies featured on the DEN blog and now thanks to Lance Rougeux, Vice President of Learning Communities and Educational Consultants at Discovery Education and all-around DEN tech guru, I will now be featuring these techniques on my space. Two thumbs up to this guy!

So, enough of that. Let’s fast forward to the really good stuff…

This week’s feature—Concept Circles—is an instructional strategy that strengthens vocabulary skills.

Big Idea

Concept Circles (Vacca & Vacca, 2001) are tools which help students move beyond memorization of terms and definitions by focusing them on analyzing the relationships between those words. In this strategy, students use a circle organizer to analyze how vocabulary words are or are not related through a concept or topic. There are different models for the circle: some are simply a circle divided into quarters; others, like the one used in the example below, provide space for note taking and identification of the concept.

Now that I have your attention, all you have to do is click here to snag a PDF version of this super cool strategy which includes info related to materials needed, steps for integrating the Concept Circles strategy into lessons, an example and extension activities. And there’s even a video overview you can check out here. Pretty cool, eh?

Better yet—click here to check out the entire S.O.S. series on the DEN blog!

So, there you have it: Another S.O.S. trick to add to your edtech toolbox. Stay tuned for additional ways to activate learning in your classroom…

Like what you see? Then be sure to check out other ideas in this series:

» Reading Between the Lines

» ABC Summary

» 6-Word Stories

» What Did They Say?

» A-E-I-O-U

» Snowball Fight

» Whittle It Down

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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