Vocabulary Strategies that Work!

Alphaboxes is an awesome strategy to get your kids talking about a text to determine important words. It activates prior knowledge, higher-order thinking skills, builds rich vocabulary, and is super versatile. You can read more about it (and download a free graphic organizer) here

Alphaboxes also transitions well into List-Group-Label. Students can use their list of words on the Alphaboxes form to categorize words into groups. After sorting the words into groups, they label the group of words and explain how they are related. I love how list-group-label encourages diverse thinking because there is not one right answer.  As long as students can explain their thinking, it is correct! You can read more about this strategy (and watch a video of it in action) here

Select Two and Reflect (STAR) is great as a standalone activity or to follow-up the aforementioned strategies. Students will select two words that are important to the text and write a paragraph about how they are related. I love the way it encourages students to make personal connections to the text and increases their overall comprehension. You can read more about it (and download a free graphic organizer) here!

These are a few of my favorite things this month. What are yours? It's not too late to join up with Teaching Trio because the linky party is open all month!


  1. I love the name Alphaboxes! Just sounds so fun! :)

  2. I also love Alphaboxes... They work so well with so many activities! I use them a lot to help students gather content words during our Social Studies units! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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  3. Love Alphaboxes! Thank you for sharing :)


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