Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Learn a New Word Everyday

The school year is almost over. Summer vacation is almost here and with it come all the wonderful activities that we've waited for all winter. Biking, swimming, hiking, camping, state fairs, festivals, and outdoor concerts are all just around the corner.

Unfortunately, there is one other thing that happens during summer vacation. It's called "summer learning loss" or "summer brain drain." This refers to the amount of material students forget over the summer. When I was teaching, I hated that I had to spend so much time in the fall reviewing material from the previous year. It always seemed like such a waste of time to teach lessons that the students should already know. And yet, the new topics couldn't be learned if students didn't remember the old ones. Some years it took almost 2 months to get the students to the point where they could attack the new concepts.

Thank goodness there are ways to help prevent this learning loss. Over the summer, I will try to give some suggestions that might help.

Today's suggestion is to learn a new word everyday. While you're doing your summer activities, look and listen for new words. For instance, I was watching a news show tonight and heard one of the announcers use the word "pusillanimous." I had never heard this word before. A quick search on the Internet showed that it is an adjective that means lacking courage or resolution, is timid, and fearful.

A student who learns a new word everyday (it helps to write them down), will know about 90 new words when school starts again in the fall. And that can only be a good thing!

No comments:

Post a Comment