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multiple choice questions
vocabulary words
root man
Vocabulary Workshop Review
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Vocabulary Workshop Review

My fourth and fifth graders use the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop by Jerome Shostak. There is more than one series available. We choose the 2005-2006 version that has color levels. The 2011 series also has color levels. The colors are purple, green, orange, and blue for elementary grades 3-5 respectively.

What you'll find inside the book:

The forward explains how they set up the book. Some key points include:

  • The lessons are designed to help students increase their comprehension and prepare for standardized tests. An example: In the orange level, there is a passage about an artist named Faith Ringgold. Students read the passage and answer multiple choice questions.
  • The book provides an opportunity to build grammar usage skills by completing a sentence using the vocabulary words from the unit. Some words need their ending changed.
  • Use the words to express themselves. In one of the unit reviews in the orange level, the kids are told to write a sentence using one of the words they are reviewing. They can write about whatever they want as long as the word's meaning isn't changed and it is used in context.
  • Understand Latin and Greek roots as they apply to the words presented. In one lesson in the orange level, the root "man" is presented and defined. There is a list of words that have the root "man." The words are defined and the student fills in the blank to create a sample sentence.

The next few pages in the book explain the parts of speech, synonyms and antonyms, how to find context clues, analogies, and a pronunciation key. There is also a diagnostic test so that the teacher may learn where the students' abilities lie.

What a unit looks like:

Most units are divided into six sections: definitions, match the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, completing the sentence, and word associations. In the definitions section, students are provided with the definition, part of speech, synonyms and antonyms. The example sentences require that the vocabulary word be written in the space provided. In match the meaning, word associations, synonyms, and antonyms sections, the student is presented with multiple choice questions. The should also write the answer on the line provided. In the completing the sentence section, the vocabulary words are not on the page itself. A resourceful student will notice that they are on the adjacent word associations page. The words often need an ending change.

Review Units:

There are two different types of review units. The first type comes after every four units. Depending on how often the students are assigned work in this book, the unit review will fall about every quarter. The quarterly reviews include a multiple choice select the word section, a spelling section where one letter is missing from a previously learned word, a multiple choice antonyms section, a comprehension section that includes a reading passage and multiple choice questions, and more.

The next type of review is like a semester review of the previous 8 units. The sections are very similar to the unit and quarterly review sections.

Online Games

I often forget that there are online games. My kids did fine without them, but love it when they get to play hangman, crossword puzzles, word searches, word scrambles, concentration, and more.

I recommend this series because it thoroughly teaches the student the words and periodically has them practices what they learned for long term retention. It is important to note that I haven't used all the levels, only orange and blue (4th and 5th grade). My students use Wordly Wise 3000 in second and third grade. Then, in sixth and seventh grade, they use Vocabulary From Classical Roots.


Street Talk

Great review! All of my children attend online school and I'm always looking for something to help them learn. They're a lot older now, but I have a 5 year old that will be entering kindergarten soon.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks you for the comment and compliments. I also have a kiddo who will be in kindergarten in the fall. My kids are actually online students, too. Sometimes, it's just easier for me to say that they are home schooled since I do not always have time to explain the differences between all the school options.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I know! Most people will see it as home school whether you explain it properly or not!

  
  about 1 decade ago

So true. It's funny how people in the home school world make a big deal out of the differences, but people with kids in brick and mortar schools do not think there are many differences.

  
  about 1 decade ago

This is an excellent overview of the workshop book. Looks like it would be a big help to parents who want to teach their kids about vocabulary. It's an important subject to learn in this world of texting.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you for the comment. You have a good point that teaching vocabulary is especially important with texting. We often look for the easiest, most basic words when we text. I hadn't thought about how the generation that grew up texting may have a more limited working vocabulary.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

So glad you mentioned texting! I hate to see adults using short hand texting language in their "everyday" documents. I guess I'm just a bit old fashioned. I spell out every word, even in my text messages!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I don't send texts because I find it tedious. I try not to use texting lingo in my everyday typing. However, my baby often falls a sleep in my arms and doesn't transfer to his bed easily. So, I type with one hand and end up shortening things as much as I can because I accidentally hit a lot of buttons, making spelling mistakes that way. Soon, that won't be an issue because they grow up so quickly.

  
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for an informative article. I'll have to check and see what my grandkids are using

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you for reading my article and commenting.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Never having been good in the subject if I had to sit and take an examine on verbs, nouns, adjectives etc, I would probably fail it today. Like Shawn I have always read books and although it never helped me at school I think it has helped in later life.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

In all honesty, I wasn't very good at it either. I find that teaching someone else improves my skills quite a bit. So, I have my kids explain things to each other after they've learned it. Sometimes, that's when the light bulb moment occurs for the "teacher." I also think that reading has helped me later in life.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Rebecca when I was a t school (a long time ago) teachers with their ties and blazers were not the best at their jobs, innovation and the new ways of learning still a long way off. I was great at the maths and could even hold my own in an argument with a teacher, but English, I was an idiot.

  
  about 1 decade ago

Great job. I have always had so many problems with definitions like Adjective, noun, etc... but I do understand sentence structure, just can not define it. I think it has a lot to do with being a very avid reader from the time i could open a book.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Eventually, I will review a program that doesn't use nouns, adjectives, etc because those are confusing. The other curriculum is actually for teaching reading and spelling. It uses Who or what phrases instead of subjects; did what phrases instead of predicates; and so on. It makes a lot more sense for many people. Thanks for the comment. Doing book reviews on curriculum is new to me and I was wondering how much it would appeal to my target audience. It's not a very exciting topic, but people aren't very anxious to randomly choose curriculum.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I think there is a need here. I will be looking for the review on that program. Your article is very easy to read.

  
  about 1 decade ago

That program is a bit more complex and I love it even more, so it may be a weekend job :)

  
  about 1 decade ago
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