As a math teacher, I think that we often forget the importance of vocabulary in the math classroom. We know it is needed, we know that students need to understand certain vocabulary words, but how often do we really give students the time to explore these vocabulary words?
In previous years, I have used Frayer Models to help students explore the vocabulary words in math. I love that these graphic organizers go beyond simply defining the word, but also requires them to list facts/characteristics, use in a sentence, and show examples and/or illustrations. By listing the facts/characteristics, it challenges the students to break down the word and discuss the meaning of the word past the simple definition. By using it in a sentence, the student is able to show that they understand how that word can be used within the content being taught. By creating examples/illustrations, it gives visual representation to the word and helps the student retain the concept. So…yes – I totally love Frayer Models!
As I continue in my EdTech nerdiness, I wanted to find a way to take these graphic organizers and make them digital. Students need to participate in activities that require them to make “make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding” (CCSS). They need to continue to be exposed to some of the “old-school” strategies such as graphic organizers, but in a new and relevant way.
The answer to my problem was simple – Google Slides. I created a slide deck template of blank Frayer Models and shared them with my students on Google Classroom. (See template below.)
As a class, we discussed some of the vocabulary words from our most recent unit to determine which words needed to be included in our slide deck. I taught them how to use Google Slides, as well as how to insert pictures by using the “explore” feature. Then, the students began working, either individually or in small groups, to fill in their slide deck. (See example student slide deck below.)
The slide deck above is an example from one of my 7th grade students. We have only just started this activity, so it does not contain all of the vocabulary words yet. However, it is an excellent example of how the slide deck should be completed, as well as the student choice in the activity. By giving the students choice in their slide deck, they really enjoyed completing the Frayer Models. In particular, they enjoyed designing their slide deck and inserting the images into it. Although vocabulary is not alway the most “fun” thing for students to do in class, I found that the students were asking when they could work on their vocabulary again.
If you are interested in using this template in your classroom, click HERE or on the link above. If you use it, I would love to hear how it is going in your classroom!