United States of America
SUGGESTIONS FOR USING 'MY DICTIONARY'
My Dictionary contains a list of basic and interest words commonly used by all primary-grade children in their writing. It also allows for individualization, as there is lots of space for them to add their own special words as they are needed. Children should recognize that My Dictionary is a resource that will help them spell words correctly. Guide your students to personalize their books by filling in the blanks on page 1 and drawing a picture (or gluing in a photograph) of themselves.In order to use their dictionaries effectively, children should know the letters of the alphabet and their associated phonetic sounds. You may want to use some of these ideas as you introduce My Dictionary to your students and explore ways this resource can be helpful.
1. Refer children to the alphabet and discuss the letters that come first, last and in the middle.
2. Help children discover that the words in My Dictionary are arranged in alphabetical order. Ask them where they would expect to find words beginning with the letter a, z, m and n. Show children the letter tabs on the edges of each page and have them practice locating words beginning with the letters you name. Ask them for example, How did you know to look for b near the beginning of your book? How did you know to look for t near the end? (Children’s answers should reflect their knowledge of the alphabet).
3. Introduce the Contents page. Ask children to find page numbers for specific letters and then turn to those pages to verify that the tabs and words beginning with that letter correspond. For example, On what page will we find words beginning with the letter d? Let’s turn to that page. Does the tab say d? What is the picture on this page? Does it begin with the letter d? Do you see other words beginning with the letter d that you know?
4. Help children relate the beginning sounds of words to the page on which the words might be found. If I needed to spell the word telephone, where should I look? How do you know I should look on that page? As you have children work through several examples, note their use of the tabs and the Contents page. Ask how they decided which page they should turn to. You may want to comment on the different approaches that you observe so children understand that there is more than one option.
5. Help children discover the information included on each letter page and consider how it might help them. Ask, for example, What information can we find on pages 2 and 3? How might that information help you? Children should note that:
6. Explore the Contents page to discover the lists of interest words. Have children explore these pages and share their findings with one another. You might ask your students to examine the interest word lists with a partner and then have each partnership share an interesting discovery with the whole class. After the children have shared, ask them to think of times during the school day when they might find one of the interest word lists helpful. Ask them to consider specific writing occasions and topics that are a part of your regular classroom activities.
7. To heighten your students’ knowledge of the words on the interest pages, some independent assignments can be beneficial. Here are some suggestions.
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