Enhancing student growth and fluency through scientific vocabulary
Fields, Stephanie Brooke
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This study focused on vocabulary and writing skills to promote scientific literacy to align with a series of Student Growth Objectives that I set out based on student needs as specified by the Common Core. The need for a strong vocabulary background is evident especially for at-risk students who might have very little support at home. Students were not scoring well on assessments due to the lack of understanding of scientific terminology and poor study habits. The school system provided an afterschool homework help, but a majority of the eighth grade students did not take advantage of this. To provide additional support, I restructured my class period as well as my teaching style to encompass a stronger vocabulary base by making vocabulary a focus and activities encouraging vocabulary building. Throughout the study my eighth grade students used a variety of methods and methodologies to show improvement in their knowledge of science context. This study used formative and summative assessments, observations, surveys, activities, and student perceptions of scientific terminology. I found that with increased class time spent with a variety of activities such as flashcards, jeopardy, BINGO, and other ways to review, students remembered and test scores improved as did terminology usage in student writing.