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Take Aim Small-Group Format: Indigo example: Teaching methods/learning strategies

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The lesson included in this sample is "The Pirates of Treasure Island," from the Pirates! Unit in the Indigo level. Each Take Aim level teaches 288 carefully chosen target words.  A Take Aim level includes 12 units, and each unit has four lessons.  The Indigo level is designed for students who read at a fifth grade level or higher.  For more information about Take Aim, visit the Take Aim! at Vocabulary product page.

TEACHING METHODS

Take Aim promotes vocabulary development through activities that are grounded in research-based principles. Students gain familiarity and confidence with the target words through a combination of the following teaching methods:

  • Explicit instruction of target words.  Take Aim explicitly teaches each target word in a variety of formats, including a definition embedded in text, a definition that includes the word’s part of speech and a clarifying sentence, and questions and activities that deepen understanding.
  • Instruction of the target words in context.  In Take Aim, students read high-interest, nonfiction stories multiple times along with a narrator, with you, or with another student to learn the story and unfamiliar words. As students read, they encounter their definitions in the context of the story.
  • Student-friendly definitions. All target words in Take Aim include definitions and sample sentences written in clear, simple language that is easy for students to understand.
  • Multiple exposures to target words. In Take Aim, students encounter each target word several times. They encounter the words when they read the story, the definitions, and the clarifying sentences. They answer questions that use the target words and complete activities related to the words. Also, at least half of the target words are reused in two or more stories in each unit.
  • Multiple contexts for target words. Through the stories and activities in Take Aim, students see instances of each target word in multiple contexts. These multiple contexts support the rich instruction that builds familiarity and confidence and benefits comprehension.
  • Semantic mapping. Each unit in Take Aim includes word mapping activities that require students to connect the target words to other words, parts of speech, synonyms, antonyms, or personal experience.

LEARNING STRATEGIES

To help students develop skills in independently determining word meanings, Take Aim also incorporates these three research-based learning strategies:

  • Using context clues. The teacher or the audio-supported mini-lessons teach students how to use context clues to figure out the meaning of a word.
  • Analyzing word parts. The teacher or the audio-supported lessons and activities guide students through using word parts to infer the meanings of new words.
  • Using a dictionary or glossary. An illustrated, audio-supported glossary written in student-friendly language includes the target words plus additional challenging words that appear in the unit's stories. Students learn to reference this glossary each time they encounter an unknown word.

UNIT STEPS

Students follow the steps starting on the next page to work through each Take Aim unit.  The step descriptions will help you walk through "The Pirates of Treasure Island" lesson and review the curriculum materials.

pointer​ Take Aim Sample with "The Pirates of Treasure Island" Lesson

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