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    personal dictionaries for first graders
    By Cheryl

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    Here are a few of things we have done in the past years: we take the 100 most frequently used words in writing and turn them into an alphabetized "portable word wall" for each student. These words are typed out, listed in alphabetical order, glued onto file folders, and laminated. I am often surprised to see how often kids pull these out to use when they are writing stories or doing other activities. They also make good "stand-up" privacy walls when taking tests. Another thing we have done in the past is to have students purchase a few spiral wide-lined spiral notebooks as part of their supplies in fall. We have used one of the notebooks as a writing journal, one as a math journal, and one as a personal dictionary. In the dictionary, we start the year off by putting the alphabet letters in, and then entering the color words and number words throughout the first few weeks. It takes some practice to teach them to write smaller on the lines, but the catch on after the first couple of weeks. We also paste sheets of holiday words, people words, months, days, etc. in the back of the notebook.

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