Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.
Tier 3 Vocabulary and Classroom Games
Tier 3 words are commonly defined as low-frequency, subject-specific words. It is common practice to teach these words as part of content-specific lessons. The following word lists are a small sample of the thousands of Tier 3 words that can be used for the activities in this lesson. Feel free to add Tier 3 words that you feel would be beneficial for your students.
Tier 3 Word List - English Language Arts (A-I)
Tier 3 Word List - Mathematics and Science (A-I)
- Absolute value
- Biased sample
- Binary system
Find the Word
- All students place the same textbook on their desks. Any type of science or math text generally works well.
- Call out a specific page number and start a timer.
- Students open their books to the page you called out and try to find as many Tier 3 words as possible before time is up.
- After one minute, figure out which student has found the most Tier 3 words on that page.
- Ask the student to read the words aloud. As the student reads, write the words on the blackboard.
- When the student has finished reading, discuss with the class the definitions and uses of the words you wrote on the board.
- You can further the discussion by asking if students think any of the words on the blackboard are not Tier 3. If there is disagreement, encourage class feedback to determine the reasons and possible solutions.
Keep A List and Check It Twice
This activity can be used over a longer period of time or during a single lesson. Before you being a study unit, tell students to keep a list of all of the Tier 3 words they encounter in their readings, assignments, and other components of the lesson or overall topic. At the end of the class or the end of the week, ask for a few volunteers to write their lists of Tier 3 words on the blackboard.
As students should be studying the same material, it can be interesting to observe the similarities and differences in the lists. As part of a class discussion, try to raise the following questions about the student provided lists:
- Are all of these words Tier 3 words? Why or why not?
- Are the words on the blackboard spelled correctly?
- What are some examples of how specific words were used in the subject we studied?
- Which, if any, words are unfamiliar?
- Which words are familiar? In what context have you seen them before?
Tiered From Scratch
- Divide your class into groups of three to four students.
- Assign each group the same two or three letters of the alphabet and set a time limit of five minutes.
- During the five minutes, each group must make a list of as many Tier 3 words as they can that begin with the letter of the alphabet you assigned them.
- After time is up, ask each group how many words they came up with beginning with each letter.
- Compare the lists and crown the group who came up with the most correct Tier 3 words as the winners.
A solid understanding of Tier 3 words can help your students feel more confident as they interact with increasingly complex academic content. By encouraging your learners to keep an eye out for Tier 3 words, you can help them to build a comprehensive vocabulary that will aid them throughout their lives.
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