Friday, May 17, 2013

Vocabulary Idea- K.I.M.S Strategy

Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe that the school year is almost over. The kiddos will be out for summer in 3.5 school day! I know they are getting excited to be done with school spending time with their families this summer. Today our 3rd-5th graders had their field day; boy was it a blast! The 5th graders put on a surprise dance off at the end of the day. Since I'm suffering from bronchitis I offered to stay in and monitor the students who had to retake their CRCTs. The day ended with my 3rd graders doing a presentation of the shoe-box Georgia Habitats. They were so cute and creative!

I'm very fortunate to be in a school system where professional development is huge! We receive a lot of new training on many different aspects of curriculum. One of the training sessions we were required to attend was Literacy Across the Curriculum. During this training we focused on ways to improve vocabulary in classrooms ranging from K-12. I thought it was very cool that you could use this strategy for all ages of students and it would still have the desired outcome. This strategy is called K.I.M.S. it stands for Key Word, Information (definitions), Memory Clue (a picture), and Statement (using the vocabulary word in a sentence).

Since learning about this strategy I've used it a lot in my Title I classes. Since I work with struggling readers this is a great way to get them to recognize and learn unfamiliar words in a fun way! Before I explain exactly how we use it, let me show you an example of one that we created, whole group, during a since lesson on pollution.

When you first begin using this strategy I suggest doing it on chart paper with 2 K.I.M. boxes drawn. I always put the blank template on top, so the students can remember what goes into each box, and then complete an example on the bottom as a whole group. 

To begin, you introduce the vocabulary word and add it to the Key Word section. I then do the Information box; while completing this box I always have the students put the definition into their own words and use what they say as the text. Next we move on to the Memory Clue box. In this area you draw a picture that will help you remember  the definition of the vocabulary word. I then like to complete the Statement box buy creating a sentence that goes along with our memory clue. 

After doing a few examples I allow the students to complete them on their own. Sometimes I have them work in groups and sometimes I have them work independently. Buy this point in the year my students can do a K.I.M with no help at all. They actually LOVE doing this assignment because they think it's not really working since they get to draw and they can be creative with their statements. Seems that I left my other memory card at school; I will get the student examples posted on Monday =( 

To help you all get started using this strategy I created a document that you can print for your students to start learning how to complete the K.I.M. charts. Just click on the picture below to download the document! 

I hope you find this as useful in your own classrooms and I have in mine! If you have any questions about how to use this please contact me.

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  1. This is a great idea! I am always on the lookout for graphic organizers to help students learn new vocabulary words. This is ideal for use in a multiple of ways, in science, social studies, language arts, etc. Thanks for sharing! I will be using this for sure! (PS> I have 38 days to go....)

    1. Sidney,

      I absolutely love using this for science and social studies! I remember just having to copy the words and definitions over and over each week and I never remembered everything. The kids really seem to thrive using this method! I think it allows them to have more control over how they are learning the vocabulary words and they can make their own connections to the words.

      You should also check out my free Countdown to Summer blog post! I started our classroom chain with 24 days left in the school year so maybe you would find it beneficial in your classroom too! We only have 1.5 days left!!!

  2. What a simple, yet effective graphic organizer - love the memory clue, especially. I teach in a school with a high refugee population - and I have found that pictures (along with acting out words where possible) have the biggest positive impact. Nice job! :)

    1. We have a very high enrollment/unenrollment rate at my school. Each week we have a minimum of 10 new students into the school and most of our students don't stay for more than 1 or 2 school years. This is such a simple way to teach vocabulary that you can review it as often as needed for students who have never used it before. The memory clue is one of my favorite aspects of this method. The students are able to be so creative and they always surprise me with the memory clues they come up with.

  3. Thanks for this graphic organizer. I agree that kids think it is having fun when they get to draw. My boys love to draw whenever they get a chance, so this might work very well for them.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom