A Blog Covering D.C. Education [ABCDE]

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Mar 03 2011

Overheard in a 12th Grade English Classroom…

Student 1: (frustratingly flops book on desk and gives evil eye to Students 2 and 3) “Excuse me!–I’m trying to read here. You’re being so VERBOSE!”

Student 2: “Shut up. You’re not actually reading. Stop making such PRETENTIOUS comments!”

Student 3: (long mumbling, incoherent ramble about how she is “guh” because of the intentional use of SAT words)

Student 1: “That was not very SUCCINCT! And I don’t care if you APATHY [sic] reading!”

Student 2: “Don’t make me come over there and COERCE you!”

-three 12th grade students, during independent reading time, actually referring to the “Wondrous Word Wall” at the front of the classroom.


This semester, for the first time in my short teaching career, I actually created a word wall in our classroom in which I was invested.

Students, you see, had been clamoring for a broader vocab. So our goal became to learn at least one, and oftentimes two, “SAT” words a day.

Of course, SAT words are not special. No words are. They are, however, words that many students don’t know and that have an unusually high recurring rate on standardized tests.

To encourage recall and application, I decided to create an interactive word wall with definitions under the flaps. Today’s “Overheard” is a humorous example of how the mere presence of words on a wall can spur language development in the uncanniest of moments.

(For those teachers looking for a fun, simple SAT resource, the book 500 Key Words for the SAT, and How to Remember Them Forever! is a life-saver–it’s the book I use to teach the words)

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Really, "A Blog Covering Dilemmas in Education": A (former) English teacher's reflections…

D.C. Region
High School

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