Vocabulary is where the "rubber meets the road" in subject areas like social studies, science and language arts. If students do not understand the key terms and definitions in a given unit then they most certainly cannot master the content. By now most educators are realizing that technology can go a long way in empowering students to be creative and engaged in the learning process. However, in most classrooms there is a lack of technology utilization when it comes to student vocabulary acquisition.
I have been tinkering with various strategies, both digital and non-digital over the past few years in order to front load vocabulary. Specifically, I have aimed at front loading key terms so that ELL's, students with reading comprehension gaps and special education students experience a more leveled playing field in the inclusive classroom environment. The strategies and technologies that I am sharing here offer some wonderful advantages in accomplishing this goal.
The first step is to digitize your vocabulary list. I found that using animated GIF's on my website that students can access quickly with a QR code works well. Click the button below to visit my site to see for yourself.
Here is a sample of the double sided four-square template that I use. Notice the QR codes so that students can complete the assignment anywhere with an mobile device.