Master Content Vocabulary
February 9, 2015 by David John Jones, Jr.  | 

I am constantly reminding my kids and students about the importance of mastering the content vocabulary from their learning experiences as it is essential to comprehending and explaining the big ideas or concepts of their units of study. Mastering content vocabulary in science, social studies and language classes etc. is equivalent to owning basic math facts when problem solving. 

A great way to learn content vocabulary is by making traditional flashcards on index cards. Cutting a sheet of paper into 6 or 8 squares is a cost effective way to create flashcards too. To make a flashcard, simply write a key vocabulary term on one side of an index card and its definition or a paraphrased description of the term on the reverse side. I highly recommend color-coding each group of flashcards by lessons within chapters or units. 

Quizlet is a great online resource for creating flashcards to master content vocabulary. Student accounts are free and teachers have the ability to choose between free or premium accounts. Once you create a "Set", or a list of terms with descriptions, Quizlet provides its users with multiple ways to master content vocabulary terms through flashcards, games and practice tests etc. My students truly enjoy practicing the Quizlet Sets I create for each unit of study. My kids and students have accounts to create Sets for classes not using Quizlet.

There are numerous online resources for creating flashcards to learn content vocabulary. Quizlet just happens to be the one that has worked best for me at home and at school. The convenience Quizlet offers my kids and students by being able to practice and learn content vocabulary wherever they are via a computer or mobile device is immeasurable. The same holds true for traditional flashcards. 

From my experience as a dad and teacher, students who regularly create and use flashcards as a means to master content vocabulary, whether traditional or digital, are much better able to comprehend and explain the big ideas or concepts of their units of study through written and oral expression. Additionally, students who master content vocabulary for each unit of study perform better on their assessments.