Tag Archives: vocabulary

And the winner of the Flashcards is…

12 May


After attempting my own templates at creating flashcards on Word and Excel, a student showed me this site and I cried, “HOORAH!!!!”

FINALLY! A website that gets it! At least for flashcard needs.

Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 9.08.21 PMPROS:

  • It’s FREEEEEEE!!! At least until you need to upload your own images. Otherwise, it’s $15/ year. I happily paid it so that I can freely use screen captures and whatnot for geometry figures and algebra graphs.
  • They have an APP for it!!! Tap to flip, swipe for next card. Awesome.
  • Super easy and clean spaces for you to put in your words.
  • They have multiple languages you can type in, including MATH. =)
  • Your students can look you up and freely print your sets, or even create their own sets!
  • And my favorite?! They have 5 different print options!!! –>


  • You can’t input images on both sides. Therefore, my cards are not all flipped in the same direction. I print, cut, and rearrange which way they should face, if and when it matters.

You can see the sets I have already created by searching my full name, jinnahwang (or by clicking here). I like to create class sets for them to practice with and have my own set to do my verbal vocab with. I’ve had students often ask me if they can get a copy and its always been clunky in printing out a PDF and then posting it on my website. I LOVE the print and fold flashcards as well so I can quickly print them on regular paper for students who are not-so-web-savvy and they can create them at home.

Love it!

Vocab Scavenger Hunt

29 Nov


I used to hate introducing new vocabulary words.

I still swear by my Verbal Vocab for constantly reviewing vocab words throughout the school year, but oftentimes in Geometry, the lecture on the introduction of over a dozen new vocab words in one class can get so dull, dry, and just boring. Kids mostly tune me out by word three anyways.

But Geometry is all about definitions. Not just definitions, but properties that arise once these things are defined. It’s so nit-picky, but it can’t be ignored. I’ve tried having them create a portfolio, but the thing took me forever to grade and the students were not huge fans of them either.

So I had a scavenger hunt this week instead for classifying quadrilaterals. I normally do this at the end of the school year on a field trip and it becomes a monster project, but I find so much value in it that I keep trying to incorporate parts of that project into the school year.


It’s two in part. The first part is a book scavenger hunt w/ fill in the blanks, a picture, and a non-example (which they are used to doing).

The second part is a photo scavenger hunt. I release them on to the campus in groups of 3 and have them search for the vocab words. They must email me the picture with their team name and an explanation of why that picture works.

It was fun. They had fun. Grading was easy (file after each period, search their name for all their emails) . I hung colored hall passes around their necks. I made them check in w/ me every 15 minutes. Book hunt took 15 minutes. Photo hunt took about 50 minutes.

Assignment is attached in Box widget as Intro to Quads Scavenger Hunt.

Geometry Verbal Vocab and Tools

13 Sep

*update 2* This is, BY FAR, the BEST thing to happen to my Geometry class! EVER!!

*update 1* Having a physical set of flashcards ready is also nice when students come in for tutoring. If I know it’s their vocab that they lack, I sit them down w/ my set and just have them go through it and teach them how to use it (retiring cards they already know and replacing the ones they didn’t).

Whew! Another change for this year. I’m at a new school again this year and feeling quite happy. More details to come later. I think.

As for now though, I am LOVING my new Geometry vocabulary study method and I simply want to share. It’s basically flashcards, but with the whole class. Every class, they start with homework collection and then it’s about 5-10 minutes of this. I simply flash a card on the document camera, call a name, they just have to say the definition aloud.

I’ve tried having all of them make their own flashcards, but they can hardly keep track of them, it takes too long to make in class, and the ones who need it rarely go over them. Such wasted time and resources so now I’m just basically creating one set for all of them!

It’s so simple, why didn’t I think of this before?! Maybe b/c this is my first time having a document camera. (It’s WONDERFUL and worth fighting for if you don’t have one, btw!)

It’s also amazingly nice because it’s only one word at a time and if a student gets it wrong or has no clue, we quickly move on to the next person who can answer it. I just make it a point to go back to the student a few cards later with the same or similar word. For example, if they read that first card to be “line XY,” I might go back to that student w/ the same card OR flash the card w/ the correct “line XY” symbol.

I did initially try to create this on Powerpoint, but decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Making physical flashcards were SO much faster. My goal this year is to balance my work and social life. =P

Second thing, I’ve been well trained in learning that not all students can provide their own materials, though they are oftentimes needed for their homework. Simple things like a protractor and ruler, for example.

Again, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but I simply printed a protractor and ruler onto transparencies and gave them out to those who didn’t have one. I called it my “ghetto fabulous protractor” and I think some of them wanted one simply because I called it that.

I hate how rulers found online can distort depending on how you print them so I simply xeroxed a clear ruler I had. The actual document is in the Box widget to the right. Make sure to check that an inch is really an inch if you decide to print and use it! (My old school scanner doesn’t scan in PDF.)

Silent Matching Game

26 Aug

I originally came up with this for the Geometry chapter on consecutive, alternate interior/exterior, same-side interior/exterior angles, but I find it to be quite nice for the beginning slew of intro words to Geo as well.

Basically, unlike flashcards, the answer or definition to a word does not go on the back of the flashcard, but on a brand new flashcard. Create enough pairs for one student to have one card.

Shuffle pile and pass out one card to each student. When prompted, they must find their matching card… without talking! (I think I made up this last rule to keep it mellow and so I don’t have everyone yelling their word out loud.)

Once they find their pair, they must sit down with their partner. This is how I know to come and check their answers and collect the cards if they got it correct or to make them stand back up again.

Once finished, I re-shuffle and repeat, challenging them to try to beat their old time. I ask students to get a new card if they (or their partners) had already received the card before.

I like this activity to go the day after I throw them about a gajillion new vocab words. It’s non-threatening and I like the way there’s a process of elimination for the harder definitions at the end.

Geometry Taboo

26 May

(In honor of my ridiculously competitive and dear friend, JO.)

She helped me come up with this game and I’ve wanted to try it for a while now. It’s CST this week so I finally decided to give it a go.  It actually took much less time than expected (more than do-able in about 75 min).

It was a little tricky trying to make it work in a class setting, but let me try to explain the logistics:

  1. Example/ Basic rules Only about 3 students were familiar with the game of Taboo so I created four example cards and gave one to each student in their pods of 4. They were not to show their card to anyone else. I then told them the basic rules, that they were trying to get their group to say the word at the top without using the words underneath. Each person went around and had a turn to try this while the other members tried to guess the word.
  2. Split the class in half, then into two teams per half Treat each half as two completely separate groups that will not be interacting with each other. The green team will be playing the blue team on each half of the classroom.
  3. Create the cards 

    I think this was actually the most important part of the process, where they learned the most.I took their list of geometry vocab words and split them into two separate lists (about 17 words each). Half the list went to the green team and the other half went to the blue team, along with a stack of 17 blank cards. Each team was in charge of creating the cards for the other team to use. One stack of 17 cards per group.This was great because they had to sit there thinking about the different words to describe the main vocab word. If they didn’t know the definition, I saw them take out their notebooks and decipher the definitions they wrote down into their own words.

  4. Set up to play Mash the green and blue teams together by having them sit every other team member. Therefore, each of them should have been surrounded by someone from the opposite team.
  5. Moving the cards/ Getting the points 

    The green stack of cards will now be played the blue team and blue stack of cards will be played by the green team only.

    Each person plays ONE card, no timer.
    If they can get their teammates to say the word without using the words underneath, they get the point. If they use the word underneath (monitored by the two opposing team members to their left and right), they do NOT get the point (no negative points). After they play their one card, they pass their deck to the next teammate while the OTHER team plays.

Some of my students were very good at this. Others, TERRIBLE! I even had one student not say a single word while the rest of them yelled out guesses until he nodded enough times to lead them to the right answer. It was hilarious. This is one of the reasons why having THEM actually create the cards is worth the time.

I even tried playing this w/ the math department. It was HILARIOUS! A definitely worthy game to try.