Super Speed 1000: Part II - Super Speed Science (S3)
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – C.C. Colton
Super Speed 1000 worked so well in my bilingual Science classroom that I realized the value of creating a list of Science vocabulary words to help my English Language Learners (ELLs). I named the list Super Speed Science (S3). While all of my students increased their Science vocabulary fluency levels, my ELLs showed a marked improvement in just a few weeks. I would like to share with you how I developed and used Super Speed Science to inspire you to personalize Super Speed 1000 to match your content area.
My first listing of words was a simple compilation grouped by topic. There were 6-8 vocabulary words per line. Here is a line from my original S3:
Electrical, insulator, conductor, circuit, battery, switch
As you can see, it was simply a list of vocabulary words. S3 has the same rules as Super Speed 1000 and uses the same Star Reward sheet. Based on my experience with Super Speed 1000, I knew my students were going to enjoy playing S3 and they were going to improve their reading abilities. I thought I was good to go.
When I introduced S3 to my students, it was greeted with enthusiasm; however within a couple of days of observing S3 in use, I realized my students would benefit more if the word order was designed to reinforce Science concepts. So I redesigned the words. Now, instead of a being straight vocabulary compilation, Science facts are reviewed as the words are read. Here is an example of the change:
Insulator, stops, energy: plastic, rubber, wood, cloth
Conductor, lets, energy, pass: metal, copper, iron, silver
My experience with S3 has been very positive. At first my ELLs read the words without confidence. Then, after two weeks of daily use, I heard them read the words with mastery. It was a marked improvement. In addition, I am able to add words and change the list as needed. For example, on a recent test, most of my students missed a question because they did not know the meaning of the word “brass”. Now, they have penciled-in “brass” to the list of metals on their “Conductor” row of S3.
I hope my experience with S3 has inspired you to take the materials we are given in Whole Brain Teaching and personalize them to fit your class.