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Personalized Dictionary: Student Checklist


ELA: Reading All Ages Strategy


Verbal Reasoning Verbal Memory

Personalized Dictionary: Student Checklist

Create A Personalized Dictionary

  1. Use a notebook to create your own dictionary for unfamiliar words you come across in reading or conversation.
  2. Keep it easily accessible and jot down words as you hear or read them.
  3. While or after you read, look up the definition and write it down. Put the definition in your own words to help you remember it better.
  4. Draw a picture to go along with the word if pictures help you.
  5. Use the words from your dictionary in conversations or in your writing. Aim for 3 times in a day. The more you use the word, the more likely you will be to remember it.


  1. Teacher Notes: Encourage repeated use of the words in students' personal dictionaries. For example, challenge students to use a new word in their work or conversation three times that day. Note students' new words and make a point of using those words in conversation. The more repetition and varied context, the more likely the student will remember the word and use it on his own.

Why It Works? (the Science Of Learning!)

Vocabulary is highly correlated with reading comprehension skills. Research shows that students must experience new words at least six different times and in a variety of contexts to commit words to long-term memory. Many students are likely to skip over unfamiliar words and might never learn them without a structured approach to identifying, defining and practicing new words.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Long-term Memory, Working Memory (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)