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Ms. Ferzola from Whitestone NY is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

A Thesaurus is a Must to Build a Varied Vocabulary!

My students need resources such as 36 thesauri and 16 dictionaries to introduce them to new and exciting vocabulary!

  • $365 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Coming from another country and being put in a classroom deemed to be "rigorous" is not an easy feat. Some of my students have only been in the United States a few weeks, and their English proficiency is quite limited. Dictionaries and Thesauri are a must to properly build their vocabulary.

My students are middle-school aged, coming from very diverse cultural as well as socioeconomic backgrounds.

My general ed. students require constant reminding on how to improve their writing by eliminating "dead" words and substituting them with more accurate, precise language. The most challenging class that I teach is the English Language Learners. These students vary in ethnicity, proficiency and levels. It is very rewarding to successfully convey an abstract idea or review a precisely written paragraph in the month of June but these students need more resources. I vary my teaching techniques by using technology, modeling my writing and even "acting out" vocabulary, or scenes from a novel. These kids are eager to learn and when they do well, they are not only proud that they pleased ME, but they are proud of themselves as well!

My Project

I am an English Language Arts teacher. As everyone is aware, the state standards have changed (for the better to some degree) and the level of college-readiness is placed upon the teachers and students in middle school. It is impossible to "teach" a child to write precisely all of the time. I can teach a child to write a paragraph, and then I can teach him/her how to use transitions to make their writing flow. However, it takes a person time to acquire precise language, nuances and skill to perfect an essay. A third of my students are coming to America from many other countries. When I teach a new vocabulary word, I like to teach the varying degrees associated with that word. For example, you can be upset and you can be frustrated. Both are "bad" or negative feelings. I am trying to show my students the different levels of strengths words carry. I do this with paint-chips as well as visuals, however when set free to write on their own, any student would benefit from a thesaurus.

When given a writing assignment, many students are often "stuck" when asked to revise.

They do not understand that by simply reviewing their work and replacing the boring words with exciting words, they are improving their work! Unfortunately, many of the students I teach do not have a very large vocabulary bank in their 13 year old heads. Their vocabulary is limited, as is their conversational language. Having a thesaurus on hand will be beneficial to students now and in their academic futures.

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Ms. Ferzola
Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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2 donors2 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 100 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus • Amazon $5.56 36 $200.16
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms • Amazon $4.74 16 $75.84

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Project Activity

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