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Intensifying Vocabulary Intervention for Kindergartners

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1 Intensifying Vocabulary Intervention for Kindergartners
Breda O’Keeffe1, Michael Coyne, Sharon Ware, Ashley Capozzoli, Joshua Wilson, Betsy McCoach, John Madura Utah Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Conference, June 2013 1University of Utah Department of Special Education

2 Importance of Vocabulary
This Session Importance of Vocabulary Conceptual framework for early literacy instruction Early Vocabulary Instruction Choosing Words Defining Words Lesson Planning Example Study Example Instructional Activities Results

3 Importance of Vocabulary
What we know from research: Children enter school with meaningful differences in vocabulary knowledge as a result of differences in experiences and exposure to literacy and language activities. (Hart & Risley, 1995) The vocabulary gap grows larger in the early grades. Children who enter with limited vocabulary knowledge grow much more discrepant over time from their peers who have rich vocabulary knowledge. (Biemiller & Slonim, 2001)

4 Specific Comprehension Difficulties
Importance of Vocabulary Language Comprehension Specific Comprehension Difficulties Typical Readers Word Reading Mixed Reading Difficulties Word Reading Difficulties Catts et al., 2005; Vellutino et al., 2007; Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998

5 Implications Students at-risk for language difficulties
Code-based instruction alone is insufficient Oral language skills instruction is needed (in addition to code-based)

6 A Conceptual Framework for Reading/Literacy Instruction

7 A Conceptual Framework for Reading/Literacy Instruction

8 A Conceptual Framework for Reading/Literacy Instruction
How can you expand students’ vocabularies before they can decode words? Story reading with the same type of instruction that we are going to present today, embedded in story reading, then expanded on after story reading.

9 Choosing Words: Three Tiers
Low Frequency Words Teach when needed in content areas Tier Three High Frequency Words Teach a lot to build Vocabulary Knowledge Tier Two High Frequency Words Teach only when missing Tier One

10 Tier one (Basic Words) Made up of the most basic words
Examples: clock, baby, home, dog Time spent on instruction: VERY LITTLE TO NONE Most students have these words in their vocabulary, therefore these words do not need to be taught. What would be the exception?_____________ ELL students

11 Tier Two (Mortar Words)
Made up of high frequency words for mature language users Examples: coincidence, absurd, industrious Time spent on instruction: A LOT Most students will benefit from instruction on these words as it will add productively to their language ability.

12 Tier Three (Brick Words)
Made up of low frequency words that are limited to specific domains Examples: isotope, peninsula, trichotillomania Time spent on instruction: VERY LITTLE Most students will only need to learn these words within a specific content area they are currently learning.

13 How to Choose Tier Two Words
1) Importance and Utility Words that are characteristic of mature language users and APPEAR ACROSS A VARIETY OF DOMAINS (will generalize) 2) Instructional Potential Words that are easy to teach and build rich representations 3) Conceptual Understanding Words for which students understand the general concept but provide precision and specificity in describing the concepts

14 Examples of Tier 1, 2 and 3 words
Tier 1: Basic Tier 2: Mortar Tier 3: Brick home analyze volcano dog approach lava happy role pumice Work with a partner and decide which category each word belongs in: see find consist glaciated require vary go lexical major look molt significant boy respond abdominal interpret vaccine come peninsula again consequence over isotope lathe Tier 1: see, come, again, find, go, look, boy, over Tier 2: consist, major, require, significant, vary, interpret, respond, consequence Tier 3: glaciated, abdominal, peninsula, molt, lexical, vaccine, isotope, lathe

15 Defining Words Student-friendly definitions
Convey basic meaning of the word Definition (formal or informal) Synonym Demonstration

16 Definitions and synonyms:
Defining Words Definitions and synonyms: Must be understandable to the students!!! Should be as concise as possible. Don’t worry about subtle nuance; definitions should get students in the ballpark. Demonstrations: Must clearly convey the meaning.

17 Defining Words The most common errors in vocabulary instruction:
Using words the students may not know. Using too many words. Watch out for definitions that students do not understand! “A glerm is a fribby zog.”

18 Defining Words Formal Definition: Name a larger class, then name a specifier: A cooper is a person who makes barrels.

19 Defining Words Informal Definition:
Give any phrase that clearly conveys the meaning of the target word: When you are gleeful, you are very, very happy.

20 Lesson Planning Grades K-2: Story book reading
BEFORE: Introduce key vocabulary & definitions orally before reading story DURING: Teacher reads story aloud, students listen for and identify “magic” words AFTER: Vocabulary extension activities after story Grades 3 and higher: Students read text Other procedures the same

21 Example Study

22 Research Questions To what extent do K students who are at risk for language difficulties benefit from Tier 1 and Tier 2 vocabulary interventions? Can we “scale up” tiered vocabulary supports?

23 Method Population: K students in rural, urban schools
Included students in SPED and ELL 19 classrooms, 236 students total: Tier 1 = 167 Tier 2 = 69 17 Tier 2 instructional groups

24 Supplemental Vocabulary
PPVT < 95 Tier 2: Supplemental Vocabulary Intervention Tier 1: Classroom Vocabulary Instruction

25 Tier 1 Instruction Elements of Reading Vocabulary
(Beck & McKeown) Whole class instruction 20-30 min/day, 5 days/wk, wks Delivered by K teachers Introduced words (5 per week) Read stories Conducted follow up activities

26 Beck, I. L. , McKeown, M. G. , & Kucan, L. (2002)
Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford.

27 “These bricks will make a fine, sturdy house,” said the third little pig.
Sturdy means strong. Now I’ll say the sentence again with word that mean sturdy. “These bricks will make a fine strong house.” In the picture the little pig says that the bricks (point to the bricks) will make a sturdy, or strong, house. Everyone say sturdy.

28 Tier 2 Instruction In addition to Tier 1 Standard protocol
Focused on 3 words per week Small groups (3-5 students) 20-30 min/day, 4 days/wk, wks Delivered by school personnel

29 Tier 2 Instruction Multiple exemplars
Increased opportunities to respond Error corrections Model, lead extended responses Relate to personal experience Games!

30 Extended Instruction Simple explanation of target words provided within the context of the story. Extended activities after story reading. Extended vocabulary instruction is characterized by explicit, conspicuous teaching that includes using both contextual and definitional information, giving multiple exposures of target words in varied contexts, and encouraging deep processing. (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002; Stahl, 1986; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986)

31 Tier 2 Instruction Examples/Nonexamples:
Let’s play a word game. I’ll tell you about some things. If you think it is strong, say “That’s sturdy!” If you think it is not very strong, say “Uh oh, that’s not very sturdy!” Examples/Nonexamples: A big jet airplane in the sky. A little paper airplane on a windy day. A tall tower made of cards. This school. A big huge rock. A snowman on a hot sunny day.

32 Extended Instruction Let’s play a game about our magic word drenched. I’ll show you some pictures. If you think the picture shows something that looks drenched, or really wet, put your thumb up like this and whisper, “That looks drenched”. If the picture doesn’t show something that looks drenched, put your thumb down and don’t say anything. 32

33 Extended Instruction (Show picture) Do these children look drenched?
If you held up your thumb like this, you’re right! The children in this picture look drenched, or really wet. “The children laughed as they got drenched playing in the water fountain.” 33

34 Extended Instruction Picture 1 (Person in the rain)
The person in this picture is drenched, or really wet. This picture reminds me of a time when I was outside at a picnic. The skies got very dark and it started to rain. I ran to get inside the nearest building, but it was too late. I got drenched from the rain. I felt cold and wet until I changed my clothes. (remove picture) Tell me about a time when you were drenched from the rain. 34

35 Scaffolding Student Responses
Ask: Does this picture show someone who is active? If student answers correctly, say: Yes, that’s right! Why does/doesn’t this picture show someone who is active? (Students should say something like: “The kids are playing soccer!” or “The girl is sleeping!” or relate to the definition.) If student answers incorrectly, say: This picture does/doesn’t show someone active, because it does/doesn’t show someone moving around or doing something. Let’s try again. Does this picture show someone who is active?

36 Measures: Pretest Receptive Expressive EVT Target word measure
PPVT (Assignment Variable) WJ Listening Comprehension Target word measure EVT Target word measure

37 Measures: Post test Receptive Expressive PPVT
WJ Listening Comprehension Target word measure EVT Target word measure Story Retell Comprehension Language sample

38 Regression Discontinuity
Quasi-experimental design Assignment variable is known

39 post pre

40 Advantages: Disadvantages: RTI Relatively simple analysis
post Advantages: RTI Relatively simple analysis Disadvantages: Large N required More power with median split pre

41 Results: Receptive

42 d = .88

43 Results: Expressive

44 d = 1.20

45 Results: PPVT Posttest

46 d = .20

47 Limitations, Future Research
Difficult to get generalized results Words, instructional design Non-responders remain Tier 3? Fitting it all into a school day Scaling up further

48 Contact Breda O’Keeffe

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