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Intensifying Vocabulary Intervention for Kindergartners Utah Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Conference, June 2013 Breda O’Keeffe 1, Michael Coyne, Sharon.

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Presentation on theme: "Intensifying Vocabulary Intervention for Kindergartners Utah Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Conference, June 2013 Breda O’Keeffe 1, Michael Coyne, Sharon."— Presentation transcript:

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

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

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


8  How can you expand students’ vocabularies before they can decode words? A Conceptual Framework for Reading/Literacy Instruction

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

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?_____________

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: BasicTier 2: MortarTier 3: Brick homeanalyzevolcano dogapproachlava happyrolepumice Work with a partner and decide which category each word belongs in: seefindconsistglaciatedrequirevary golexicalmajorlookmoltsignificant boyrespondabdominalinterpretvaccine come peninsulaagainconsequenceoverisotope lathe

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

16  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. Defining Words

17  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.” Defining Words

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

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

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 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, 20-24 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). 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, 20-24 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  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) Extended Instruction

31 Tier 2 Instruction  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 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. Extended Instruction

33 (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.” Extended Instruction

34 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. Extended Instruction

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  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 post 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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