Presentation on theme: "Best Practices in Vocabulary Instruction: Modified Self-Selected Vocabulary in Action Wendy Otto Pliska, Hamilton School District firstname.lastname@example.org."— Presentation transcript:
1 Best Practices in Vocabulary Instruction: Modified Self-Selected Vocabulary in Action Wendy Otto Pliska, Hamilton School District
2 Introducing the kids…This activity takes place in my Freshman Seminar class.This is a freshman study skills/reading course open to at-risk freshmen based on recommendations from 8th grade teachers and counselors.Students generally struggle with organization, study skills, and reading, but are usually not EEN, although some are ELLMy class size varies from per semester
3 Goals of the ProgramHelp students to regain self-awareness when they don’t understand a wordGive students choiceExpose students to unfamiliar wordsTeach students vocabulary acquisition strategies they can use on their own in other classesHelp students think metacognitively about their own vocabulary learning
4 Goals of the Program, continued Teach students the difference between memorizing a definition and understanding a wordCreate vocabulary assessments that go beyond knowledge and comprehension questionsEncourage students to use their new words in other contexts/classesGet students excited about new words!
5 The first part last: the results Every semester, approximately 100 of our new vocabulary words are included in the final examResults:Spring 2009 (16 total students in class)Average final exam score = 89% correct1 student earned 100%3 students earned 99%2 students earned 97%Fall 2008 (14 total students in class)Average final exam score = 91% correct1 student earned 99%3 students earned 98%
6 What do we do? Weekly schedule Thursdays: Each student contributes 3 new wordsFridays: All words go on board; we discuss, vote, and discuss our six “winners”Mondays: 6 flashcards are due (one for each new word)Tuesdays: 6 word boxes are due (one for each word)Wednesdays: Vocab Review GameThursdays: Take Weekly Quiz, bring 3 new words
11 Key Elements of Word Boxes Rate Your Knowledge:K - I know it; H - I have a hunch what it means; S - I’ve seen it but I don't know it; and N - I've never seen it before today.Helps student reflect upon their own understanding of the wordAlso helps dispel the idea that you either know a word or you don’t(Buehl, 2005)
12 Key Elements of Word Boxes Identify Part of Speech – helps to eliminate misuse of words within sentencesCommon Context and Usage – helps students identify words that are usually only used in a certain context (i.e. legitimate is often used when discussing legal issues)
13 Key Elements of Word Boxes Meaning and ExamplesWhen discussing words with students, I actively discourage them from just writing down the dictionary definitionInstead, talking about how a word is used, examples, synonyms, characteristics, etc., can help a student gain a more mature understanding of the word(Buehl, 2009, p176)
14 Key Elements of Word Boxes Two-Part Create Your Own Sentence:First… Who would use this word?This helps students think about actual word usageUsing this prompt first helps avoid bland, vague sentences (i.e., “Bob is legitimate”)Next… How would s/he use this word?Students then write a sentence from the point of view of the speaker they’ve identified(Buehl, 2009, p177)
15 Key Elements of Word Boxes Identifying the context clues in the student-generated sentence helps students focus on:Creating specific, descriptive sentencesWhat context clues are
16 Side Note on Assessment Policy Inspired by the work of Ken O’Connor (How to Grade for Learning), I have a No-Zeroes, No-Excuses homework policyIf a student does not have his or her vocabulary practice work done on time, s/he will owe me the time it takes to complete the work. This can be after class, during lunch, and/or after school.This guarantees that students complete the formative work needed to learn wordsThis policy also trains students to do their work; since they will be completing it anyway, they are much more likely to get it done on timeIn addition, I only include summative assessments (weekly vocabulary quizzes) in the grade book… this allows students to take risks and make mistakes on the practice (formative) work without being afraid of bad grades
17 Wednesdays: Vocabulary Review Most Popular and Easiest = Vocab BingoSimply have students write one vocabulary word in each squareYou read off definitions, examples, synonyms, etc… and if a student has that word, they mark it offHelps students review words in a fun way!
18 Wednesdays: Vocabulary Review Another option: Vocab BattleshipThis is played in a similar way to the board game BattleshipStudents use a manila file folder as their game boardOn the top flap, students “hide” their words (one per box)On the bottom flap, students guess at the location of their opponent’s wordsIf a student finds one of her opponent’s words, she must be able to correctly give the definition of the word in order to gain the pointTeacher or extra student can be the mediator
19 Additional Vocabulary Review Quizletis a great, free website teachers and students can use to create vocabulary review listsI create a cumulative word list (with definitions) that students can log in to and use to review
20 Thursdays: Weekly Vocabulary Quiz Each weekly quiz contains 20 questions:8 “Knowledge” questions (fill in the blank)6 “Application” questions (“Connect Two” sentences) [Buehl, 2009, p ]6 “Analysis” questions (simple analogies)Students are given a word bankAny of the words from our cumulative list may appear on the quiz; students do not know ahead of time which ones will be on the quiz
21 FAQ’s Q: What if kids only pick the easy words? A: Most kids are pretty honest; individual low-achievers conference with the teacherA: Most students rise to the challenge; they actually enjoy stumping the teacher!A: See the Spring 2009 Cumulative Word List (next slide)
22 Spring 2009 Cumulative Word List AmanuensisAngstAttentiveAutopsyBarbBarrackBenignBesottedBluntBombardmentBravadoCaliberCanvasCatacombsCelticChasmCleftContemplateCreatineCulpableDebonairDilapidatedDiscriminationDrearyDuctDumbfoundedEgregiousEmaciationEuphoricExasperatingExorbitantExtemporaneousFalsettoFeebleFlippantlyFlirtatiousFoeForebodingFracasFrivolousFrolicGalaGrislyHaggleHaughtyHeatedlyHeiferHerculeanIdiosyncrasyHolisticallyIncredulousIndecipherableInebriatedInsubordinateIntriguedIrascibleJapeKamikazeKeenKosherLieutenantLoquaciousLusciousMalarkeyMaulMurkyNarcissisticNilNotoriousNymphOblivionPalindromePenitentiaryPicturesquePlatoonPansyParanormalPromiscuousPrudeQuizzicalReapRedundantRegimenRendezvousRevulsionRibaldSaccharineSalaciousSavvySeductiveSereneSexagenarianSlayTelekineticThrumTorridTwilightUnmoorUnrequitedVagueVandalYiddish
23 FAQ’s, cont’dQ: How could you adapt this to multiple sections of a course (so that a teacher doesn’t have to create multiple new quizzes every week)?A: My suggestion would be to let each class contribute 2 words to the cumulative list, and all classes are quizzed on the same list
24 FAQ’s, cont’d Q: Why does this work? A: Several reasons: Students must complete multiple formative (practice) activities, so they are learning and reviewing words several days/weekThe word list is cumulative, so students don’t merely memorize, test, and forgetIn class, we focus on talking about a word and using it in multiple ways, not just writing down the definition
25 ReferencesBuehl, D. (2005, June). Learning vocabulary in context. In Reading room. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from Wisconin Education Association Council website:Buehl, D. (2009). Connect two. In Classroom strategies for interactive learning (3rd ed., pp ). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Buehl, D. (2009). Student-friendly vocabulary explanations. In Classroom strategies for interactive learning (3rd ed., pp ). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.O’Connor, K. (2002). How to grade for learning: Linking grades to standards. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Rosenbaum, C. (2001, September). A word map for middle school: A tool for effective vocabulary instruction. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(1), Retrieved from EBSCOhost database.Ruddell, M. R., & Shearer, B. A. (2002, February). “Extraordinary,” “tremendous,” “exhilarating,” “magnificent”: Middle school at-risk students become avid word learners with the Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS). Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(5), Retrieved from EBSCOhost database.