2 What is academic vocabulary? Academic vocabulary is the vocabulary critical to understanding the concepts of the content taught in schools. In identifying academic vocabulary for instruction, it is important to remember that not all terms are of equal importance. Some terms are critically important. Some terms are useful but not critical. Some terms are interesting but not useful.
3 Academic Vocabulary Common Core Shift 6 expectations Think About: What are your thoughts about over reliance of synonyms? Why are the phrases careful planning and strategic teaching important to vocabulary instruction?
4 Why is Academic Vocabulary important? According to Marzano (2005) the strongest action a teacher can take to ensure that students have the academic background knowledge to understand the content they will encounter is providing them with direct instruction in these terms. When students understand these terms, it is easier for them to understand the information they will read and hear in class.
5 Factoids… –Vocabulary assessed in first grade predicted over 30% of reading comprehension variance in 11th grade - Cunningham and Stanovich
6 While four encounters with a word did not reliably improve reading comprehension, 12 encounters did. - McKeown, Beck, Omanson, and Pople, 1985
7 One of the most critical instructional practices a teacher can provide, particularly for students who do not come from academically advantaged backgrounds, is systematic instruction in important academic terms. - Marzano and Pickering, 2005
8 Impact of direct instruction… Research shows a student in the 50 th percentile in terms of ability to comprehend the subject matter taught in school, with no direct vocabulary instruction, scores in the 50th percentile ranking. The same student, after specific content-area terms have been taught in a specific way, raises his/her comprehension ability to the 83rd percentile. - Stahl and Fairbanks, 1986
9 Marzanos 6 Steps to Vocabulary Instruction shown to be highly effective This strategy works at every grade level, from kindergarten to high school. It provides multiple exposures to a word in a variety of contexts and is most effective when all the steps are used. Employing the whole process promotes student achievement much more effectively than using any step individually. - Marzano 2009
10 Marzanos Six Step Strategy for Academic Vocabulary Instruction (First 3 steps – introduce and develop initial understanding.) 1. Provide a description, explanation, or example of the new term. 2. Ask students to restate the description or explanation in their own words. (The results are not as strong when students copy the teachers explanation instead of generating their own.) 3. Ask students to construct a picture, pictograph, or symbolic representation of the term. (This step is crucial. When students do this step well, achievement soars.) Steps 1-3 ensure that the term is introduced and that the students have developed an initial understanding of it.
11 ( Last 3 steps – Shape and sharpen understanding.) 4. Engage students in activities that help them add to their knowledge of the terms in vocabulary notebooks. (This step should be done every other week – alternate with Step Five.) 5. Ask students to discuss the terms with one another. (This step should be completed every other week – alternate with Step Four.) 6. Involve students in games that enable them to play with the terms. Games engage students at a high level and have a powerful effect on recall. (This step should be done once a week.) Steps 4-6 ensure that students have multiple exposures and experiences with the terms over time to help deepen their understanding.
14 Online resources for games… reading.net/index.php?title=Vocabulary_Reintroduce_and_Build_Mastery_Activitieshttp://www.free- reading.net/index.php?title=Vocabulary_Reintroduce_and_Build_Mastery_Activities
15 Checking in on Student Progress (formative assessment) Level 4: I understand even more about the term than when I was taught. Level 3: I understand the term and Im not confused about any part of what it means. Level 2: Im a little uncertain about what the term means, but I have a general idea. Level 1: Im very uncertain about the term. I really dont understand what it means.
16 Things to ponder… How do I provide rich and varied language experiences that support learning and using vocabulary? Do I spend time to teach individual words? What type of word-learning strategies have I taught to my students to help them increase their vocabularies? In what ways do I develop word consciousness? How does the culture of my classroom show a motivation and appreciation for word learning; in what ways do I support and encourage students in making a commitment to acquiring word knowledge, and do I share my own thirst for learning new words?
17 The Journey… Each fall, monarch butterflies in Maine begin an unbelievable journey to a hilltop in Mexico. How do they do it? They focus on the goal, not the difficulties. Each day they take their bearings and set off, allowing their instincts and desire to steer them. They accept what comes; some winds blow them off course, others speed them along. They keep flying until, one day, they arrive. Monarch butterflies are the only insect that migrates to a warmer climate that is 2,500 miles away each year
18 Your determination makes the difference. We think with words, therefore to improve thinking, teach vocabulary. - A. Draper and G. Moeller
19 References Beck, Isabel L., Margaret G. McKeown, and Linda Kucan. Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. New York, NY: The Guilford Press Graves, Michael F., editor. Essential Readings on Vocabulary Instrucrtion. International Reading Association Marzano, Robert J., and Debra J. Pickering. Building Academic Vocabulary: Teacher's Manual. Alexandria, VA: ASCD Association for Supervision and Curriclum Development 2005.