Presentation on theme: "IRA Research Conference Atlanta, Georgia May 3, 2008"— Presentation transcript:
1Teaching Vocabulary to Primary Grade Students Within a School Reform Project IRA Research ConferenceAtlanta, GeorgiaMay 3, 2008Jan Dole, Kristin Nelson, Michelle HospUniversity of UtahJohn HospFlorida State University
2Overview of the Talk Anticipation Guide Background to the Study Research QuestionsMethodsResults & DiscussionImplications of Research for Professional Development and Practice
3Background to the Study Word knowledge gap between middle-class and high poverty students begins well before students enter kindergarten.Word knowledge gap gets bigger as students get older.Biemiller (2005) estimates that the bottom 25%-achieving students begin kindergarten with 1,000 fewer root word meanings than average-achieving students.
4Background of the Study Research and vocabulary scholars suggest at least three components of teaching vocabulary:1) specific word meanings2) word-learning strategies3) word consciousness
5Specific Word Meanings Effective teaching includes:Using student-friendly definitions.Providing example sentences.Using words in more than one context.Teaching words deeply if you want to impact text comprehension.Teaching new words for known concepts.Providing repeated practice with words.
6Word-Learning Strategies Effective teaching includes:Showing students how to break down words into specific word parts that have meaning.Showing students how to use context clues to estimate the meaning of words.
7Word Consciousness Effective teaching includes: filling students’ lives with a variety of words and allowing them to have fun with language and words.
8Background to the Study Teachers spend an average of 3% to 20% of their instructional time on vocabulary with the percentage varying depending on the block of time used for analysis (Durkin, ; Roser and Juel, 1982; Blachowitz, 1987; Watts, 1995; Scott, Jamieson-Noel, and Asselin, 2003).None of these studies conducted specifically on primary grades.
9Research QuestionsHow do primary grade teachers teach vocabulary (within a school reform project)?How much time and how often do they teach the meanings of words?What methods do they use for teaching words to their students?What are their perceptions of their vocabulary instruction?
10Context of the Study The school reform project was Reading First. The goal of Reading First was to increase the number of students reading on grade level by the end of the third grade.All schools were Title I schools.The project impacted districts, schools and teachers.
11Impact on DistrictsAssistance in identifying professional development needs of individual schools.Professional development in reading (including vocabulary development) for principals, coaches and teachers.
12Impact on Schools and Teachers Compensation for reading endorsement classes.Professional development at the state and district levels.Participation in grade/school level study groups (Discuss students progress and instructional strategies).Coach mentoring and feedback.
13MethodsObservations of kindergarten, first, second and third grade teachers participating in school reform project.Follow-up interviews with teachers participating in the same project.
14Observations Year 2 of the project: 111 teachers. Total number: 337 observations of teachers.Conducted over a 3-hour literacy block. 90 minutes for reading.
15Observation Instrument ICE-R2 instrumentAdapted from Edmonds., M. S., & Briggs, K. L. (In press). Instructional Content Emphasis instrument. In S. R. Vaughn & K. L. Briggs (Eds.) Reading in the classroom: Systems for observing teaching and learning. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Adapted by University of Utah Reading First evaluators.
16ICE-R2Observers focus on teachers’ behaviors during the 3 hour reading/language arts time block.They take extensive field notes.They then code 10 dimensions of language arts instruction.One of those dimensions is vocabulary.
17Observation Instrument Observed developed short summaries of teacher behavior:“T refers to vocabulary chart-asks Ss about root words, suffixes and prefixes on words, e.g. galloped, glistened.”“T and Ss read from a passage…Ss are to understand the vocabulary words off to the side of the passage by reading and deciding the meaning in context.”
18Observation Instrument Researchers used these summaries to develop a new coding scheme.Result was the development of the K-3 Direct Vocabulary Instruction Instrument.
19K-3 Direct Vocabulary Instruction Instrument 1) Includes teaching:specific words: defining, examples or non-examples, explaining or elaborating, generating sentences, combinations of these.word-learning strategies: context clues, word parts, synonyms or antonyms, combinations of these.word consciousness: word play, games, figures of speech.
20K-3 Direct Vocabulary Instruction Instrument 2) Includes explicit or implicit teaching of vocabulary:Explicit--defined as teacher-directed instruction, particularlyTeacher talk (teacher alone), teacher/student interaction (teacher and student), or student practice.Implicit--defined as embedded within an activity--e.g. teacher read-aloud.
21K-3 Direct Vocabulary Instruction Instrument 3) Includes oral and or written dimension: Was the instruction:* oral (only speaking)?* written (worksheets, writing sentences, journal entries)?* combination of both?
22InterviewsFifteen purposefully selected teachers who had participated in the project in all of the years of the observations to date.Scripted questions designed to elicit conversation about specific areas of vocabulary instruction and their purposes for providing the instruction.
23Results and Discussion On average, 7.55 minutes of instruction (4.74% of the literacy block across three years).On average, 60% of the teachers provided vocabulary instruction.On average, those who taught vocabulary did so twice (2.0 times) during the literacy blocks.Kindergarten teachers provided the least vocabulary instruction; third-grade teachers the most.
25Methods of Instruction Teaching Specific Words: 90%Word-Learning Strategies: 9%Word-Consciousness: 1%
26Teaching Specific Words “T gives definition of words on word wall and Ss say which word wall word fits the definition. T says these are amazing words, ‘interrupt and protest.’ T asks Ss if they know meanings. They talk about the definitions. T writes definitions on board.”
27Teaching Word-Learning Strategies “T tells Ss they will use context clues to find meanings in words they don’t know. T begins to read passage and Ss follow along. T stops to ask vocabulary questions from words on the board. As they find meanings for the word, T writes definition on the board.”
28Teaching Word Consciousness “Teacher hands out little books called, Dinosaur Riddles. T has students read the riddles to themselves and then asks for students to guess the answers. Teacher explains to students why the riddles are funny. Example: What do you call a dinosaur that smashes everything in its path? Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.”
29Methods of Instruction Teaching specific words:Definitions of words 46%Using examples and non-ex. 10%Explaining/elaborating %Using sentences 10%Combination of approaches 22%
30Teaching Words by Examples and Sentences “T writes the word lonely on the easel. Ss repeat the word and T explains the definition. Ss give examples of when they were lonely.”“T and Ss have a discussion about each word on the chart (county, auctioneer, bid) and use the words in a sentence.”
31Explicit or Implicit Instruction Explicit across 3 years 99%Implicit across 3 years 1%Explicit InstructionStudent/teacher interaction 92%Student practice % Teacher talk %
32Oral or Written Instruction Oral Across 3 Years: 14%Written Across 3 Years: %Oral and Written Across 3 Years: 80%
33Teachers’ Perceptions about and Explanations for Teaching Vocabulary 1) They are purposeful in choosing words to teach:* Connected to decoding, spelling, and fluency.* Present in basals.* To achieve on standardized tests.* Words to use with Text Talk (Beck & McKeown).
34Teachers’ Perceptions about and Explanations for Teaching Vocabulary 2) Teachers discussed the teaching of specific words, but not word-learning strategies or word consciousness.3) Teachers described and appeared to have inert knowledge about vocabulary instruction that had not been enacted in their classroom practice.
35ConclusionsFindings related to the amount and frequency of vocabulary instruction are consistent with other observational studies.With professional development, these primary grade teachers were able to provide vocabulary instruction beyond assigning and mentioning.Such instruction is explicit in that teachers are directly working with students to understand and learn new words.
36ConclusionsOn the other hand, K-3 teachers did not teach students word-learning strategies very often.Neither did teachers promote word consciousness.
37ConclusionsThus, teachers either began with or were able to develop intermediate levels of knowledge and enacted practice of vocabulary instruction.
38ConclusionsBut, K-3 teachers did not have what we would call advanced levels of knowledge and enacted practice of vocabulary instruction.
39ConclusionsNovice - Assigning and mentioning, simple worksheets, dictionary definitions only, not purposeful in choosing words.Intermediate - Student friendly definitions, using examples/nonexamples, a combination of approaches, writing and talking about words, purposeful in choosing words.
40ConclusionsAdvanced - Including all 3 components of instruction, striving for deep understanding as needed through semantic approaches such as mapping and feature analysis, offering repeated exposure to the words in different contexts.
41Implications of Research for Professional Development It is unclear what professional development these teachers had in vocabulary instruction.We know they did learn about Beck et al.’s Three Tier Model.They also learned Text Talk (Beck et al.).We doubt, but not know, that they learned much about word learning strategies or word consciousness.
42A Professional Development Curriculum in Vocabulary What should it look like?Theory and research on vocabulary acquisition.How students learn new words.The achievement gap in vocabulary learning(high achievers vs. low achievers).Best teaching practices.
43A Professional Development Curriculum in Vocabulary Best teaching practices on:Specific words.Word-learning strategies.Word-consciousness.
44A Professional Development Curriculum in Vocabulary When teachers want students to learn words deeply to affect comprehension:-- Semantic maps.-- Concept maps.-- Semantic feature analysis.-- Frayer method.
45A Professional Development Curriculum in Vocabulary Explicit instruction in vocabulary* Modeling and explanation (I do).* Guided practice (We do).* Independent practice (You do).
46Jan.Dole@utah.edu firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Thank you for your interest. You can contact us: