Presentation on theme: "Teaching Vocabulary to ALL Your K-3 Students"— Presentation transcript:
1 Teaching Vocabulary to ALL Your K-3 Students Kristin Nelson, Ph.D. andNaomi WatkinsIRA Annual Conference, Atlanta 2008
2 Today’s Schedule Vocabulary Instruction Self-Inventory Why K-3 Vocabulary? What do mean by ALL Students?What Research Says About K-3 InstructionComprehensive Vocabulary CurriculumSpecific-Word InstructionWord-Learning StrategiesWord Consciousness
3 Vocabulary Instruction Self-Inventory Take a few minutes to reflect on the vocabulary instruction in your classroom.What do you do?What are your feelings?Then, discuss your responses with a neighbor.Then, we’ll discuss as a group.
4 Why K-3 Vocabulary? Word knowledge gap begins before school Hart and Risely (1995) found that 3-year-olds from advantaged homes had oral vocabularies 5x larger than those from high-poverty homesWithout intervention, vocabulary gap gets biggerTo catch up, low-vocabulary students would need to learn 10 words a week.Biemiller (2005) believes the bottom 25% begin kindergarten with 1,000 fewer root word meanings.
6 What We Mean By ALL Students Gifted studentsAverage studentsEnglish Language LearnersStruggling ReadersSPED students
7 Related Research Repeated Reading Rich Instruction ELLs SPED Students Observations
8 Repeated ReadingsResearch shows that encouraging vocabulary acquisition in the primary grades using repeated reading combined with word meaning explanation works.In recent studies, Biemiller and Boote (2006) showed, in K-2 settings with 50% English-language learners, that repeated reading with repeated word explanations, students acquired up to 41% of words taught.
9 Repeated Readings cont. In these Biemiller studies, instruction was in the form of providing simple explanations.At the 41% rate of acquisition, 1,000 word meanings, 25 per week, would have to be taught to learn 400 words a year.Kindergarteners benefited from more than two readings with word explanation--1st and 2nd graders, twice was sufficient.
10 Rich InstructionIn recent studies, Beck and McKeown (2007) showed that kindergarten and first-grade children from a low-achieving school learned more sophisticated words with 6 days of rich vocabulary instruction versus 3 days--with a mean gain of 8.17 words for the verbal task (vs. 2.50) and 8.03 (vs. 2.97) for the picture task.
11 ObservationsNelson, Dole, Hosp & Hosp (2008) showed that over a three-year period, K-3 teachers in a reading reform project, taught vocabulary on average about 8 minutes a day. Is this enough?
12 English Language Learners From the research we have, the same research-based strategies also are effective with ELLs, but should be modified (Calderon et al. 2005).
13 Vocabulary Instruction for ELLs Considerations:Need to teach Tier I words (basic) August et al. (2005)Place words in contextProvide additional scaffolding and exposuresTie words to students’ cultural backgroundBuild background knowledge vs. merely activating BKUse cognatesIncorporate pictures, objects, gestures, etc.
14 SPED StudentsStudies show that the same research-based strategies also are effective with students with disabilities--but may need to be taught with more intensity and repetition
15 Research Suggests A Comprehensive Vocabulary Curriculum Includes: Specific-Word InstructionWord-Learning StrategiesFostering Word Consciousness
16 What is Specific-Word Instruction? Step 1: Selecting Words to TeachStep 2: Deciding to what depth you want students to know these wordsStep 3: Determining methods to teach words at determined depth
17 Rationale for Selecting Words Text may contain too many unknown words for direct instructionWord meanings may be given within the text as they occurExcellent instruction would be difficult to provide for a long list of words
18 Issues Related to Choosing Words There is no agreed upon list of best individual words to teachNo definitive method for approaching the issue how to choose wordsChoices may vary depending on grade level, reading ability, English proficiency
19 Choosing Specific Words: Possible Approaches Biemiller (2001) argues for teaching 4,000 root words by the end of grade 2 followed by 500 to 750 roots per year in elementary schools. He and his colleagues are working on a sequential list for teachers.Relying on recommendations from basals (but some such as Hiebert (2004) argue these words are often too rare to spend valuable time teaching) They sometimes may be too easy as well.Based on Dale & O’Rourke’s Living Word Vocabulary (1981)Example of a level-2 root is near (nearly, nearness); level-6 is secure (security, securely)
20 Possible Approaches cont. Teach a group of words that have related meanings or related to a single topicTeach words that are important to the understanding of selection or because of their general usefulnessTeach words that are “conceptually difficult” (i.e., not part of everyday experiences) such as superconductor as opposed to superfluousNagy (1988)
21 Possible Approaches cont. Teach words teachers want to be incorporated into their writing or speakingDuin and Graves (1987)Teach words based on a three-tiered approachBeck, McKeown, & Kucan (2002)Developed through their research
22 Three-Tiered Approach Tier One words: Most basic words, rarely requiring instruction in school. Baby, clock, glue, sadTier Three words: Words whose frequency of use is quite low, often being limited to specific domains, and probably best learned when needed in a content area. Isotope, lathe, peninsulaTier Two words: High-frequency words for mature language users; instruction in these words can add productively to an individual’s language ability. Coincidence, absurd, industriousBeck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002
23 Criteria for Identifying Tier Two Words Importance and Utility: Words that are characteristic of mature language users and appear frequently across a variety of domains.Instructional Potential: Words that can be worked with in a variety of ways so that students can build rich representation of them and of their connections to other words and concepts.Conceptual Understanding: Words for which students understand the general concept but provide precision and specificity in describing the concept.Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002
24 How to Choose Tier Two Words List all the words that are likely to be unfamiliar to your studentsAnalyze your list:Which are Tier Two words?Which are most necessary for comprehension?Which will you teach? In-brief or in-depth?Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002Chapter Two, Bringing Words to Life
26 Choosing Tier Two Words: A Model Read Owen and MzeeGo through the process just described and thenMake a list of 4-5 words from the text that you would teach.Compare/discuss lists as a group
27 Some Good ChoicesFrom Owen & Mzee: wallowed, grazing, surging, sanctuary, nuzzles, commotion, affection, resilience, extraordinaryWhat additional words might you select for ELL, Struggling and SPED students?
28 Step Two: Deciding to What Depth You Want Students to Know Words Do you want students to:Simply be able to recognize the word?Know the multiple meanings of the word?Understand the word while reading within the context of the text?Use the word in a different context?Use the word in oral conversation?Incorporate the word in their writing?
29 If you want students to understand words at a deeper level, then… Provide lots of examplesRelate words to students’ prior knowledgeElaborate on the meanings of the wordsPresent contrasting wordsIt’s like this, it’s not like thatProvide lots of repetition of the wordsUse gestures, pictures, visuals, etc. to help convey the meanings of wordsTeach the word conceptuallyRelate the word to other related words that students already knowRepeatedly expose students to the words in different contexts
30 A Few Methods for Teaching Specific Words at a Deep Level Use conceptual approaches to teaching vocabulary such as:Text TalkConcept Picture SortSemantic feature analysisVocabulary PicturesVocabulary BoxesWord Squares
31 Demonstration of Text Talk With Make Way for Ducklings
32 Beck et al’s Basic Text Talk Instructions Read the story.Conceptualize the word within the story.Have children say the word.Provide a student-friendly definition.Engage them in activities using the word.
34 Center Reflection: Think-Pair-Share Consider the following questions individually:With what activities were you already familiar? Unfamiliar?How did the activities enrich your understanding of specific words?What aspects of these activities do you think your students may find challenging? How can you help your students overcome these challenges? What adaptations might you have to make?How can you incorporate these activities into your classroom?Then, turn to a neighbor and share your responses.
35 Word-Learning Strategies Word-part clues:Prefixes, Suffixes, & AffixesContext cluesK: Model using context clues through think-alouds1-2: Instruct students how to use context clues3+: Teach the different types of context clues
36 Some Methods for Teaching Students Word-Learning Strategies Concept-Definition MapWord-Part Clue EvaluationWord Part WebMemoryWord FamiliesPrefix Crossword
38 Word-Learning Strategies Center Reflection: Think-Pair-Share Consider the following questions individually:With what activities were you already familiar? Unfamiliar?How did the activities enrich your understanding of how to learn words on your own?What aspects of these activities do you think your students may find challenging? How can you help your students overcome these challenges? What adaptations might you have to make?How can you incorporate these activities into your classroom?Then, turn to a neighbor and share your responses.
39 Teaching Word-Consciousness Word Play -riddles, rhymes and gamesWord Histories and Origins - Latin, French, Spanish connectionsIdioms, Similes and Metaphors
40 Example of Word-Consciousness “Teacher hands out little books called, Dinosaur Riddles.T has students read the riddles to themselves and thenasks for students to guess the answers. Teacher explainsto students why the riddles are funny. Example: What doyou call a dinosaur that smashes everything in its path?Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.”
41 Other Ideas for Fostering Word Consciousness Word Wizard: bringing in examples from home of words taught at schoolUse sophisticated words in the classroom - “It was magnanimous of your mom to send in these cupcakes”Share favorite words with each other - “My favorite word is epiphany, or serendipity…because…it means…and it sounds so pretty…”
42 Point out interesting language in stories students write - “Those were great words…”Or in stories you read to them -”It was fun to read the words …the authorincluded in her story.”Play games such as Scrabble and crossword puzzlesRead and write riddles (maybe with themes such asdinosaurs, Halloween, pets)Explain and use figures of speech -“She’s as happy as a clam” “Tough as nails”Read and write poetry
43 Ideas for Fostering Word Consciousness? What do you already do in your classrooms?Let’s brainstorm ideas.
44 A Review of What a Vocabulary Classroom Includes: Student-friendly definitionCompare and contrastElaborationGesturesReal, concrete objects/hands-on experiencesTeacher examplesStudent examplesRepetitionConnections to students’ experiencesFun with words
45 ConclusionsWhat will you try to incorporate/implement in your practice?What challenges do you foresee regarding this implementation?About what do you still have questions?
46 Contact InformationKristin Nelson:Naomi Watkins:University of Utah1705 E. Central Campus Dr.Room 142Salt Lake City, UT 84112
47 If you don’t mind, we would greatly appreciate if you left us with your completed self-inventories.
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