Academic Vocabulary: From Drab to Fab!

Report

We will be active learners & listeners

We will be respectful

We will be positive

We will put our phones on silent or vibrate

We will refrain from sidebar conversations
WHAT IS THE MAKE-OVER PLAN?
Teachers , you will
 Understand the purpose for
academic vocabulary work and
how it ties to key governing
instructional standards
 Be able to see how Tier 1, 2, and 3
words differ
 Describe and explain what
academic vocabulary words are
 Be supplied with an instructional
protocol for implementing
academic vocabulary work during
your daily instruction
Shift 1
• Building Knowledge through content-rich
informational text
Shift 2
• Reading and writing grounded in evidence from
text
Shift 3
• Regular practice with complex text and its
academic vocabulary
› Language Anchor Standard #6
 Acquire and use accurately a range of general
academic and domain-specific words and
phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking,
and listening at the college and career
readiness level; demonstrate independence in
gathering vocabulary when encountering an
unknown term important to comprehension or
expression
Kindergarten
First
Second
ELACCKL6: Use words
and phrases acquired
through conversations,
reading and being read
to, and responding to
texts.
ELACC1L6: Use words
and phrases acquired
through conversations,
reading and being read
to, and responding to
texts, including using
frequently occurring
conjunctions to signal
simple relationships
(e.g., I named my
hamster Nibblet
because she nibbles too
much because she likes
that).
ELACC2L6: Use words
and phrases acquired
through conversations,
reading and being read
to, and responding to
texts, including using
adjectives and adverbs
to describe (e.g., When
other kids are happy
that makes me happy).
Kindergarten
First
Second
ELACCKL5: With guidance
and support from adults,
explore word relationships
and nuances in word
meanings.
ELACC1L5: With guidance
and support from adults,
demonstrate understanding
of word relationships and
nuances in word meanings.
ELACC2L5: Demonstrate
understanding of word
relationships and nuances in
word meanings.
c. Identify real-life connections
between words and their use (e.g.,
note places at school that are
colorful).
c. Identify real-life connections
between words and their use (e.g.,
note places at home that are cozy).
a. Identify real-life connections
between words and their use (e.g.,
describe foods that are spicy or
juicy).
d. Distinguish shades of meaning
among verbs describing the same
general action (e.g., walk, march,
strut, prance) by acting out the
meanings.
d. Distinguish shades of meaning
among verbs differing in manner
(e.g., look, peek, glance, stare,
glare, scowl) and adjectives
differing in intensity (e.g., large,
gigantic) by defining or choosing
them or by acting out the
meanings.
b. Distinguish shades of meaning
among closely related verbs (e.g.,
toss, throw, hurl) and closely related
adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny,
scrawny).
Task:
You will listen to a series of statements.
Raise your hands for statements that are
true and keep your hands down for those
that are false.

Academic vocabulary terms or Tier 2 words are content specific and
text supported words that students are unfamiliar with. Due to their
specialized nature, teachers explicitly teach them.

Using the practice of giving students words on Monday, writing the
words multiple times on Tuesday, finding definitions on Wednesday,
writing sentences on Thursday, & giving a test on Friday to acquire
new vocabulary is an example of best practices.

Young students lack vocabulary knowledge, so it is ineffective to
expose them to complex text with challenging vocabulary words.

Importance and utility, instructional potential, and conceptual
understanding are 3 factors that can help denote a word as being a
Tier 2 or academic vocabulary word.

A strong vocabulary supports readers in tackling increasingly more
complex text.

Tier 2 words and academic vocabulary are synonymous terms
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Characteristics
Characteristics
Characteristics
Examples
Examples
Examples
Tier 1
Basic Words that are learned
through conversation; used daily
Tier 2
High use academic
words that are not
content specific
Tier 3
Content specific
& not frequently
used
Task:
Given the set of words in the baggy and
with a partner, sort the words under one of
the 3 categories of tier levels. Record the
words under the category
where they best fit on page 5
in your booklet.
You will have 5 minutes
Tier 1
Common Terms
Tier 2
Academic Vocabulary
Tier 3
Content Specific
Word Bank
Neurons Go Explain Prepare Big Play Loam Amphibian
Boy Evaluate Zygote Schema Illustrate Display House
Tier 1
Common Terms
Tier 2
Academic Vocabulary
Tier 3
Content Specific
Go
Big
Play
Boy
House
Explain
Prepare
Evaluate
Illustrate
Display
Neurons
Loam
Amphibian
Zygote
Schema
Word Bank
Neurons Go Explain Prepare Big Play Loam Amphibian
Boy Evaluate Zygote Schema Illustrate Display House

They are high yielding words and are seen
often in written material

They facilitate the comprehension of
academic text

They are not easy to learn and require
deliberate action from stakeholders

They are used to articulate simple things in
precise ways

Unlike Tier 3 words, they are not scaffolded in
text
Ingredients Needed:
20 words no one has ever heard before in his life
1 dictionary with very confusing definitions
1 matching test to be distributed by Friday
1 teacher who wants students to be quiet on Mondays copying words
Put 20 words on chalkboard. Have students copy then look up in
dictionary. Make students write all the definitions. For a little
spice, require that students write words in sentences. Leave
alone all week. Top with a boring test on Friday.
Perishable. This casserole will be forgotten by Saturday afternoon.
Serves: No one.
Adapted from Kylene Beers’ book “When Kids Can’t Read, What Teachers Can Do”

Language-rich literary books that
› Relate to grade level concepts
› Relate to grade level content
› Support grade level standards

CCGPS & GPS standards
› Verbs and key nouns

Academic vocabulary word lists
› Berkeley Unified School District
Task:
Using your grade level standards, you will
highlight words you think would be ideal as
academic vocabulary words to teach to
your students. Please use the
highlighters that have been
provided in your bins.
You will have 4 minutes

Use this criteria for selecting words; a yes to all three
questions would indicate that you have a Tier 2 word
› Is this a generally useful word?
› Does this word connect to other words & ideas that are
being covered in the curriculum?
› Is this a word that will aid students in comprehending text
and building conceptual understanding?
Let’s try this strategy with explain
and now amoeba
Is it a generally
useful word?
Words to be
Analyzed
Does this word
connect to other
words/ideas being
covered in the
curriculum?
Does this word build
the comprehension
of text and build the
understanding of
concepts?
A yes to all three questions would indicate that you have a Tier 2 word
Is it a generally
useful word?
Words to be
Analyzed
Does this word
connect to other
words/ideas being
covered in the
curriculum?
Does this word build
the comprehension
of text and build the
understanding of
concepts?
explain
A yes to all three questions would indicate that you have a Tier 2 word
Do you think explain is a Tier 2 word?
Let’s see if it is by asking the 3 key questions.
Is it a generally
useful word?
Words to be
Analyzed
Does this word
connect to other
words/ideas being
covered in the
curriculum?
Does this word build
the comprehension
of text and build the
understanding of
concepts?
explain
amoeba
A yes to all three questions would indicate that you have a Tier 2 word
Ameba is a word that children would be unfamiliar with,
but let’s put it to the test.
Is it a generally
useful word?
Words to be
Analyzed
Does this word
connect to other
words/ideas being
covered in the
curriculum?
Does this word build
the comprehension
of text and build the
understanding of
concepts?
explain
amoeba
A yes to all three questions would indicate that you have a
Tier 2 word.
Now you try this test with one of your highlighted words.
Is it a Tier 2 word? Why or why not?

As early as 1941, researchers have estimated that there is a gap of approximately
5,000 words between high achievers and low achievers.

Preschool or children’s books expose you to more challenging vocabulary than do
prime-time adult TV shows.

Vocabulary can be learned through reading and talking.

Research shows a student in the 50th 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.

First grade children from higher SES groups know about twice as many words as
children from lower SES groups.

High School seniors near the top of their class know about 4 times as many words
as their lower performing classmates.

The amount students read is strongly related to their vocabulary knowledge.
Taken from “Building Academic Vocabulary Beverly Public Schools K-5 Handbook”
http://www.beverlyschools.org/district/files/Curriculum&Instruction/Building%20Academic%20Vocabulary%20handbook.p
df
The following exchange occurred in a first-grade
classroom in February:
Jason:
Ms. H:
Jason:
Ms. H:
Is this going to be an ordinary day?
What would make it ordinary?
If we did the same old thing.
What might make it not ordinary, make
it exceptional?
Jason: If you gave us prizes for being good – I
mean exceptional and mature.
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.47, 2002)
In order for students to be able to use a
word effectively in either speaking or
writing they need to have explicit,
scaffolded instruction.
Kate Kinsella, 2010
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Read a language-rich story
Contextualize the word within the story
Have learners say the word
Provide a student-friendly explanation of the word
Present examples of the word used in contexts
different from the story context
Engage children in activities that get them to
interact with all of the words they have learned
Have children say the word
Close with a combined review of all of the
developed words
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHE78
WSBpP8
As children are developing their reading
and writing competence, we need to take
advantage of their listening and speaking
competencies to enhance their
vocabulary development.
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002

Select
› Language-rich texts

Look For
› Words that would be unfamiliar, understandable, and
useful (The U³ Rule)

But Be Sure Not to
› Use the books that young learners are using to learn to
read to teach new vocabulary

Due To The Fact That
› Learners can understand more advanced text when it is
presented orally,

Don’t Disregard
› Simple texts
Selected Words
Is the word
unfamiliar to
young learners?
Is the concept of
this word easy to
understand?
Can it be used in
normal
conversations?
A yes to all three questions would indicate that you have a Tier 2 word
Task:
Using any book on your table, read a few pages
and select 3 words that you could use as
academic vocabulary terms. Check and see if
they meet the requirements of The U³ Rule.

Connect the word directly to how it was
used in the story

It creates a point of entry for
understanding what the word means

Allows students to become familiar with
the sounds in the word
› Creates the potential for phonemic
awareness work

Forms the foundation for
› remembering the term
› making connections to roots and their
inflection forms

Explains in simple terms by
› Characterizing
› Explaining in everyday language

Add an example to clarify the meaning
› Consider things that children engage in,
› enjoy doing, or
› are interested in.

Change the context of the word

Children typically limit word use to the initial
context

Use different examples
Child 1:
I would be reluctant to leave my teddy bear in
the laundromat.
Teacher: Well, that’s just like what Lisa did in the story. Try to think
about something you might be reluctant to do that is not
like Lisa.
Child 2: I would be reluctant to leave my teddy bear in the
supermarket.
Teacher: Okay, that’s a little different than what Lisa was
reluctant to do, but try to think of something that you
would be reluctant to do that is very different that what
Lisa was reluctant to do.
Child 3: I would be reluctant to leave my drums at my friend’s
house.
Teacher: That’s pretty different from what Lisa was reluctant to do,
but can we think of something that you would be
reluctant to do that isn’t about leaving something
somewhere.
Child 3: I would be reluctant to change a baby’s diaper!
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.52, 2002)

Facilitates opportunities for learners to
engage repeatedly & deeply with terms

Fosters giving responses and explaining
examples
Questions, Reasons, & Examples
Students are asked to provide explanations
about events centered around questions or
examples.
The Purpose
Students are asked to defend their thoughts
& ideas based on their understanding of the
word.

If you are walking around in a dark room, you
need to do it cautiously. Why? What are some
other things that need to be done cautiously?

What is something you could do to impress your
teacher? Why? What is something you could do
that might impress your mother?

Which of these things might be extraordinary?
Why or why not?
› A shirt that was comfortable, or a shirt that washed
itself?
› A flower that kept blooming all year, ore a flower that
bloomed for 3 days?
› A person who has a library card, or a person who has
read all the books in the library?
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.56, 2002)
Making Choices
Similar to doing a “Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down”
activity, but students express themselves by
stating a word or phrase if the accompanying
statement is true. They can say an alternative
term or nothing if there is not another word.
The Purpose
Students have to make choices based on their
understanding of the term.

If any of the things I say might be an example of people
clutching something say “Clutching.” If not, don’t say
anything.
› Holding on tightly to a purse
› Softly petting a cat’s fur
› Blowing bubbles and trying to catch them

If any of the things I say would make someone look
radiant, say “You’d be radiant.” If not, don’t say anything.
› Winning a million dollars
› Walking to the post office
› Getting a hug from a favorite movie star

I’ll say some things, if they sound leisurely, say “Leisurely.”
If you’d need to be in a hurry, say “Hurry.”
› Runners in a race
› Sitting and talking with friends
› A dog lying in the sun
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.56-7, 2002)

Your Turn
› Think about 1 new bit of information you
have learned today that you can use with
your students
› Share your “Aha” with the person next to you
› Volunteers will be elicited to share their new
insight and that of their buddy with the
group
You will have 3 minutes for this activity
The closing should feature a review of all of
the words covered during this block of time
Start this segment by stating, “We have talked
about 3 words, ______, ______, and _____. Let’s
think about them some more.”
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.57, 2002)
Relating Words
Consider how you might connect the words
based on how the word can be expressed,
physical actions, synonymous meanings, etc.
The Purpose
Aid students in making connections and
thinking deeply about how words might
relate to each other.
In the case of reluctant, insisted, and drowsy,
we noticed that each word might be
expressed through facial expressions, so that
is what was done.
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.57, 2002)
Combine all the words into one sentence.
Include a question to encourage students to
think and explain their thoughts and ideas.
Example
“Would you prefer to budge a sleeping
lamb or a ferocious lion? Why?”
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.58, 2002)
Students are asked to choose between this or
that based on a given scenario
Example
“If you get your clothes ready to wear to school
before you go to sleep, would that be sensible
or raucous?
If you and your friends were watching a funny
TV show together and began to laugh a lot,
would you sound pounce or raucous?”
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.58, 2002)
One Context for All the Words
When not all the words relate or connect in a
manner that makes sense, you can create a
common context for all the words by using a
common context, action, event or object.
The Purpose
To aid learners to see how terms can relate to
one another.

What would an immense plate of
spaghetti look like?

Why might you feel miserable after eating
all that spaghetti?

What would it look like to eat spaghetti in a
leisurely way?
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.58, 2002)
Same Format
Structure sentences by using a common
frame for questioning students about all
the developed words.
The Purpose
Predictable frames aid learners to structure
their thinking and expression






If you satisfy your curiosity, do you need to find out
more or have you found out all that you need?
Why?
If a dog was acting menacing, would you want to
pet it or move away? Why?
If you wanted to see something exquisite, would
you go to a museum or a grocery store? Why?
Is imagine more like dreaming or sneezing? Why?
Is snarl something a fish might do or a lion might
do? Why?
Is grumpy a way you might feel or a way you might
move? Why?
 Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.58-9, 2002)
Children Create Examples
Students are prompted to show their thinking
of how a word fits in a given context
The Purpose
To foster student thinking and reflection

If there was an emergency at an
amusement park, what might have
happened?

If you had a friend who watched TV all the
time, how might you coax him into getting
some exercise?
Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (p.59, 2002)
Task:
Given what you have
learned about explicitly
teaching young students
academic vocabulary
words, complete the
instructional template for
a possible lesson that
you might use to teach
your class.
You will have 10
minutes to do this
Planning To Do List
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Pick a story
Contextualize the word
Create a studentfriendly explanation of
the word
Present examples of the
word used in contexts
different from the story
context
Engage children in
activities that get them
to interact with all of the
words they have
learned
Close with combined
review of all of the
developed words

Words have to be revisited often for them
to be retained, so consider
› Reinforcing connections between words and
meanings
› Expanding students’ collection of related words
› Presenting real world application of words
› Involving learners in talking about words
Consider these possibilities
 Post words on a word wall
 Tally word usage over time
 Connect old words to the context of new
words
 Use words as part of your daily message
 Create a class/personal dictionary
 Encourage word usage when writing
 Continuous practice of words through oral
sentence creation
Ingredients Needed:
3-5 great books
5-10 great words that you really could use
A heavy sprinkle of great open-ended questions
1 word wall
5 morning messages
1 teacher who thinks learning is supposed to be fun & engaging
1 huge dollop of celebration
Place 3-5 great books at the center of your instruction. Mix 5 to 10
words into the classroom. Have students test each word for flavor
by tossing in a heavy sprinkle of open-ended questions. Talk & think
about the words on your word wall whenever possible. Use the words
in your morning message and encourage their use when children
write. Stir all week by a teacher who thinks learning is vocabulary is
supposed to be fun. Top with cool celebrations when youngsters
remember and use vocabulary words.
Serves: Many

Academic vocabulary terms or Tier 2 words are content specific
and text supported words that students are unfamiliar with. Due to
their specialized nature, teachers explicitly teach them.

Using the practice of giving students words on Monday, writing the
words multiple times on Tuesday, finding definitions on Wednesday,
writing sentences on Thursday, & giving a test on Friday to acquire
new vocabulary is an example of best practices.

Young students lack vocabulary knowledge, so it is ineffective to
expose them to complex text with challenging vocabulary words.

Importance and utility, instructional potential, and conceptual
understanding are 3 factors that can help denote a word as being a
Tier 2 or academic vocabulary word.

A strong vocabulary supports readers in tackling increasingly more
complex text.

Tier 2 words and academic vocabulary are synonymous terms
Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.
G., & Kucan, L. (2002).
Bringing Words To Life:
Robust Vocabulary
Instruction. New York:
The Guilford Press
› Jim Burke Resource
http://www.englishcompanion.com/pdfDocs/acvocab
ulary2.pdf
› Features academic vocabulary words and other words
related to them
http://www.uefap.com/vocab/select/awl.htm
› Berkeley Unified School District
http://www.berkeleyschools.net/wpcontent/uploads/2013/05/BUSD_Academic_Vocabular
y.pdf
› 21 Links to Vocabulary Computer Resources
http://www.learningunlimitedllc.com/2013/02/20digital-tools-for-vocabulary/
ONLINE RESOURCES FOR
ACADEMIC VOCABULARY WORK
WITH K-2 LEARNERS
Text Talk: Capturing the Benefits of Read-Aloud Experiences for
Young Children
http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/texttalk/pdfs/Capturing_the_b
enefits.pdf

Building Vocabulary for 1st Grade Students
http://www.sfps.info/documentcenter/view/6990

Text Talk Lessons Created by Utah Reading First Educators
http://sjsd.schoolwires.net/cms/lib3/MO01001773/Centricity/Domain/87
2/TextTalkLessons.pdf

Expanding Vocabulary Development in Young Students
http://www.slideserve.com/indiya/expanding-vocabularydevelopment-in-young-children


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