Day 2 * PM Session 1:00-4:00 - Santa Rosa County School District

Report
Session Objectives
Participants will increase their knowledge of:
• The importance of syntax and vocabulary as
elements of text complexity.
Model for English Language Arts
Common Core State Standards
Florida Department of Education
2
Vocabulary and Syntax
The educational implications of the measures of text
difficulty include:
• Single biggest predictor of student achievement is vocabulary and
syntax.
• Need to be addressed throughout schooling (kindergarten through
12th grade). Schools and districts should plan a coherent, intensive
and systematic program for vocabulary and syntax.
• Syntax is one of the most powerful predictors of difficulty.
• Some features of text are more important than others—syntax and
vocabulary are an example of two essential text features to pay
particular attention to during instruction.
Exploring Syntax
Select a juicy, rich sentence(s) to
explore and post on chart paper or
on an interactive SMART board.
Secondary Example
Practice with a Partner….
On the next slide, look at the posted
sentence and the questions.
Deconstruct the sentence using the
probes to guide your thinking.
Count the number of words.
What does this sentence mean?
“When the founding fathers
Identify/underline the important nouns.
used this phrase in 1787,
Circle the important verbs. Tell us
they did not have in mind the
WHY you marked the noun or verb as
majority of America’s
important.
citizens…the men who
What is the purpose of the “” marks?
gathered in Philadelphia in
What do the ellipses mean?
1787 could not have
Find the “juicy words” in the sentences
imagined, nor would they
and discuss their meaning.
have accepted, that the
document they were drafting What part of speech is Supreme Court?
would one day be construed Discuss the grammar – is it written in
present tense? Past tense? How do
by a Supreme Court to which
you know?
had been appointed a
woman and the descendant Add a short sentence and compare and
contrast the two sentences.
of an African slave.”
Elementary Example
Syntax- analyzing a sentence
What does this sentence mean?
Count the number of words.
Identify/underline the important
nouns. Circle the important
verbs. Tell us WHY you marked
the noun or verb as important.
What is the purpose of the “”
marks? What does the
apostrophe in Ping’s signal?
Syntax- analyzing a sentence
What does this sentence mean?
Dogs are our “best
friends,” but all the
dogs in the world are
descended from
wolves that were
domesticated more
than ten thousand
years ago.
Count the number of words.
Identify/underline the important
nouns. Circle the important
verbs. Tell us WHY you marked
the noun or verb as important.
What is the purpose of the “”
marks? What do these marks
signal?
Syntax- analyzing a sentence
What does this sentence mean?
“I admire Ping’s great
courage to appear
before me with the
empty truth, and now
I reward him with my
entire kingdom and
make him emperor of
all the land!”
Count the number of words.
Identify/underline the important
nouns. Circle the important
verbs. Tell us WHY you marked
the noun or verb as important.
What is the purpose of the “”
marks? What does the
apostrophe in Ping’s signal?
Suffix: /or/ - a person or thing who
does the aforementioned
Success + or = successor
Word Study – “successor”
Suffix: /or/ - a person or thing who does the aforementioned
inspector
navigator
editor
debtor
creditor
counselor
decorator
governor
emperor
actor
aggressor
generator
successor
connector
escalator
propellor
conveyor
Discuss with the
students the word
meanings, then
provide opportunities
for students to sort a
collection of words.
People Who Do
Things That Do
Possible Steps – Exploring Syntax
• Write a long sentence on the board or chart
paper.
– Ask students, what do you think these sentences mean?
– Count the number of words.
– Compare the longer sentence versus the shorter sentence –
discuss the differences. Ask why?
– Find the “juicy words” in the sentences.
– Discuss grammar – is it written in present tense? past tense?
– Examine the punctuation. Why did the author use this comma?
– Examine parts of speech within the sentence.
– Add a short sentence and compare and contrast the two
sentences.
School Wide Approach to Vocabulary
and Syntax
• Our school articulates essential vocabulary across the grades.
• Students learn words relevant to important content areas;
words they will encounter frequently in curriculum and
instructional materials in the future.
• Our school/district articulates the prefixes, suffixes and root
words students will learn in each grade level.
• Our school promotes wide reading and word consciousness.

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