Effective Vocabulary Instruction K

Effective Vocabulary
K- 2nd Grade
Gina Flynn and Bethany Teipel
St. Robert School
October 8, 2013
Getting Started
 Think of your kiddos...
Impact of CCSS
 The Common Core State Standards place a great deal of emphasis on
academic vocabulary.
 The CCSS also calls for increasing the amount of nonfiction and
informational text in classrooms.
 Vocabulary knowledge influences fluency, comprehension, and
student achievement
 Video: http://www.engageny.org/resource/common-core-in-ela-
Three Vocabulary Tiers
Tier 1: Known and Common
 Tier I words are basic, everyday words that are a part of
most children’s vocabulary. These are words used every
day in conversation, and most of them are learned by
hearing family, peers, and teachers use them when
 These words are especially important for English language
learners who may not be familiar with them.
Tier 2: High Frequency Words
 Tier 2 words include frequently occurring words that
appear in various contexts and topics and play an
important role in verbal functioning across a variety of
content areas.
 Another way to think of Tier 2 vocabulary is as cross-
curricular terms. For example, the term “justify” and
“predict” frequently appear in Science, Social Studies, and
English texts.
Tier 3: Low Frequency, Domain
 Tier 3 words are’ field of study’ specific vocabulary. Words
in this category are low frequency, specialized words that
appear in specific fields or content areas.
 Most students will be unfamiliar with Tier 3 words. Teach
these words as the need arises for comprehension in
specific content areas.
Vocabulary in Early Literacy
Vocabulary plays an important role in understanding nonfiction and
informational text. It has been estimated that 80% of comprehension in
nonfiction is dependent upon understanding the vocabulary.
 Teaching vocabulary improves both verbal IQ and reading
 Children who are behind by 1st grade have a hard time making up
the gap.
If children read 1 million words in a year, at least 1,000 words will
be added to their vocabulary
(Krashen, 1993
Vocabulary Instruction
Offer opportunities to use newly learned
Take 1 minute to write down ways you teach
vocabulary in your classroom
Four Kinds of Vocabulary
 Listening: The words we need to know to understand
what we hear
 Speaking: The words we use when we speak
 Reading: The words we need to know when we read
 Writing: The words we use in writing
All are interconnected
How to Teach Vocabulary
 Research shows students will incorporate more words into
their vocabulary and use them correctly, including
spelling, when the focus is on fewer words at one time for
intensive instruction
 Grades 2-5
5-8 words per week
 Grades 6-8
10-15 words per week
 Grades 9-12 12-25 words per week
Brewer, C and Gann, J. (2003). Balanced literacy: a learning focused approach. Boone NC: Learning Concepts..
Steps for Effective Vocabulary
Explicit vocabulary instruction
 Introduce and explain
 Kids repeat and explain in own terms
 Visual representation of the word
 Check for understanding/Connecting to prior knowledge
 Encourage students to discuss terms with one another
(interactive anchor chart)
 Offer opportunities to use newly learned word
(Based on research by Marzano and Pickering, 2005)
Purposeful Exposure to New Words
“Multiple exposures to new words
across classroom contexts (in a
read-aloud, then in the art center,
and so on) give children
opportunities to acquire
information about word
Vocabulary Instruction
Offer opportunities to use
newly learned word
Word Mapping: Graphic organizer to help
learn new vocabulary
Vocabulary Instruction
 Read alouds
Text complexity is higher than students’ reading levels
Always allow time for discussion after each read-aloud.
Classroom Environment
Create a print-rich environment
Word Wall
When you think of a word wall,
What comes to mind?
Turn and talk
“New and Improved”
Word Walls
Sight Words
Word Families
File folder
Anchor Chart
Pocket Chart
Add pictures
Think portable!
Empty flat surface
Student accessible
Personal word wall
Portable Word Walls
Word Play
Vocabulary Instruction Should be Fun…
Playing with words increases understanding!
Word Play in the Classroom
 What’s My Word?
 Collaborative Anchor Chart
 Word Hunt for “Golden Nuggets”
 Graffiti Wall
 Classroom Exploratory Centers
 http://www.visuwords.com/
Word Play in the Classroom
What’s My Word?
Word Hunt
Word Play in the Classroom
Word Play
What are other ways you teach vocabulary in your
Do this…Not that!
Asking, “Does anybody know what ________means?”
Having students “look it up” in a typical dictionary
Having students use the word in a sentence after they look it up in the dictionary
Telling students to “use context clues” as a primary strategy
Students guessing the definition
Copying from dictionary or glossary
Copying same word several times
Activities that do not require deep processing (word searches, fill-in-the-blank, etc.)
Rote memorization without context
Vocabulary Wrap Up
Vocabulary instruction should be:
 Explicit
 Engaging
 Multiple Exposures
 Meaningful
 http://www.readingrockets.org/helping/target/vocabulary
 http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201007/ChristWangOnli
 http://www.learningunlimitedllc.com/2013/07/5-steps-
 Marzano, R. and Pickering, D.(2005). Buiding academic
vocabulary. Alexandria VA; Association for Supervision
and Curriculum Development.
Exit Slip
 How has your thinking changed about vocabulary today?
 What is one thing you learned that you would like try?
Thank You! 
 Gina Flynn, 4K Teacher at St. Robert School
[email protected]
 Bethany Teipel, Learning Support Specialist at St. Robert
[email protected]

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