Academic Vocabulary

Lauren Hicks

What is Shift 6?

Shift 6 is a new way of teaching academic vocabulary to students. It divides words into three tiers.

Tier 1- Common words used in every day speech, taught in lower grades (ex. book, girl, run)

Tier 2- Words that appear across all kinds of texts (ex. masterpiece, gallop, measure)

Tier 3- Specific words that are related to the content (ex. economics, war, asphalt)

Teaching these can be difficult. I would do it within a guided reading lesson, especially tier 2 words. I would go through the book and identify all the tier 2 words. From there I would pick three or four to focus on. Before having my students read the book we would do a lesson on these words. This would include a mix it fix it activity, learning the definitions, and discussing how the word is used in the story.

Teaching Vocabulary

Types of Acitivities

When teaching vocabulary, especially to younger students, it is important to make the activities engaging. Having students just copy down definitions is not beneficial for them. When learning new vocabulary the activity needs to have them connect the word to real life, discuss the word with other to use it in context, and discover the meaning of the word and understand it. Having fun interactive activities like this will make teaching vocabulary in all subjects easier. My concentration is reading so most of my vocabulary lessons I would center around a book or story we are reading.

Know Your Students

Knowing your students plays a huge role in teaching them. Some students may not speak very much English. This will make any new vocabulary activity hard for them. Also if students do not have any background knowledge of the words they may have a hard time understanding the words and using them in the correct context.