Building Background

EDRL 474 Module 2 Assignment 2 (by Jill Crist)

If you were creating a SIOP lesson, how will you activate students’ prior knowledge and build background?

In the video, Vogt (n.d) argues “Any time that we can really connect (the new content) explicitly to the students background knowledge, the better off we’re going to be.” I want to make it my goal to get the students to say “Oh, I get it!” by using effective methods such as these:

  • Ask questions that bring out what students know
  • Introduce activities that draw out what students can do
  • Hold brainstorm and structured discussion sessions
  • Initiate a group discussion which incorporates a chapter preview
  • Include concrete supplementary materials

This last example is very meaningful to me because I teach kindergartners, but it isn't any wonder why older students need concrete materials too. Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008) argue that “when teachers’ explanations are made more concrete with supplementary materials such as photos, models, illustrations, and video clips, students are more likely to make the appropriate connections.”

What connection to past learning can you make?

Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008) identify my role well by stating “The teacher must build a bridge between previous lessons and concepts and the material in the current lesson”

I help students make connections to past learning when I:

  • ask questions that are focused on helping students to recall content from previous lessons
  • use and review graphic organizers
  • have students refer to previously written class notes
  • bring back some PowerPoint slides related to the topic

What are key vocabulary words and how will you teach them?

My "key vocabulary words" may be different from yours. I mostly use Tier One words which contain nouns, verbs, and sight words to meet language and communication goals for my kindergartners. I also use Tier Two words because I want my students to become familiar with vocabulary from the common core standards. I view myself as a co-teacher working with a teacher I don’t know—the one my students will have next year. When my students leave me, I hope they will have a basis of prior vocabulary knowledge for next year’s teacher to draw out and build upon through her effective teaching methods.

In the video, Vogt (n.d) argues “If youngsters do not have the prerequisite vocabulary to learn about a content concept, I (the teacher) need to teach that vocabulary to them, explicitly, not just once, but multiple times.”

This goes well with what Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008) have said: “Letting students see and hear new words more than once and drawing on multiple sources of meaning are important for vocabulary development.”