The Vocbulary-Rich Classroom
Presentation by Abigail Buser || Section B || Feb 11, 2016
The second classroom explored was a fourth grade room. This teacher started each morning off with a morning meeting. During this time, the teacher greeted each student. Slowly, the teacher started throwing in new words to the morning meetings. Eventually, the kids were using the new words in their own conversations as well as in their writing.
Skip Explicit Instruction
Students do not need explicit vocabulary instruction all the time. In the case of the classrooms discussed in the article, the teachers simply substituted more sophisticated language and modeled their use. The kids were able to pick up on it and used the words in their own conversations and even in their own writing assignments.
Not Just For Older Kids
Vocabulary is Very Important
- Reading comprehension
- Reading success
- Overall success in school
In order for vocabulary to have an impact on these things, "vocabulary instruction should include multiple exposures to a word, teach both definitions and contexts, and engage students in deep processing" (Allen & Lane, 2010).
Don't Dumb it Down
Along with breadth, students also need depth. They need to see the word modeled, and also use context and experience have a full and complete understanding the word. The key to vocabulary instruction is both breadth and depth.
Three Tiers of Vocabulary Instruction
- Tier 1: Basic words that make up our language.
- Tier 2: Academic words mostly used in school
- Tier 3: Domain-specific words
Tier 1 does not have to be taught explicitly, and Tier 3 will be taught as you encounter them in text. A majority of the vocabulary instruction should be Tier 2 since those are words you will use in all aspects of school and life: conversations with adults and peers, writing, reading.
The How and Why
2. Have you ever had a teacher who did this? Or have you observed a vocabulary-rich classroom?
3. The article lists two examples of teachers with vocabulary-rich classroom. How are some other ways to integrate vocabulary into your classroom?
Beck, I., Kucan, L., & McKeown, M. (2002). Taking Delight in Words: Using Oral Language to Build Young Children's Vocabularies. Reading Rockets. Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/taking-delight-words-using-oral-language-build-young-childrens-vocabularies.
Jones, S. (2011). Multisensory Vocabulary Instruction: Guidelines and Activities. Reading Rockets. Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/multisensory-vocabulary-instruction-guidelines-and-activities.
Kim, J. (Producer). (2011). College Talk. Available from https://www.teachingchannel.org