Module 2, Assignment 2

Creating a SIOP Plan

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

The purpose of building background, according to Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008) is to fill the gaps in student knowledge and help them connect what they may already know with what is being taught in the lesson. One of my favorite activities to use to build background knowledge is a Read Aloud. I would begin with a short piece from a book, a short story or a text that tied into the content of the lesson. Following up with images related to the content, may also activate something that the students can relate to the lesson. When I was in the classroom, I used the strategies developed by Joan Moser and Gail Boushey to create literacy independence. In their classroom management they developed the Daily 5. There were 5 learning tasks that students would move through during the literacy blocks. One of those was similar to the Digital Jumpstart mentioned by Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2008) where teachers "preteach a small group of students the concepts, vocabulary, and processes prior to beginning a lesson for the whole class." I would meet individually with students or with small groups to teach content that would later be taught to the whole class. It was very effective in building not only the background knowledge of students, but also their confidence in the classroom.

2. What connection to past learning can you make?

After meeting with students individually or in small groups, I would give them a chance to share what they had learned when the lesson was taught whole group. Prompting students with a question about a past topic that relates to the current lesson, gets them thinking about previous lessons and vocabulary they had already learned. Math has a lot of content vocabulary that can be reviewed using word sorts made up of words or phrases that can be matched to images. Asking "who can remember..." questions give students a chance to hear their peers respond and activate their learning from the previous lesson. In the Building Background video, Vogt (n.d.) suggests showing learners the connection between the new lesson and the previous lesson by saying "remember when we talked about..." then linking it to the current lesson by following up with "today we are talking about..." and make the connection between the topics.
In math, a lesson taught about reading and interpreting data in charts would be followed by a lesson on plotting data in graphs and interpreting the graphs. Linking the data in the two places, charts and graphs, helps students make the connection between the two.Building on the prior lesson gives them the opportunity to hear, see and use the content vocabulary again.

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

Key vocabulary words are the terms that are critical for students' to learn the most important concepts in the lesson. These key vocabulary words can be content specific, general academics terms that are cross curricular, or word parts that help students learn new vocabulary. In the Building Background video (Vogt, N.D) as Ms. Vogt is explaining that key vocabulary must be taught, not once, but multiple times, the teacher is referencing the three key terms that students will be working with at the end of the lesson. During math, the use of a Four-Corners Vocabulary Chart would allow students to actively participate in understanding the key content word by completing each of the components as they are addressed by the teacher. Students who are familiar with the terms or the language can draw their own image or write their own sentence, while those who are developing their vocabulary skills can work along with the teacher to complete the chart.
A word study book is a great resource to build with students that they can use to refer to academic vocabulary that is used frequently. I would create this with students, providing definitions in student friendly terms and including an example of how the word is used.