According to reading researchers including Isabel Beck and the National Reading Panel 2000:
Specific vocabulary instruction should:
- focus on words that are contextualized in literature, important to know and useful in many situations.
- provide "rich," in-depth knowledge of word meanings- not just repeating the definitions.
- provide clear, accessible explanations and examples of the meaning of the word in various contexts.
- provide opportunities for students to discuss, analyse, use, and compare these words in these contexts.
- provide multiple exposures to the words in more than one context.
- actively engage students in deep processing by getting them to use new words in new contexts and to create associations among words.
That's a lot to think about but before we do those things we need to know how to select these specific words. It would be nice if there was a list we could pull out but it doesn't exist. Isabel Beck and her colleagues have developed the three- tier system (Margarita Calderon has developed one for ELLs) which is what I want to focus on today. To download your copy of the Guidelines just click on the picture below. I have copied it from the Vocabulary Handbook that I referred to last week and is from Isabel Beck.
So let's do a little exercise: Look at the picture below: Look at the explanation of the 3 tiers. If you click on it you can download your copy.
What words did you think were Tier I? I think they are the easiest to find: see, take, train and play.
What words did you think were Tier II? If you selected astronomy, archipelago, and molecule you are correct. They are content specific words.
The rest are your Tier II words- the ones that students are unlikely to know (depending on grade
level) they can be explained in everyday language, they are generally useful, they can be encountered across a wide variety of domains and their meaning will probably be necessary to comprehend a text.
So in a nutshell: For your average Second grade Student:(Based on Biemiller and Slonin,2001)
You can download a copy of all of Vocabulary Matters Part 2 by clicking HERE
I hope you will follow my blog or follow by e-mail if you find Vocabulary Matters: Strategies that Work
helpful for you. Next week I will continue with more of Selecting Words to Teach as there is still a lot to cover. Hope you will leave comments letting me know if this is useful for you .
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.
How was today's post helpful for you?