Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vocabulary in the Common Core Era

Vocabulary is one of the essential components of literacy. It is not single-discipline focused and will be needed for our students to comprehend just about everything they will encounter in life from having conversations with future bosses, becoming entrepreneurs, finding their way around a new city, learning about "what to expect when they're expecting", and so on.

It is important for students to be mindful of when they encounter new words and how to derive meaning from unknown words. Current research shows that:

  • Vocabulary learning is effective when it entails active engagement that goes beyond knowledge of just dictionary definitions. By knowing the word in their own terms, students can use it in multiple contexts and make connections between concepts and other words. 
  • Both teachers AND students should be involved in choosing vocabulary words. Teachers have a responsibility to expose students to words that they will need in school and in life (also considered Tier 2 words) while students must also choose words that will further their own comprehension of specific material. 
  • Vocabulary growth happens slowly over time and students need multiple exposures to words. Each time we experience the same word, we learn more about how it is used, what it means, and the different forms it can take. We are always adding on new information about words. It can be helpful for students to understand how they learn new words through progression. 
  • Greater gains are shown in student progress when they are included in tracking their own learning and growth on academic tasks (including vocabulary acquisition)
Vocabulary rating scales are a useful tool in getting students to be active participants in their own word learning. This can be done before, during, and after reading. Words can be chosen by students or teachers. Before reading, students can skim through the text or teachers can select Tier 2 words from the text to show students. Using the scale below, student can assess their knowledge of the words. 


This also sets a purpose for students before reading. They now know what words to be "on the lookout" for as they read. They can practice using context clues to figure out meaning, they can utilize technology to find the meaning, or they can discuss new words with peers and adults as they encounter them. 

Students can record this information in notebooks or in the graphic organizers shown below. This way, students are able to refer back to them before and after reading to see how much more they have grown. 

Individual Student Vocabulary Knowledge Rating Scale


Individual Student Vocabulary Knowledge Evidence


Individual Student Vocabulary Knowledge B-D-A Organizer

As previously mentioned, students show greater gains when they are included in keeping records of their progress. I plan to use vocabulary graphs with my students throughout the year. There are different ways that these can be used. 

Students can color grid squares... 
  • for each word they learned based on summative assessment data
  • for each new word that they have used 
  • for each word they have shown progress with based on their rating scale data (a word going from a 1 to a 3)
Individual Student Vocabulary Graph 
If you really like this strategy, please visit my TPT store to check it out by clicking on the link beneath the image!







1 comment:

  1. Vocabulary is not only sign of symbol for ideas but also a part of how to improve language skills in the target language. The more vocabulary students learn the more ideas they should have, so they can communicate by using their ideas more effectively. https://vocabmonk.com helps you to improve your Vocabulary.
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