Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
So firstly to put the teaching of vocabulary into context…
There are several ways to go about teaching vocabulary and the research recommends doing a variety of methods (National Reading Panel 2000).
According to Michael Graves (2000), there are four parts to a successful approach to vocabulary instruction. These are:
- Wide or extensive independent reading to expand word knowledge.
- Instruction in specific words to enhance comprehension of texts containing those words.
- Instruction in independent word-learning strategies, and
- Word consciousness and word-play activities to motivate and enhance learning.
For the moment I am going to focus on explicit instruction of specific words and building word consciousness.
A lot of what I know about the explicit instruction of vocabulary has come from the research of these three authors: Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown, Linda Kucan.
To understand what words to teach and how to go about selecting them Beck, McKeown and Kucan (2002) came up with the notion of tiers. This idea is further explained in this article http://www.readingrockets.org/article/choosing-words-teach on the reading rockets website which is an excellent source of information on all things reading related. It’s definitely worth a look.
At the moment I’m working on developing resources for explicit vocabulary instruction focusing on Tier 2 vocab. I’m hoping to have them ready before the back to school madness in September. I will make them all available to purchase but of course I will add some freebies along the way. More on that later… Watch this space!