Words Matter: A Closer Look at High-Yield Instructional Strategies

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Words Matter: A Closer Look at One
High-Yield Instructional Strategy for
Teaching Vocabulary
Barb Golub
“Literacy draws on a number of levels of the language system, with these
abilities encompassing vocabulary and as children learn to use language, they
acquire a tool that enables them to regulate their own emotions and behaviors,
with important consequences for their social and academic functioning.”
-Dickinson, McCabe and Essex, 2011
Relationship between vocabulary and reading comprehension
High-yield instructional strategies
CCSS
The CCSS Say:
Kindergarten
11-12 Grade
• Vocabulary Acquisition
and Use
• Vocabulary Acquisition
and Use
o CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.K.4
Determine or clarify the
meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words and
phrases based on kindergarten
reading and content.
o CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.K.4.A
Identify new meanings for
familiar words and apply them
accurately (e.g., knowing
duck is a bird and learning the
verb to duck).
o CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.4.A
Use context (e.g., the overall
meaning of a sentence,
paragraph, or text; a word's
position or function in a
sentence) as a clue to the
meaning of a word or phrase.
o CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.5.B
Analyze nuances in the
meaning of words with similar
denotations.
Current Approaches to Teaching
Vocabulary
• Word List
• Genre
• Tier
Tier 3
Tier 2
Tier 1
The Reading Teacher, V67, Issue 5
Essential Words
Valuable Words
Accessible Words
Imported Words
Find
Potentially
Unfamiliar
Words
Identify
Word Type
Determine
Optimal
Type of
Instruction
Powerful
Instruction
• Provide a clear definition
• Provide and discuss context sentences
• Ask questions that require deep thinking
Brief
Explanation
• Stop
• Quickly provide a synonym or short
definition and context sentence
Infer
Meaning
• Words that have a useful context or
easily identifiable word parts
• Guide students to use what they’ve
learned
Read!
Barb Golub
[email protected]
@GolubBarb
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