Tiered Vocabulary Amory School District The Three Tiers There are three types of vocabulary words--three tiers of vocabulary---for teaching and assessing word knowledge. A word’s frequency of use, complexity, and meaning determines into which tier it will fall. Three Tiers of Words Tier One Words Words used in everyday speech Basic words Rarely require direct instruction and typically do not have multiple meanings Sight words and early reading words occur at this level Learned in early grades at the same rate by all children Not considered challenging to native speakers Tier Two Words General Academic Words Important for reading comprehension Contain multiple meanings More likely to appear in text rather than speech Less well defined by context clues Need specific focus in instruction Most important words for direct instruction Tier Three Words Domain-Specific Words Key to understanding a new concept in a specific field or domain Closely tied to content knowledge More common in informational text Often defined or explained by context clues Examples of Tiered Vocabulary Terms Tier One Words Tier Two Words Tier Three Words school determine igneous book mention pollution smile admire economics read deduct carbohydrate clock leisure polygon IMPORTANT It is important to know that tier two and three words are not all clear-cut in their tier classification. There is more than one way to select the words. Word knowledge is subject to personal experience. Criteria for Selecting Words Importance of word for understanding text General utility of the word Student’s prior knowledge of the word and the concept(s) to which it relates Elementary Sample Clouds appear in different layers of the atmosphere and come in many sizes and shapes. There are three general categories of clouds: cirrus, cumulus, and stratus. These names come from the Latin words describing their shape: wispy (cirrus), layer (stratus), and heap (cumulus). Cirrus clouds are the clouds highest up in the sky. They appear wispy and thin. Stratus clouds are lowest in altitude, meaning they are closest to the ground. They tend to form a layer across the sky and when they are present we often say that the day is overcast. Cumulus clouds usually have a flattened base and seem to grow upwards. These clouds tend to be lumped together in patches and can look like big puffs of cotton or a piece of cauliflower. Elementary Sample Clouds appear in different layers of the atmosphere and come in many sizes and shapes. There are three general categories of clouds: cirrus, cumulus, and stratus. These names come from the Latin words describing their shape: wispy (cirrus), layer (stratus), and heap (cumulus). Cirrus clouds are the clouds highest up in the sky. They appear wispy and thin. Stratus clouds are lowest in altitude, meaning they are closest to the ground. They tend to form a layer across the sky and when they are present we often say that the day is overcast. Cumulus clouds usually have a flattened base and seem to grow upwards. These clouds tend to be lumped together in patches and can look like big puffs of cotton or a piece of cauliflower. High School Sample The problem of our age is the administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship. The conditions of human life have not only been changed, but revolutionized, within the past few hundred years. In former days there was little difference between the dwelling, dress, food, and environment of the chief and those of his retainers…The contrast between the palace of the millionaire and the cottage of the laborer with us today measures the change which has come with civilization. Language Anchor Standards Vocabulary Acquisition and Use 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate. 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings. 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression. Appendix A of CCSS Read Appendix A closely for useful information about how to teach vocabulary. Busy Work Vocabulary Instruction Provide student-friendly definitions Connect to prior knowledge Discuss antonyms and synonyms of the word Create word maps Word Map Six Steps for Teaching New Terms 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Provide a description, explanation, or example of the new word. Students restate explanation of new term in own words. Students create a nonlinguistic representation of the word. Students periodically do activities that increase and facilitate knowledge of vocabulary term. Periodically students are asked to discuss terms with one another. Periodically students are involved in games that allow them to play with terms. To Figure Out Meanings of Words 1. What do I know about the word? 2. Consider the context for that word. 3. Read the words and sentences that come before and after the word…this will help the reader infer the word meaning. 4. Think about the literacy equation. Inferring Equation BK (Background Knowledge) + TC (Text Clues)= I (Inference) The Four-Column Form Word Inferred Meaning Clues Sentence Word Keepers Having Word Keepers in your classroom is a great way to get students fired up about words and to help them learn more. Keep a pack of sticky notes in your pocket and when discussing words in a lesson give away words to students. Students are expected to be responsible for the meaning, the spelling, and the part of speech. Frayer Model Example Word Wall It’s a good idea to use terminology from the Common Core Curriculum. Vocabulary Activity Provide a stack of prefix cards and suffix cards for a small group of students. Turn one card over and start a timer for 2 minutes. Students write every word they can think of with that prefix or suffix. After 2 minutes each person shares the words they have created. For every word that a student has that someone else has not thought of they receive one point. Of course, if the word does not make sense or if the prefixes and suffixes are not used correctly the word does not count. Vocabulary Activity Fold a sheet of notebook paper hotdog style. Students cut slits on the side of the paper. On each outside slit they write a vocabulary word. Once they have written their vocabulary word they open the paper. On one side they write a sentence using the word, and on the other side they illustrate their word. Vocabulary Activity Students play Vocabulary Charades. Fill a basket with words. Students pull a vocabulary word out of the basket and act out the word for their peers to guess. Vocabulary Activity Challenge students to use their new vocabulary in their daily language. \\ Math Vocabulary Cards http://www.graniteschools.org/depart/teachingl earning/curriculuminstruction/math/Pages/Math ematicsVocabulary.aspx Recommended Reading Bringing Words to Life by Isabel L. Beck Vocabulary Games for the Classroom by Robert Marzano Building Academic Vocabulary Teacher’s Manual by Robert Marzano Homework Read “A Comprehensive Approach to Vocabulary Instruction” by Robert J. Marzano and be prepared to discuss the article at our February meeting.