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Vocabulary

Vocabulary refers to the words children must know to communicate effectively. In school terms, it can be described as oral vocabulary or reading vocabulary. Find out more about effective vocabulary instruction, the relationship between vocabulary and comprehension, and practical ways that parents can introduce new, exciting words to their kids.

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How Much Text Complexity Can Teachers Scaffold?

How much of a "gap" can be compensated through differentiation? If my readers are at a 400 Lexile level, is there an effective way to use a 820 level chapter book?

This is a great question. (Have you ever noticed that usually means the responder thinks he has an answer).

In The Media: Expanding Students' Experience with Academic Vocabulary

When students learn conceptually challenging academic vocabulary words in school, do students notice them beyond school, or do they tune into the new words only during formal vocabulary lessons?

Guided Reading and the Common Core

The term "guided reading" is causing a lot of confusion. Most of us now use it as shorthand to refer to those instructional procedures recommended by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell in their book, Guided Reading (1996).

The problem with that conception of the term "guided reading" is that it actually conglomerates three separate aspects of instruction into one idea. And, that’s where the problem is.

Word Analysis to Expand Vocabulary Development

Introduction

The Magic of Words

Susan B. Neuman and Tanya S. Wright (Summer 2014) American Educator, Vol. 38, No. 2, American Federation of Teachers.

From the beginning of schooling, children from various socioeconomic groups differ greatly in their vocabulary knowledge; those from high-income families tend to know many more words than those from low-income ones. Research shows that certain practices for teaching vocabulary — an important building block for learning — such as making connections among words and repeatedly exposing students to content-related words, can accelerate young children's oral vocabulary development, regardless of family income.

Using Context Clues to Understand Word Meanings

Introduction

When attempting to decipher the meaning of a new word, it is often useful to look at what comes before and after that word. The surrounding words can give readers helpful context clues about the meaning and structure of the new word, as well as how it is used.

Using context clues aligns with the following ELA Common Core Standard:

Connecting Word Meanings Through Semantic Mapping

Introduction

Semantic maps (or graphic organizers) are maps or webs of words. The purpose of creating a map is to visually display the meaning-based connections between a word or phrase and a set of related words or concepts. Semantic maps help students, especially struggling students and those with disabilities, to identify, understand, and recall the meaning of words they read in the text.

Learning to create these maps aligns with three of the ELA Common Core State Standards:

Embedded Supports to Differentiate Instruction for Struggling Students

Overview

Talking to Children Matters: Early Language Experience Strengthens Processing and Builds Vocabulary

Weisleder, A. & Fernald, A. (2013). Talking to children matters: Early language experience strengthens processing and builds vocabulary. Psychological Science, November 2013 24: 2143-2152.

In this study, researchers explored how the amount of speech directed to infants in Spanish-speaking families low in socioeconomic status influenced the development of children’s skill in real-time language processing and vocabulary learning. Results showed that children who had experienced more child-directed speech were more efficient at processing language. The analyses revealed a cascade of effects — those toddlers who heard more child-directed talk became faster and more reliable in interpreting speech, and it was their superior skill in processing language that then increased their success in vocabulary learning. An important finding was that even within a low-SES group there were substantial differences among parents in verbal engagement with their children and in children's language outcomes.

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"I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book." — Coolio