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Academic Vocabulary--Summer PD (Dublin)

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Maria Vlahiotis

on 4 February 2015

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Transcript of Academic Vocabulary--Summer PD (Dublin)

Academic Vocabulary
A student's vocabulary level is a key factor in the disparities in academic achievement
When children reach school age, new words are introduced less frequently in conversation
Consequently, vocabulary acquisition eventually stagnates by grade 4 or 5
Academic vocabulary is a shared responsibility across all academic domains
Three Tiers of Vocabulary
Code Switching
What Can We,
as Teachers, Do to
Code Switch in the Classroom?
Answer Respond, Elaborate
Finish Complete, Develop
Repeat Restate, Review
Talk about Discuss, Interact
Share Report, Contribute
Think about Consider, Contemplate
In your K-12 Classroom
Tier 1 Words...
or "general academic words" are cross-curricular words found in many different texts.

more likely to be found in writing instead of speech
often represent precise ways to say relatively simple things.
Tier 2 Words...
Tier 3 Words...
or "domain-specific words" are key to understanding a new concept within a

far more common in informational texts than in literature
are the words of everyday speech, usually learned in the early grades
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in
History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects: Appendix A
1) fluent, wide reading with
increased nonfiction text
2) teaching focal concepts, terms,
and high-utility words
3) teaching word analysis,
dictionary and study skills
4) meaningful contexts for adept
application of words

Kate Kinsella, Ed. D. 2014
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and
Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical
Subjects: Appendix A
"Flip the Switch" Activity
Identify settings in which you communicate, and individuals with whom you converse
Select four distinct communication situations
"Hello. How is your day?" -- which of the four communication situations would this be most appropriate for?
Translate the sentence for the other three communication situations
What are the similarities and differences among the four sentences?
Precise Terms to
Contribute to a Lesson Discussion
Turner, Kristen H. "Flipping the Switch: Code-Switching from Text Speak to Standard English."
English Journal 98.5 (2009): 60-65. Print.

The article can be read in its entirety here: http://bit.ly/1pEyN1o
Alternatives to Asking
Who has an idea? Who wants to share?
Does anyone have an opposing view?
Did anyone approach this in another manner?
Who has an alternative perspective?
Who arrived at a different conclusion?
Who located evidence to support the claim that...?
Can anyone elaborate on this stance?
Who would like to respond to that statement?
Previewing the Common Core Companion
1. Read through the article, annotating it along the way

2. Participate in a Four Corners discussion about the article

3. Reference your bookmark AND annotated article during the discussion

Pinning Precise Language
Academic Vocabulary
In Your K-12 Classroom
Candace Whites Maria Vlahiotis
Literacy Coach Literacy Specialist

Building Academic Vocabulary
Instructional Cornerstones
sedimentary rock
Everyday Verbs Academic Verbs
Precise Terms to
Contribute to a Lesson Discussion
Everyday Nouns Academic Nouns
Answer Contribution, Response
Idea/Thought Opinion, Perspective
Information Evidence, Data, Facts
Guess Prediction, Hypothesis
Reason Justification, Evidence
Steps Solution, Process

Four Corners Activity
Where can you find the anchor standards? (note: don't forget to check the covers!)
Where can you find a list of recommended CCSS Resources?
Where can you find the anchor standards "decoded"?
What do you notice on each standard's individual page? (look for sections, bold font, headers, etc.)
Where can you find each individual standard decoded?
Where can you find examples of what a teacher can do to teach a standard? What are some features on this page?
How does this resource address academic vocabulary?
What page to the resources begin on?
What resources are provided in the back of the book?
Four Corners Discussion Lesson Template
Annotation Guide - Elementary
Annotation Guide - Secondary
Implementing Vocabulary's CODE
Because a significant number of unfamiliar terms can be daunting to students, the first phase focuses on helping students form a strong initial connection with these terms.
Word Wall
A collection of words is organized into categories and posted on the wall for students to use in their reading and writing.
Power Decoding
Students use "attack skills" (prefixes, suffixes, roots, context clues, and substitutions) to decode new words.
Students generate words, pictures, feelings, physical reactions to words, or whatever else comes to mind.
See It, Say It,
Show It, Store It
Students look at the word, pronounce it slowly, write it out, and record its definition in their own words.
Students keep a glossary of new words, defining the terms in their own words and including icons or images of the terms.
Word Catcher
Students "catch" a new word each day and record it in their vocabulary journals.
Students remember information better when it is clearly organized. The second phase ensures that students understand how the terms relate to one another and fit together to make up a larger structure.
Prioritizing Vocabulary
The teacher or students determine which words are ESSENTIAL, which are IMPORTANT, and which are GOOD TO KNOW.
Concept Maps
Fist Lists and Word Spiders
Word Banks
Group and Label
A Diagram to Die For
subordinate clause
Students create visual representations of hierarchical relationships among a central concept, supporting ideas, and important details.
The teacher provides a category in the "palm" of a hand organizer, and students generate five words that fit the category, one for each "finger" of the organizer. Word Spiders are similar, only with a "body" and eight "legs."
The America Civil War
Abraham Lincoln
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Emancipation Proclamation
Bleeding Kansas
Compromise of 1850
Dred Scott vs. Sanford
Fugitive Slave Act
Liberty Party
Students examine a list of words and place them into specific categories or the appropriate slots of a visual organizer.
Students examine a list of vocabulary words and place them into groups based on common characteristics. For each group, students devise a label that describes what all the grouped words have in common.
Students create a diagram that shows the relationship among the words on a Word Wall.
In the third phase, students use thinking strategies and multiple forms of representation to develop a deep, conceptual understanding of the most important vocabulary terms.
Visualizing Vocabulary
Students create images, sketches, or icons with brief explanations to demonstrate understanding.
Students analyze a selection of stories and then use basic story elements to define important concepts. (Relevant to ELA Classes.)
Metaphors and Similes
Students use words deeply by exploring their relationships to other words and concepts (e.g., How is democracy like baseball?).
Defining Characteristics
Students build multi-layered definitions by focusing on essential characteristics: What is it? What is it used for? Why is it valued? Where does it come from?
Students investigate word histories, analyzing how a word's original meaning is intact and how it has changed.
Three-Way Tie
Students select three words from a unit's vocabulary and arrange them on a triangle. They connect the words with lines and explain the relationship between each pair of words by writing along the connecting lines. They may also summarize these relationships in the middle of the triangle.
Tier Word Activity

Three Reasons for Using Vocabulary's CODE
to Address the Common Core
Vocabulary is a foundation for improved literacy
Academic vocabulary is at the core of the Core
Vocabulary fuels learning
“Baseball suits the character of this democratic nation. Democracy is government by persuasion – that means it requires patience, that means it involves a lot of compromise. Democracy is the slow politics of the half loaf. Baseball is the game of the long season, where small, incremental differences decide who wins and who loses particular games, series, seasons. In baseball, you know going to the ballpark that the chances are you may win, but you also may lose – there’s no certainty, no given. You know when a season starts that the best team is going to get beaten a third of the time, worst team’s going to win a third of the time, the argument, over 162 games: that middle third. So it’s a game that you can’t like if winning is everything…and democracy is that way, too.”

-George Will
Ken Burns' Baseball
Similes and metaphors both compare two items; however, metaphor does so without the use of the words "like" or "as."
While a metaphor compares two items, a hyperbole represents an exaggerated statement.
While a simile compares two items using the words "like" or "as," a hyperbole represents an exaggerated statement.
All three words represent figurative language (language that uses words with a meaning that is different from the literal interpretation.
Vocabulary terms are like muscles: skip the workouts and you'll lose the definition (pun intended). The fourth phase of Vocabulary's CODE engages students in meaningful review and practice activities that help them commit new terms to their long-term memory.
Vocabulary Games
Students play games like Bingo, Jeopardy!, and Word Baseball to review vocabulary in a competitive and fun manner.
Use It or Lose It
Vocabulary Carousel
Practice Makes Perfect
Three's a Crowd
Peer Practice
Students use a specified number of new words in their writing assignments.
The teacher sets up five or six stations that include a variety of vocabulary activities. Students rotate through all the stations, working in small groups.
The teacher instructs students in the principles of effective practice, including how to mass and distribute review sessions, use words often, and make stronger connections.
Students decide which word from a group of three doesn't belong and explain why.
Students work as peer partners. One student serves as a coach, the other as a player. While the player works to define key terms from the unit, the coach provides assistance, feedback, and praise. Students then reverse roles.
While this example uses Word Baseball to review phonics, the game can easily be adapted to review vocabulary definitions.
Physical Education
Biology and chemistry are both natural sciences, but physical education is not. It is a class in which encourages physical activity and play.
Research Behind Vocabulary's CODE
A reasonable number of important academic terms rather than on high frequency word lists (Marzano, 2004.)
To fully understand new terms, requires multiple exposures to the terms (Jenkins, Stein, and Wysocki, 1984.)
Students interacting with words in a variety of ways helps with understanding and retention (Beck, McKeown, and Kuncan, 2002)
Using comparison, metaphors, and nonlinguistic representation with new words promotes deeper thinking

Tier 2 Tier 3
racial segregation
Jim Crow
white supremacy
poll tax

Tier 2 Tier 3
early times
pours forth
spouted red-hot
modern times
Link to this Prezi:


(this is case-sensitive!)
This Afternoon's
Determine a list of tier 2 and tier 3 academic vocabulary words to implement into the unit you have brought with you.

Then, use the resources from today's seminar to do one of the following:

1. Incorporate Vocabulary's CODE into your lesson plans

2. Create a system for modeling the use of tier 2 words verbally with your students

3. Use the bookmark and/or the Academic Toolkit to create a four corners activity

4. Use _The Common Core Companion_ to implement vocabulary instruction

5. Construct vocabulary instruction through the use of Padlet
What's Next?
How do we ensure that we model academic language verbally for our students?

How do we ensure that our students are using academic language when speaking to us and to each other?

Which methods/activities can we use when teaching vocabulary explicitly?

Which resource can we use to find out more strategies for teaching vocabulary?

How can we incorporate what we have learned today into our own lesson and unit plans?
Settings + Individuals
at home with my spouse

at lunch with my coworkers

on the phone with my satellite television provider

at a coffee shop with my best friend
= communication situations
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