Making The Vocabulary
Connection in Middle Schools
Teaching Students Academic
Language
Keith Pruitt
Is There A Problem?
“…what students already know about the content is
one of the strongest indicators of how well they
will learn new information relative to the
content.”
Marzano (2004, p.1)
“Knowledge of specific terms is, for all intents and
purposes, synonymous with background
knowledge.” Marzano (2004, p. 62)
But most students aren’t bringing much to the
table.
Telling Studies
Nagy, Anderson, & Herman
(1987)
Bloom (1976)
Dochy, Segers, & Buehl
(1999)
All point to correlation of
background knowledge and
academic success.
How Do We Get This Knowledge?
Process and Store
Information
Fluid or innate
intelligence
Experience
Crystallized or
learned intelligence
schema
Which Intelligence Is Best?
What seems to be
critical is not sheer
amount of
experience but
rather what one
has been able to
learn from and do
with experience.
Sternberg (1985, p.307)
…knowledge is
more highly
associated with
crystallized
abilities than with
fluid abilities.
Rolfhus & Ackerman (1999, p.520)
Academic Success = Experience
So what type of experiences can
we provide in the school setting
to help insure our students have
academic success?
The Howard Gardner School
of Experiences
Reflections- Writing, Thinking, Recording
their thoughts.
“We need to teach children how to think and
let them know that it is ok to do so.”
-Roger Farr
The Howard Gardner School
of Experiences
Reflections- Writing, Thinking, Recording
their thoughts.
For information to be processed from our Sensory
Memories to our Permanent Memories, it must
first be processed through our Working
Memories.
- Anderson (1995)
The Work of J R Anderson
Discards
OR
Sensory
Memory
Working
Memory
Permanent
Memory Files
Anderson, J.R. (1995). Learning and memory: An integrated approach. New
York: John Wiley & Sons
The Howard Gardner School
of Experiences
Reflections- Writing, Thinking, Recording their
thoughts.
Interpersonal Communication- Collaborative
group projects, dialogue, buddy reads, turn and talks.
Games- Monopoly (Economics), Scrabble (Language Arts,
Vocabulary), Trivial Pursuit (History, Geography), Brain
Gyms
The Howard Gardner School
of Experiences
Reflections- Writing, Thinking, Recording their
thoughts.
Interpersonal Communication- Collaborative group
projects, dialogue, buddy reads.
Games- Monopoly (Economics), Scrabble (Language
Arts, Vocabulary), Trivial Pursuit (History, Geography),
Brain Gyms
BRAIN GYMS
WHO AM I?
I am associated with money. Sometimes I hang
out with dead Presidents. Burr was my death. I
worked for a President. I was the first at
treasury. I helped write federalism into being.
Who Am I?
BRAIN GYMS
WHO AM I?
I am associated with money. Sometimes I hang
out with dead Presidents. Burr was my death. I
worked for a President. I was the first at
treasury. I helped write federalism into being.
Who Am I?
Alexander
Hamilton
WHAT AM I?
I can charge it up. Not a cell phone.
I can take on different shapes
sometimes being like a thread or
even a sphere. I’m in cytoplasm.
What am I?
WHAT AM I?
I can charge it up. Not a cell phone. I can take on
different shapes sometimes being like a thread or
even a sphere. I’m in cytoplasm. What am I?
Mitochondria
Back To Gardner
Art- Using painting, drawing,
diagrams, graphic organizers, music,
role plays, presentations, theatre,
writing as a means of expression.
Some of the greatest expression of
ideas comes from visual arts!
How can I use visuals to teach
vocabulary?
USING GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS
United States
Constitution
Executive Branch
Legislative Branch
Judicial Branch
Dallas
Ponyboy
Johnny
S.E.Hinton, author
Who?
Characters
How?
When
Why?
What?
Gangs
The Outsiders
Where?
This shows how to use a graphic web to discuss
a piece of literature visually.
The Vocabulary Book: Learning and
Instruction, Michael F. Graves
Thinking Tree
transportation
cars
pollution
planes
boats
traffic
safety
Seat belts
Bumpers
Padded dash
Speed limits
police
Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading
Comprehension, William Nagy
The Usage Of Virtual Tours
Reading is a Virtual Experience
Language Interaction
Virtual Experiences
Direct Teaching of Vocabulary
Allington (1984)
Total Words Read
by 1st graders
during 1 wk of
reading.
*Poor Readers- 16
*Good Readers1,933
Other Students Fell in
between these two
extremes.
Nagy and Anderson (1984)
Middle Grade
Students (words
per year)
Type A Child- 10-50
m/year
Type B Child- 1 m/ y
Type C Child100,000/ year
HOW MANY TYPE C STUDENTS DO WE
HAVE IN OUR MIDDLE SCHOOLS?
IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR 25% TO 50%
OF OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL 8TH GRADERS
TO BE BELOW PROFICIENCY IN
READING. IN INNER CITY SCHOOLS, IT
CAN BE UP TO 80%.
THE LOW END READER IN 9TH GRADE
IS READING ON PAR WITH THE
AVERAGE 3RD GRADER!!!
“…a poor reader is likely to have difficulty in
all subject matter classes.” –Stallings (1986)
The Usage Of Virtual Tours
Reading is a Virtual Experience
Language Interaction
Virtual Experiences
Direct Teaching of Vocabulary
Language Interaction
Have students work in groups with
texts.
Use leveled text to supplement
content areas.
Provide lots of reading materials in
the classroom.
Remember that most learners in
your classroom are visual learners!
SHOW THEM
DON’T JUST TELL THEM!
The Usage Of Virtual Tours
Reading is a Virtual Experience
Language Interaction
Virtual Experiences
Direct Teaching of Vocabulary
Usage of Virtual Reality
We can’t expose students to every
real life adventure that we would
desire. But through the internet, we
can expose them to many worlds
they might never be able to see.
FOR EXAMPLE…
You may visit this site at www.thehermitage.com
The Smithsonian
Institute offers free
online help for
teachers at their web
Address.
www.thesmithsonianeducation.org
The Usage Of Virtual Tours
Reading is a Virtual Experience
Language Interaction
Virtual Experiences
Direct Teaching of Vocabulary
The
direct
Vocabulary
To
academic
teaching
of
is essential
success.
Do you know what this says?
Why not?
You are educated, right?
What do you need to know to break the
code?
The
direct
Vocabulary
To
academic
teaching
of
is essential
success.
The direct teaching of vocabulary
is essential to academic success.
---Keith Pruitt
Breaking The Code of Language
Vocabulary building involves a
systematic delivery of words
based on experiences in a school
setting that provides a schema
of explanation in words students
can understand.
-- Keith Pruitt (2005)
What is Academic Language
Tier 3 Words are those
that are unique to a
specific content area.
Can be used in several
contexts.
Are not used in
everyday language.
DEMOCRACY
MEREDIAN
PROTOPLASM
CAVITY
CELL
ESTIMATE
MIGRATION
MITOSIS
PHOTOSYTHESIS
MITOCHONDRIA
HERE IS WHAT IS INVOLVED
Jean Piaget’s (1960) Schema Theory
You must create a picture!
Explaining words in a meaningful
context. (Janet Allen, 1999)
Repeated usage of words.
It takes 6-8 repeated usages in short period for
child to make a word a part of vocabulary.
Integrate the tactile, visual, and
auditory experiences.
Understand the importance of Tier 3
words.
This is the type of thing one would do to explain words by using
words to which students may relate.
winsome To describe someone
as winsome is to say that her
personality is naturally charming,
engaging, adorable, winning,
etc. (and that she probably has a
childlike innocence, too). The
word is used more often to
describe a female than a male.
When I told Phil that the new film
comedy starred Meg Ryan, he
said, “Let me guess; she plays a
winsome young woman who
finds love, but not until the last
five minutes of the movie.”
From Wizard of Oz Vocabulary Builder
One of the arguments for ____________ in the first place had been
that ________ would increase the wealth of the ______ _______
And lessen her dependence on other nations. According to the
__________ theory, she would prosper and grow strong by
_________ more and more to __________ and _________ less
and less from them. Colonies would aid by providing a ______
for her ___________ goods and a source of supply for ___ _________
she could not produce at home. To get the full benefit, she would have
to exclude ________ (as Spain had done) from her _______
trade.
The words in red are great Tier 2 words that
can be emphasized for clarity. The blanks
represent Tier 3 (Academic Language) that
is absolutely necessary to make sense of the
text.
This is an American History Text.
One of the arguments for colonization in the first place had been
that colonies would increase the wealth of the mother country
and lessen her dependence on other nations. According to the
mercantile theory, she would prosper and grow strong by
exporting more and more to foreigners and importing less
and less from them. Colonies would aid by providing a market
for her manufactured goods and a source of supply for raw materials
she could not produce at home. To get the full benefit, she would have
to exclude foreigners (as Spain had done) from her colonial
trade.
One could not access the text without
the vocabulary. But unless one has a
schema for the words, it is like not having
the words printed.
What Does This Word Mean?
craniopharngioma
What Does This Word Mean?
craniopharngioma
A tumor of the pituitary gland, which if untreated
may cause permanent brain damage.
Use Vocabulary Games
Vocabulary.com
Thirdage.com
Vocabulary.co.il
Vocabulary Connections (Steck
Vaughn)
SLAM Board
Give Students Post It Notes
As you read various selected sections
of the text book, have students write
the words that they don’t know on
post it notes.
On cue, have them come to a
selected spot and post the words on
the board.
Teacher then uses these in exercises.
Marzano’s Characteristics of
Effective Direct Vocabulary
Instruction
Does not rely on definitions. (Explain It)
Representations in linguistic and nonlinguistic
Multiple exposures
Teach word parts. (Roots, affixes)
Vary the instructional pedagogy.
Have students discuss new vocabulary.
Allow students to play with words.
Focus on words that impact academic success.
Provide purpose for reading
Glossary terms are highlighted
Terms are defined for the
students in words they can
understand
Pearson Longman, Keystone, Level E
This is a typical middle school
American history textbook. The
publisher has italicized the
vocabulary words.
What do I need to do to make
this text come alive for the
student?
First, let’s do some explaining?
Ship and vessel mean the same thing.
What words do I want to
emphasize from the text?
Highlight those.
What does the author mean by
band of colonials?
If one were resisting what would they
be doing?
Beck and McKeown’s Method of
Instruction
Teacher Explains New Word with
description, example or explanation.
Students Restate.
Create Non-linguistic representation.
Students engage in activities that
support their understanding of the
new term.
Have students discuss with each
other or play games.
The Importance of Building
Schema
t
r
a
n
s
l
u
c
e
n
t
Exploding the Vocabulary
Students need 4,000 new words per
year to maintain grade level
expectation (Allen, 2007)
One way we can explode the
vocabulary being taught is by using
the same explanation to multiply
itself out.
translucent
TransAcross, through, on the other side, beyond
transfer
translucent
TransAcross, through, on the other side, beyond
transfer
transferred
transferable
transference
translucent
TransAcross, through, on the other side, beyond
translation
transfer
translated
transferred
transferable
transference
translucent
TransAcross, through, on the other side, beyond
translation
transfer
translated
transferred
transferable
transference
transportation
translucent
TransAcross, through, on the other side, beyond
Come up with 10 words for
these prefixes: re- and comAlso come up with an
explanation
http://www.englishclub.com/vo
cabulary/prefixes.htm
Dilapidated
Suggested Reading
Bringing Words to Life (Beck, McKeown, Kucan)
Inside Words (Janet Allen)
Words, Words, Words (Janet Allen)
Building Background Knowledge (Robert Marzano)
Tools for Teaching Content Literacy (Janet Allen)
Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension
(William Nagy)
The Vocabulary Book: Learning and Instruction (Michael
Graves)
Greek and Latin Roots: Teaching Vocabulary to Improve
Comprehension (Trisha Callella)
The Vocabulary-Enriched Classroom (Black and Mangieri)
In Conclusion
It is all about words.
Teaching vocabulary is necessary to
teaching content.
For students to succeed
academically, they must learn
academic language.
Do you as a teacher want
SUCCESS!?
It Is All About Words, Learning and
Students!
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Making The Vocabulary Connection in Middle Schools