Friday, July 20, 2012

R2L: Helping students expand their vocabularies

My students are struggling with vocabulary. What should I do for them?
Here are some optional lesson extensions. Once students learned the process, I started doing vocabulary flooding every day before reading the passage. I’ll give you some background on vocabulary flooding and explain the whole process. This is a great way to challenge both your TAG students while at the same time supporting your ESL and SpEd. students!

Vocabulary extensions - Vocabulary Flooding

Background on Vocabulary Flooding:

    1. “Vocabulary learning takes place when students are immersed in words. Just as teachers have begun to use the phrase ‘flood of books’ to talk about situations where students have many and varied opportunities to read, (Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988), so the phrase ‘flood of words’ is an important issue for general vocabulary development. Reading to children has been shown to extend not only their recognition of new words but also their ability to use these words in their own retellings,” (Eller, Pappas, & Brown, 1988; Elley, 1988).
    2. An average of 2 minutes per reading lessons is spent on explicit vocabulary instruction (Roser and Juel, 1982).
    3. As students are exposed to more complex non-fiction text, vocabulary has a greater impact on passage comprehension than decoding skills (Biemiller 1999).

  1. PREPARATION - Before reading the passage highlight one word that you think is a key academic word for students to know.
  2. Do a Google search for images to find a good image that relates to the key academic word.
  3. Use a thesaurus to choose 8-10 words related the the vocabulary word. I like to use or, but you can use any online or print thesaurus you prefer.
  4. TEACHING - Post a picture on the wall and link the new vocabulary word with a concept students already know. “A FAMINE is when people are very hungry and do not have enough to eat.”
  5. Write the word on the board. Then, have student say and spell word, and say word again.
  6. Add related words with a sentence for each word. “A PAUCITY of food means there is not enough food to go around.”
  7. Write the new word on the board. Then, have student say and spell word, and say word again.
  8. Follow these steps for the 8-10 vocabulary words.

After I do an image search, I place a sticky note on the word with the words that I am going to be teaching.

After teaching the words and the passage, I will allow a student to create a poster of the words that have been “flooded.” This is a great extension for your fast finishers or those who need a challenge. 

HOL online classes I offer:

FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success
SAVE TIME: Time Management for Your Teaching & Your Life   

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