The Importance of Explicitly Teaching Academic Vocabulary to ...

The Importance of Explicitly Teaching Academic Vocabulary to ...

The Importance of Explicitly Teaching Academic Vocabulary by Dr. Jeanne A. Iman A Harvey Scholarship Recipient, 2009 University of La Verne Vocabulary knowledge is a significant and constant predictor of overall reading comprehension irrespective of grade level Yonanoff, Duesberry, Alonzeo & Tindal, 2005 Objectives for Presentation

Why Teach Academic Vocabulary in the Oceanside Unified School District? Research of Academic Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension The Academic Vocabulary Program in the Oceanside Unified School District Protocols to ensure accountability Last minute thoughts. Why Teach Academic Vocabulary in OUSD? OUSD has 16 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 2 comprehensive high schools, and one alternative high school

OUSD is a Program Improvement (PI) School District 3rd year 10 schools in PI PI status means the district is not meeting adequate yearly progress in either LA or Math within one or more subgroups of students, in one or more schools in the district Why Teach Academic Vocabulary in OUSD? An outside agency determined we were consistently inconsistent in our approach to teaching language arts across schools

The outside agency determined we were consistently demonstrating poor test scores in reading comprehension What attributes to high reading comprehension? Research of Academic Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Vocabulary knowledge is a significant and constant predictor of overall reading comprehension irrespective of grade level Yonanoff, et al, 2005.

An abundance of research supports the connections between vocabulary, particularly academic vocabulary and reading comprehension- Iman, 2009. If children are not reading fluently at grade level by the 4th grade, odds are they never will Sebastian, 2003. There are 39 research proven strategies to teach vocabulary effectively in grades K-12 Iman, 2009.

The First Steps to Implement Vocabulary in OUSD OUSD selected a few, most accessible strategies for teachers to explicitly teach vocabulary Taken from Dr. Kate Kinsella Say and pronounce the word Explain the meaning of the word Provide multiple examples of the word Use a sentence stem or sentence starter to emphasize the meaning Assess the meaning of the word The First Steps to Implement Academic Vocabulary

in OUSD Staff development on the First Five Steps Staff development on the First Five Steps Posters in every classroom (Five Steps) Formal walk-throughs in every school, in every classroom, three times a year, using protocols Action Plan/Revisions/Discussions with the Outside Agency, District Administrators, and Teachers

Continued Development of the OUSD Vocabulary Program Schools were beginning to develop their own lists, their own interpretation of academic vocabulary Consistently, inconsistent? Schools were beginning to ask for assistance with sentence stems, sentence starters, proper word meanings, etc. Task of OUSD- Develop a K-10 Vocabulary Program for all schools The OUSD Vocabulary

Program/Protocol Summer of 2009- Without the outside agency Input from teachers across the district Research- Expand the strategies Longman Dictionaries Time, energy, and diligence In-House Staff Development for Administrators in August 2009 In-House Staff Development for all teachers in August 2009

The OUSD Vocabulary Program/Protocol 20 24 words per grade level Pronunciation Syllabication Part of Speech Synonyms, Antonyms Morphology- Prefix, Suffix, Root word Definition

Examples Oral Practice Written Practice The OUSD Vocabulary Program/ProtocolAn Example in Kindergarten Word Agree Pronunciation egri Syllabication a.gree Part of speech verb Definition To have the same opinion as someone else

Synonym concur Antonym - disagree The OUSD Vocabulary Program/Protocol- An Example in Kindergarten Example- If you agree with someone, you think what they say is right. Mary and I agree the answer is ten. Oral Practice- We all agree there are 15 children in our class today. My mom agrees with me, that I have a wonderful teacher.

Written Practice We all agree there are_____ children in our class today. My mom agrees with me, that I am_______________. Morphology- agrees, agreeable, agreed, agreement, etc. Protocols for Accountability Protocols are used during formal walkthroughs, three times a year with a team of teachers, administrators, and an outside agency member In-between walk-throughs with the Principal and a Director from OUSD for coaching opportunities

Increasing explicit teacher instruction and student engagement Results 5% increase in State test scores in Language Arts in all student populations Increased awareness and staff development of vocabulary instruction A refined, more specific, and targeted program for all students in OUSD

Last Minute Thoughts Learn and implement best practices for vocabulary development Take time to collaborate and incorporate best strategies within the school day Make connections to word meanings through every day life activities Rich vocabulary creates rich readers Teaching vocabulary as early as Kindergarten ensures a more competent reader sooner than later Be purposeful in your explicit instruction of academic vocabulary!

Questions? Thank you for your time!! Jeanne

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