Repeated research by Robert Marzano and others has shown that vocabulary instruction is most effective when it is learned in context and is intertwined with concept development in the early grades. High-quality vocabulary instruction is also deep and must involve the study of word structures and word parts to determine meaning. Students must be supported with many non-examples and examples of new words and how they can be used in order to develop rich vocabularies.
Of utmost importance instructionally is the teaching of Tier 2 academic language.Tier 2 words can be used across content areas and be used to help navigate complex text. The Internet has a wealth of tools and resources for supporting vocabulary instruction.
Digital tools allow students to:
- View images and videos related to new words
- Hear pronunciations
- See and read words in a variety of contexts
- Reinforce learning through gameplay
- Create visual representations of words and their meanings
- VocabAhead – Short videos targeted toward 6-12 students
- Word Hippo – Geared toward elementary students this site helps students discover antonyms, synonyms, rhymes and definitions.
- Wordsymth Kids – Interactive dictionary for younger students
- Visuwords – Online graphical dictionary
- Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary – A twist on the classic dictionary
- Word Dynamo – Lists, games, and quizzes from teacher-generated words.
- Lexipedia – Concept mapping dictionary
- Shahi – Visual dictionary that uses images from Flickr, Google, and Yahoo!
- Snappy Words – Another mapping dictionary for sorting words by concept
Apps for iPads:
- Word Slapps Vocabulary – Allows users to upload their own images and voice recordings.
- Montessori Crosswords – Students drag and drop letters to match beginning CVC words with images.
- Mad Libs – Digital version of an old classic
- Same Meaning Magic – Developed by Virginia Department of Education as a tool for teaching synonyms.
- Same Sound Spellbound – Helps students navigate common homophones.
In this video from EngageNY, fifth grade students in Andrew Hossack’s class use close reading strategies to determine the main idea and key details from an informational newspaper article.
Want more strategies for close reading in your classroom? Check out these other Curriculum & Technology posts about close reading.
- Close Reading in Action
- Idaho Core Digging into Informational Text
- Alternatives to Round Robin Reading
Still not sure? I’d be happy to demonstrate close reading strategies in your classroom.
Missed our first three ELA Workshop sessions? Grab the take-aways here!
More than twenty-five Post Falls teachers have been meeting on Thursday afternoons to tackle the ELA Idaho Core Standards. The sessions will continue at Seltice Elementary until Spring Break. If you’d like to join us it isn’t too late. Just head on over!
Idaho Core Basics
- ELA Anchor Standards K-12
- First Grade StoryTown TIA Document
- Second Grade StoryTown TIA Document
- Third Grade StoryTown TIA Document
- Fourth Grade StoryTown TIA Document
- Fifth Grade StoryTown TIA Document
Digging into Informational Text
- ELA Informational Text Standards K-5
- Online Sources for Informational Text
- Scholastic Close Reading Graphic Organizer
- Scholastic Informational Reading Graphic Organizer
- EQUIP ELA Rubric for ELA K-2
- EQUIP ELA Rubric for ELA 3-12
- Book Talk Cards 1st Grade
- Book Talk Cards 2nd Grade
- Book Talk Cards 3rd Grade
- Book Talk Cards 4th Grade
- Book Talk Cards 5th Grade
Scaffolding Complex Text
- Qualitative Dimensions of Text
- Achieve.Org Qualitative Rubric for Informational Text
- Achieve.Org Qualitative Rubric for Literature
- Idaho Core Text Exemplars K-5
- Technical Report Linking AIMSweb to Lexile Framework for Reading
- Achieve.Org Common Core Reading Level Conversions
- AR Lexile Conversions
- Lexile Find a Book
- Lexile Text Analyzer
Using Academic Vocabulary — February 20 & 27
Text-Dependent Questioning — March 6 & 13
Writing in the Idaho Core — March 20
Last spring the state of Illinois charged a team of reading and language arts specialists with creating four user-friendly Common Core Teaching and Learning Strategies guides as part of their Realizing Illinois project.
These guides offer teaching suggestions for each Reading Literature and Informational Text Standard using familiar instructional strategies such as Think Alouds, Reciprocal Teaching, Very Important Words, Coding the Text, Sticky Notes, QAR, Word Sorts, SQ3R, Graphic Organizers, and Jigsaw. Like the Common Core Lesson Book, these guides were designed to help educators better meet the goals of the Idaho Core Standards using best practices for reading instruction. Each strategy guide also offers suggestions for formative assessment of each standard in the classroom.
- Strategies for Reading Informational Text K-5
- Strategies for Reading Informational Text 6-12
- Strategies for Reading Literature K-5
- Strategies for Reading Literature 6-12
Is there a reading strategy you are currently using you’d like to share with others? Want to try one of these suggestions together in your classroom? Email me!
Looking to introduce students to Internet Literacy Skills? Try this site!
Fifth grade students in Laurie Buckel’s class at Seltice Elementary have been developing their informational reading skills the past two weeks. Students have closely read very complex text, analyzed academic vocabulary, written argumentative essays, and explored digital text via Powerpoint presentations and Discovery Education video segments.
This morning, however, they learned a valuable lesson about credible web sources.
All About Explorers is a website created by teachers and students in Centennial School District in Pennsylvania. It looks and acts like a typical educational website geared toward elementary students. However, once students started reading closely about their selected explorer they realized it was all a spoof.
See if you can spot the errors in these passages!
Interested in team teaching? Or want help with a lesson? Contact me!
Screencasts aligned to Idaho Core Standards? Yes, please!
Learn Zillion is a a completely free source for hundreds of instructional screencasts directly aligned to the Idaho Core Standards. Currently the database contains Mathematics and English Language Arts videos for grades 3-12 that are searchable by Idaho Core Standard. Videos and lessons for grades K-2 are in the works. The project started as a way for teachers at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. to share common resources aligned with best practices.
Have you used Learn Zillion in the classroom? We’d love to see it in action!
Want to learn more about the new S-BAC assessment? Join us for an optional grade level training session.
Grade level teams from across the District are invited to explore the Smarter Balanced Testing Portal on Thursday afternoons in November and December. Teachers will be able to share ELA materials, instructional and assessment tools, and Idaho Core resources. All grade level teams will walk away with grade level ELA performance task and sample constructed and selected response questions.
November 7 – Third Grade
November 14 – Fourth Grade
November 21 – Fifth Grade
December 5 – Sixth Grade
December 12 – Seventh Grade
December 19 – Eighth Grade