A Professional Development Initiative for Developing Approaches to Vocabulary Instruction with Secondary Mathematics, Visual Arts, Science, and English Teachers

MaggieDillon_studyguide_voc_art_3_deal_Unit_4

I’ve always been an advocate for all subject areas teaching vocabulary, not just the English department, so I agreed with a lot of the main ideas of this article. I especially enjoyed the sample activities that were included with all the research; I despise reading articles about educational stuff and them having nothing included from students or teachers. I also like looking at samples of student work, which this article also had. I Vocabulary instruction always seems to end up on the shoulders of the English teachers and it’s nice to see ways in which students can learn useful reading and decoding skills in other disciplines as well. By working on vocabulary in a lot of classes, students start to pick up on the patterns to be found within our language (adverbs usually end in –ly, how words change forms, etc). Learning about prefixes, suffixes, roots, and patters is a really useful skill. Even if you’re only thinking about the scope of EOC testing;  a student could easily come across a word they don’t know but could break down by using their knowledge of words.

  • ” The studies…suggest that the most effective methods for instruction ’emphasized multimedia aspects of learning, richness of context in which words are to be learned, active student participation, and the number of exposures to words that learners will receive.’ “
  • Highlighting cross-curricular connections is very important; it helps students to make meanings of experiences and with different examples. They learn about the flexibility of words and how they can mean different things in different contexts, situations, and disciplines.
  • Allowing students to learn about words and their meanings in a variety of ways is more likely to work. Give them opportunities to work with written, oral, and visual representations of words.
  • Being activity/socially based is a good thing. It builds social skills, ability to work with others, and gives students perspective from somewhere else they may not have seen or heard about otherwise.
  • Most importantly: students need to see the connection and relationships between words in order to make a “rich meaning” of language and be able to manipulate or use it in their favor.

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Teaching for Understanding

What does it mean to be literate in your discipline?

Maggie

RE4620

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