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Vocabulary Instruction

Second Grade Team

Belle Raim
Review Data


Agenda Model


Part I: Search Questions
Why is vocabulary instruction important?
How should vocabulary be taught?
How can we incorporate vocabulary instruction into
our existing instruction?
Why are we here?
Trends in
MAP data
Fall 2018 - Reading Scores
Grade 2


Grade 3


Grade 4

Last year, 72% of second This year, 57% of second
graders at our school graders at our school
scored at or above the scored at or above the
district grade level mean district grade level mean

This year, fewer students are entering

second grade at or above grade level in
2nd Grade, Fall 2018



We see the same trend in the subskills as we did in the overall reading scores:
Nearly half of 2nd grade students are scoring in the “below average” range.
So, why focus on
Part II: My Search Process
- What does MAP say?
- What do the Common Core standards say?
- What does research say?
- What do the experts say?
For the RIT band 171-180, MAP recommends...
Literature Informational Vocabulary
- Interpret figurative language - Determine meaning of - Use context to determine
- Analyze information in domain-specific words meaning
illustrations - Identify evidence that supports - Identify a word that best fits in a
- Determine cause & effect claims given context
r e s
Describe character traits

d s ed - Understand characteristics and

- Demonstrate understanding of

a d
words that convey specific

Skil l s
- Compare/contrast characters purpose of nonfiction texts

- Infer character - Locate information in texts,

l u
- Understand how prefixes/suffixes

r r

c u i c u tables, maps, indices, and change the meaning of words

i n
- Make inferences about plot, appendixes - Use illustrations to determine
characters, and setting - Determine purpose of passages word meaning
- Locate details about plot, - Analyze information in graphic - Determine which meaning of a
characters, and setting in text organizers multiple-meaning word fits a
- Determine main idea and given context
supporting details - Categorize words
- Identify problem/solution - Identify synonyms and antonyms

Connection to CCSS

2nd Grade Language Standard:

Use words and phrases acquired through conversations,
reading and being read to, and responding to texts,
including using adjectives and adverbs to describe.
Research says: Vocabulary is important!
- Vocabulary instruction is associated with improved reading comprehension (Stahl,
1986; Beck, Perfetti, & McKeown, 1982).
- Vocabulary knowledge is associated with proficiency in reading and academic
achievement (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
- For students to learn new words through reading, they must (1) read widely, and
(2) have skills to infer word meaning (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
- Out of 100 unfamiliar words read, a student acquires only between 5-15 of them
(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
Research says: Context is not enough!
- That most unknown words encountered in text can be determined through
context is a MYTH!
- Written context, unlike oral context, often does not provide you with enough
information to infer word meaning (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
- Types of contexts:
- Misdirective - leads you to incorrect understanding of a word’s meaning
- Nondirective - provides you with no information about a word’s meaning
- General - gives you enough information to categorize a word
- Directive - allows you to infer a word’s specific, correct meaning

(Beck, Mckeown, & McCaslin, 1983)

Part III: What I’ve Learned
How do we teach
“Directly explaining the
Robust meaning of words”

instruction “Thought-provoking,
(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002, pg. 2)
playful, and interactive
How do we
incorporate By using
vocabulary into anchor
our existing
Steps for Direct Instruction
1. Select words to teach from the text you’re reading
2. Define the word using a student-friendly explanation
3. Engage students in discussion about the word
4. Have students explain the word and illustrate it in their
vocabulary journals

(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002)

(Marzano & Pickering, 2005)
Step 1: Select words
to teach from the
text you are reading
Tier 1, 2, 3 Words
Tier 1 - Basic, everyday words; high frequency (shoe, pencil,
run, sad)

Tier 2 - Words used by mature language users, across multiple

contexts; high frequency (inquire, obvious, establish)

Tier 3- Domain-specific words; low frequency (photosynthesis,

isosceles, peninsula)

(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002)

Choosing Tier 2 Words
*Number of words you choose depends on your students/time*

Ask the following questions:

- Can the word be explained using terms students already know?

- Is the word important for comprehension?
- Does the word appear in other texts with frequency?
- Will students be able to use the word in their everyday lives?
- Is the concept understandable to your students?

(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002)


Step 2: Define the
word using a
Introducing Vocabulary Words
- Do not use dictionary definitions
- Explain the word in everyday language
- Describe the word and how it is used
- Use phrases like “someone who,” “something that,” or
“describes” when explaining a new word

(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002)

#2 A means of altering one’s
appearance or concealing
one’s identity.

A disguise is when
someone changes the way
they look so that people
don’t know who they are.
Step 3: Engage
students in discussion
about the word
Engage Students in Word-Meaning
- Quick activities after sharing word definition
- Require students to actively think about word meanings and
use them in context
- Connect word back to story
- Word associations: “Which word goes with crook - accomplice or novice?”
- Have you ever?: “Describe a time when you might banter with someone.”
- Idea completions: “The skiing teacher said Maria was a novice on the
slopes because…”
- Think-Pair-Share: Students share their definitions with one another
(Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002, pg. 44-46)
In our story, Big Al wore disguises
because other fish were scared of the
way he looked. Big Al wanted to make
friends so he tried to make himself
look less scary by disguising himself
with seaweed, changing colors, and
making himself puffy.
Who might wear a

A spy or a librarian?

Turn and talk with a partner.

Have you ever worn a
Step 4: Have students
explain the word and
illustrate it
Student Definitions
- Students should not copy your definition
- Should use their own descriptions, explanations, or examples
- Monitor student work to clear up any major errors

Student Illustrations
- Can be a picture, symbol, graphic, or example
- Pictures do not need to be perfect!
- Teacher model illustrating terms

(Marzano & Pickering, 2005)


When someone changes the way they look so that

people won’t recognize them.

Adopted from Marzano & Pickering (2005)


Turn and tell your partner

what disguise means. Then,
write what the word means
in your journal, & illustrate it.
To Review
1. Select Tier 2 words from the text you’re reading
2. Define the word using a student-friendly explanation
3. Engage students in discussion about the word
4. Have students explain the word and illustrate it in their
vocabulary journals
Next Steps
*What we do today could be incorporated across
subject areas, could be used for Tier 3 words

*After you and your students get comfortable with the

first part of vocabulary instruction and the vocabulary
journals, we will talk about follow-up!
In your text, select 2-3 words you
would want to teach.

Come up with a student-friendly

explanation for each word.
Your turn! Think of a turn & talk you might have
your students engage in around this
h e w ord
r e o u tt
Sha s e , y o ur
c h o d T &
you i o n , a n
xp l a nat
In summary...

- Vocabulary knowledge has

What does this wide-reaching academic

mean to us as - Most unfamiliar words in text
cannot be learned through
literacy context
- We can help students improve
educators? their vocabulary knowledge
through explicit, engaging,
interactive instruction!
Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kuckan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York, NY: The
Guilford Press.

Beck, I., McKeown, M., & McCaslin, E. (1983). Vocabulary development: All contexts are not created equal. The Elementary
School Journal, 83(3), 177–181.

Beck, I. L., Perfetti, C. A., & McKeown, M. G. (1982). Effects of long-term vocabulary instruction on lexical access and
reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74(4), 506-521.

Marzano, R. & Pickering, D. (2005). Building academic vocabulary: Teacher’s manual. Alexandria, VA: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development.

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers (2010). Common Core
State Standards. Washington, DC: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School

Stahl, S., & Fairbanks, M. (1986). The effects of vocabulary instruction: A model-based meta-analysis. Review of
Educational Research, 56(1), 72-110.