Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vocabulary Instruction!

Did you know that kids who "read a lot" learn about 8 words per day.  Kids who "do not read a lot" learn about 2.  While 2 and 8 don't seem like huge numbers, take that over the course of a month and now you have 60 words vs 240 words.  While it is not a new concept or idea, direct vocabulary instruction has gained a lot of attention over the recent years by education researchers and practitioners.  So the question becomes - how do we take what we know and translate that into learning for ALL students?  In this book, Beck and McKeown provide some very easy vocabulary instruction activities that can be done across all content areas.  We know that the adolescent mind is in high gear most of the time, but one of its struggles is to make meaning and connections in its world.  Therefore, teaching vocabulary across all content areas can help our students make those connections.  Who says that only the Math teacher can teach about tessellations?  My money is usually with the Art teacher.  But thing about what a powerful combination it would be if both were teaching the same concept and vocabulary!  Powerful!