Reading Purpose: Expanding Academic Vocabulary This chapter focuses on Academic Vocabulary. Lack of vocabulary knowledge is a barrier to comprehension. Students can appear to read fluently, but if they lack vocabulary knowledge, they may sound ‘great’ but understand very little. This week’s reading is focused on defining academic vocabulary and categories of words that make reading, writing and speaking English both interesting and challenging. Take for example words like their, they’re, and there. Or idiomatic expressions like Hold your horses! or The cat’s got your tongue. Wordplay and language are really fun, but require intentional word selection. This chapter will discuss types of vocabulary and how to decide which Tiers to teach. Reading Assignment Tompkins, Chapter 7: Expanding Academic Vocabulary Pages 216 – just the top of 232 Why does teaching vocabulary matter? This week’s Chapter 7 reading introduced the concept of Tiered Vocabulary. Categorizing words into Tiers helps teachers consider which words need to be taught in order to support students’ academic reading comprehension and writing vocabulary. Vocabulary as Background Knowledge We know background knowledge is an essential reader factor. If students do not understand the meaning of key terms in a text, they will not be able to comprehend what is read. With all of the words in any given text, teachers have to be intentional and selective in which words they teach BEFORE reading to BUILD background. Teaching terms before reading is called ‘priming’ or ‘front-loading’. Vocabulary is taught prior to reading to build students’ background knowledge so they know these words when they encounter them in text. But, teaching too many words can overwhelm, and students cannot possibly remember every meaning. Categorizing words into Tiers, helps teachers focus on which words to teach – Typically Tier 2 and some Tier 3. While each Tier is defined, determining the exact ‘Tier’ in which a word belongs can be subjective. We could all look at the same word list, and most likely differ on exactly ‘where’ we placed each word. Thinking of words in Tiers is less about perfectly labeling the Tier, and more about determining which words matter most in supporting student comprehension and growing academic vocabulary. Purpose This activity will give you practice selecting academic vocabulary you identify as most essential to comprehension and categorizing vocabulary as either Tier 1, 2, or 3. This will give you an opportunity to apply this weeks reading to actual text and consider the relationship between vocabulary and comprehension. THE BOOK LITERACY for the 21 Century A Balanced Approach (7TH EDITION) by GAIL E. TOMPKINS You need to select a children’s chapter book (fiction, nonfiction, or informational). The children’s book you select must be: A Chapter Book At least 100 pages Geared toward children in grades 3-6 (ages 8 to 12) You can choose an old favorite from your childhood or pick something current (Links to an external site.). You are urged to consider a book with good ‘substance’ such as a Newberry Award Winning book (Links to an external site.). You do not need to buy a book! TO DO: Self-Selected Book: the children’s chapter book you have selected. Include the title of the book and author, and a couple of sentences explaining what the book is about. one chapter from your book. As you read, write down vocabulary you think a child reading the book might not know AND vocabulary you think is essential to comprehending the chapter. this list, select the 6 words you think most critical for comprehending the chapter. In your post, include your 6 words and classify each by the Tier you think each represents. why you picked the Tier you did. Don’t hesitate to include tips you applied from the Reading Rockets article. how these 6 words relate to the main idea of the chapter from your book. TO DO ALSO: The Rough Face Girl- You are going to read a selection from a 2nd Grade Reading Textbook called, The Rough Face Girl. Just as you did with your self-selected book, you will need to: down vocabulary you think a child reading the book might not know AND vocabulary you think is essential to comprehending the story. this list select the 6 words you think most critical for understanding the story. In your post, include your 6 words and classify each by the Tier you think each represents. why you picked the Tier you did. Don’t hesitate to include tips you applied from the Reading Rockets article. why you think these 6 words best support comprehension of the story.