- Word learning is not incremental – it is not like an on – off switch; instead, it is more like a dimmer switch, strengthening what we know.
- Students learn many more words than we can teach them during school hours or with direct vocabulary instruction.
May 3, 2016
Technofy Your Vocabulary Instruction from Shaelynn Farnsworth
Technofy Your Vocabulary Instruction originally appeared on Shaelynn Farnsworth’s blog May 1, 2016
I do love a challenge, and my friend and fellow Certified Google Innovator, Alicia Brooks offered the perfect one a few weeks ago. Alicia wanted ideas for blending sound vocabulary instruction with intentional technology. I gladly accepted the challenge, it was a way to blend my passions in literacy and technology. _________________________________________________________________ All learning is based in language! It is also a part of the Common Core State Standards, based off of the work of Isabel Beck. But instead of aligning vocabulary instruction to a mandate that could change as quickly as politics, I like to instead anchor my beliefs in what’s best for kids. Word learning is a way to understand concepts more deeply, connect to topics and information intentionally, approach challenging words with strategies good readers use to make sense of complicated texts, and to transfer this understanding into consumption and creation! Along with those beliefs, I also knew there were two important research-grounded assumptions on word learning.
Hyperslides (a dynamic presentation in which different slides are linked together, providing choice to the student. Think a digital form ofChoose Your Own Adventure.) can be used for a short student analysis, or to provide students with a quick way to strengthen their understanding and exposure through a “Would you rather” question. I have found it best to model an example and provide as a future option for student creation. When students construct their own understanding, word learning is deepened. Click here to experience a short demo I created with Google Slides. Model it – word learning is supported through enriched environments where students are word aware! Educators must do their part as well, seeing that vocabulary acquisition is largely incidental. Crosswords, word games, vocabulary websites, thinking aloud your own struggles when encountering a difficult word, videos, images and word walls demonstrate the constant vocabulary learning by the teacher. I am a collector of moments and beautiful words, and one of my favorite things to do is identify and Pin literacy devices I find on Pinterest. This modeling is one that students enjoy and frequent, noticing the additions and pinning some to their boards. Graphic Dictionaries are great for Tier 3 words that are content specific. Have students create their own graphic dictionary according to content or unit. Use Google Docs and the (g)math add-on to create a Math Term Graphic Dictionary! It is not only functional and individualized by each student, but it provides an opportunity to utilize a digital resource available. Finally, try using social media to engage, create, and collaborate digitally with students through Wuzzles (word puzzles). Share a classInstagram account in which all students take turns posting to, or utilize your ownSnapchat app and stories to post Wuzzles to extend learning. Another alternative is to create and use templates that models form and structure found on social media platforms. Create a Vocab-O-Gram with an Instragram template found HERE. Source: Gambrell, Linda B. and Lesley Mandel Morrow, eds. Best Practices in Literacy Instruction. New York: Guilford. 2015. Print.