April 2018

How Do We Effectively Measure Knowledge of Word Meaning in the Primary Grades

“Andrew Biemiller (2004) believes that the inability to readily assess vocabulary growth has been a major reason for lack of attention to vocabulary in the primary grades” (Diamond & Gutlohn, 2006, p. 31). Hence, we use running records and other informal reading inventories while assessing our students present levels in

Episode 12: Don’t Take Word Knowledge for Granted

We can’t assume that students know how to break a multisyllabic word into a prefix, a suffix, and a root. As words become more complex, knowledge of roots becomes more essential for students. “Words, like stories, have structure. …Like the parts of a story, the parts of a word also

Episode 11:Teach the Babies Vocabulary

For years, I focused on teaching my striving readers phonics. My hypothesis was, if I teach the babies phonics, then they will read better. However, I’m learning more and more that it’s not about phonics so much as it is about vocabulary. “Vocabulary is a critical  factor in the development

Episode 10: Word Meaning Assessment

What does it mean to know a word? Given that words are multifaceted in nature, how do we ensure that students can savor the richness of individual words? In a word conscious classroom, we can not take our students’ knowledge of words for granted. Many of the formative assessments don’t

Episode 9: Building Classroom Community

“A classroom community must be established so that it is considered normal to ask about word meanings, experiment with language use, and to have not only the teacher, but other students, serve as vocabulary coaches” (Scott, Skobel, & Wells, 2008, p. 15). Children learn best through play, hence, as teachers

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