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

Episode 8: Using Poetry to Build Word Consciousness

Teachers can use poetry to introduce word consciousness. Poems can be used to illustrate succulent sounds and to help students master meanings of words within our English Language. In this episode, students will explore the elements of a rhyming poem. Reference: Scott, J. A., Skobel, B. J., & Wells, J.

Episode 7: Linking Word Consciousness to your Curriculum

“Learning about words is as central as breathing in a literacy classroom, because words are the cornerstone of both oral and written language. Learning about words is inseparable from learning about reading and learning about writing” (Scott, Skobel, and Wells, p. 1, 2008). Hence, it is critical that we teach

Episode 6: Instructional Principles for Word Learning

Our student’s attention must be drawn to what is unknown about their word knowledge just as much as to what is known about their word knowledge. Many times, students over estimate their word knowledge and therefore, they will unintentionally inflate their self-appraisals. Hence, it is important for teachers to understand

Episode 5: A Striving Reader’s Strategy

How fine of a job are teachers doing with teaching the Latin and Greek roots of English? Thinking back to my own experience in learning about the affixes, I can attest that my exposure to this aspect of the language was slighted. Rasinski, Padak, Newton, and Newton, in their 2011 article,

Episode 4: The Gift of Words

Students are taught to appreciate music and art, but are they also taught to appreciate words? According to Scott, Skobel, and Wells (2008) “Authors give us Gifts of Words, wonderfully composed phrases that capture the essence of what they want to say” (p. 8). In this podcast episode, you will

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