word conscious classroom

Language is Juicy

Lily Wong Fillmore argued that native English speaking teachers take Language for granted. Those who know English well, may not understand that students “who are speakers of varieties of English––[may] find the academic registers used in texts to be more difficult to untangle than do speakers of “standard English” who

Episode 30: Specific Word Learning

For the majority of my teaching career, I have been teaching vocabulary using the specific word learning technique. According to the Vocabulary Handbook, this technique falls under intentional vocabulary teaching. Hence, many of the passages from our anthologies and basal readers utilize specific word learning as an intentional instructional approach to

Episode 25: Teaching Students about Compound Words

In a previous post, I wrote about encouraging students to look inside of words for spelling patterns. In this week’s post, I am directing students to look inside of words again, but this time we are focusing on smaller words, words that are considered Anglo-Saxon base words. I then explain

Accented Syllables

As I prepare my students for advanced decoding, one of the lessons that I had to teach was accented syllables. Teaching accented syllables is a hard skill for me because I don’t always here where the syllable is accented. I explained to my students that an “accented syllable is pronounced as

Episode 15: A Tribute to Dr. Anna Uhl Chamot

While at The George Washington University working on my Master’s Degree, I got the privilege to take a course with Dr. Anna Uhl Chamot. After learning about her passing, I wanted to contribute one of my podcast episodes to her magnificent work. Dr. Chamot, along with Dr. O’Malley, created the

Episode 13: The Influence of Language Learning Objectives

We write learning objectives every day. But our learning objectives are mostly linked to content learning and not language learning. Not only do students striving to learn English need language learning objectives, but any student that is learning how to use the functions of our English language need language learning

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

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