Meaning Vocabulary (Concept Development) Bradford Daly & Timothy Smykowski

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1 Meaning Vocabulary (Concept Development) Bradford Daly & Timothy Smykowski

2 Definition Meaning Vocabulary words that a person has developed and understanding for (http://www.reading-questquencher.com/vocab/) * Explicitly teaching vocabulary is beneficial, but no method is consistently better than another, and we should employ a wide variety of techniques (Fountas, I.C., & G. S. (2001). Guided Reading and Writing: Grades 3 6. Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH.).

3 Assessment Tool Listing Page 1. Word Sort 2. Semantic Feature Analysis 3. Oral Reading Assessment

4 Informal Assessment # 1 Word Sort The word sort can be an effective way of informally assessing meaning vocabulary. In a word sort, the students or student are responsible for placing different vocabulary words into categories. A word sort can focus on sound, spelling, or meaning. In addition, a word sort can be closed, which means the categories that the words are to be placed into are predetermined, or open, which means the student sorts the words and creates the categories as the task is done. Step 1: The first step is to determine the words that will be used for the assessment. The topics can vary widely, or can center around a single type of category. It is important at this point to determine whether the assessment will be closed or open. Step 2: The second step is to create cards with different words on them. Index cards work great for this type of activity. If it was determined that a closed session will occur, be sure to create cards that signify category headings. Step 3: The third step is administration. This can be a group activity, or a single activity for observation. Have the students or student place the cards based on meaning categories, and observe which cards are placed easily, as well as those that are difficult. In a closed exercise, it may be beneficial to create a category that signifies a? for words that the student cannot place. Step 4: Allow the student to look over how the cards were placed, and allow for changes if necessary. This is a good point to discuss why each card was placed where it was.

5 The word sort can be an effective way to determine which vocabulary words a particular student knows the meaning of. For example, in the topic of animals, the categories could be land water and air. By observing how the cards are placed, a teacher or administer will be able to determine which words the student has grasped the meaning of, as well as the words that they do not know. Source: Fountas, I.C., & G. S. (2001). Guided Reading and Writing: Grades 3 6. Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH.

6 Informal Assessment # 2 Semantic Feature Analysis Semantic feature analysis is a clever way of informally assessing vocabulary that a student or group of students has an understanding for. For this activity, a chart is needed, like the one presented in Appendix A of this section. The chart can be in the form of paper that a student can personally use, or can be a large chart that can be used to disseminate information to a large group. Step 1: To begin, select a group of concepts. This type of activity is best used when teaching the meanings of words found in some type of distinct category, such as The American Revolution. Step 2: Start by listing words in the category in the first column. At this point, allow the student or students to suggest additional words that could fall into the category. Step 3: Next, list a few traits that are respective of words that have been listed. Again, allow the student or students to list additional traits. Step 4: Finally, add + s or - s to the chart, allowing the students too see what features each concept has attached to it. In order to use this as an informal assessment, have the student tell you where to place the + s and - s. If during the activity the student comes up with new ideas to add to the chart, do not hesitate to add them and allow them to fill them in respectively with the appropriate symbols. Source: Reutzel, D. R., & Cooter, R. B. (2003). Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed (2 nd ed.). Merrill-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

7 Recommendations/Instructional Strategies 1. Morphemic Analysis Morphemic analysis is one instructional strategy that can be used to teach meaning vocabulary. Morphemic analysis centers around the idea that by breaking words into component parts, meaning can be deducted. In order to use this strategy, the teacher must have knowledge about different morphemes, and must be able to create word family lists, as well as other words using similar morphemes. Once the teacher has established these words, the different prefixes and suffixes should be written on a blackboard or dry erase board. For example, un could be written on the board and could be given the definition not. In addition, the words that the teacher wants the student to learn should also be written on the board. Next, allow the students to freely discuss the meanings of the targeted words using the key to help them decipher the meanings. It should be noted that if the student or students respond incorrectly, they should be told to look up the definition in a glossary or dictionary. Source: Reutzel, D. R., & Cooter, R. B. (2003). Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed (2 nd ed.). Merrill-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 2. Five-Step Method The five-step method is a simple and direct way to teach vocabulary meaning to a class of students or a single student. For the five-step method, materials can vary. Computers or other technological instruments can be used, but a chalkboard and a piece of chalk would be sufficient. The first step is to write the new word out in visual form so the students can observe it. Next, the teacher discusses the word with the student or students. The

8 purpose of this step is to make sure that the students are familiar with the word, and that they understand what it means. Third, the teacher asks the student or students to orally speak a sentence using the new word. Fourth, the teacher asks the students to orally create a definition for the new word. The final step is to have the student write the word out, as well as its definition. In this final step, it may be helpful to have the student write the word and definition on an index card, where they can also write down other information that is related to the word, such as synonyms or graphic cues. These additional references may later prove useful, helping the student to remember the word and how it is used. Source: Reutzel, D. R., & Cooter, R. B. (2003). Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed (2 nd ed.). Merrill-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 3. Frayer Model A third strategy in the domain of meaning vocabulary is what is commonly called the Frayer Model. The Frayer Model is extremely simple, and the only necessary material is a Frayer Model form. An example of one of these forms can be found in Appendix B of this section. Once each student has a copy of a Frayer Model form, the teacher should present the material, be it an overall concept or a vocabulary word. Basically, as the teacher presents the information, the students fill out the form, placing different pieces of information in the appropriate areas. The entire procedure is very classification driven, allowing students to fully understand a topic and the different pieces of information that go along with it. It should be noted that the Frayer Model may serve as a great way to promote discussion and debate, especially in a group teaching session. Source: Reutzel, D. R., & Cooter, R. B. (2003). Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child

9 Succeed (2 nd ed.). Merrill-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 4. Word Wall Word walls are a fourth instructional strategy for teaching meaning vocabulary. Word walls as very simple, and can serve as a centerpiece to an entire school year of teaching. For this activity, some type of board is needed. This can be a dry erase board, or a piece of cork board attached to the classroom wall. To begin, place each letter in the alphabet across the top of the board. Then, each week, introduce a few new words to the class, and discuss their meanings and uses. When each word has been appropriately covered, place them on the board under the correct letter. They can be tacked up or written, depending on the type of board that is used. As the school year progresses, the students will see these words on a day to day basis, becoming very familiar with them and their meanings. 5. Vocabulary Bingo A fifth and fun activity to use when trying to teach students meaning vocabulary is called vocabulary bingo. Vocabulary bingo is placed just like the regular game, only it is slightly modified to account for vocabulary words. For this activity, it is necessary to create bingo card with chosen vocabulary words. These words should be randomized on each card, so each student has a fair chance of winning. In addition, a set of index card will be needed, each containing one of the vocabulary words, along with the appropriate definition. Once the materials are ready, randomize the cards in some manner. Next give each of the students a bingo card to use for the game. At this point, the game can begin. Read out the definitions for each word, one by one, so the students have to mark the correct word on their cards. Not only is this sort of

10 activity fun for the students, but it also is effective at teaching them the meanings of some important words. Source: Reutzel, D. R., & Cooter, R. B. (2003). Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed (2 nd ed.). Merrill-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

11 Appendix A Sample Semantic Feature Analysis Chart Topic: Medieval Concepts Historical Modern Made of Metal Protects Someone Hurts Someone Armor Shield Weapon + + +/- +/- + Sword + +/- + +/- + Warrior /- +/- Cross-Bow + Source: Reutzel, D. R., & Cooter, R. B. (2003). Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed (2 nd ed.). Merrill-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

12 Appendix B Sample Frayer Model Form Concept: Essential Information or Attributes: Non-Essential Information or Attributes Examples: Examples: Source: Reutzel, D. R., & Cooter, R. B. (2003). Strategies for Reading Assessment and Instruction: Helping Every Child Succeed (2 nd ed.). Merrill-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

13 Filename: meaningvocabulary Directory: C:\Documents and Settings\helpdesk\My Documents\Cook Template: C:\Documents and Settings\helpdesk\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\Normal.dot Title: Background Knowledge Subject: Author: Tim Smykowski Keywords: Comments: Creation Date: 3/2/2003 2:14 PM Change Number: 76 Last Saved On: 3/20/2003 5:36 PM Last Saved By: Tim Smykowski Total Editing Time: 171 Minutes Last Printed On: 4/6/2003 9:55 AM As of Last Complete Printing Number of Pages: 12 Number of Words: 1,605 (approx.) Number of Characters: 9,153 (approx.)

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