The First4000 Words
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The First4000 Words

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The First 4,000 Words is an interactive web-based program used to teach the 4,000 most frequently used English words to English Language Learners and struggling readers in grades 1 through 4.

The First 4,000 Words is an interactive web-based program used to teach the 4,000 most frequently used English words to English Language Learners and struggling readers in grades 1 through 4.

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The First4000 Words The First4000 Words Presentation Transcript

  • The First 4,000 Words Critical Vocabulary Development for Grades 1-4 Gregory Sales, Ph.D. Seward Incorporated Mark Davison , Ph.D. University of Minnesota Michael Graves , Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Emeritus
  • The Problem
    • Vocabulary is tremendously important to success in reading and in school generally.
    •  
    • Some children—particularly some children of poverty and some English language learners—come to school with very small oral vocabularies.
    •  
    • These small oral vocabularies are a huge hurdle to their learning to read.
  • A Partial Solution
    • Over the past 15 years, research has validated a technique for building oral vocabulary in preschool and primary grade children with small oral vocabularies.
    •  
    • The technique—often called shared book reading—consists of an adult repeatedly reading a short passage and focusing students' attention on those words in the passage children are not likely to know.
    • There are two problems with this procedure as it is now used: First, it is expensive because of the adult time required. Second, it is impossible to individualize the instruction so that each student is taught just the words he or she needs.
  • Our Solution: The First 4,000 Words
    • With the aid of an IES grant, Seward Inc. and Dr. Michael Graves have developed a web delivered version of shared book reading that we call The First 4,000 Words.
    •  
    • This program ensures that students learn the 4,000 most frequent English words.
    • Students are individually diagnosed, placed at an appropriate point in the continuum of 4,000 words, and learn the words in a web-based version of shared book reading using a highly motivating program that includes individualization, learner control, voice recognition, cartoon characters, and games.
  • The Importance of Knowing These Words
    • The 4,000 words we are teaching account for 80 percent of the running words in a typical text.
    •  
    • This importance of these words is more graphically shown in the next four slides. These show a passage from a book written for upper elementary students and the words that would be familiar to students who knew (1) only the 300 word most frequent words, (2) the 800 most frequent words, (3) the 2,000 most frequent words, and (4) all 4,000 most frequent words.
  • Knowing only the 300 most frequent words, a student could read only the words shown here.
    • Could it be an _______? The year before, _______ had seen one for the first time when his mother took him to a _______ _______ in _______, _______ _______. He had _______, _______, as the _______ a _______ by _______ on the _______ of a _______ that was _______ on the _______. Now _______ an _______ was right here in _______, and about to _______ over his house. Not _______ to _______ a thing, _______ the _______ and _______ up the _______ of the house to its _______. From there he had a good _______ of the _______, _______ the _______ place. And in the _______, _______ ever_______, he saw the _______.
    • Could it be an _______? The year before, _______ had seen one for the first time when his mother took him to a _______ in _______, _______. He had watched, _______, as the _______ gave a _______ by _______ on the _______ of a _______ that was _______ on the ground. Now maybe an _______ was right here in _______, and about to _______ over his house. Not _______ to _______ a thing, _______ opened the window and _______ up the _______ of the house to its _______. From there he had a good view of the _______ River, _______ past the _______ place. And in the sky, coming ever _______, he saw the _______.
    Knowing only the 800 most frequent words, a student could read only the words shown here.
    • Could it be an airplane? The year before, Charles had seen one for the first time when his mother took him to a flying _______ in _______, Virginia. He had watched, _______, as the _______ gave a _______ by _______ oranges on the _______ of a _______ that was _______ on the ground. Now maybe an airplane was right here in _______, and about to fly over his house. Not _______ to _______a thing, Charles opened the window and climbed up the _______ roof of the house to its _______. From there he had a good view of the _______ River, _______ past the _______ place. And in the sky, coming ever closer, he saw the plane.
    Knowing only the 2000 most frequent words, a student could read only the words shown here.
    • Could it be an airplane? The year before, Charles had seen one for the first time when his mother took him to a flying exhibition in Fort Myer , Virginia. He had watched, enthralled , as the pilot gave a bombing demonstration by dropping oranges on the outline of a battleship that was traced on the ground. Now maybe an airplane was right here in Minnesota, and about to fly over his house. Not wanting to miss a thing, Charles opened the window and climbed up the sloping roof of the house to its peak. From there he had a good view of the Mississippi River, flowing languidly past the Lindbergh place. And in the sky, coming ever closer, he saw the plane (Giblin, 1997, p. 3).
    Knowing only the 4000 most frequent words, a student could read only the words shown here.
  • Program Flow Listening Pre-test Listening Posttest 2 Games 3 Shared Reading Placement Test Remediation