What is essential vocabulary? Every industry has vocabulary that is foundational to understanding the specific industry and trade. Like building any structure, w/o a solid foundation the structure will eventually crack, crumble, and may even collapse. Essential, must know vocabulary provides a solid foundation for trade training success. Essential vocabulary are terms EVERY student regardless of ability must know in order to succeed. So, the question is, How do you select essential vocabulary terms for students to learn?
As you are making vocabulary decisions, it’s a good idea to check the resources that are readily available to you. When checking your resources be mindful of those terms that are repeated in multiple places. Words that often repeated are most likely the ones that will need the most emphasis in teaching. As you check different resources, think about: Collaborating with the Foundations teacher to know the vocabulary terms students learned that are foundational to what you are teaching? A benefit of having designated vocabulary in the FC is that it’s taught and repeated 5-10 times within the FC content. You may be able to build upon the knowledge students have from the FC. During note taking in the Academics class, are there terms that are key to building success for students? Those terms would likely be very broad in nature and could be such terms as characteristics, analyze, function, etc. While demonstrating a procedure, process, lab, etc., what are the key terms that students need to know in order to complete the task and eventually show proficiency on an assessment? Anytime you model learning, what is the language you are using? Be sure to check the TAR line items for vocabulary terms, concepts and important procedures Course industrial materials and textbooks often supply lists of vocabulary needed to be successful Presentation notes – are there terms in your presentations that students struggle with? (based on prior experience in teaching the content) State, national and industry certification exams – these are the most important terms to know – obviously. Students need to pass the certification tests so they need a deep understanding of terms they will find on those exams. Math and Science – what are those critical math operations and science concepts that are required to meet industry standards and successful completion of the TAR? Terms like whole numbers, decimals, fractions, metric conversion, identifying ratios are key concepts for any industry. Career Success Standards – identify difficult terms, or concepts, that relate to successful behaviors required to complete technical tasks. Example: students must be able to ask for clarification and show resilience when receiving both positive and corrective feedback Phew!!! There’s a lot to think about, isn’t there.
Thinking about an upcoming lesson or unit of study, Brainstorm and Generate a list of vocabulary terms that students need to know; Keep the list handy; you’re going to need it!!!
For the sake of clarity, this is what my brainstorming looks like while preparing for a unit concerning the topic of Finding a Job. While looking through the teaching materials, I found several terms. Some of them will be important, others, not so much. But, I put everything down. It’s a starting place…
Now that I have my list of words, I need to categorize them into 3 groups. Those groups are Must Know, Should Know and Nice-to-Know words. The Must know words are those critical concepts or procedures. They build the foundation of understanding and are the Big Picture terms. All students Must Know these terms. A couple of examples of Must Know words from this unit of study could be employability and transferable skills, Should Know terms often explain the Must know words, are more factual in nature and are sometimes found in TAR items in parentheses. Examples could be job application and resume. Most students should know these terms, but not all will need to know them. The Nice-to-know words allow for the extension of knowledge or specialization within the industry, but are not critical to understanding and will probably not be found on an exam. An example of extension of knowledge within this unit of study would be the term ‘networking.’ It’s impossible to teach all vocabulary equally…and not all vocabulary terms are equal in importance. Making the decision about which ones are and are not the most important takes time and complete understanding of the content you are teaching.
As you can see, some of the terms that were on my brainstorming list were not needed, or will be better defined in a different unit or lesson. I crossed out those terms that are unnecessary making my list even smaller.
Then, I used the categorizing organizer to put my terms in the Must, should, and Nice to know categories. You will find this form included in your assignment which will follow.
Finally, as I planned my lesson, I numbered the order in which I plan to teach the vocabulary as it comes in the lessons. This will further help me to know when I will need to directly teach the must know terms, making notice anytime a ‘should know’ term is used as part of the definition.
This is the categorizing and Sequencing Organizer.
This rubric shows your level of mastery with the development of your essential vocabulary lists.
Module: Vocabulary Instruction Lesson 1: Part A: Why is directly teaching vocabulary important to students learning? Part B: How do I identify essential trade vocabulary and sort by importance and order?08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
What is essential trade vocabulary?•Foundational to every part of learning of the trade•Every student must know in order to be successful•Every student must know regardless of ability08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
Where are terms found?Check all resources •Foundations course •Academic/CTT classes •TAR technical items •Course industrial materials •Textbook •Presentation notes •State, national and industry certification exams •Math and science terms See; Selecting Essential Vocabulary Rubric •Career Success Standards08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
PAUSE Brainstorm a list of vocabulary terms for an upcoming lesson or unit of study Keep the list handy; you’re going to need it!08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
Unit: Finding a Job transferable skills estimation active listening measurement problem-solving thinking skills communication skills employabilitywritten communication calculation Finding a Job interpersonal skills networking interview skimming/scanning resúmé reading work ethic job application cover letter08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
Categorize into 3 Groups •Must Know - critical concepts or procedures; foundational for future understanding; often repeated throughout training materials; Big Picture terms •Should Know - often explains Must Know words; factual in nature; are sometimes found in (parenthesis) in TAR items •Nice-to-know – extends knowledge; allows for specialization within the industry Not all vocabulary terms are created equal!08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
Unit: Finding a Job Finding a Job interpersonal skills networking08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
Example of Categorizing Terms Teaching Category Order Terms employability transferable skills MUST KNOW communication skills thinking skills interpersonal skills problem-solving active-listening SHOULD KNOW written communication job application resúmé cover letter NICE-TO-KNOW networking work ethic See: Categorizing Vocabulary Form08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
Example of Sequencing Terms Teaching Category Order Terms 1 employability 2 transferable skills MUST KNOW 4 communication skills 8 thinking skills 5 interpersonal skills 3 problem-solving 7 active-listening SHOULD KNOW 6 written communication 13 job application 11 resúmé 12 cover letter 14 interview NICE-TO-KNOW 10 networking 9 work ethic See: Categorizing Vocabulary Form08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B
Categorizing and Sequencing Vocabulary08/27/12 Vocab Instruction Lesson 1B