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Vocabulary for All: A School-Wide Literacy Initiative


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  • 1. Vocabulary for All: a school-wide literacy initiative
    Leslie Wesson & Kristie Hall
  • 2. Vision Statement
    A successful literacy program is based on
    standards that promote:
    rigorous goals
    instruction across the curriculum
    It is our vision that high quality literacy instruction goes beyond test scores and leads students to become life-long readers and learners.
    “Consistent and powerful beliefs that underlie actions are essential to sustained system and school improvement” (Hirsh, 2009, p. 464).
  • 3. Needs Assessment
    • Principals’ professional opinions
    • 4. Observation of literacy coach
    • 5. Analysis of scores
    • 6. Needs assessments
    • 7. 46% of the school population are Second Language Learners.
    “Connecting the school and the community means listening to the community in which the school is situated, so that the individual voices of those students and of that school can be the foundation of the education those students receive” (Edwards, 2001, p. 44)
  • 8. Research Question
    What best practices in vocabulary instruction will accelerate literacy learning for all students that can be built upon from year to year, and include both English and Spanish?
  • 9. Focus of Study
    To implement high quality vocabulary instruction for all learners (in both English and Spanish) and provide a supportive learning environment throughout the community.
    Outside School
    Inside School
    Application in the “real world”
    Foundation in vocabulary
    Meaningful language opportunities
    “Without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed” (Wilkins as quoted in Milton, 2008, p. 228).
  • 10. Desired Outcomes
    • Increase professional knowledge
    • 11. Enhance parents’ and the community involvement
    • 12. Student will be confident in exploring and applying
    • 13. WestworthVillage will become more aware of the
    languages and vocabulary in their area.
    “Teachers are increasingly faced with a diverse group of learners in terms of current word knowledge, linguistic background, learning styles, and literacy abilities. It is up to teachers to make word learning enjoyable, meaningful, and effective.” (Blachowicz as quoted in Gambrell, 2007, p. 179)
  • 14. “It is vitally important that teachers value and build on students’ existing home and community literacy practices in promoting literate competence in school” (Haneda, 343)
    Impact on Student Learning
    Academic Benefits
    Self & Cultural Benefits
    gains in comprehension
    deeper meaning in writing
    strengthened oral language skills
    additional confidence in language use
    communicate with others
    greater sense of learner ownership
    “According to Stahl and Fairbanks, vocabulary knowledge has been identified as the most important indicator of oral language proficiency” (Wallace, 2008, p. 39)
  • 15. Contributions to the Comprehensive
    Reading Program
  • 16. Supporting Research & Theory
    “Comprehensive vocabulary instruction includes, frequent and varied language experiences, teaching individual words, and teaching word learning strategies, as well as fostering word consciousness.” (Graves, 2008, p. 186)
    “Research indicates that knowledge of individual words exists on a continuum ranging from known to unknown.” With each new encounter with a particular word, depth of knowledge increases, moving the word further along the continuum from known to unknown. (Graves, 2008, p. 192)
    The most important aspect to creating a word-rich environment is that the teacher scaffolds. (Graves, 2008)
    For word learning to occur, two conditions need to be met:
    read widely
    skills to infer (Beck, 2002)
    English language learners vary widely (Ordonez, Carlo, Snow, & McLaughlin, 2002)
    “Vocabulary … is the foundation of success in school.” (Akhavan, 2007, p. 4)
  • 17. Supporting Research Cont.
    Parent & Community Connection
    • Students’ reading outside of school (Haneda, 2006).
    • 18. When a school includes the community they, “make learning personally relevant to their students” (Haneda, 2006, p. 342).
    • 19. Teaching tolerance and creating a connection (Edwards, 2001).
    • 20. Parents influence on child’s knowledge and beliefs (Booth, 2002).
    “Literacy can be shared discovery” (Ciotti, 2001, p. 59).
  • 21. Levels of Involvement
    Leadership Team
    lesson demos
    monitor progress
    teacher support
    overall planning
    vocabulary instruction
    information sessions for parents
    Administration of assessments
    Librarian: reinforce classroom vocabulary instruction, and support local librarians’ efforts.
    “Collaboration among educators builds shared responsibility and improves student learning” (Hirsh, 2009, p. 469)
  • 22. Levels of Involvement Cont.
    Apply knowledge
    Provide support
    Public Libraries: partner with school
    “Once parents are presented with concrete ideas for getting involved, they often rise to the challenge and serve as important partners in the literacy process” (Booth, 2002).
  • 23. Plan for Implementation
  • 24. Steps for Implementation
    Introduce initiative to leadership team and administrators.
    Needs assessment
    Introduce initiative to educators , public librarians, and parents.
    Plan professional learning based on educators’ feedback.
    Data meetings to address evaluation of initiative.
    Gathering of resources and materials.
    Creation of online resources.
    Overall evaluation of initiative by all stakeholders.
    “We need to understand the data of our assessments in relation to vocabulary learning and reflect on this information to tweak our lessons and activities to encourage powerful learning” (Akhavan, 2007, p. 16).
  • 25. Proposed Professional Learning
    “Vocabulary knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies a definition, but also implies how that word fits into the world” (Stahl as quoted in Townsend, 2009, p. 250)
  • 26. Time Frame
  • 27. Evaluation Process
    Monitoring Effectiveness
    Student self-evaluations
    TPRI K-2
    Curriculum based assessments 3-5
    Receiving Feedback
    Needs assessments
    Evaluation surveys
    Data meetings
    Update/celebration meetings
    Final evaluation
    “Evaluation strengthens performance and results” (Hirsh, 2009, p. 467).
  • 28. Communication & Delivery
    • PowerPoint introductions
    • 29. Professional learning sessions
    • 30. Teacher resource wiki
    • 31. Modeled Instruction
    • 32. PowerPoint introductions
    • 33. Family Literacy Night
    • 34. Family resource wiki
    • 35. Teacher/Parent education sessions
    “Any new practice must start with teacher collaboration toward a shared understanding of the foundations of vocabulary learning.” (Berne, 2008, p. 320)
  • 36. References
    Akhavan, N., (2007). Accelerated vocabulary instruction: Strategies for
    closing the achievement gap for all students. New York: Scholastic.
    Beck, I., McKeown, M., Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust
    vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford Press.
    Berne, J., & Blachowicz, C. (2008). What reading teachers say about
    vocabulary instruction: Voices from the classroom. Reading
    Teacher, 62(4), 314-323. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.
    Booth, D., & Rowsell, J. (2002). The literacy principal: Leading, supporting
    and assessing reading and writing initiatives. Markham:
    Pembroke Publishers.
    Ciotti, H. (2001). Including parents in the fun: Sharing literary experiences.
    The English Journal, 90(5),52-59.Retrieved from Education
    Research Complete database.
  • 37. References Cont.
    Edwards, S. (2001). Bridging the gap: Connecting school and community
    with service learning. The English Journal,90(5), 39-44.Retrieved
    from Education Research Complete database.
    Gambrell, L., Morrow, L., Pressley, M. (2007) Best practices in literacy
    instruction. New York: Guilford Press.
    Graves, M., & Watts-Taffe, S. (2008). For the love of words: Fostering
    word consciousness in young readers. Reading Teacher, 62(3),
    185-193. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.
    Haneda, M. (2006). Becoming literate in a second language: Connecting
    home, community, and school literacy practices. Theory Into
    Practice, 45(4), 337-345. Retrieved from Education Research
    Complete database.
    Hirsh, S., & Killion, J. (2009). When educators learn, students learn. Phi
    Delta Kappan, 90(7), 464-469.
  • 38. References Cont.
    Manyak, P., & Bauer, E. (2009). English vocabulary instruction for English
    learners. Reading Teacher, 63(2), 174-176. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.
    Milton, J. (2008). Vocabulary uptake from informal learning tasks.
    Language Learning Journal, 36(2), 227-237. Retrieved from
    Education Research Complete database.
    Townsend, D. (2009). Building academic vocabulary in after-school
    settings: Games for growth with middle school English- language learners. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(3),
    242-251. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.
    Wallace, C. (2008). Vocabulary: The key to teaching English
    language learners to read. Education Digest, 73(9), 36-39. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.
  • 39. Template Provided By
    500,000 Downloadable PowerPoint Templates, Animated Clip Art, Backgrounds and Videos