The Real Work of a Professional Learning Community “Chets Creek Star Book Vocabulary Unit”
Identifying our need and setting our goals <ul><li>Needs: </li></ul><ul><li>We as a learning community felt that vocabular...
How could we improve our instruction? <ul><li>Obstacles: </li></ul><ul><li>Would a prewritten vocabulary unit support our ...
Identifying which components were most important for quality instruction. <ul><li>To ensure that we were providing the bes...
What were our goals? <ul><li>Provide tier two words that students would learn and understand. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide in...
Where to begin??
<ul><li>We selected our literature –  we chose * STAR* books we already were using in our classroom.   - These books were ...
2.  Choosing our vocabulary ? <ul><li>We chose four words that were directly used in the story and two words that were inf...
What are tier two words? <ul><li>Tier two words are high-frequency words for mature language users where instruction in th...
Three things to keep in mind when evaluating possible words: 1.  How generally useful is the word?  Is it a word that stud...
3.  Writing the lessons <ul><li>Collaboratively decided what types of structure we wanted for the lessons.  </li></ul><ul>...
Samples of activities included : Acting out the word Idea Completions <ul><li>Complete each sentence </li></ul><ul><li>I a...
 
 
 
<ul><li>We divided the books we had chosen so that each teacher was actively involved.      We wrote lessons individually...
4.  Finding an assessment <ul><li>When we were deciding on an assessment we had some concerns: </li></ul><ul><li>We had tr...
5.  Implementing a curriculum <ul><li>Each teacher was given the vocabulary unit and a set of books. </li></ul><ul><li>Tea...
Two teachers giving an example of frightened A student giving an example of thrilled.  A student giving an example of terr...
What have we learned from our data?
 
6.  Star Vocabulary… a work in progress <ul><li>Throughout the unit we met to discuss the unit and make changes. </li></ul...
Examples of student and class  work
 
 
 
 
Questions and Answers?
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The Real Work Of A Professional Learning Community 1

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A look into a curriculum written by a professional learning community of Kindergarten teachers.

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The Real Work Of A Professional Learning Community 1

  1. 1. The Real Work of a Professional Learning Community “Chets Creek Star Book Vocabulary Unit”
  2. 2. Identifying our need and setting our goals <ul><li>Needs: </li></ul><ul><li>We as a learning community felt that vocabulary was our weakest instructional area. </li></ul><ul><li>Goals : </li></ul><ul><li>We realized that we needed some type of vocabulary unit for our kindergarten students that would align with our curriculum. </li></ul>
  3. 3. How could we improve our instruction? <ul><li>Obstacles: </li></ul><ul><li>Would a prewritten vocabulary unit support our individual needs in our curriculum? </li></ul><ul><li>More importantly- we were growing as a community and did not have the funds for these programs. </li></ul><ul><li>Solution : </li></ul><ul><li>A group of kindergarten teachers decided that we would research and study vocabulary instruction and write our own unit that would support our curriculum. We realized that we would have ownership into the unit and that would increase the quality of instruction. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Identifying which components were most important for quality instruction. <ul><li>To ensure that we were providing the best choice in vocabulary instruction we needed to research the latest information through books and effective programs. </li></ul><ul><li>We studied the work from Beck and McKeown’s Bringing Words to Life </li></ul><ul><li>We field tested Text Talk vocabulary unit by Scholastic in two 1 st grade classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>We studied the Eric Carle author study for Kindergarten written for America’s Choice. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What were our goals? <ul><li>Provide tier two words that students would learn and understand. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide instruction that would embed the vocabulary in their oral language and written work. </li></ul><ul><li>Work collaboratively as a team to provide a unit that the teachers and students would take ownership. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Where to begin??
  7. 7. <ul><li>We selected our literature – we chose * STAR* books we already were using in our classroom. - These books were chosen from the work of Elizabeth Sulzby for providing quality story elements which were rich in vocabulary as well. - Chose books that would offer tier two words we felt children at this age would incorporate into their daily language. Some of our STAR books such as The Snowy Day did not support this and therefore we chose not to use that title. - You can find out more information about Sulzby instruction on my blog: http://harbourhighlights.blogspot.com </li></ul>
  8. 8. 2. Choosing our vocabulary ? <ul><li>We chose four words that were directly used in the story and two words that were inferred from the text. </li></ul><ul><li>We chose tier two words based off the research of Beck and McKeown. </li></ul>
  9. 9. What are tier two words? <ul><li>Tier two words are high-frequency words for mature language users where instruction in these words can add productivity to a student’s language ability. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Three things to keep in mind when evaluating possible words: 1. How generally useful is the word? Is it a word that students are likely to meet often in other texts? 2. How does the word relate to the other words, to ideas that students know or have been learning? Does it relate to some topic of study in the classroom? 3. What does the word bring to a text or situation? What role does the word play in communicating the meaning of the context in which it is used?
  11. 11. 3. Writing the lessons <ul><li>Collaboratively decided what types of structure we wanted for the lessons. </li></ul><ul><li>- Introduce with a summary and a description of the genre. </li></ul><ul><li>- Introduce individually by discussing how it was used in the story, </li></ul><ul><li>the definition, how to use the word, and a summary. </li></ul><ul><li>- Review after the introduction of three words. A review was given </li></ul><ul><li>for all 6 words at the end of the week. </li></ul><ul><li>Made a list of individual activities that would support the practice, use, and understanding of these words based on our prior research. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Samples of activities included : Acting out the word Idea Completions <ul><li>Complete each sentence </li></ul><ul><li>I am so eager to … </li></ul><ul><li>The mouse scampered around to </li></ul><ul><li>get… </li></ul><ul><li>When my friend is being selfish, </li></ul><ul><li>I … </li></ul>Drawing a picture and writing about it to illustrate the word Using photographs to illustrate the word
  13. 16. <ul><li>We divided the books we had chosen so that each teacher was actively involved.  We wrote lessons individually to align with the structure we agreed upon.  We met as a group to analyze vocabulary choices, lessons, and make any edits. </li></ul>
  14. 17. 4. Finding an assessment <ul><li>When we were deciding on an assessment we had some concerns: </li></ul><ul><li>We had tried many different assessments in prior years such as the Peabody. </li></ul><ul><li>We needed an assessment that we could do quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>We needed an assessment that measured if the vocabulary we were teaching was making a difference – not an assessment of the vocabulary. </li></ul>
  15. 18. 5. Implementing a curriculum <ul><li>Each teacher was given the vocabulary unit and a set of books. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers were given a target of teaching one set of vocabulary words a week. </li></ul>
  16. 19. Two teachers giving an example of frightened A student giving an example of thrilled. A student giving an example of terrified.
  17. 20. What have we learned from our data?
  18. 22. 6. Star Vocabulary… a work in progress <ul><li>Throughout the unit we met to discuss the unit and make changes. </li></ul><ul><li>We continue to think about our assessment and how we can continue to make the data useful to our instruction. </li></ul>
  19. 23. Examples of student and class work
  20. 28. Questions and Answers?

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