Friday, June 10, 2011

Murray Gadd workshop - Building students' vocabulary

Workshop building students’ vocabulary through instructional reading and writing:
It is important to teach students more words.  We must choose and adapt vocabulary-related activities for our learners. 
Alison Davis Teaching Reading comprehension
Sheena Cameron – Vocabulary Section
Learning through talk – p72-75
During the planning phase of reading or writing consider the vocabulary we need to explore initially – and discuss.  We need to take the learner into the process of the vocabulary. Aim should be to introduce learners to at least 25 new words per week, 6-7 per reading or writing session.   Incidental word learning – stop during reading and allow learners to discuss their ideas of the words and their meanings.    We must challenge our writers to use new vocabulary. 
A word tree is a great resource in a class for words, maybe with a branch for topic words; a branch for emotive words, an area for prefix and suffix etc. 
Specific vocab learning through graphic organisers: Venn diagram; T-charts; semantic words; Clines; semantic feature analysis;   (scan in examples)
Or through games: word associations; finish sentences meaningfully; categorisation words that go together; clustering words according to meaning; telephone whispers; barrier games; call my bluff;
Model more; specific task;  motivate and engage; use written language to motivate writing;
Model editing on board, allow learners to discuss and come up with ideas and model – use of different colours is powerful. 

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