December: Tips & Resources for Teaching Academic Vocabularly

Vocabulary goodness is coming your way this December. Each week I’ll share a vocab tip or resource.

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Marzano's Six Step Process (Marzano, 2004)

I recently came across this researched-based approach to vocabulary instruction. Though I'm familiar with each step, I've never actually implemented the full list. Time constraints are the number one reason I move on after step 3 or 4. I regret this because when teaching for mastery, students require multiple exposures to new vocabulary with increased depth. I truly appreciate the progression of rigor in the Six Step Process (follow link for ideas correlating to each step).

1. Provide a description, explanation, or example of the new term. (Include a non-linguistic representation of the term for ESL kids.)

 2. Ask students to restate the description, explanation, or example in their own words. (Allow students whose primary existing knowledge base is still in their native language to write in it.)

3. Ask students to construct a picture, symbol, or graphic representing the word.

 4. Engage students periodically in activities that help them add to their knowledge of the terms in their notebooks.

 5. Periodically ask students to discuss the terms with one another. (Allow in native language when appropriate)

 6. Involve students periodically in games that allow them to play with terms.