The Power of Words – Building Vocabulary Age 3 to Grade 3

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Too Important to Wait: Words and Complex Texts

I have been very busy with two projects (The Achievement Gap workshop for Early Educators) and Meeting the needs of students with Dyslexia) and have had to neglect this blog.  But, in the process of these two commitments, I have been collecting many new resources.  I couldn’t wait to share this one:


  • Text Complexity
    A short webinar on the relationship between a text’s word frequency number and the Lexile number.

Presentation Slides with Audio

8 minutes, 45 seconds

The same content is available in text format in a new Frankly Freddy blog post:
Teaching Complex Text: Why Look at Word Frequency?

Oral Language AND Literacy: Not either/or

Oral Language AND Literacy: Not either/or

A short excerpt from an article published in Reading Rockets

http://www.readingrockets.org/blogs/shanahan-literacy/role-early-oral-language-reading-comprehension?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ReadingRockets_StrugglingReaders+%28Reading+Rockets%3A+Struggling+Reader+Resources%29 ….

“Recently, Chris Lonigan and I (Timothy Shanahan) wrote a short article for Language Magazine. It’s focus is on “The Role of Early Oral Language in Literacy Development.” I think both Chris and I have bona fides in the “phonics/decoding/foundational skills” community and have the scars to show it. But we are both also advocates of the so-called “simple view” of reading — students need to know how to decode from print to language and they need to know how to understand language. This is a both, not an either/or.

Here is a link to the article. Hope you enjoy it.”

And here is a short excerpt from that article:

“Response to intervention in preschool holds promise for successful early language development but several key issues must be considered. For one, preschools often serve disproportionate numbers of children who need Tier 2 or Tier 3 services, which causes staffing concerns. Also, more research is needed on the effect of interventions for children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English language learners, and children from underrepresented ethnic groups.
The NELP report, along with other studies of children’s early language development, suggests that early oral language has a growing contribution to later reading comprehension — a contribution that is separate from the important role played by the alphabetic code. As such, improving young children’s oral language development should be a central goal during the preschool and kindergarten years.”

Are We Asking Students the “Right” Question(s)?

Asking a Simple Question Can Change Everything for a Student by Mark Reckmeyer

Jessica Stutzman, a Writer and Editor at Gallup, contributed to this piece.

An excerpt:

“I met Morgan while teaching a strengths and entrepreneurship program in the summer of 2012. The program was designed to provide students of lower socio-economic status with the opportunity to discover their strengths using the Clifton StrengthsExplorer,……

In the strengths and entrepreneurship program, Morgan started out as the distracting, off-task student he would have been in any classroom setting. However, near the end of the first week of this course, there was one very small conversation that changed his entire experience.

During a project, Morgan was asked about what he liked to do at home. His answer: Help his mother and grandmother in the kitchen. A follow-up question caused the shift that immediately took him from being that distracting student to one of the most engaged, focused and positive kids for the rest of the program: What did he like about being in the kitchen? Morgan stopped working on his assignment and started explaining the types of food he cooked, his mom’s favorite food that he made, his favorite food, how he made all of it and how much fun he had doing it. Morgan immediately went from being a constant distraction in class to a motivated learner and an engaged student.”

http://www.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/183476/asking-simple-question-change-everything-student.aspx

 

Every Conversation Counts

From Too Small to Fail

Every Word, Every Conversation Counts: The Word Gap and Early Brain Development

A baby’s first words are cause for celebration. Language development is an exciting and critical part of every child’s growth. Starting the moment they’re born, children begin to build a rich foundation for language using every word they hear from the conversations and interactions they share with those who love and care for them. Parents and caregivers can help boost their child’s early brain development and language skills through simple actions like talking, reading, and singing—simply through their everyday moments in the everyday places they visit together. This week, Too Small to Fail announced three new Commitments to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Denver to help parents and families make any space and any time the perfect opportunity for talking, reading, and singing with their littlest learners.

http://us3.campaign-archive2.com/?u=a04df7717ef6c2a6ebb987d62&id=073fa6277a&e=100b970532

More Than a Gap in Words

Published in Print: April 22, 2015, as Research on Quality of Conversation Holds Deeper Clues Into Word Gap

Key to Vocabulary Gap Is Quality of Conversation, Not Dearth of Words

By Sarah D. Sparks

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/04/22/key-to-vocabulary-gap-is-quality-of.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS1

…….

“The “30 million-word” gap is arguably the most famous but least significant part of a landmark study, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young Children, by the late University of Kansas child psychologists Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley. As the work turns 20 this year, new research and more advanced measuring techniques have cast new light on long-overshadowed, and more nuanced, findings about exactly how adult interactions with infants and young children shape their early language development.”

….

Parent-Child Conversations

“This is the challenge of translating science to policy, and when one study captures the imagination of the public, and policy is made based on one study,” Mr. Barnett said. A study “has to be viewed in the context of the much larger body of knowledge about language and family and experience.”

…….

“Conversational turns are vastly more important than the number of words a child is exposed to,” Ms. Gilkerson said.

 

 

 

 

Update on the Achievement Gap

William Teale (University of Illinois at Chicago, Education) just uploaded a paper on Academia.edu:

Early Childhood Literacy: Policy for the Coming Decade

by William Teale et. al.

https://www.academia.edu/11407858/Early_Childhood_Literacy_Policy_for_the_Coming_Decade

Gaps in 3 important areas:

Standards and curriculum

Capacity of educational leaders and teachers

Family involvement

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