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Learning Words Inside and Out. Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey San Diego State University www.fisherandfrey.com Books.heinemann.com/wordwise Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2008). Word wise and content rich: Five essential steps to teaching academic vocabulary. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

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Learning Words Inside and Out

Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey

San Diego State University

www.fisherandfrey.com

Books.heinemann.com/wordwise

Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2008). Word wise and content rich: Five essential steps to teaching academic vocabulary. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


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I’ll go back to school

and learn more

about

the brain!


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400+ Page text

“Somites are blocks of dorsal mesodermal cells adjacent to the notochord during vertebrate organogensis.”

“Improved vascular definition in radiographs of the arterial phase or of the venous phase can be procured by a process of subtraction whereby positive and negative images of the overlying skull are superimposed on one another.”







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Read “Non-Traditional” Texts on the test.

  • To date, over 100 YouTube videos!

  • PBS (The Secret Life of the Brain)

  • Internet quiz sites about neuroanatomy

  • Talking with peers and others interested in the brain


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But, the midterm comes on the test.

17 pages, single spaced


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Besides Some Neuroanatomy, What Have I Learned? on the test.

  • You can’t learn from books you can’t read (but you can learn)

  • Reading widely builds background and vocabulary

  • Interacting with others keeps me motivated and clarifies information and extends understanding

  • I have choices and rely on strategies


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An Intentional Vocabulary Initiative on the test.

  • Make it intentional through word selection and intentional instruction.

  • Make it transparent through teacher modeling of word-solving and word learning.

  • Make it useable with collaborative learning.

  • Make it personal by fostering student ownership.

  • Make it a priority with schoolwide practices.

    Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2008). Word wise and content rich: Five essential steps to teaching academic vocabulary. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.



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TEACHER RESPONSIBILITY on the test.

“I do it”

Focus Lesson

Guided Instruction

“We do it”

“You do it

together”

Collaborative

“You do it

alone”

Independent

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY

A Structure for Instruction that Works



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Influence of Background Knowledge on the test.

Catherine the Great, a minor aristocrat from Germany, became Empress of Russia when her husband Peter, the grandson of Peter the Great, was killed.


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Types of Vocabulary on the test.

  • Tier 1/General

    • Commonplace; learned from interactions with texts and people

  • Tier 2/Specialized

    • Change meaning with context (“polysemic”)

  • Tier 3/Technical

    • Specific to the discipline

      A starting point for selecting vocabulary


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General Vocabulary on the test.

On an October day in 1753, Robert Dinwiddie, Royal Governor of His Majesty’s Colony in Virginia, sat in his office in Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia, reading the latest reports from the frontier. The French were causing trouble again, pushing their way into British land. There was a whiff of war in the air.

Dinwiddie must have realized that Virginia’s western boundary was fuzzy. Some Virginians even said that their colony stretched across the continent. But Dinwiddie knew that grand old claim was not realistic. He needed only turn to a map to see North America as it really was. (Allen, 2004, p. 1-2)


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Specialized Vocabulary on the test.

On an October day in 1753, Robert Dinwiddie, Royal Governor of His Majesty’s Colony in Virginia, sat in his office in Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia, reading the latest reports from the frontier. The French were causing trouble again, pushing their way into British land. There was a whiff of war in the air.

Dinwiddie must have realized that Virginia’s westernboundary was fuzzy. Some Virginians even said that their colony stretched across the continent. But Dinwiddie knew that grand old claim was not realistic. He needed only turn to a map to see North America as it really was. (Allen, 2004, p.1)


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Technical Vocabulary on the test.

On an October day in 1753, Robert Dinwiddie, RoyalGovernor of His Majesty’sColony in Virginia, sat in his office in Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia, reading the latest reports from the frontier. The French were causing trouble again, pushing their way into British land. There was a whiff of war in the air.

Dinwiddie must have realized that Virginia’s westernboundary was fuzzy. Some Virginians even said that their colony stretched across the continent. But Dinwiddie knew that grand old claim was not realistic. He needed only turn to a map to see North America as it really was. (Allen, 2004, p.1)


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The Problem: Too Many Words! on the test.

  • 17 words identified in 2 paragraphs

  • Ideal is 8-10 a week for deep teaching (Scott, Jamieson-Noel, and Asselin, 2003)

  • Must be narrowed, but how?


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Representative on the test.

Repeatability

Transportable

Contextual Analysis

Structural Analysis

Cognitive Load

Is it critical to understanding?

Will it be used again?

Is it needed for discussions or writing?

Can they use context to figure it out?

Can they use structure?

Have I exceeded the number they can learn?

Questions for Selecting Vocabulary

Adapted from Graves, 2006; Nagy, 1988; Marzano & Pickering, 2005



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Teacher Modeling on the test.

  • Brief (5-10 minutes) think-alouds

  • Identify unfamiliar words to learn procedures for discerning meaning

  • Show students how to look inside (morphology and structure) and outside (context clues and resources) words


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What to Model? on the test.

  • Comprehension

  • Word Solving

  • Text Structure

  • Text Features


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Morphology and Word Parts on the test.

  • Affixes

  • Root words

  • Derivations

  • Cognates for English learners

  • Beware of false cognates! (embarrassed/embarazada)


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Context Clues on the test.

  • Definition/Explanation

    • Access to clean water would ameliorate, and improve upon, living conditions within the village.

  • Restatement/Synonym

    • Access to clean water would ameliorate living conditions within the village such that life would be tolerable for the people who live there.

  • Contrast/Antonym

    • Access to clean water would ameliorate living conditions within the village whereas continued reliance on a polluted river will exacerbate a bad situation.

  • Inference/General Context

    • Access to clean water would ameliorate living conditions within the village. Clean water would make life tolerable as residents could focus on other pressing needs such as finding food and shelter.

  • Punctuation

    • Access to clean water would ameliorate--maketolerable--living conditions within the village.


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    But Context Isn’t on the test.Always Enough…

    The documentary film March of the Penguins was a surprise hit in 2005. However, the movie neglected to point out that the population of emperor penguins is thinning.

    Since the 1970s, the penguins’ neighborhood has become increasingly warm. The Southern Ocean experiences natural shifts in weather from one decade to the next, but this warm spell has continued, causing the thinning of sea ice. Less sea ice means fewer krill, the penguins’ main food source. Also, the weakened ice is more likely to break apart and drift out to sea, carrying off the young penguin chicks, who often drown.

    Is global warming responsible for the thinning of penguin population? Scientists believe so. (Gore, 2007, p. 94)

    Think aloud to clear up confusions about skinny penguins!


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    Resources on the test.

    • Peer resources from productive group work

    • Dictionaries

    • Bookmark Internet resources

    • Model how you use these (Phone a Friend, dictionary use on doc camera)


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    Discussion Questions on the test.

    What might teacher modeling contribute to your students’ learning?

    Describe word-solving approaches you can model for your students.

    What do you believe is necessary in order for students to begin to take on what is being modeled for them?



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    Tips for Productive on the test.Group Work

    • Establish purpose (content, language, and social goals)

    • Variety is the spice of life

    • Integrate activities into content flow


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    Fostering Collaboration on the test.

    • Partner and small-group discussions

    • Jigsaws

    • Student think-alouds

    • Reciprocal teaching

    • Co-constructed graphic organizers

    • Semantic feature analysis


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    $25,000 Pyramid on the test.

    Ancient Greeks

    Contributions to Science

    PhilosophersMajor Wars

    Greek City-States Government Structures Gods and Goddesses


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    Concept Circles: “Planet” before August 2006 on the test.

    9

    Round in shape

    Large

    Orbits a star


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    Concept Circles: “Planet” after August 2006 on the test.

    PLUTO

    Sufficient gravity

    to sweep its orbit

    Round in

    shape

    Size dominates

    its region of

    space

    Orbits a star


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    Victor’s Shades of Meaning on the test.

    in Sixth Grade English



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    Challenges to on the test.Independent Work

    • 28% of high school teachers “often or very often” run out of time in class and assign the content for homework (MetLife, 2008)

    • Should follow modeling, guided practice, and collaborative work with peers (Fisher & Frey, 2008)


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    Conditions that Support Independent Learning on the test.

    • Choice

    • Differentiation

    • Relevance

      Goal is application of learning










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    Why Go Schoolwide? on the test.

    • Schoolwide focus is one of the most important actions a middle or high school can take to improve achievement (Langer, 2001; Reeves, 2000)

    • Focus on literacy schoolwide leads to long-term improvement in climate, achievement (Fisher, Frey, & Williams, 2002)


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    Two Schoolwide Initiatives on the test.

    • Words of the Week (WOW Words) to focus on “SAT words”

    • Wide reading to build background, increase exposure, and foster interest in reading


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    Words of the Week on the test.

    • Five words a week (Fid, Fi: to trust)

      • Affidavit, confidant, defiant, fidelity, infidel

    • Grouped by affix or derivation

    • Departments propose words

    • Goal is to build vocabulary and teach patterns for unfamiliar words

    • Introduced in English classes


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    WOW at Northview (MI) High School on the test.

    Created by Tricia Erickson’s Art and Technology Students


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    Incidental Learning Through Wide Reading on the test.

    • Cumulative effect of reading: 60 minutes per day x 5 days a week= 2,250,000 words per year

    • 2,250 words learned per year this way (Mason, Stahl, Au, & Herman, 2003)

      A bargain, considering that only 300-500 words can be directly taught each year


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    Who benefits? How? on the test.

    • Text must be at independent level (you can’t learn from books you can’t read)

    • Older readers learn more words than younger readers

    • Stronger readers learn more words than struggling readers

    • The words they are likely to learn are those they know a little bit about


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    8 Factors for SSR on the test.

    • Access

    • Appeal

    • Environment

    • Encouragement

    • Staff training

    • Non-accountability

    • Follow-up activities

    • Distributed time to read

      Pilgreen, J. (2000). The sustained silent reading handbook. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann


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    Discussion Questions on the test.

    • It’s not enough to list the Words of the Week; they need to be taught. How do you believe the vocabulary cards reinforce and expand word learning?

    • Why does game playing reinforce learning? How does motivation play a role in learning?

    • What can students learn about adult reading habits through SSR?


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    Learning Words on the test.Inside and Outside

    When our teaching is at its best, our students learn take what they’ve learned inside our classrooms to their outside lives. Vocabulary doesn’t exist between the school bells—it is carried with each learner for the rest of their lives.


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