Institute 15: Students Make the Difference in Word Study: Practical Applications to Differentiate your Instruction with Diverse Learners
Reading Today Online asked all of the institute chairpersons for IRA San Antonio to respond to three questions designed to give our readers and all of the prospective attendees a better understanding of the insights and benefits they will gain from attending these day-long programs. Below are responses from Karen Carpenter, Coker College, SC, and Sarah Negrete, Great Basin College, NV.
What is the professional urgency that this institute is designed to address?
Active and engaged students make a difference in learning. With the Common Core State Standards providing both the structure and the freedom to teach with an inter-disciplinary, holistic approach, there is no better time to involve students in their own word study. Take advantage of the natural shift in teaching and learning to learn how to engage students and why the instructional strategies meet the rigor of the CCSS.
This institute is designed to emphasize student success. What better way to motivate students than to create a learning environment in which they continually challenge themselves and participate in their learning? The word study approach to teaching phonics, spelling, and vocabulary melds with children’s desire for enjoyable lessons. The principles students are learning are guided by the teachers’ knowledge and application of best practices in literacy—understandings that will be learned in this institute.
The reading, writing, vocabulary, and spelling strategies presented in this institute encompass and build upon a rich understanding of the CCSS Reading Foundational Skills. Each of the session’s literacy strategies work as a unit to promote language, reading, writing, and spelling across disciplines and grade levels. You will leave the institute with a renewed sense of vigor for teaching literacy!
What types of literacy professionals is the institute designed for?
Classroom teachers, special education teachers, Title I teachers, literacy specialists, reading coaches, school or district administers, and undergraduate and graduate students will not want to miss this opportunity to learn about word study.
How will attendance at this institute help those literacy professionals “make a difference” in their work?
In this institute, participants will learn how word study makes a difference in children’s literacy development. This institute provides a unique professional development opportunity for educators to learn from the experts in the field of word study and the authors of Words Their Way. Participants will learn how the inquiry method of studying words leads to a deeper conceptual understanding of English orthography and vocabulary.
Through keynote and break-out presentations, the institute offers participants the opportunity to interact closely with nationally recognized literacy researchers in the following ways:
- Keynote: Word Study Instruction with Diverse Learners
Donald Bear, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
See in pictures and videos word study instruction that is part of tiered and differentiated instruction. The examples come from classrooms and tutoring programs with English learners and struggling readers.
- Keynote: “Deep” Reading of Words: Vocabulary Learning in Depth across the Disciplines
Shane Templeton, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NV
In the context of the Common Core expectations, we will explore how teachers can take students in the intermediate grades and beyond into fascinating investigations of the vocabulary they will need to learn, exploring meaning, structure, and history.
- Session 1: Fortifying Your Word Study with Vocabulary-Learning Strategies
Lori Helman, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
As students examine the sounds and spellings of words it is important that they know what each word means. Many English learners or students with less than robust vocabulary repertoires require embedded vocabulary instruction during word study time. This session, designed for those work with PK-4th grade students, demonstrates multiple ways to embed engaging vocabulary learning during common word study activities.
- Session 2: What’s development got to do with it? Teaching reading, writing and word study in the elementary classroom?
Kristin Gehsmann, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT
In this era of high stakes testing and grade specific standards, it’s never been more important to teach in a developmentally way. Teachers who differentiate literacy instruction based on students’ developmental levels see learning advance more quickly and students’ gains are more likely to be maintained over time. This session will orient participants to the developmental model of word knowledge that serves as a foundation for effective literacy instruction.
- Session 3: An Alternative to Teaching Sight Words: Using Personal Readers to Teach Concept of Word and Build a Sight Word Vocabulary
Karen Carpenter, Coker College, Hartsville, SC
Sarah Negrete, Great Basin College, Elko, NV
A strong sight word vocabulary is important for beginning readers. Although the Preprimer Dolch Word list serves as a valuable teacher resource for the most common words found in books, the teaching and learning of these words does not have to occur in isolation, in a particular sequence, or at the same pace. Through personal readers and leveled texts, students acquire these words naturally as they engage in a variety of activities that support the development of a sight word vocabulary.
- Session 4: Code-breaking the Core: Using morphology to crack academic vocabulary
Kara Moloney, UC Davis, Davis, CA
With the implementation of the Common Core, students are expected to understand and use academic vocabulary with increasing degrees of sophistication. This is nothing new: decades of research tells us that success with the language of school depends, in large part, on a student’s ability to access, appreciate, and appropriate academic vocabulary. Many teachers do not know that they already possess the essential code-breaking skills needed to help students succeed with academic language: an innate and tacit understanding of morphology. Approximately 80% of the words in academic English are morphologically analyzable, which makes effective, systematic, and direct instruction in morphology a vital teaching tool. In this break-out session, participants will remind themselves of their own expertise with morphology (really!), and experiment with hands-on tools students can use to crack the code of academic vocabulary.
- Keynote 2: Positioning Students as Active Learners through Word Study
Francine Johnston, The University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
Traditionally students have been given rules and words to memorize through drill and practice in order to master phonics, spelling and vocabulary. But these important components of literacy can be easily taught as inquiry. By sorting words into categories, comparing, analyzing, and thinking, students can make their own discoveries about words. In the process they are not only more likely remember linguistic insights, but also come to see themselves as capable problem solvers.
- Session 5: Strengthening Word Study Instruction with Formative Assessment Practices – Effective teaching begins with assessment in mind
Darl Kiernan, Washoe County School District, Reno, NV
This session guides educators through the process of selecting and analyzing spelling inventories in order to group students for differentiated instruction. Participants will explore a variety of ways in which formative assessment practices can be used to guide purposeful word study instruction over time.
- Session 6: Building Vocabulary through the Content Are
Latisha Hayes, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Kevin Flannigan, West Chester University, West Chester, PA
It is more and more clear that vocabulary instruction takes a village and permeates the curriculum across subject areas. This session will hone in on vocabulary instruction in the middle and high school grades, exploring the growing role content area teachers now play. The presenters will not only provide guidelines for domain-specific, generative, and academic vocabulary instruction but will also provide real-life examples of content area units focusing on multi-faceted vocabulary grow.
- Session 7: Words Their Way for Parents: How Teachers Can Guide Parents to Understand and Reinforce Developmental Spelling for their Children
Michelle Picard, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA
Alison Meadows, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA
This session will focus on how districts, schools, and individual teachers can support parents to both understand and reinforce developmental spelling instruction and overall best practices in literacy. Presenters will share a Word Study Workshop for Parents including a parent friendly overview of developmental spelling, interactive demonstrations of essential routines and engaging games and activities. Participants will also learn to address frequently asked questions and provide specific tips for parents.
- Session 8: Going Beyond the Sort
David Smith, East Central University, Ada, OK
This session will focus on “talk” and getting student to think beyond the sort. Participants will learn strategies to encourage students to think and talk deeply about the features being studied. We look forward to seeing you all at this institute.
Registration Information: This preconference institute will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19 before the 58th International Reading Association Annual Convention begins on Saturday, April 20. Register online for this or another institute and/or to register for the annual convention. Call 888-294-9167 or 415-979-2278 to find out how to register by phone, fax, or mail. To learn more about convention events in San Antonio, visit the annual convention website and the online itinerary planner (iPlanner), or read more Reading Today annual convention articles.