Written by Robert Katulak Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
Over the past three years, various research studies have been conducted across our country regarding the effect that academic vocabulary plays in a student’s comprehension and understanding of content across the disciplines. Additional studies done by researcher
Robert Marzano, involving 50 studies over the past five years, point to the fact that every school has a responsibility for selecting and teaching students specific vocabulary to help them understand content and questions on everyday teacher made and standardized tests.
He has provided educators with a six step strategy for us to work with our students in the acquisition of that academic vocabulary. Each of our principals continues to decide with his/her teachers how to select the vocabulary words and use Marzano’s Six Step
Strategy listed below. As an entire community let’s all build our vocabulary to enrich the conversations and learning taking place in our schools, jobs, libraries and home by following these six steps.
Step 1—Provide a description, explanation or example of the new term. The traditional look it up in the dictionary “has not” been a useful tool for teaching academic vocabulary according to research.
Step 2—Ask students (or the learner) to restate the description, explanation or example in their own words.
Step 3—Ask the learner to construct a picture, symbol or graphic representing the word.
Step 4—Engage the learner periodically in activities that help them and add to their knowledge by writing the word in a journal and using it at least eight times.
Step 5—Periodically ask students to discuss the word with one another. Example: If the word is democracy, they could discuss how they benefit from living in a government that is a democracy.
Step 6—Allow students to play games that allow them to interact with the vocabulary word (Hangman, Jeopardy, Word Search, Bookworm and many other free apps.)
Our goal in the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District is never to remain at status quo when it comes to our students’ education and therefore, we constantly look to implement research driven, academic vocabulary strategies from Marzano.