Thursday, April 10, 2014

Teaching Vocabulary Using Sentence Frames

Sentence frames are a productive tool for teaching academic vocabulary when done effectively. Sentence frames require students to use the word in context while encouraging them to demonstrate their understanding by using meaningful examples.Watch this video for example sentence frames that you can use to teach new words.


To learn more about Word Raider, visit www.word-raider.com





Teaching Vocabulary with Sentence Frames Transcription

It is very common for teachers to ask students to write sentences to practice using new vocabulary, and very often we get students writing sentences that do not show any understanding of the word.

Let’s take the word petrified for instance. You might get sentences such as I was petrified last night. I feel petrified. These sentences do not show if the students are understanding the meaning of the word.

You could replace the target word with any word, and the sentence would still make sense.

One strategy you could use to make writing sentences more productive  is to give them sentence frames. A sentence frame requires the student to use the word in contexts and to generate a meaningful example that demonstrates their understanding.

Let’s look at this sentence frame for petrified. I was petrified when… when I walked through a haunted mansion. Or when a spider crawled up my leg. Or when I heard the bear growling a few feet away.

Including the word when requires a student to think about the context of why someone might be petrified. When you create your own sentence frames, ask yourself does it require students to generate an example or context? Does it use words such as "when," "because," or "so?"

Let’s take a look at how sentence frames are used for game-based learning environment.

I’m one of the lead content developers and designers of www.Word-Raider.com. Word Raider implements the principles of good learning games by leading expert doctor James Gee. We also integrated the research from vocabulary experts like Robert Marzano and Isabel Beck.

Dr. Beck emphasizes the use of sentence stems, or sentence frames, so that students are required to integrate a word’s meaning into a context, to explain the situation.

Let’s see how this is done in Word Raider. Students have to upgrade each of the one hundred words to progress through the game. So they would go to the upgrade booth, choose a word, let’s say preserve, upgrade it, and they have four different tasks: two writing and two that are speaking.

Let’s look at the first one. You’ll see a sentence frame “If I had a valuable old photograph, I would preserve it by … for example the student can say “I would wrap it up in paper and keep it somewhere safe” and then they would record that and send it to the teacher.

Let’s look at another word. Let’s look at intimidate. Look at the animation of the word intimidate. It provide context for students to remember what it means. Let’s look at the sentence frame: “I feel intimidated when I have to… give a speech in front of a large audience.”

Once the student is done recording that, they send it to their teacher for assessment and for grading.
Let’s look at a different example for veto. Look at the animation again. “My parents veoted my decision to [blank].” Here, students have to think of a situation as well as a reason to support that situation of why their parents might want to veto something.

Well that’s it for today’s How-To Tip. Be sure to visit www.Ballard-Tighe.com/HowTo for more activities, downloads, and videos. There are a variety of subjects that we will cover, to help you teach English learners. You can learn more about Word Raider at www.Word-Raider.com, and don’t forget to share this with other teachers who might find it useful.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Teaching Academic Vocabulary through Word Associations

Students can better learn academic vocabulary by showing the relationship between words and concepts, which reinforces and solidifies word understanding. When students think about word associations and the reasoning behind the association, they make deep word associations, generate examples, and make personal connections. Watch this video to see what activities you can use to help students learn through word associations.

Also, learn more about Word Raider at www.Word-Raider.com




Word Associations Transcription

The next strategy we will look at to build situated word meaning is word associations.

We’re not talking about just synonyms. Rather students must show a relationship between the words or the concepts. This reinforces and solidifies understanding.

Let’s look at an example. In the first column, lists the target words. In the second column, students make an association to the word. This could be a person, a thing, an experience, anything really. As long as the student can explain the relationship which goes into the third column.

Providing a model for students to follow is very important so they can see what is expected of them. Discuss with students other associations they can make for the sample. For admire, rather than just a person, what are the qualities in someone they admire? And why?

Explaining your reasoning for the relationship or association causes students to think deeply about the meaning and they are generating examples and conditions or criteria for that word. They are making connections to known concepts to their own personal experience.

Another way to use word associations is to give students a word map with the target word in the middle. Give students one minute to brainstorm all the words that pop into their heads when they think of this word. Again, it’s not about synonyms. Then have students explain each connection, each association.

Let’s see how this, and other vocabulary strategies are used in www.Word-Raider.com, an academic vocabulary video game.

I’m one of the lead content developers and designers of www.Word-Raider.com. Word Raider implements the principles of good learning games by leading expert doctor James Gee. We also integrated the research from vocabulary experts like Robert Marzano and Isabel Beck.

Players see words being used in different contexts, and must make appropriate associations based on the meaning and usage.

As you can see, the game focuses not only on word meaning, but also on grammar and the other parts of speech for that word. Here, the player is presented with a situation described in a sentence and must choose the word that fits that situation.

Then the player chooses that sentence that uses the word correctly. Here, student read a sentence and must find the definition of the word that corresponds to how the word was used in a sentence.

Well that’s it for today’s How-To Tip. Be sure to visit www.Ballard-Tighe.com/HowTo for more activities, downloads, and videos. There are a variety of subjects that we will cover, to help you teach English learners. You can learn more about Word Raider at www.Word-Raider.com, and don’t forget to share this with other teachers who might find it useful.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Using Game-Based Learning to Engage Students

Game-based learning has the ability to engage and teach students through visual, sensory and interactive scaffolds that build deeper meaning, long-term retention, and enables students to learn at their own pace. Games also provide a perfect vehicle for learning and assessment.




Video Transcript:

Let’s look at some reasons why it’s a good idea to spend instructional time letting students play videogames. Video games are in the forefront of education today and there are ongoing studies and research to support using videogames to teach and engage students.

As we look at each reason, we’ll see how this plays out in Word Raider, a new videogame that teaches academic vocabulary.

Engagement:

The first reason is Engagement. Games are deeply motivating for players because their actions create the game-based events and experiences. Players are participants, not just passive consumers.
At every step players are making decisions, solving problems, thinking of new ways to do the same thing for better outcomes —these are 21st century skills that students need to compete globally, and these are at the heart of the Common Core State Standards.

Good games revolve around a rewards system that recognizes the players skill, entices them to play more to get more rewards, and keeps them coming back for more. Game currency and badges motivate students to play more, which means more learning.

Individualized Attention:

Another reason supporting game-based learning is the individual attention that each student gets—at their own time, at their own pace.

Data:

Another reason is that games are rich with data. They tell how players are doing, where they are having difficulty, and what they need to do to overcome the problems.
Teachers can use the data provided in Word Raider portal to monitor students’ progress and provide intervention and additional vocabulary support as identified by flags in the game.

Okay to fail:

Games make it okay for students to fail. It removes the stigma of failing. The best games are designed to make the problem both difficult, and fun so that students will "want to continue to persist on that problem."
Non-linguistic Learning:

According to Robert Marzano, one of the leading experts in vocabulary learning, students acquire and store knowledge two primary ways: linguistic (by reading or hearing lectures) and nonlinguistic (through visual imagery, kinesthetic or whole-body modes, and so forth. The more students use both systems of representing knowledge, the better they are able to think about and recall what they have learned.

In word Raider, students learn and practice word meaning through linguistic and nonlinguistic ways. The virtual dictionary provides student-friendly definitions as well as an animation that puts the meaning in a memorable context. The game content engages students through reading, writing, listening, and speaking modes in a variety of academic situations.

Academic Vocabulary:

The task of learning academic vocabulary is daunting especially for English Learners. And research shows that academic vocabulary is a strong indicator of comprehension. Educators need a range of instructional tools to help students learn vocabulary and a game-based environment is a perfect tool.

Word Raider:

The vocabulary in Word Raider were chosen for their high mileage and usefulness, broad use in many content areas, meaning depth, and conceptual familiarity.
Word Raider was developed to address the Common Core State Standards, which include explicit requirements for students to develop and show control of academic language.

Good Games vs. Good Instruction:

So in summary, here’s how good games are like good instruction. These are some of the reasons why you should consider using learning games in your classroom. Learn more about it at www.Word-raider.com.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Teaching Vocabulary with Graphic Organizers

The use of graphic organizers as a means to teach vocabulary is helpful in providing students with useful tools that encourage them to restate word meanings. Graphic organizers also help students demonstrate their knowledge of the word.





Graphic Organizer Transcription:

Graphic organizers are a useful tool for students to restate word meaning and to demonstrate their understanding of a word.

All the templates you see in this video are available for free download on the website, so be sure to check it out later.

In this graphic organizer, students create synonyms of the word related it to words that they already know. Synonyms are very useful anchors.

Then they can create examples to show what the word means, as well as antonyms and non-examples for deeper understanding.

Some words may lend themselves to a graphic organizer that relates to the five senses. For example the word discussed. What does it taste like? Give some examples of things that taste disgusting.

What does it look like? What does it smell like? Or sound like, or feel like? Student will have to think about the words in new ways and connect it to their own personal life. You can use this graphic organizer for students to create a non-linguistic representation of the word as well as some contextual examples of the word in action.

You’ve seen how graphic organizers can help students think of words in different ways, and provide contextualized word meaning. See how this principle and other vocabulary strategies are incorporated into www.Word-Raider.com.

I’m one of the lead content developers and designers of www.Word-Raider.com. Word Raider implements the principles of good learning games by leading expert doctor James Gee. We also integrated the research from vocabulary experts like Robert Marzano and Isabel Beck.

The game focuses not only on establishing word meaning, but also on grammar and usage and the different parts of speech.

Students encounter and interact with each word more than 10 times for depth of knowledge and retention in different contexts. They complete listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities in a fun and engaging virtual world like no other learning experience.

They are practicing vocabulary and are being assessed of their learning without even realizing it.
Well that’s it for today’s How-To Tip. Be sure to visit www.Ballard-Tighe.com/HowTo for more activities, downloads, and videos. There are a variety of subjects that we will cover, to help you teach English learners. You can learn more about Word Raider at www.Word-Raider.com, and don’t forget to share this with other teachers who might find it useful.

Until the next video, bye bye.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Teaching Vocabulary through Context and Examples: "3-2-1 Go!"

The 3-2-1 Go! strategy helps students learn academic vocabulary because students must build context and generate examples to show word meaning. Watch this video to see what activities you can use in your classroom.



3-2-1 Go Transcription:

We’ve talking about how important it is for students to generate context, situations, and examples for them to interact with the word to build deeper understanding. 3-2-1-Go is another strategy you can use in your classroom for this. Write three sentences in this format:

Name three…
Name two…
And Name one…

Let’s look at an example for fatigue to understand how this works.

Name three activities that might cause you to feel fatigued. Let’s see… hiking up a mountain. Or helping a friend move. Or gardening perhaps.

Second question: Name two things you feel when you are fatigued.  Tired, exhausted, thirsty, sweaty, or pain.
Last question: Name one thing you do when you feel fatigued. You could stop and rest, or sit in a shade, drink some water, or take a nap. The questions you create should require students to generate examples of things, events, feelings, situations, people, reasons, features and so forth. It could be anything as long as it lends itself to the word.

This activity is a good way to get students out of their seats to interact with one another. Write the three questions on the board. Then have students walk around the room, and when you say freeze, they should find a partner that is the person closest to them.

Partners should discuss the first question for about two minutes. Then repeat the process with a mixed question and so forth. At the end of the activity, discuss all the questions with the class.
See how this and other vocabulary strategies are used in www.Word-Raider.com, an online academic vocabulary game for students in grades 2 through 8.

***

I’m one of the lead content developers and designers of Word Raider. Word Raider implements the principles of good learning games by leading expert doctor James Gee.

We also integrated the research from vocabulary experts like Robert Marzano and Isabel Beck. Research and vocabulary comprehension shows that students need to encounter and interact with the word more than 10 times for depth of knowledge and retention.

Lets see how Word Raider provides students with multiple exposures in a variety of contexts. For each word, the player sees a word tile that animates the word meaning and puts it into context. Then, the player looks for the sentence that gives the definition of the word.

Later in the game, the player sees the same word, but this time in a different type of puzzle and in a different context. The game focuses not only on establishing word meaning, but also on usage and different parts of speech as shown in this puzzle.

The game items also include illustrations that help build meaning in context. Here, the player is presented with a situation describing a sentence, and must choose the word that fits the situation. Then the player chooses the sentence that uses the word correctly.

Students are being assessed for meaning, grammar, and usage. Here’s the word Rival again. In this challenge, a conversational exchange, the gate keeper uses the target word in a sentence and the player chooses a response that shows an understanding of the target word in that context. The concluding statement consolidates the meaning.

Well that’s it for today’s How-To Tip. Be sure to visit www.Ballard-Tighe.com/HowTo for more activities, downloads, and videos. There are a variety of subjects that we will cover, to help you teach English learners. You can learn more about Word Raider at www.Word-Raider.com, and don’t forget to share this with other teachers who might find it useful.

Until the next video, bye bye.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Teaching Vocabulary with Non-Linguistic Representations

Non-linguistic strategies for vocabulary instruction helps students learn new words better than text-based definitions.

When teachers use non-linguistic methods - such as pictures and animations - provide students with another pathway for word understanding. Non-linguistic instruction help paint pictures behind word meanings to help students understand the words.



Video Transcript:
When we teach students a new word, we typically provide then with a dictionary type definition. Now that type of input is okay, but we should also give students other types of input that help them think about the word in a different way – non-linguistic representations.

These provide students with another pathway for word understanding. We’re talking about pictures, illustrations, videos… these help to build deep contextual understanding.

Let’s look at this example for the word aggravate. You see this animation of the skunk being aggravated by the word. Now we all know what happens when you aggravate a skunk, you don’t want to be there, there will be repercussions.

Such an animation provides deep context, it provides an example, a meaningful connection to the word. The next time the student sees this word in a text, this picture will come to mind more readily than a text-based definition.

Situated word meaning helps build contextual understanding and long-term retention.

Here are more examples of how pictures can be used to demonstrate word meaning. These statues are depicting an action. They are showing the word acted out. Look at the one for refuse, you see the statue putting its hand out, and trying to say no I don’t want that.

You see the statue that is shrugging. Or you see another statue that shows thumbs up for approve.

We’ve seen how pictures and animations can help introduce a word. It is just as important for students to show their understanding of the word through non-linguistic representation. Ask students to draw a picture or carton a sketch, or ask them to act it out.

When students draw a picture a cartoon a sketch, they are forced to think about the word in a different way, and this helps build another pathway to memory.

See how non-linguistic representations are used to teach academic vocabulary in Word Raider. Word Raider is an online academic vocabulary game for grades 2-8.

Well that’s it for today’s How-To Tip. Be sure to visit Ballard-Tighe.com/HowTo for more activities, downloads, and videos. There are a variety of subjects that we will cover, to help you teach English learners.

You can learn more about Word Raider at Word-Raider.com, and don’t forget to share this with other teachers who might find it useful.
Teaching Vocabulary with Non-Linguistic Representations
When we teach students new words, we typically provide students with a text-based definition. Non-linguistic representations of word meaning provide another pathway to learning and memory.
- See more at: http://www.ballard-tighe.com/howto/#sthash.6b2Z6eMz.dpuf
Teaching Vocabulary with Non-Linguistic Representations
When we teach students new words, we typically provide students with a text-based definition. Non-linguistic representations of word meaning provide another pathway to learning and memory.
- See more at: http://www.ballard-tighe.com/howto/#sthash.6b2Z6eMz.dpuf
Teaching Vocabulary with Non-Linguistic Representations
When we teach students new words, we typically provide students with a text-based definition. Non-linguistic representations of word meaning provide another pathway to learning and memory.
- See more at: http://www.ballard-tighe.com/howto/#sthash.6b2Z6eMz.dpuf
Teaching Vocabulary with Non-Linguistic Representations
When we teach students new words, we typically provide students with a text-based definition. Non-linguistic representations of word meaning provide another pathway to learning and memory.
- See more at: http://www.ballard-tighe.com/howto/#sthash.6b2Z6eMz.dpuf