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Vocabulary for the Common Core

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The Common Core State Standards present unique demands on students’ ability to learn vocabulary and teachers’ ability to teach it. The authors address these challenges in this resource. Work toward the creation of a successful vocabulary program, guided by both academic and content-area terms taken directly from the mathematics and English language arts standards.

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Part I Vocabulary Instruction for the Common Core State Standards

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PART I

Vocabulary Instruction for the Common Core State Standards

Students’ vocabulary knowledge is directly tied to their success in school. This is partly because vocabulary is an important aspect of reading comprehension (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997; Hattie, 2009; National Reading Panel, 2000; Petty, Herold, & Stoll, 1967; Scarborough, 2001; Stahl, 1999; Stahl & Nagy, 2006) and reading is an important part of learning in school. However, vocabulary knowledge helps students in other ways as well. Knowing what words mean and how they interconnect creates networks of knowledge that allow students to connect new information to previously learned information. These networks of knowledge are commonly referred to as prior knowledge or background knowledge (Marzano, 2004). Studies have shown that students with greater background knowledge about a topic learn more, remember more, and are more interested when that topic is taught than those who have less initial background knowledge (Alexander, Kulikowich, & Schulze, 1994; Dochy, Segers, & Buehl, 1999; Tobias, 1994). For example, a student learning to measure temperatures would benefit greatly from previous experience with terms such as Fahrenheit, Celsius, degree, positive number, negative number, or number line. A student learning to write argumentative pieces would probably understand the task and purpose better if he or she had even a rudimentary understanding of terms such as claim and support. Conversely, a student who has never heard these terms and has no experiences associated with them may require more time and effort to understand their meanings and the concepts they signify.

 

Part II Tier 2 Vocabulary Terms From the Common Core State Standards

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part II contains Tier 2 general academic terms from the CCSS. In our analysis of the CCSS, we limited our identification of Tier 2 terms to verbs that describe cognitive processes. We also included a number of verbs from Designing & Teaching Learning Goals & Objectives (Marzano, 2009) that work in tandem with the verbs from the CCSS. The words in part II are organized into the categories introduced on page 42. Abbreviations for each category align with the appendix. For a complete alphabetical listing of the terms in this section and the source of each term, please consult the online resource at marzanoresearch.com/commoncore. An alphabetical master list of all the words in parts II and III and their category (for part II words) or measurement topic (for part III words) is included in the appendix (page 215). Teachers can use the appendix to locate specific words in parts II and III.

Each word is accompanied by a description of the word and examples of how that word might be used in ELA and mathematics. The examples are largely drawn directly from the CCSS. For example, to write the examples for the term build, we searched both the ELA CCSS and the mathematics CCSS for the term and wrote examples based on how it was used in each document. If a term was used extensively throughout the CCSS, we focused our examples on what we judged to be the most useful occurrences. If a word was used in only one subject area, we generated examples for the other subject area from experience and by consulting previous compilations of K–12 standards (Kendall & Marzano, 2000). Teachers can use the examples as clues about the best contexts in which to teach the terms in part II. The examples for the word deepen, for instance, indicate that it is probably best taught in the context of research or information-gathering.

 

Part III Tier 3 Vocabulary Terms From the Common Core State Standards

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part III contains Tier 3 domain-specific terms from the CCSS. In our analysis of the CCSS, we sought to include every important word that appeared in the grade-level standards. Additionally, we included terms that appeared in an earlier compilation of vocabulary from standards documents (Marzano, 2004). Please visit marzanoresearch.com/commoncore for a complete alphabetical listing of the terms in this section and the sources of each term. Teachers can use the appendix (page 215) to locate specific words in parts II and III.

Because the words in part III are all subject-specific (math or ELA), they are organized into measurement topics rather than categories (as in part II). A measurement topic is simply a category of related words. Also, because there are approximately ten times as many terms in part III as in part II, providing descriptions and examples (as in part II) for each Tier 3 term was beyond the scope of this work. In lieu of descriptions and examples for the part III terms, each term in part III is accompanied by a suggested grade-level range. This allows teachers to quickly locate appropriate words for their current topic of study at their assigned grade level.

 

Appendix: Master List of Terms

ePub

This appendix lists all of the words from parts II and III in alphabetical order. Teachers looking for a specific word can use this listing to find it quickly. Each term is followed by initials or a number that indicates where the term can be found in the book. If a word is followed by initials such as ADD or ARR, which represent a category, it is found in part II. If a word is followed by a number, which represents a measurement topic, it is found in part III.

ADD

Add To

ARR

Arrange

COLL

Collaborate

C/C

Compare/Contrast

CRE

Create

DEC

Decide

DEF

Define

ELAB

Elaborate

EVAL

Evaluate

EXEC

Execute

EXP

Explain

HYP

Hypothesize

INF

Infer

MEAS

Measure

PS

Problem Solve

P/A

Prove/Argue

PULL

Pull Apart

REDO

Redo

REF

Reference

SI

Seek Information

SBP

 



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