Why this Vocabulary Book Now?

My coauthor @drangelapeery and I had the great opportunity to be interviewed about our new vocabulary book for the popular podcast Ten-Minute Teacher (#TMT) hosted by Vicki Davis, otherwise known as @coolcatteacher. Vicki began the conversation by asking, "Why this vocabulary book now?" What a great question! Let's be clear - there are many great vocabulary books written for the K-12 community. Many have been useful to Angela and me in our work and with teachers we have supported. So...why … [Read more...]

Infographic | 5 Way Word Walls Can Support Word Learning

Word walls offer a rich vocabulary resource for students and serve as a teaching a learning tool within the classroom.  Word walls are an important component in a language-rich environment that fosters and supports word learning for every student. Language-rich environments encourage reading, writing, and conversation which help build rich vocabularies and increase word learning. Word walls belong in every K-12 classroom! They function as much more than a place to display words. Teachers - as … [Read more...]

Launching Blended Vocabulary for K-12: A Labor of Love

Valentine's Day is remembered for lots of reasons - chocolates, cards, and most notably to remember a special someone or people in our life. This year, Valentine's Day was particularly special for me because a labor of love was delivered to my doorstep in a plain, brown box. Hot off the press, my vocabulary book arrived! Although the book had been out for a few days, and available for pre-order for several weeks, there is nothing quite like holding it in your hands! Proof that it actually … [Read more...]

The Rarity of Engaged Readers

This post was expertly written by my coauthor, Angela Peery, and originally appeared on her blog. She's active on Twitter -  follow her @drangelapeery.   Picture a classroom full of youngsters. They could be darling, chubby-cheeked kindergartners or swaggering, confident high school seniors – or anything in between. Can you see them? Now, picture this class engrossed in reading. What does being engrossed in reading look like? What does it sound like? What evidence exists that … [Read more...]

Take a Peek at the TOC in our Upcoming Blended Vocabulary Book!

I'm so excited about our new blended vocabulary book that will be published this summer by Solution Tree Press (@SolutionTree). It's been a long time coming after years of working with schools and districts to strengthen their vocabulary instruction and independent word learning. My co-author, Dr. Angela Peery (@drangelapeery), and I have worked diligently to create a practical resource for K-12 teachers, leaders, instructional coaches, and pre-service teachers. Unique Features While there … [Read more...]

13 Can’t-Miss Strategies to Help Schools End the Summer Reading Gap!

In a few, (very) short weeks, the school year will come to a close. Students (and teachers) have begun the infamous countdown. Regardless of how hard you've worked to support literacy learning in your classroom, summer sneaks in and can quickly chip away at your best efforts and the progress students have made. In this post, I'll share  concrete strategies to keep this from happening. In this post, I'll share a few facts about summer reading loss, and 11 simple ways schools can support … [Read more...]

Deepen Word Learning with Vocabulary Videos

It appears there is no stopping the amount of interest in creating videos particularly among teenagers. Vocabulary Videos (Dalton & Schmidt, 2015) draws upon that interest and ties it into word learning. The goal of Vocabulary Videos is straightforward – students demonstrate their understanding of specific words by creating 15-45 second skits. The emphasis is not on following a script but rather improvisational and designed to tell a quick story to help others understand the meaning of a … [Read more...]

Anchored Word Learning: Read Alouds with a Purpose

Read alouds are the perfect venue for providing a model of fluent reading, talking about text, and building comprehension skills.  Additionally, read alouds provide an integrated  way for introducing vocabulary in a meaningful context. Anchored Word Learning (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002) is one of my favorite strategies for introducing targeted words with young children. With early learners, picture books have a higher level vocabulary not typically found in leveled texts. Anchored … [Read more...]

Making Word Learning Visual for English Learners

Vocabulary development is key to comprehension - a well-known fact. A broad vocabulary is important for academic success, college and career readiness, and lifelong learning opportunities. Systematic vocabulary instruction must be an integral part of a K-12 comprehensive literacy framework for instruction. I've written previously about the top characteristics of effective vocabulary instruction and summarized them in a frequently downloaded infographic. You can download those tips for … [Read more...]

Vocabulary is Key to Learning at Bronx M.S. 22 (and your school!)

Teachers at Jordan Mott Middle School (M.S. 22) in the Bronx, part of Mayor Bill DeBlasio's Renewal Schools, have been working hard to increase student achievement. Under the leadership of Principal Edgar Lin, teachers have been engaging in job-embedded professional learning that addresses their students' need for increasing their literacy skills. Solution Tree has been supporting Jordan Mott's school improvement efforts. As part of their work, I recently had the privilege of spending a few … [Read more...]