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...]

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...]

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...]

The Journey to Writing a Vocabulary Book

So, I've been quiet on my blog for quite a while. This is due, in part, because of my work for Solution Tree supporting product development for K-12 schools. As you can imagine, that keeps my really busy. The other part of the equation for my lack of blogging has been thinking, reflecting, and writing a book about vocabulary. If you follow my blog, you know that I write frequently about selecting, teaching, and assessing vocabulary. The thinking and reflecting about vocabulary is the easy … [Read more...]

Digital Learning & Growing Vocabulary

Today is Digital Learning day sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education. I encourage you to check out the website for resources, interviews with educators, and highlights from school districts that are realizing success integrating digital tools to support learning across their schools and classrooms. I write frequently about vocabulary and word learning. The importance of a broad vocabulary simply cannot be underestimated - in learning and in life. In 21st century classrooms, I … [Read more...]

100+ Reasons to Read Today

A few months ago, I posted a blog featuring the many (countless) reasons to read. Kelly Muldoon, a teacher, recently forwarded me pictures of several bulletin boards she created featuring both reasons to read (from the blog post) and accompanying book jackets to help inspire students to read. Great job, Kelly, and thanks for sharing! 100+ Reasons to Read Today To escape . . . to dream . . . to meet your new, favorite character . . . to visit a faraway place . . . to snuggle with your … [Read more...]

A Blended Approach to Word Learning and Vocabulary

Systematic vocabulary instruction must be an integral component of a K-12 instruction. The importance of a broad vocabulary simply cannot be underestimated - in learning and in life. A broad vocabulary positively influences fluency, comprehension, and supports learning to read and reading to learn. And, vocabulary knowledge plays an important role in student achievement. Effectively supporting students to broaden, deepen, and extend their vocabulary is (so much more) than identifying academic … [Read more...]