"Far too many students come to school with small vocabularies. This is a big deal: the size of a child's vocabulary is an accurate predictor of academic achievement and even upward mobility over the course of a lifetime (Hirsch, 2013)." - 101 Strategies to make Academic Vocabulary Stick.
March left districts tackling unprecedented times as they worked to transition from classroom environments to creating work packets and delivering instruction online. As teachers navigate this unknown territory, this article means to highlight three ways to incorporate vocabulary instruction utilizing the video conferencing tool Zoom. While determining which vocabulary to focus on keep in mind the following information, according to the New York State Education Department principles of effective vocabulary instruction include:
In 101 Strategies to Make Academic Vocabulary Stick, Sprenger speaks to the three stages of the Memory Process. The stages include Encoding, Storage and Retrieval. Encoding is the first stage of building long term memory and the author notes that vocabulary instruction at this stage is meant to pique the students interest, motivate and engage them. Here are three strategies (adapted from 101 Strategies to make Academic Vocabulary Stick) that focus on the Encoding process and can be incorporated within a Zoom session.
● Story Impressions
○ This is a pre-reading activity meant to spark curiosity. This will make reading the upcoming content more meaningful and help students with comprehension.
○ Choose keywords from a story or chapter, keeping them in the same order in which they appear.
○ Provide the list visually (word doc, whiteboard, etc.) for students by sharing your screen during a zoom lesson.
○ Go over brief definitions/descriptions and then either whole group, small group (breakout sessions) or individually have students use the words in a made-up story with a beginning, middle and end.
● Word Up
○ This strategy helps students hone in on their listening skills and highlight important vocabulary.
○ Zoom participants would be placed in Gallery View, so everyone could be seen at the same time (think Brady Bunch).
○ Identify 1-2 words you would like students to write separately on a piece of paper or an index card.
○ While you are reading aloud, whenever the students hear the appropriate word they would lift the paper or index card.
● Word Expert Cards
○ Before beginning new content, create a vocabulary list, including the page number where each word appears or online resources for them to access.
○ Divide your class so that there are 3-4 students in a group.
○ Give each group 2-3 vocabulary words. Students in each group are responsible for learning those words and then teaching them to the other groups.
○ Using the breakout group feature, have students with the same words discuss the best student created definition, its part of speech, the sentence from the text where it appears, illustration, and a made-up sentence by the group.
○ Move from group to group to check on accuracy. Then switch breakout groups and have those ‘word experts’ teach their words to other members of the class that had different words.
○ This will take planning ahead to determine the best breakout groups and movement by the teacher throughout the groups to encourage participation and on-task behavior.
Let's work together to help increase our students' vocabulary and ultimately have a positive impact on 'academic achievement and upward mobility over the course of a lifetime.'
For additional vocabulary strategies or questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
By: Jessica Rose, CA BOCES Professional Development
Hallmark 4 of Advanced Literacies Instruction: Academic Vocabulary and Langauge
Sprenger, M. (2017) 101 Strategies to make Academic Vocabulary Stick. ASCD
It seems so much of our world has gone online and so many of us are using Zoom more than ever before. With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to share some of Zoom’s security features so that any of your hosted meetings are as secure as you’d like them to be.
There are many settings worth exploring. And, there is a great team of people that can help you navigate these features. Feel free to reach out to anyone on our team for assistance:
By Tim Cox, CA BOCES ISS
In addition to the virtual field trips we offer, FieldTrip Zoom allows students the opportunities to visit faraway places and interact with experts in a particular field, museum, aquarium, etc. FieldTrip Zoom offers both interactive and recorded opportunities for teachers to bring the world into their classroom. This is in addition to the virtual field trips that we have traditionally offered. Contact Karen Insley or Carrie Oliver to get more insight into this great offering.
To Access Fieldtrip Zoom:
Teachers create an account (using their school email) at fieldtripzoom.com, book a program that fits your schedule from the Zoom Zone calendar, and then you and your class can sit back and enjoy the trip! There is no need to fill out a request form for the Zoom Zone trips since you book them on the FieldTrip Zoom Zone calendar.
You can also connect anywhere with Zoom. Each district in the Distance Learning COSER is given a Zoom Pro Account for use with administrators, faculty, and students. Zoom allows multi-user video conferencing, small group conferencing, content sharing, and so much more! Zoom is very user friendly and versatile. How will you use it with your students?
Contact Karen Insley for training or suggestions for Zoom use within your district.
By: Karen Insley, CA BOCES Learning Resources