Monday, April 29, 2013

Practical Strategies to Deliver Academic Language in Common Core Lessons to ALL Students

In well planned Common Core Based Lessons, teachers imbed powerful academic language in accessible formats throughout all content classes.  The question quick to surface for most educators is how to teach key vocabulary without losing most of the period in doing so.  This need becomes even more pressing when academic language is added to the mix.

How does a teacher proceed here?  One can take an entire period teaching vocabulary, but this would not be an effective use of limited class time.  A better use of class time is identifying a few key words and providing supports to have students try to guess the meaning of words.  The teacher provides the visual to start the process, includes sentences with the mystery word inserted, lists synonyms and antonyms, affixes, and includes a list of all the grammatical forms the word takes.  Students then have enough information to pull from in finally arriving at a definition. 

The teaching of academic English need not be a boring process by any means.  Further, charts with all the key parts of the word/meaning analysis can easily be posted around the room for students to reference when needed.

I am including the YOUTUBE video which highlights the process and including the website from Amy Benjamin who has create many creative tools for teachers to use in meeting the language demands of common core based lessons.  She has generously offered many of her materials for free.



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