- Vocabulary is the best predictor of reading comprehension in grades 4-12.
- Vocabulary is the best predictor of overall academic success in high school.
- Beginning in 4th grade, the reading scores of students with low SES begin a steady decline that becomes greater with each successive year. The decline is primarily due to lower vocabulary and background knowledge than that of their peers (Marzano).
We need to explicitly, systematically teach vocabulary instruction. Check out Marzano's method for vocabulary instruction here.
One of the biggest components of explicit vocabulary instruction is providing students with verbal and visual examples of words and concepts. Try using TAG GALAXY the next time you need to collect images of a vocabulary word or concept. Simply type in the term and click on the floating orb. Then a "world of images" will populate using public images from Flickr. It is SO COOL and SMART BOARD FRIENDLY! (Note: You may want to try your search a few times before you do it "live" with students to ensure that you are happy with the results you generate. I haven't seen any inappropriate pictures in my travels but you can never be too careful.)
Let me know what you think of this resource. I think it's very motivating to students and teachers!