I am on a mission to learn more about vocabulary instruction so I picked “Word Nerds” by Overturf, Montgomery and Smith. If you are also reading this book, I would love for you to comment with your ideas and what you have learned!
Word Nerds – A Book Study
The authors of this book start by explaining the difference between Tier 1, 2 and 3 words.
Tier 1 Words: Words that students already know when they come to school (happy, play, desk).
Tier 2 Words: Words that students will likely encounter in their reading but don’t know well (industrious, fortunate, absurd).
Tier 3 Words: Words that are domain specific (product, molecule).
The authors then go onto describe that Tier 1 words don’t need to be taught at school as they are taught at home and Tier 3 words should be taught in content areas. That leaves us with teaching Tier 2 words during our vocabulary instruction.
But this still begs the question…How do we teach these words?
Thankfully they start by listing some strategies that do and don’t work. These weren’t very surprising to me.
1) Looking up words in the dictionary doesn’t help! (Thank goodness because I find this to be a rather torturous process!)
2) Students can learn some words through the use of wide reading!
3) Students can learn new words through word play!
I am looking forward to having them fully describe the strategies that they use in more detail.
The final piece of this chapter discusses how students need a basic understanding of morphology. The authors suggest that students need to understand prefixes, suffixes, as well as greek and latin roots.
Click HERE to check out a vocabulary lesson that you can use to reinforce the suffix “ed” with your upper elementary students or teach it to your primary students.