Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Importance of Vocabulary Development

Research shows that reading and writing are interconnected and interdependent, and that a child’s literacy development is dependent upon the integration of both. The Common Core State Standards further emphasize vocabulary knowledge, close reading, and text-based writing as ways to improve students’ reading comprehension and academic achievement.

Vocabulary – an essential component of reading success

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) emphasize the importance of vocabulary by making it one of the key components of the English Language Arts standards. A strong correlation exists between vocabulary development and one’s ability to read and write, and the National Reading Panel considers vocabulary one of the five essential skills in teaching children to read.
The problem is, the body cannot readily distinguish between a gorilla and a looming deadline or an upcoming test.  The Firehouse Effect is activated every time for every stress.  All defense measures are a go.

Reading – gaining deeper understanding of the text

The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts require deep understanding of text, such as referring explicitly to text when answering questions. Rereading is an essential strategy and should be part of every student’s literacy practice. For example, when students begin to think about, learn, and apply the different genres of text and discipline-specific language, they are addressing the English Language Arts standards.

Writing – improves comprehension

Across all content areas, comprehension improves when students write about a text they are reading. Writing support such as graphic organizers, answering questions, and teaching specific text structures help to improve comprehension.

How do you integrate vocabulary, reading, and writing?

Pinecone Active Learning offers integrated reading comprehension, vocabulary development, English grammar, and writing for grades 1-8.

Pinecone Reading Comprehension

The Pinecone Reading program includes an extensive early comprehension series (READY READERS & ROCKET READERS) which are designed to promote reading for meaning. These beginning comprehension booklets provide a variety of exercises while developing new vocabulary.

The program continues with the nonfiction series (DISCOVERY READERS and STORY DETECTIVES) that contain great variety in subject matter and excellent thinking questions. Following the selections are questions that require students to find the main idea, identify sequence, and match vocabulary words to meanings.

Pinecone Vocabulary Development

The vocabulary section for first through fourth graders in our WORD WHIZ Series creates challenging activities to advance and strengthen basic language skills. Working with a list of twelve words and their definitions, the student engages in a variety of exercises, such as crossword puzzles, scrambled sentences, multiple choices, and matching. Sentence writing using these vocabulary words is also included. The WORD WHIZ booklets are interspersed with DISCOVERY READERS, STORY DETECTIVES and the TEST TAKERS Series (see below).

Our more advanced vocabulary series consists of carefully selected words taken from literature, textbooks, and SAT prep books. Each word list gives parts of speech and concise definitions as well as using the word in a sentence. The exercises allow the student to apply understanding of the meaning of the word and test comprehension. Research has shown that a strong vocabulary is essential for strong comprehension.

Pinecone Grammar

Pinecone believes in a direct approach to grammar beginning with first grade work. This early start will help to build a strong grammar foundation. Our program simplifies learning grammar concepts, such as punctuation, capitalization, subject-verb agreement, and verb tenses. Good sentence construction and sentence diagramming are also addressed.

Our Reading students are assigned brief daily grammar work in addition to the daily reading assignments. Each GRAMMAR series is roughly equivalent to its corresponding grade level and is comprised of 20 to 30 sequential booklets.

Pinecone Writing

The PINECONE WRITING PROGRAM I presents the basic elements and strategies of writing in a step-by-step sequential manner. Like the Pinecone Math and Reading Programs, the material is presented in manageable pieces, with lots of practice for the student to fully understand each concept. For example, basic sentence structure (subject/predicate) is covered first. Later, Choosing a Topic is preceded by first learning how to identify topics in various paragraphs. Students also learn to identify statements that do not fit in a paragraph.

In addition to topic, the concepts of sequence, characters, feelings, settings, problems, and conclusions are systematically presented and practiced. The refinement stage teaches students how to organize a paragraph, how to use details and how to avoid over-used words. They are asked to think about the five senses in their writing. More tools are presented including the Five W's of who, what, where, when, and why. They are given lots of examples of boring versus interesting sentences and paragraphs. The Synonyms Chart can be helpful here. Also, the Content Checklist will provide a review of concepts learned and serve as a guide for checking what has been written at this point.