The Key Vocabulary Routine

Professional Development Offering

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The Key Vocabulary Routine incorporates a combination of direct and indirect instructional practices that have been identified consistently in the research as most effective for growing student vocabulary in any subject area. Teachers learn how to teach vocabulary using existing content reading and instructional materials. When used across multiple grade levels, students benefit from a consistent approach to vocabulary instruction as they move from grade to grade and subject to subject.

The Key Vocabulary Routine addresses these topics, strategies, and skills:

  • Activities for previewing vocabulary before reading
  • Four activities for teaching words by relating them to background knowledge and related words (categorizing, semantic mapping, semantic feature analysis, scaling)
  • Selecting specific words from content to teach in-depth
  • Using vocabulary templates to learn everything about a word (Frayer, Concept Definition Map, two-column notes)
  • Generating user-friendly definitions
  • Teaching use of context to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Using word parts (roots, prefixes, suffixes) to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Promoting word consciousness in the classroom

Who Should Participate

Grades 2-5 elementary teachers, grades 6-12 content classroom teachers, educators who provide support to struggling readers, literacy specialists and coaches, and administrators.

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