Word Meaning Warm-Ups
We’re finally here! After two years of developing free word fluency and word building warm-ups and working with over 100 classrooms, we’re ready to announce the free word meaning warm-ups!
These warm-ups are going to impact vocabulary development in grades 2-6 in just 2-6 minutes of class each day. They are aimed at helping students learn the word-solving skills needed for independent reading comprehension.
In this post, I’ll share:
- The New Word Meaning Warm-Ups
- Who are the Word Meaning Warm-Ups For?
- Why Your Students Need Vocabulary Development
- The Four Areas for Teaching Word Meaning
New Word Meaning Warm-Ups
In our recent teacher survey, teachers overwhelmingly cited “Context Clues” as the number 1 need for their students. That said, we’ve geared the new word meaning warm-ups around using context clues to understand unknown words.The Word Meaning warm-ups are a part of our free word study, and they will address the vocabulary development strand of reading.
- Using context clues for unknown words.
- Interpreting figurative language.
- Understanding multiple-meaning words.
- Word parts.
- Greek and Latin roots.
However, these first two weeks of free warm-ups will focus on context clues and vocabulary development!
Who Are the Word Meaning Warm-Ups For?
Great teachers, of course. But seriously, they’re for on-level readers in grades 3-5 and reteaching in grades 5-6.
The words align with nationally-recognized words lists for grades 3-5 (e.g. Dale-Chall, Spache) and state tests such as STAAR.
Why Your Students Need Vocabulary Development
Student background knowledge is the number one indicator of academic performance. In other words, the amount of concepts and vocabulary they understand relates to their ability to learn more.
It’s like a big web.
Picture a small spider web – it only grabs a small amount. The bigger the web, the more that sticks to it.
The bigger the vocabulary web, the faster a student can learn. Here are some stats to back me up.
Source: Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement, Research on What Works in Schools
The data shows the simple fact:
Four Areas for Teaching Word Meaning
We know a few things from research and experience about developing word meaning skills:
- It takes multiple exposure to increase mastery.
- Students develop vocabulary better with direct instruction.
- Students develop vocabulary better with words in sentences.
- Graphics, pictures, and visuals increase retention of word meanings.
Our new word meaning warm-ups are built around those fundamental concepts, and they’re focused on teaching the four areas of word meaning.
- Words in Context
- Background Knowledge
What Are Words in Context?
Words in context refers to both the meanings and roles of words within a sentence or paragraph. It requires students to use context clues to determine the meaning as it depends on the text. They are text-dependent meanings.
What is Morphology?
Morph means change, so morphology is how meaning depends on the changes made to a words. This includes prefixes, suffixes, inflectional endings, tenses, and other changes to base or root words.
Why Background Knowledge?
The word meaning warm-ups focus 70-85% on tier 2 words that apply to a variety of formal and academic contexts, though not specific to any given subject or course. Research has long-shown that background knowledge can be taught through directly teaching vocabulary (Graves, 1984; McKeown & Beck, 1988).
Background knowledge requires multiple exposures to vocabulary to help students build cumulative understandings. Word meaning spiral review can help increase the number exposures students have to words and skills needed to deepen their word knowledge.
Syntax is normally thought of as a part of grammar instruction. However, it plays an important role in making the reading-writing connection. It also plays a vital role in understanding the context clues within a sentence.
Our word meaning warm-ups embed syntax in a variety of sentence structures during the warm-ups.
What Questions Do You Have About the Word Meaning Warm-Ups?
Join in the discussion. Leave us a comment below about the word meaning warm-ups.
What do you want to know about them? How do you intend to use the warm-ups?