Evaluation for 3.a.3
Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary in and across texts.
Materials provide opportunities to build academic vocabulary throughout the year; however, an explicit year-long plan for building academic vocabulary within and across texts is not provided. The materials provide some scaffolds and supports for teachers to differentiate vocabulary development for all learners. While scaffolds to support English Learners (ELs) are clearly identified throughout the materials, there are no supports referenced for other struggling learners.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The first page of each chapter in the Student Book provides a sidebar with a list of academic vocabulary. The academic vocabulary includes terms and phrases that students will encounter in the academic dialogue of the instructional tasks throughout the unit as well as the academic vocabulary of the text genre presented in each chapter. While the Teacher’s Guide provides the definition of each academic vocabulary word followed by a sentence that uses the word in context, it does not include a plan to explicitly apply words in appropriate contexts.
In Unit 1, students read The Journeyer by Gary Jennings, and the Teacher’s Guide and Student Book list academic words including textual evidence, simile, and metaphor. Then, during the first reading of the text, students are asked to circle unfamiliar words as they complete the reading. The Teacher’s Guide instructs teachers to pre-teach the “previewed” vocabulary to aid comprehension. The suggested words in the Teacher’s Guide for the previewed vocabulary include impede, ogle, sedate, clangor, benignly, tumult, tranquil, asunder. The “Remediation” section suggests readers who demonstrate proficiency below grade level should have the passage read aloud to them so that they can hear the vocabulary properly enunciated. Afterwards, they find examples of onomatopoeia (words that sound like their meanings), such as glittering, scurrying, screech, clangor, crack, ﬂash, skittish, plunging, or sparks.
In Unit 2, for Teacher Man by Frank McCourt, the Teacher’s Guide and Student Book list academic words that include epiphany, dictation, and sentence structure. The previewed vocabulary suggested in the Teacher’s Guide—to be taught by the teacher during the first reading of the text—includes blatantly, calligraphy, harried, and prose. In the “Focus on Identifying Tone” assignment—tone is one of the academic vocabulary words of the chapter—students are given the meaning of tone, read the details in the chart on the next page, and then comment on how the language used in the description reveals the writer’s tone.
In Unit 3, for Hiroshima by John Hersey and Hiroshima in the Morning by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, the Teacher’s Guide and Student Book list academic words that include anaphora, ellipsis, anecdote, and olfactory. The suggested previewed vocabulary words in the Teacher’s Guide include rendezvous, abstinence, jittery, estuarial, comprise, reconnaissance, finicky, incinerated, statistician, and activist. In one chapter, for example, two words, rendezvous and abstinence, are included in bold print to indicate that this significant vocabulary is listed in the footnotes.
In Unit 4, for “Freedom” by E.B. White, the Teacher’s Guide and Student Book list academic words including rhetoric, ethos, pathos, logos, and appositives. The suggested words in the Teacher’s Guide for the previewed vocabulary include the words sensibility, standardize, inordinately, prudent, council, and esteem. ELs explain, act out, draw pictures, and provide examples to define and contextualize academic vocabulary. They keep a list of words in a journal and are also provided a link to the “Learner's Dictionary” online, if needed.