vocabulary

Commonly Confused Academic Vocabulary

It is vital for our pupils to possess a wealth of academic vocabulary if they are to succeed in school.  For most of my teaching career, this issue was tacit and flew beneath my radar. Vocabulary issues were often hidden in plain sight. In the last few years, however, developing academic vocabulary has become talked …

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5 strategies for reading complex texts

“Perhaps one of the mistakes in the past efforts to improve reading achievement has been the removal of struggle. As a profession, we may have made reading tasks too easy. We do not suggest that we should plan students’ failure but rather that students should be provided with opportunities to struggle and to learn about …

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The Problem with Reading Informational Texts

Let’s start with a little reading… Is it familiar? The ‘Way of the Dodo’ text lives in infamy as a SATS 2016 reading paper extract that was so difficult that it made some pupils cry.  It is a reading extract that also exposes a key problem in classrooms everywhere: the difficulty for pupils – primary or secondary age – …

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More than Just ‘Word Walls’

Schools can be hectic places and the work of a teachers is seldom ‘done’. When faced with the job of a challenging new curriculum, particularly for our more disadvantaged pupils, tackling such work can feel nigh on insurmountable. Happily, when we shrink the problem down to constituent parts – like the effective teaching of vocabulary …

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Vocabulary Knowledge and the ‘Frayer Model’

The ‘Frayer model‘ is a long-standing graphic organiser that has been deployed in classrooms with success for decades (it was first conceived Dorothy Frayer and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin). It is a simple but effective model to help students to organise their understanding of a new academic term or complex vocabulary choice. …

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