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Teaching Academic and Scientific Vocabulary

Type

Videos

Grade Level

Discipline

Jessica Kauffman's sixth-grade class at Tapestry Charter School in Buffalo, NY, learns general academic vocabulary and scientific vocabulary in order to conduct a science experiment.

This video accompanies the book Transformational Literacy: Making the Common Core Shift with Work That Matters.


Type

Videos

Grade Level

Discipline

Jessica Kauffman's sixth-grade class at Tapestry Charter School in Buffalo, NY, learns general academic vocabulary and scientific vocabulary in order to conduct a science experiment.

This video accompanies the book Transformational Literacy: Making the Common Core Shift with Work That Matters.


Transcript

- Tell me why. Look at this diagram. Why is it changing?

- ‘Cause the red up arrows--

- In sixth grade science, we are studying the water cycle and the students were using a diagram to make an informed prediction about what was going to happen during a water demonstration. So, can I have somebody read the learning target, nice and loud for us? Zach, why don’t you go ahead for us.

- I can use diagrams in observations to make informed predictions and explain why the water cycle happens.

- Okay, so we’re gonna try to be doing two things today. What’s one of those things? One of those things, yes?

- Why the water cycle happens.

- We want to explain why the water cycle happens and what else, Dominique?

- To make informed predictions.

- To make informed predictions. Now I want to talk a little about this-- When I was unpacking the learning target today with the kids, I wanted to pay close attention to some of the academic vocabulary in the learning target. There’s two words here that are important to know, and to understand. What does it mean to be informed? I’m gonna cold-call somebody. Chris?

- To know about something.

- OK, use diagrams, right? To become informed. So you guys aren’t just going to make a prediction-- One strategy I like to use to help students understand this academic vocabulary is to break the word down into its parts. Pre. What does that mean?

- Before?

- Before, right? Where have you seen, Alyssa, this part of the word used before?

- In the dictionary.

- In a dictionary. And what is a dictionary?

- A book that has words that gives you information on what it means.

- It’s a book that has words that give you information. You have two resources to use to make your informed prediction. You have the diagram and you also have your vocabulary lists. From last class. Use both of these things to make your informed prediction by answering those two questions. OK, Miss Cesclick is going to write down some of the scientific vocabulary that you’re using. One of the goals of today’s lesson was to get the students to use scientific vocabulary. They wanna use steam or fog to describe what they’re seeing, but water vapor is the scientific language we use.

- I think that it’ll make some steam go away--

- [Teacher] Some what? Steam? Or water?

- Water vapor.

- [Teacher] The students would talk about water rising and instead of rising, I was encouraging them to use evaporation. Or instead of saying coming down, I was encouraging them to say condensation. Yeah, you can say it.

- Consendation.

- Condensation, very good. It’s just as important to me to be teaching kids how to read and write in science as it is for them to be using the scientific method correctly. Learning the scientific vocabulary helps them to access informational texts.

- Just of this diagram is showing how solids, liquids and gas--

- [Teacher] Science is filled with informational texts. You’re constantly reading, you’re constantly finding out what others have done before you and it also helps them, for the rest of their life, be able to speak and write about what’s happening in our natural world.

- It’s basically like rain.

- It’s basically like rain. Because what happened to the water vapor when it hit the cold top from this where it was?

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