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elementary special ed teacher

Great point. My students have

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Great point. My students have been taking practice tests that are similar to the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium test for Common Core. One of the things they have found most difficult and stressful is that the test vocabulary differs so much from the standardized testing they are used to taking. When I "translate" the test question for them the light bulbs go on. Making a list of and teaching the vocabulary used in the grade my students are in as well as the prior years is a great idea.

Great article, Marilee!

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Great article, Marilee!

Impressive those tips are

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Impressive those tips are very useful.

I really like your useful

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I really like your useful tips! I think you will find interesting this tool: www.vocabularynotebook.com It also has special features for teachers and schools.

A similar approach I have

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A similar approach I have used to teaching words through picture is to have students find YouTube videos that somehow demonstrate the word. For example, when teaching the word "abominate," I showed the students the clip from Little Rascals where Alfalfa writes, "Dear Darla, I hate your stinking guts."

In addition, thank you for your idea on pre-assessment of words. Normally, I have done this at the beginning of the year, but I am going to try to use it for individual units of instruction, so the students know the words causing them the most difficulty.

Instructional Coach/Mentor from Springfield, Oregon

Just want to thank everyone

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Just want to thank everyone for thoughtful comments and for airing serious concerns in a respectful yet urgent tone. Too much of the Common Core discussion is just too fearful and, to my way of thinking, unproductive. I too have serious concerns about the Common Core and its focus on specific Academic Vocabulary. However I also believe that through serious discussions we can create an environment where we are addressing the CCSS requirements without disenfranchising students from various cultures and backgrounds. Keep talking people, love your ideas and insights!

This is a great article. This

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This is a great article. This is our second year using common core standard, and I have noticed that the vocabulary for kindergarten is very good to improve our students' vocabulary skills. The strategies provided in this article are great for any grade level.

8th Grade Reading/Writing Teacher

These are great ideas for

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These are great ideas for helping teach the academic vocabulary that coincides with the new Common Core Standards. Our school just switched to them this year, and we have noticed a gap in our students' understanding a lot of question stems and general vocabulary being used within the standards. I hope that some of these strategies will help them bridge that gap a little bit faster!

Teacher, Writer, and Artist

WORDLY CONCERNS Words are

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WORDLY CONCERNS

Words are powerful things. They’re sometimes like little bullets on a page of paper. Without words, all we’d do, I guess, is draw, wave our arms around, spit, and grunt.

In first period language arts class today, we read, going around, one at a time, the new fifteen words at the beginning of lesson 4. "Punctilious" landed on Lucy. She asked … Is that OCD?

I was struck silent for a moment. Struck impressed. She’s so sneaky smart. Lucy has obsessive compulsive disorder. I said, Not really. God. Sort of. Read the definition.

Lucy said … Careful of and attentive to details, especially ones relating to good manners and behavior. Punctilious.

In class, sitting at her desk, when Lucy speaks to you in her always-quiet voice, she puts her right elbow on the desk and then presses the four fingers together. Then she moves her thumb underneath her fingers and it all looks like a duck beak. Lucy doesn’t move the fingers like a beak when she talks, but she told me one time after I asked her why she does that … It helps me communicate better.

Lucy also constantly picks at the skin on her arms and pulls out her arm hair and picks at the skin on her ankles and picks the hairs off of her ankles, too. All the teachers let her do it for a while and then ask her to stop. She stops without complaining, but then she starts up again when you’re looking the other way. She pays attention while she picks, but sometime you can catch her lost in that world and she can’t find where the going-around-the-class reading had ended with Brainerd or Lazlo.

Miss Velvet, her homeroom teacher and advisor by default, says Lucy’s mother is oblivious to her daughter’s disorders. That’s hard to believe, but it could be true. As a teacher you get to know the parents real well, too, by default.

Lucy had come to class today with the hairs of her right arm shaved off. Her left arm still had hairs. No one other than Lucy’s mother would have shaved the arm. I’m pretty sure. Maybe Lucy’s mother is oblivious to everything else that puts her in this school.

Now we’re quietly working on our own in the vocabulary workbook, except Lucy. She’s hunkered down over her left arm. I don’t say anything. I get up and walk around and look out a window and actually whistle a little bit and then sneak up behind Lucy to discover that in the duck beak she had hidden a pair of tweezers.

Punctilious.

Education Specialist

The summative question I

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The summative question I retain is, whose vocabulary is in the common core, and can a singular assessment validly measure students from all cultural contexts? The work of Ruby Payne in particular has been ripe with critique from academics focused on ethnocentric curricula; thanks for the response & for keeping the conversation going, for all of us to continue thinking deeply ourselves.

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