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Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction

Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction - Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, Linda Kucan 2/2/2011 ** This classic book on vocabulary instruction does an excellent job explaining how to narrow down and select target words from the extensive lists of words that are generally included with a basal story selection. The three tiers of word categories are easy to understand and provide an excellent framework for selection. The text also provides useful examples of ways to provide students with repeated exposure and a wide range of interaction levels. However, if you're looking for a resource that suggests specific words and provides 'ready-made' activities, sentences, etc., this isn't the book for you.

This is the type of professional book that I would usually prefer - explaining how and why, but leaving the decision making up to my professional judgment. In my quest to improve my explicit and intentional vocabulary instruction, I've read several articles from Reading Teacher and JAAL. I also decided to revisit this book. However, I'm still stuck - I'm using a Readers' Workshop approach to reading instruction and therefore, I don't have a common text which might provide the basis for choosing common vocabulary words. Perhaps in this case I might also want a 'teacher resource'/worksheet type of book. Or perhaps the spelling book I'm using might be a place to locate words for core vocab instruction. I'd love to have the kids choose their own words, from the books they're reading, but I don't think I'm there yet in terms of organization.

I'm feeling a bit like I'm cheating by marking this book as read - I didn't read the whole thing this time around; however, I'd used it previously in a professional study group and it was pretty quick to skim parts I'd read then. I did read at least half the book carefully.