exploring vocabulary  acquisition in seventh grade math

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Exploring Vocabulary  Acquisition in Seventh Grade Math. Ashley M. Fenn. A Need For Effective Vocabulary Instruction. No Child Left Behind Goal for all students to meet proficiency on state tests Link between vocabulary instruction and reading comprehension School Improvement Plans . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Exploring VocabularyAcquisition in Seventh Grade MathAshley M. Fenn

  • A Need For Effective Vocabulary InstructionNo Child Left BehindGoalfor all students to meet proficiency on state testsLink between vocabulary instruction and reading comprehensionSchool ImprovementPlans

  • What the Research SuggestsEmbeddedand Small Group InstructionPost-Graphic OrganizerDaily Vocabulary InstructionConcept Definition MapFrayer ModelInteractive Word Wall

  • Mulvane Middle SchoolApproximately 436 StudentsApproximately 40 teachers93.9% Caucasian1.1% African American3.4% Hispanic1.6% Other20% Economically Disadvantaged10% Disabled

  • HowCan We Improve?School Improvement Plan (SIP)Quality Performance Assessment (QPA) CommitteesAnalyze DataDetermineImprovement AreasMMS 2008-2009 SIPReadingReading ComprehensionTool: Graphic OrganizersMathComputation Tool: Spiraled Weekly Mini-LessonsAll Curriculum AreasVocabulary DevelopmentTool: Graphic Organizers, Cross-Curricular Vocabulary Use

  • Participants:A Seventh Grade Math Class16 Students7 Boys9 GirlsAge Range12 to 14 Race1 Hispanic15 CaucasianNoSpecial Needs Students1English Language Learner4 Economically DisadvantagedVarious Academic Abilities

  • The GoalMeet or Exceed 80%ProficiencyIncorrect Responses on PosttestsWrite term's definition Provide at least 2 examplesConference with teacher Discuss misconceptionsQuestioning

  • VocabularyTraditional Strategyquadrantx-axispositive integergraphordered paircoordinate planeintegery-coordinateabsolute valuey-axisnegative integeroriginx-coordinate Research-Based Strategyareaformularatioequivalent fractionspercentsimplest formperimeterlinear equationtwo-step equationprime numbergreatest common factorcomposite number

  • The Traditional StrategyPretestBasic Graphic OrganizerPage number DefinitionExamplePosttest

  • The Research-Based Strategy:The Concept Definition MapPretestConcept Definition MapBraintstorm examplesChoose3 examplesSimilarities or properties of the examplesChoose 4 propertiesIdentify categoriesChoose 1 categoryCreate definitionPosttest

  • Assessment ToolsTraditional StrategyPretestPosttestResearch-Based StrategyPretestPosttestField NotesObservationsInterviews

  • Traditional Strategy ResultsPosttestLowest Score62%Highest Score100% GainsSmallest Gain8%Greatest Gain100%All students increased score from pre to posttestNot all met proficiency5 students did not meet proficiency

  • Traditional Strategy: Results AnalysisUnsuccessful in meeting proficiency goalAll students improved scoresPossible CausesDefinitions on organizer vs. posttestNeed for examplesTimeDifferences in learning stylesLack of meaningful connectionsNumber of terms learned

  • Research-Based Strategy ResultsPosttestLowest Score52%Highest Score100% GainsSmallest Gain9%Greatest Gain75%All students increased score from pre to posttestNot all met proficiency6students did not meet proficiency

  • Research-Based Strategy: Results AnalysisUnsuccessful in meeting proficiency goalAll students improved scoresPossible CausesDefinitions on organizer vs. posttestNumber of terms learnedTimeDifferences in learning styles

  • Field Notes SummaryObservationsStudent engagementProvided suggestions and examplesActively engagedStudent use of background knowledgeBreaking down of terms Association of termsIdentifing common propertiesMake connectionsInterviewsPreferred research-based to traditional strategyAdditional information aided in learning new termsMaking more connections with terms Required more inquiry and thought

  • A Comparison Of The ResultsTraditional Strategy 11 of16 students met proficiencyAverage gain score was 40%8 of 16 students had a larger gain scoreResearch-Based Strategy10 of 16 students met proficiencyAverage gain score was 42%8 of 16 students had a larger gain score

  • Strategy Comparison: Results AnalysisMinimal difference in achievement2% increase in average gain score per student usingresearch-based strategyBoth strategies were successful in improving vocabularyNeither strategy met the proficiency goal

  • What Does This Mean?Need for further researchNeed for modification in methodologyDifferentiationStudent needsMay need various strategies

  • RecommendationsExamine how specific strategies affect individual studentsSelf-createdgraphic organizersFewer termsExamples on pre and posttestsLonger research period

  • ReferencesFOR-PD's reading strategy of the month: ConceptDefinition Map. (2004, April). Florida online reading professional development.RetrievedSeptember 20,2008, from University of Central Florida Website:http://forpd.ucf.edu/strategies/stratMap.html

    Lucas, C. A., & Goerss, B. L. (2007, Winter). Using a post-graphic organizer in the mathematics classroom. Journal of Reading Education, 32(2), 26-30. Retrieved October25, 2008, from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com.proxy.wichita.edu/hww/results/results_single_fulltext.jhtml;hwwilsonid=E42RIUUE0BY3FQA3DINCFF4ADUNGIIV0

    Trochim, W. M. K. (2008). Qualitative Methods. Retrieved November 5, 2008,from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/qualmeth.php

    **In order to meet mandated state standards in mathematics and reading, schoolsand their improvement plans must identify needs and seek improved instructionalmethods for the purpose of enhancing student achievement. ***The 2008-2009 School Improvement Planformedbythe Mulvane Middle School focuses on vocabulary development,reading comprehension, and computation.Quality Performance Assessment (QPA) committees workedto develop yearly improvement plans for their academic areas. Departmental meetingswere held four to five times during the first six weeks of school to formulate and/or update improvement plans.Members ofeach team analyzed current datato target areas in need of improvement.Of the themes indicated, vocabulary development and reading comprehensionwerechosen as themain focus in all curriculum areas.The main strategy usedto improve these areas is theuse of graphic organizers.Graphic organizersare used and evidence of their use is documented by all teachers in the building.Teachersare also required toprovide evidence of the use of cross-curricular vocabulary in their classrooms. **On theposttest, 80 percentwas consideredpassing.Students that incorrectly identified termswere required to determine and writeeach term's correct definitionin their own words withat least two detailedexamples.Aconference between teacher and studentwasheld to discussthis work and anymisconceptions regarding the vocabulary. *Thirteen vocabulary terms were assessed using the traditional strategy. Twelve terms were assessed using the research-basedstrategy.*Beforea chapter,a pretest was given to assess prior knowledge of the vocabulary found in that chapter. After assessing, each student kept allvocabulary work on a basic organizer. Thisorganizercontained all of the vocabulary terms fromthe chapter listed in alphabetical order with a box for the page number the wordcould be found on anda section for the definition andexample.This strategy was used to teach vocabulary for one week.*The Concept Definition Mapwas used for one week to teach math vocabulary.Before using the Concept Definition Map, studentshad readand examined examples using eachof the vocabulary terms in daily math lessons. After doing so, each new vocabulary termwas used to create a Concept Definition Map.Studentsthen brainstormed examplesfor each term; these examples were listed on the board.As they named these examples, questionswere askedto probestudents' background knowledgeofeach term.Students' explanationswere used to write a brief definition beside each example. Therewere three places on the Concept Definition Map for examples, sostudents chosethreefrom the list to add to their map.After students had brainstormedexamples,theywere prompted to think about the similaritiesamong them. Whatwas true about each example? Studentsthen turned to a partner and discussed similarities forapproximately twominutes. Guiding questionswere used when students had difficultyfinding similarities.As a class,studentsdiscussed eachidea and decided if what was said was true of allexamples. Studentsplaced these commonalities or properties in thefour boxes provided on the map.Studentswere theninstructed to taketwo minutes to discuss with a partner how they would categorize or labelthe term.The classdiscussed the categories suggested to determine which categorywas appropriate.The category wasplaced in the category box at the top of the map. Studentsused thethreeexamples,four properties, andone category to create a definition for the term. *Before beginning both the traditional and research-based strategies, a pretest was given. After one week of usingeach strategy to teach vocabulary, a posttest was given.Both pre and posttestsconsisted of13 math vocabulary terms for the traditional stratregy, and 12 for the research-based strategy.Studentsweregiven the definitions and were asked to identify thecorrect term froma word bankthat included thevocabulary terms. Thedirections were the same for both pre and posttests.The onlyvariation from pretest toposttestwasthe ordering of the definitions. In addition to the pretest and posttest, field noteswere takento collectadditional data when using the research-based strategy. The qualitative research method, participant observation, was used to learn the perspectives of the students participating in this study.The informationcollected through participant observation was recorded in the form of field notes. Thesefield notes included both direct observations andunstructured interviews with students (Trochim, 2008).Through direct observation,studentsand theoverallclassroom environmentwereobserved as the research-based strategy was implemented for one week.


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