Monthly Archives: February 2017

Word Aware – Electronic resources

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Spin Game

Pinterest –   Twitter:  @wordaware

Written by Anna Branagan and Stephen Parsons, Word Aware is an evidence-based approach to Teaching Vocabulary.  It is a ‘Universal’ intervention, designed for all pupils.  It is intended to be part of the life of the school, embedded rather than arbitrary.  Related text books include the  Language for Thinking series, which help teach increasingly complex questions.

During our school based training, Anna described how words are used for speaking, reading and understanding. Children have to be interested and engaged in word learning.  The spiral of being interested and enjoying reading is linked to the development of a wider vocabulary.  Enjoyment can be via a range of activities including crosswords, wordplay and other games. Our students are beginning an independent journey to developing language, based on engagement and enjoyment.

The approach for Word Aware is for the learning to be embedded in the school day, taking place regularly.  A STAR approach is used – Select, Teach, Activate and Review:

  • Select involves identifying appropriate vocabulary, considering whether the words are ‘anchor’ – thoroughly understood, ‘Goldilocks’ – desirable for students to use, or ‘Step-on’ – topic specific, not usually needed for writing.
  • Teach involves a range of elements to teach the vocabulary, including using the ‘Word Wizard’ (available from the book or CD-Rom).
  • Activate involves adding more meaning and making sense from the student’s own perspective, with lots of opportunities to hear and see the word.
  • Review is intended to help fix the word in long term memory.

Electronic resources

I’ve put together a few resources linked to some of the games and activities that I hope may be useful if you are using Word Aware. Continue reading