Renaissance Learning just published a report based on research completed by Accelerated Reader which followed 9.8 million students from 31,633 schools who read 330 million books, our students read the most books in grades 2 and 3 and the least in grades 11 and 12. Not only does the number of books decrease but so do the number of words that the students read. In first grade, students read 25,000 words; this continues to rise to 436,000 in grade six. What is astonishing is that the number of words read decreases to 300,000 by then end of high school.
Why should these numbers matter? The more students read, the more they can build their vocabulary. The knowledge of words and word meanings is tantamount to comprehension of the passage. As students get older, we expect them to read text that is more complex which means that the student’s vocabulary must expand and grow. As educators we must be able to offer the opportunities necessary for students to interact with the new and growing words that they must become accustomed to for reading comprehension. Their exposure must be repeated and independent reading should not be the only method of coverage but we should make sure that they are reading enough to build their own personal mind dictionary.
Most experts agree that any method of teaching vocabulary should include direct (teacher centered) and indirect teaching (student centered). Students should be able to experience receptive learning (listening) as well as productive learning (applying). Since the range of teaching and learning styles vary so greatly, it should be easy to fit vocabulary teaching into any course. Science is often the one course that is seen as the toughest and most demanding of vocabulary instruction.
Readorium’s Rising Reader and Scholar programs both afford your students the opportunities needed to learn a wide range of vocabulary. Each book mentor reads the book and allows students to click on the interactive glossary to listen to definitions and watch explanations of the meanings in a direct receptive manner. The interactivity which allows students to use the words in the glossary as well as in the Word Wizard World and the Vocabulary Challenges give the students the ability to experience the indirect productive learning styles.