Posted on 12/04/2012 at 09:56 AM by Global Reach

While these strategies are not explicitly designed for ELL students, Marzano lists eight research-based guidelines for teachers implementing direct vocabulary instruction in his books, Building Background Knowledge and Building Academic Vocabulary: Teachers Manual.

1.  Effective vocabulary instruction does not rely on definitions alone. Words should be written in a conversational manner rather than in the more formal dictionary format. If prior exposures to or experiences with a word are lacking, teachers can build the background knowledge through field trips, videos, guest speakers, stories, or current events.

2.  Students must represent their knowledge of words in linguistic and/or nonlinguistic ways. Students can draw a picture, create a symbol, or dramatize the word.

3.  Effective vocabulary instruction involves the gradual shaping of word meanings through multiple exposures. These include comparing and contrasting, classifying, and creating metaphors and analogies.

4.  Teaching word parts (prefixes, root words, suffixes) enhances student understanding of the word.

5.  Different types of words require different types of instruction.

6.  Students should discuss the terms they are learning through cooperative learning activities.

7.  Students should play with words using challenging and engaging vocabulary games.

8.  Instruction should focus on terms that have a high probability of enhancing academic success. Level 1 words are concrete and easy to identify with little or no instruction. Level 2 words appear in text so infrequently that the possibility of learning them in context is slim. Level 3 words are specific to a particular content area. Marzano recommends teaching words in Level 3 (content-related words) rather than those that are seldom encountered during reading.

Below you will find PDF documents for math content words for the elementary.

K Vocab Cards

1st Vocab Cards

2nd Vocab Cards

3rd Vocab Cards

4th Vocab Cards

5th Vocab Cards


Additional Math Word/Vocabulary Wall resources can be found at the following website:


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