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visual cues (Barrera et al., 2006) to model how to think through a process or problem and then have students demonstrate their own thinking through Think Alouds with a partner or the teacher. This research-val- idated strategy has been shown to improve cognition because it teaches students to re- read text, read ahead to clarify understand- ing, and look for content clues to make sense of what was read as students monitor their own understanding of the text. Looking for content clues is a skill explicitly addressed in the Common Core State Standards for reading comprehension and vocabulary ac- quisition.


n KWL. A KWL chart is a visual, three-


column graphic organizer for note-taking or summarizing information during differ- ent phases of a lesson. It is a linguistic tool, whereas other visuals such as pictures are nonlinguistic. The three columns capture students’ ideas: what students know already, want to learn, and what was learned (Albus et al., 2007). The three parts fit into the en-


gage, explore and explain stages in inquiry- based learning, and a teacher can elicit ideas from more students by prefacing each “what” question with Think-Pair-Share. The KWL can help the teacher gain insights into the students’ background knowledge. It also strategically plans how to connect the new knowledge to the prior knowledge of students, check for understanding of the end of the lesson and clarify any miscon- ceptions offered in the “K” stage that were proven false.


nSummarization. Teachers and students


summarize chunks of information often during a lesson, not just at the end (Thurlow et al., 2008). Students who need more inten- sive guidance in the skill of summarization learn a step-by-step procedure, such as de- leting unimportant text, deleting words that repeat information, replacing unknown with known words, and then finding or cre- ating a topic sentence (Dean et al., 2012). Some students might be supported with highlighted, bolded or annotated text, non-


linguistic illustrations, sentence frames or a graphic organizer as a note-taking template.


Top two academic vocabulary tools n Enhanced Word Walls and the Frayer


Concept Organizer are the top two tools that help students build academic vocabulary. A Concept Organizer allows multiple ways to define a key word so individual students can use one or a combination to understand the word’s meaning. The template can be a large rectangle divided into four adjoining rectangles, and the key word or term is in a small oval at the center. In each box, stu- dents define the key word/term in a differ- ent way. An example of four ways is a formal definition, characteristics, examples, and a “show what it means” sentence. A traditional Word Wall contains or-


ganized (e.g., alphabetical, word forms) or unorganized lists of words. An enhanced Word Wall contains a much briefer list of key words, often for a unit lesson, with brief, informal definitions and/or illustra- tions or pictures that serve as cues about a word’s meaning in the context of the lesson. Word walls should leverage cross-curricu- lar vocabulary. This requires collaboration among teachers to identify the words and make explicit how each word has a similar or different meaning in different disciplines or contexts.


Top two discourse tools n Sentence Frames and Discussion Sen-


tence Starters scaffold students to com- municate ideas orally or in writing. Useful, challenging Sentence Frames require more than writing one word in the blank space in a sentence, and the sentences form paragraphs of complete ideas with details and examples. English learners at the more novice language development levels likely need more text provided in simple sentences. Students at more proficient levels might only need the beginning of a sentence and a few function words as cues to include details or examples, or to demonstrate a skill such as compare and contrast. The verbs in the Common Core State Standards indicate the level of critical thinking expected of students. Often an English learner or a student


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