As we transition to the Common Core, how do we ensure our students have the background knowledge necessary to master the more rigorous academic content we must address in our class? Research shows that exposing students to academic terms and phrases specific to content areas helps build a strong foundation, making it easier for them to learn and understand new material in any given class.
But how do we determine what academic vocabulary to teach?
This resource can serve as your instructional compass. Aligned with and taken from the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts Grade 7, the Academic Vocabulary Inventory allows students to self-report their level of understanding of each academic term or phrase on a scale of 1 to 4; 1 for words they have never encountered before, up to 4 for words they know so well, they can use them in a sentence. It will enable you to assess not only the terms your students understand, but also the degree to which they can comprehend and apply each one. It can be used at the beginning of the year to identify areas of focus, as a pre-unit activity to help inform your instruction, as well as a post-unit activity to help monitor student growth.
There are two types of vocabulary inventories included. The first has been pre-filled primarily with those important high-frequency tier 2 words such as “analyze” and “claim” as well as domain-specific tier 3 terms such as “compound sentence.” These have been taken directly from the Common Core State Standards for ELA Grade 7. The second vocabulary inventory is a blank assessment that can be filled in with any words you choose to be used diagnostically at the start of a new unit as well as for assessment at the end of the unit to measure progress.
Grounded in research, the vocabulary inventory is an adaptation of the Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (VKS) assessment used by Wesche and Paribakht (1996) based on the concepts of Dale’s (1965) incremental stages of word learning. The research and theory of building background knowledge through academic vocabulary is detailed in the book, Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement (Marazano, 2004). Useful for all students including ELLs, the vocabulary inventory can be an invaluable tool in guiding instruction and measuring progress.
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Thank you to Tracee Orman and Educasong for the borders and fonts used in this resource! You can find their stores here:
Educasong (Font Fairy fonts)
Keywords: Common Core, Common Core vocabulary, Common Core ELA Grade 7, Language Arts Grade 7, CCSS, CCSS vocabulary, vocabulary inventory, vocabulary diagnostic, vocabulary assessment, vocabulary pre-test, vocabulary post-test, back-to-school, tier 2, tier 3, ELL