Does Play Help Children Learn Words?: Analysis of a Book Play Approach Using an Adapted Alternating Treatments Design

Lisa A. Lenhart, Kathleen A. Roskos, Jeremy Brueck & Xin Liang

Increasing young children’s vocabulary remains one of the most challenging areas of early literacy instruction. Progress has been made in identifying techniques that, while often complex, work to implement routinely. This study examines the effects of an easy-to-implement technique, say-tell-do-play (STDP), that integrates proven “active ingredients” of direct instruction embedded in shared book reading and structured play on preschoolers’ word awareness and word meaning. Effectiveness of the technique was tested with 18 preschoolers enrolled in a university-based child care setting. Children were pretested on vocabulary selected from two topic studies spanning 8 weeks. In the first period, half were instructed using the technique with play and the other half without play. Midstudy, they were tested, and the play feature was swapped for the second period. Children were then posttested and tested again after 2 months. Results indicate implementing the technique with play made a difference in children’s word awareness (recognition), but not for children’s understandings of word meanings. The study corroborates research that shows the benefits of intentional, direct instruction for helping children learn new words.

Lisa A. Lenhart, Kathleen A. Roskos, Jeremy Brueck & Xin Liang (2019) Does Play Help Children Learn Words?: Analysis of a Book Play Approach Using an Adapted Alternating Treatments Design, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 33:2, 290-306, DOI: 10.1080/02568543.2019.1577776

none

Alessi's turn on the iPad
If you take a walk through your local Best Buy or Home Depot, after just a few minutes browsing you will notice a variety of smart devices available to consumers at a relatively low cost. For example, a 32-inch Smart HDTV can be purchased for around $150. These smart devices are enabled with Wi-Fi access and many of them preloaded with a variety of streaming media applications that consumers can log into and begin viewing upon unpacking the device. Not even appliances are immune to the smart device revolution. Many refrigerators are being built with touchscreens on the doors and with network connectivity. Soon, we may be watching “television” from our refrigerator while we are preparing dinner.

As a result of the smart device revolution, today’s youth have left live television behind. Media consumption has shifted from television to digital streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others. Children are consuming media via device, whether it is music via Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, Tidal and others or video via the iTunes Store, WatchESPN, Netflix or Amazon Prime. As such, digital reading platforms have begun to emerge to take advantage of the connected child. Tech-savvy parents and teachers can provide children and students with anytime-anyplace access to thousands of age-appropriate titles, which in the near future, could be accessed by toddlers from a touch-screen on the refrigerator door.

What does this mean in the world of the young child? What does it mean for children that are learning to read and interact with a variety of forms of literacy materials? Gone are the days of sitting your child on the kitchen floor with building blocks or storybook. Instead, they are plugged into the matrix and have connections to any number of streaming media platforms. How will children interact with literacy in the environment of the smart home? What does this mean for teaching kids the alphabet or their numbers? How does this impact the way that we can teach kids how to read, write, communicate and be literate in this streaming world? Do we need to have different expectations for what it means to be literate in our world today? Are expected expectations for student achievement relevant and attainable in this new age that we’re living in? Questions such as these must be considered to ensure that teachers are educating youth for the world they will live in tomorrow.

none

chirbit
Fluent readers develop over time with plenty of practice. Many students (and parents) mistakenly equate fluent reading with fast reading. Teachers must work to help students and parents understand that reading quickly with little expression or in a monotone voice is not fluent reading (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.4.B). One way transliteracy skills can assist in this process is through the use of digital audio recording. There are many digital audio recording tools teachers can use to help students develop into more fluent readers. Read the rest of this entry…

none

Sitting on the shoulders of giants
The Common Core State Standards emphasize the need to “prepare all students for success in college, career, and life.” In today’s workplace, that means communicating across a variety of platforms. Jobs are no longer location-based, with all members of the workforce in the same building at the same time. Instead, a number of digital tools, such as email, voice-over-Internet calling and web-conferencing software help colleagues connect across space and time. These tools can be put to effective use in the classroom too!

One way to share the love of reading with others is through video conferencing. Teachers can begin to build the transliteracy skills students need to connect and collaborate with digital tools using a free resource like Google Hangouts. Hangouts is a powerful tool that offers an opportunity to introduce a wider world to your students by connecting with classes in another state or country. Read the rest of this entry…

none

To develop a comprehensive vocabulary, students must build connections between words and cultivate sophisticated schemas of meaning. Teachers can use graphic organizers as a tool to help students visualize the interconnection between words to support this process. In the transliterate classroom, one way students can create powerful graphic organizers to support vocabulary growth is through the use of word clouds.

A word cloud is a compilation of words associated to a distinct idea that has been appropriated from a narrative or informational text on the topic. The words in the cloud often vary in print size and color. The more frequently a word is found in the text, the larger it appears in the cloud. A quick look at the cloud can help students preview a text passage, introduce key terms, and strengthen vocabulary.

Teachers and students can create word clouds using a number of free websites, most of which work in a similar manner. ABCYa! Word Clouds is a great place to get started with early elementary students. Begin by finding a passage of grade-level appropriate text online that you plan on having students read. Students can then type or paste the text into the word box, press the create button and view the word cloud. After generating the word cloud, students can change the color, layout and font of the words through an easy-to-use interface. ABCYa! Word Clouds can be saved or printed for later reference.

When teachers model the creation of word clouds using ABCYa! Word Clouds or a similar web application, they are not only offering opportunities to strengthen vocabulary, but also exposing students to critical transliteracy skills such as highlight, copy, paste and “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editing. Teachers should be teaching the vocabulary associated with these technological tasks alongside academic vocabulary contained in the text.

none

I’ve been a resident of Northeast Ohio and diehard Cleveland sports fan all my life. Since birth, I’ve followed all our teams blindly and believed; because that’s what we were taught to do. I can not remember a time when life did not revolve around teams like the Browns, the Cavs, the Force, the Rockers, the Lumberjacks, and of course, the Indians. With my family and friends, I have witnessed “The Drive,” and “The Fumble,” and “The Shot,” and “Game 7 vs the Marlins.”

My pride in our teams, our region and our state is great, however, even as someone who was indoctrinated into #Believeland, I feel that we have a moral imperative as a community to stand united and address the elephant in the room that follows our beloved ball club.

To Mr. Lawrence J. Dolan, please consider the following leadership actions as a way to usher in a new era of #Believeland:

Once our @Indians beat the Cubs to win a #WorldSeries, the immediate next move from the ownership should be to drop Chief Wahoo as a mascot, rename our ball club and treat all people with dignity and respect. As fans, as a community, as role models for future generations of Cleveland fans, we have to recognize the relevance and need for this action at this time, on this stage, and place importance on it over money and nostalgia. 

To all the fans like me, please join me in urging the Cleveland Indians ownership to take this important step and lead the way for other professional sporting teams to follow suit; because that is the #Believeland that I know and that is the #Believeland I want to be a part of. I hope you want to be a part of it too.

Respectfully,

Jeremy S. Brueck

P.S. Winning and losing a ball game shouldn’t matter here. Please do what’s right.

none

ebook

What makes a good, workable, instructive, enjoyable ebook for young children? Certainly the established criteria of quality children’s literature apply to ebook texts. Strong features of good storybooks over the ages are similarly the features of enduring ebooks into the future: age-appropriate material that interests children, strong plots, and rich characterizations of the human condition are most likely the types of features we’d hope to find in a high-quality ebook. In this way, ebooks are very much like traditional books, and their literary or informational content can be judged by the same general criteria.

However, the addition of electronics impacts reading in new ways. An ebook, for example, can have background music whereas a traditional book cannot. Ebooks can provide mini-tutorials in hotspots, hyperlinks and virtual assistants who instruct and explain on-the-spot, in essence, ‘teaching’ children early literacy skills, such as phonological awareness and vocabulary. Read the rest of this entry…

none

Twitter

Educators should exemplify how an individual uses digital tools and resources to become a skilled communicator, collaborator, and devoted lifelong learner. Modeling the use of a range of transliteracy tools is something teachers need to engage in on a daily basis. Most educators are familiar with Twitter, however many wonder how to actually put it into classroom practice. Twitter brainstorming is one way to begin, even in the early grades, because it does not require students to have individual Twitter accounts. Read the rest of this entry…

none

Using Popplet During Guided Reading

Graphic organizers are great tools students can to use to monitor their reading and comprehension of informational texts. Traditionally, teachers have created paper-based templates for students to use to organize their thinking around text. In a transliterate society, there are a number of web-based concept mapping tools and apps that teachers can employ in their classrooms to help support comprehension of informational text. Read the rest of this entry…

none

Keep on truckin baby
During the development of a literate society, literacy practices were very linear in nature. Consider a traditional piece of literature, like a book. It has a cover with the title and author. When we address these elements, we begin by decoding letters and words starting in the upper left and moving to the right across the first line to develop meaning and comprehend printed text. We then open the book, turn the page and then again begin to read for meaning making starting in the upper left, moving across to the right and then down to the next line. This repetitive process reflects the literacy practices most of us have participated in since birth. Read the rest of this entry…

none

Categories

Blogroll

Disclaimer

This is a personal blog. The resources, information and views presented on Raised Digital are solely the opinion of Jeremy S. Brueck, and are not meant to reflect the views of my employer.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.