Agenda Item
Meeting Date: 5/10/2018 - 6:30 PM
Type: Info
Subject: 4. Report with Possible Action on Instructional Focus on Vocabulary for the 2018-19 School Year
Strategic Plan Compatibility Statement:
Goal 1
Academic Achievement
Policy: Admin Policy 7.02 - Instructional Priority Objectives
Attachments: Beyond the Word Wall graphic overview of vocabulary instruction
File Attachment:
Beyond the Word Wall Graphic.pdf
Background: In previous years, informational items have been shared with the Board to preview the instructional focus for Curriculum and Instruction for the upcoming year. For the 2018-19 school year, there will be an instructional focus on vocabulary instruction for all schools, all grades and all content areas. Much like the Year of the Arts’ focus on arts integration for the 2017-18 school year gave a focus to the professional development as a common strategy for increasing student achievement, an emphasis on teaching vocabulary will lead to improved opportunities and outcomes for students.

Vocabulary instruction was selected as the instructional focus as a result of the district leadership’s work at the Aspen Institutes Urban Literacy Leadership Network Retreat in January. Discussions at the Network Retreat around observations and data collected in MPS classrooms led to the identification of the goal regarding clearer expectations on the use of vocabulary and word walls in every classroom. A word wall is a group of words that are displayed on a wall, bulletin board, chalkboard, or whiteboard in a classroom. The use of a word wall in the classroom can be a highly effective teaching strategy to improve literacy skills and encourage active student participation. The objective of going “Beyond the Word Wall” is to display and practice vocabulary at all tiers, to use context and multiple meanings of words including affirming students' own cultural vocabulary, and to promote student discourse with rich academic vocabulary in all content areas.

An instructional focus on vocabulary is:
• Research-based
• Aligned to the Common Core State Standards
• Supportive of all grades and content areas
• Supportive of all learners including students with special needs, English Language Learners and advanced students
Fiscal Impact Statement: None
Implementation and Assessment Plan
Recommended By:
Signed By:
Jennifer L. Smith - Administrator on Special Assignment
Signed By:
Tonya Adair - Interim Chief Academic Officer
Signed By:
Dr. Darienne Driver - Superintendent