RUNNING HEAD: 10 IMPORTANT WORDS PLUS REFLECTION

10 Important Words Plus Reflection
Rachel Ritacco
University of New England
EDU 742













10 IMPORTANT WORDS PLUS REFLECTION
10 Important Words Plus Reflection
In the first chapter of Altieri (2011), the challenges that content literacy present is
discussed. First and foremost, vocabulary is one of the main culprits that make reading within the
content area so difficult. Vocabulary in content area material is quite complex. In fact, there are
three types of vocabulary: general, specialized, and technical (Altieri, 2011). General vocabulary
refers to words that we use in our everyday speech. “Specialized vocabulary” contains words
with multiple meanings. “Technical vocabulary” refers to words that are content specific.
Altieri (2011) described several reading strategies in chapter three of Content Counts!
that were designed to meet the unique reading needs each content area requires. The “10
Important Words Plus” strategy struck a chord with me as I read the description of it. The school
wide improvement plan for 2012-2013 was to improve reading comprehension of the students by
using scientific research-based, vocabulary instruction. This strategy would suit this plan and
meet the needs of the students quite well. Proficient readers must develop and apply strategies
that are pertaining to vocabulary so that they may comprehend the content area material.
I could have used this strategy in any of the content areas, but I believe I would have
found it particularly helpful in science. For instance, it would have been helpful to use to identify
vocabulary that students would need to be responsible for our unit on the moon. When you
implement this strategy, students derive their own list of important words. Then the students
collectively determine the final list of the 10 words. Such autonomy is quite engaging and
motivating for students.
In order to be more effective, I would suggest using another resource for task ideas. For
instance, a great resource for vocabulary games is Vocabulary Games for the Classroom by
10 IMPORTANT WORDS PLUS REFLECTION
Carleton & Marzano (2010). Although the simple tasks can be effective, students may grow tired
of them if the strategy is repeated with a different text.
Differentiation of this strategy can be completed in a variety of ways. For instance, ELL
and struggling learners could benefit from flexible grouping. For instance, it may be more
suitable to have students work in pairs when they complete the tasks. Gifted students may need a
more complex text on the same topic. Additionally, the tasks can be modified to mirror the
various multiple intelligences and learning styles of the class.












10 IMPORTANT WORDS PLUS REFLECTION
References
Altieri, J. L. (2011). Content counts! Developing disciplinary literacy skills, K-6. Newark, DE:
International Reading Association.
Carleton, L. & Marzano, R. (2010). Vocabulary games for the classroom. Bloomington, IN:
Marzano Research Laboratory.