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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day 2- Components and Features

In the SIOP model, there are 8 Components and 30 Features. Impressive, and intimidating.

On Monday, we covered 2 components and 9 features. Today we covered 4 components and 13 features.

Again, I'm not going in-depth. This is a quick and dirty covering of our material. I'm hoping it piques your interest enough that you'll (speaking to teachers here) want to attend a SIOP training as well!

Component 1- Lesson Preparation
This is were we learned about creating Concept and Language Objectives. All objectives should be clearly defined and prominently displayed using language that is student appropriate in it's simplicity and structure. Objectives should also have visuals included when able.

Prepare for the use of supplementary materials. Need some examples?
Manipulatives, realia (real life objects), pictures, visuals (hopefully of things students recognize- maybe of themselves?) multimedia, demonstrations (model, model, model!), related literature, high-low readers, adapted text (easier, but not dumbing down the material)

Component 2- Building Background

 Teachers know that students learn and process new material better when they already have background knowledge. The best way to build knowledge is to build a strong vocabulary. Whenever you read a story, at school or home, find some new vocabulary!

Teachers- make charts with new words and definitions the students create!
Add pictures! Make portable word walls using file folders and put them in students' hands! Have students create personal dictionaries of new words found in texts. Make sure to include new words on your word walls.
There are 3 levels of vocabulary:
  • Level 1- common words like simple nouns, verbs, high frequency words and sight words. EL students might know these words in their language (either speaking or reading) but will need help with them in English.
  • Level 2- words found in school text, but not necessarily in conversation. This is why introducing vocabulary is so important! Level 2 and 3 vocabulary is found on our end-of-the-year assessments! 
  • Level 3- uncommon words, not found often in school texts unless it is in context with a certain topic. These words are fun to incorporate into one's vernacular, but not necessarily words to focus on in the space of a regular school day.
Parents- Read to your kids! This is the easiest way to increase vocabulary. Have your student "help" you read the sight words in the story, and make a point of asking questions about the more difficult words. 
Here are some things your child's teacher would love to help you with:
  • Need a list of sight words? Click {HERE}
  • Ask the teacher for some books to borrow. I'll be honest, I might not trust my students with a book from my library, but I do trust parents when they ask! It never hurts to ask!
  • Vocabulary ideas- write new, interesting words on index cards with student created definitions. Use post-its around the house to label things. Make using the vocabulary words into a game.
  • Ask teachers if they have any file folder games or easy activities you can check out for the weekend. Again, it never hurts to ask!
 Component 3- Comprehensible Input
 Make it clear! Students learning another language need their teacher's speech to be clear and concise. 
Teachers- use clear hand gestures and proper facial expressions when teaching. Not only will it help your EL students, but it will also help your students stay focused to the lesson. Students will want to follow and imitate your movements, so give them movements! Engage them!
  • Expression and body language
  • clear speech, speak slowly and pause between phrases
  • short sentences/ simple syntax- you will use this technique until students can be weaned off
  • clear expectations of a task
  • step-by-step directions/ oral and written with pictures
Some techniques to make concepts clear- manipulatives/ props, pictures and objects, models and rubrics, task boards (with pictures)
Check out this website- Whole Brain Teaching

Component 4- Strategies

We've taught all of these strategies, but now we need to let students use them! Provide times during the day to let students process what they have learned. In my class, we use a brain.

We take time to think about our thinking- Metacognition. We fill in our brain throughout the day to make sure we are going home filled!

Teachers- make sure you are scaffolding your students properly. Don't make something easy for no reason. Allow students to process their learning, assess their abilities, and increase the difficulty level when appropriate. You won't need slower speech forever, be aware of your class.
Make sure you are constantly asking questions from all 6 levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. (as revised by D.R. Krathwohl)
  1. Remember
  2. Understand
  3. Apply
  4. Analyze
  5. Evaluate
  6. Create
Parents- when doing homework or creating projects, making things 'easy' for your kids isn't the best idea. I have 3 kids and it's hard to not jump in and solve their problems for them. When doing homework, be with your student, but let him/her talk out solving a problem. Sometimes just having a sounding board is helpful! When doing a project, let your student tell you what he/ she sees as the end result. Of course, ask questions along the way, but ask your student to talk things out, create verbal pictures. Your child's teacher will thank you!

Component 5- Interaction

  1. Students need to talk. 
  2. Noise is not necessarily a bad thing.
Do you know how long it took me to realize those two truths? I'm not going to tell you. It might make me look bad.
But it's true! We learn better if we have to teach the information to someone, so let the students be the teachers! Here are some benefits of interaction:
  • Deeper understanding of text
  • Oral language development- this is especially important for El students. If you need to learn a new language, you need practice!
  • Brain stimulation
  • Increased motivation
  • Reduced risk- EL students feel safer in small groups or pairs; less room for embarrassment. 
 And there are more! Interaction is a good thing! For every 5 min of 'teacher talk' there should be 2 min of student processing and sharing, and 1 min of teacher assessing and calling on students for answers.

 Component 6- Practice and Application

Now that they know it, let them prove it.
Students need hands-on practice.

Teachers- Don't shove your lesson full of material. A short meaningful amount is better, and easier to retain. While the learning is new, practice harder. Once it becomes old learning, put it on rotation.
Activities for applying content and language knowledge:
  1. Graphic organizers
  2. Thinking maps
  3. Concept maps
  4. Problem solving in a group
  5. Construct physical models
  6. Practice games
  7. Flip books
  8. Journals- write, read aloud, sharing/ speaking/ listening
Not too shabby!

Check out these posts:

Day 1

Day 2 Objectives and Techniques 

Day 3


  1. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful information.

  2. No problem! I think Jackson and I convinced Mr. Evans to send 2nd grade next time. :)