New England Reading Association Journal

Peer-reviewed journal provides articles, interviews, essays, and research reports of interest to educators. Issues investigated include literacy, classroom practice, and assessment.

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 2, 2006

Building a Comprehensive Vocabulary Program
Over the past 50 years, interest in vocabulary has repeatedly waxed and waned. Today, however, the importance of vocabulary is widely and firmly recognized. The recent interest is due to a number of factors, among the most important of which are these...
Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children's Learning
Johnston, Peter H. (2004) Choice words: How our language affects children's learning. Portland, ME: Stenhouse. 100 pp. ISBN 1-57110-389-9.In his book Johnston argues that the vocabulary that teachers use in the classroom has implications for students'...
Cryptomania! Teleporting into Greek and Latin with the Cryptokids
FINE, EDITH HOPE (2004). Cryptomania! Teleporting into Greek and Latin with the Cryptokids. Illustrated by Kim Doner. Berkeley: Tricycle Press. ISBN 1582460620.In true Magic School Bus style, we are immediately involved with a lively group of kids who...
Defining Dulcie
ACAMPORA, PAUL (2006). Defining Dulcie. New York: Dial/Penguin ISBN 0803730462.In another New England setting, this time a small Connecticut town, first-time novelist Acampora has brought to life Dulcie Morrigan Jones, who has lost her father in a freak...
Editorial
As we begin to "bundle up" and brace ourselves for the long New England winter we have lots of "food for thought" to sustain us. In this fall issue Volume 42, Number 2, 2006we highlight two areas of focus. Our special topic Vocabulary offers a multifaceted...
Explore Engaging Lessons for Vocabulary Development with ReadWriteThink.org
One of the most significant ways teachers can help their students improve reading comprehension is through vocabulary development. "In order to comprehend texts, students must know the meaning of the words they read" (Richeck, 2005, 414). Most teachers...
Gooney Bird and the Room Mother
For intermediate readers (grades 3-5) LOWRY, LOIS (2005). Gooney Bird and the Room Mother. Illustrated by Middy Thomas. Boston: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0618532307.Gooney Bird Green makes her second literary appearance after having been...
Henry David's House
THOREAU, HENRY DAVID (1854,2002). Henry David's House. Edited by Steven Schnur; Illustrated by Peter Fiore. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. ISBN 0881061166.Who better to represent the idea of appreciating the beauty and clarity of simplicity through elevated...
It's Easy, It's Fun.It's Vocabulary
Our students need to learn so many word meanings! There is the vocabulary in their literature series and novels, the content words from math, social studies, and science, and countless other words of general use that appear in independent reading. And,...
Miss Alainaus: A Vocabulary Disaster
FRASIER, DEBRA (2000). Miss Alainaus: A Vocabulary Disaster. San Diego: Harcourt. ISBN 0152121639.There is a lot going on within the pages of this delightful book: an assignment on the title page to write sentences using three words which start with...
My Teacher, My Mentor, and Memories
She wore a shirtwaist dress with a matching cloth buckle on the first day for this not-quite-ready first grader. Her soft cloth handkerchiefs, which she readily shared with me, came in handy as I sat on her lap in tears and overwhelmed. She held me while...
Stink and the Incredible, Super-Galactic Jawbreaker
MC DONALD, MEGAN (2006). Stink and the Incredible, Super-Galactic Jawbreaker. Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Cambridge: Candlewick. ISBN 0763621587.Stink is the little brother of Judy Moody, who first appeared in 2000 and already has a host of fans...
Taking a Look at a Few Sacred Cows in Teaching Vocabulary
The most important thing a teacher can know about vocabulary instruction is that researchers agree on many fundamental points. Those associated with more holistic teaching agree with those who are identified with more teacher-directed instruction. And...
Teachers Who Make a Difference: Thank You for the Music
Becoming a teacher is by no means a solitary process. Although one spends endless hours learning theories, methodologies and curriculum content, there are forces less tangible that shape the teachers we become. The years we spend as students beginning...
Teaching Vocabulary in All Classrooms. (3Rd Ed.)
Blachowicz, Camille and Fisher, Peter J. (2006). Teaching vocabulary in all classrooms. (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-119803-3.Blachowicz and Fisher have designed an inquiry into the nature of vocabulary...
The Great Word Catalogue: FUNdamental Activities for Building Vocabulary
Ohanian, Susan. (2002). The great word catalogue: FUNdamental activities for building vocabulary. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. 134 pp. ISBN 0-325-00427-7.Ohanian immerses readers in the exploration of words in many kinds of online and traditional dictionaries,...
The Library Card
For middle school and older readers: SPINELLI, JERRY (1997). The Library Card. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 0590467328.Spinelli has done something remarkable in the four separate stories that comprise this book: he has captured the confusion, pain and...
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
BIRDSALL, Jeanneb (2005). The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. New York: Knopf. ISBN: 0375831436.Here is an endearing family, four sisters and their rather dreamy, botanist father, that critics have...
The Vocabulary Book: Instruction & Learning
Graves, Michael F. (2006). The vocabulary book: Instruction & learning. New York: Teachers College Press. 182 pp. ISBN 0-8077-4627-4.Vocabulary: Frameworks of Instruction and Reflective PracticeVocabulary might be considered the unsung hero of reading...
The Vocabulary-Enriched Classroom: Practices for Improving the Reading Performance of All Students in Grades 3 and Up
Block, Cathy Collins and Mangieri, John N. (2006). The vocabulary-enriched classroom: Practices for improving the reading performance of all students in grades 3 and up. New York: Scholastic (Theory and Practice series). 224 pp. ISBN 0-439-73093-7.This...
Vocabulary Instruction: Advice to New Teachers
Finding optimal instructional strategies and aterials for vocabulary teaching can be iallenging for teachers. There are many iestions elementary-school educators ponder garding the inclusion of new vocabulary words in their daily lessons. "What is the...
Vocabulary: Reasons to Teach It, an Effective Teaching Method, and Words Worth Teaching
Studies have shown that; (a) developed vocabulary size in kindergarten is an effective predictor of reading comprehension in the middle elementary years, (Scarborough, 1998, 2001); (b) orally-tested vocabulary at the end of grade 1 is a significant predictor...
What's IN a Word? Teaching Vocabulary from the Inside Out
First, my apologies to Shakespeare. In the title of this article, I've played with a famous quote from Romeo and Juliet:"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet."(Act 2, scene 2)But think about it for a moment,...