Common Core Video Series: Common Core in ELA/ Literacy, Shift 6 Academic Vocabulary


This is a 6 minute video which features a discussion between former NYS Commissioner of Education John B. King Jr., David Coleman (contributing author to the Common Core) and Kate Gerson (a Sr. Fellow with the Regents Research Fund) addressing Shift 6 – Academic Vocabulary. By unpacking Shift 6, the discussion addresses the “tiers” of vocabulary (see the work of Isabel Beck, for examples) and the choices teachers need to make regarding the explicit teaching of “academic” vocabulary. After watching this video, educators might ask themselves: What is shift 6? What will this mean we have to change about our practice? What challenges will we face as we make this shift? Participants might also select a page (or even a paragraph) of text and explore the vocabulary within it. How many vocabulary words are there in the selection? How many of these words can be seen as useful “tools” which students will confront frequently as they read at this grade level? Which words are worth investing in? What would it look like to create three columns of words – ignore, target, and infer? What is the impact, for the author, of including the words in which you are choosing to invest? What task could you create that would get students writing using those words? A worksheet to accompany this video is available from the resources page.

This is just one way of conducting professional development around this video. We encourage you to use this opportunity to share your ideas and experiences. Please contribute to the discussion by telling us how YOU have used these videos! Which discussion questions did you find sparked the most collaboration amongst educators? What professional learning experiences did you design around the viewing? We want to hear from you so that educators across the state can benefit from your experience!