A Wonderful Model for Teaching Vocabulary in the Adult Ed Classroom

My advice is that you go to this blog and download everything on it.  While Kate Kinsella works extensively with middle-school level ELLs, her work is more than relevant to teachers of adult learners. And this site is a treasure trove of detailed, step-by-step tools to help teachers provide effective instruction that helps students acquire academic literacy skills. Mostly the site is a set of downloadable student handouts that “go with” demonstration videos, but the demonstration videos are what I find so very valuable, because they show Kinsella in a classroom with learners demonstrating activities and lessons in real-time. Some of the activities and mini-lessons presented in her videos will bring to mind very “Common Core” themes like “making a claim,” and “supporting a claim.” What I really admire in these videos is her pacing and focus on making it comprehensible for students by using both reading, writing, speaking and listening in the same lesson so that students begin to “own” words like “benefit,” “harm,” “claim,” “evidence,” etc.

In one video I viewed Kate Kinsella led students through the process of writing a persuasive essay about whether playing videos games is harmful or beneficial to teens. She began with a sentence frame, introduced it, had students read it aloud with her, modeled how she would write a sentence stating her “thesis” using the sentence frame, then asked them to write their own sentences. I have used this same approach with ABE and HSE students and I think it works well as a scaffold.

For more suggestions from Kate Kinsella for constructed response routines with reluctant writers

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About Kate Brandt

Kate Brandt is a Professional Developer in the adult literacy field in New York City and she loves her job. She loves her job so much that she commutes 2 hours per day, from her suburban home in Shrub Oak, New York, to get to work. She loves working in adult literacy because she gets to work with people who are smart, kind, and dedicated.

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