Vocabularians: Integrated Word Study in the Middle Grades (Paperback)
Brenda takes teachers and administrators inside three middle-level schools where educators are integrating vocabulary instruction across the curriculum. In rural, urban, and suburban settings, she highlights effective ways to develop students’ vocabulary skills using art, music, games, technology, reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking. Vocabularians shows teachers of all content areas how to build word networks, flood the classroom environment with academic vocabulary, and incorporate the three word-solving strategies that researchers have found to be the most important—teaching students how to use context; deciphering words by breaking down prefixes, suffixes, and root words; and using reference materials in authentic ways.
By blending current research with real classroom experience and application, Brenda builds on her work with Margot Holmes Smith and Leslie Montgomery and offers an easy-to-implement, customized-to-middle-school resource that will improve instruction and assessment. As one featured seventh grader shared: “Vocabulary helps you because the more you know words, the more fluent you can be in reading, the better you can read and write, and the better your writing sounds. There’s always going to be a time when you have to sound professional, whether you’re applying for a job or anything else. You’re just going to have to know how to use a good vocabulary.”
Brenda J. Overturf began her career as a classroom teacher, working for eighteen years at the elementary and middle school levels, before she coordinated K-12 reading for Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky. She also served as chair of the M.Ed. in Reading program at the University of Louisville and is a former member of the International Reading Association Board of Directors.
While at IRA, she chaired a Common Core State Standards Task Force and continues as chair of the IRA Common Core Standards Committee.
Brenda holds an Ed.D. degree with specialty in literacy education from the University of Louisville, and is currently a literacy consultant providing professional development and assistance to schools and districts nationwide.