Charlottesville, VA — Nov. 26, 2007 — As science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education reform continues to be a high priority, educators are striving to find ways to improve the science achievement of their students. One specific solution educators are focusing on is content area literacy. Students must understand at least 90 percent of written text in order to learn new science concepts through independent reading. Dynamic Literacy, a developer of vocabulary curriculum, offers educators a way to expand their students’ science vocabulary through the WordBuild Vocabulary Development System.

Content area literacy, or reading to learn, is possible when students possess the knowledge to comprehend the language used to deliver content area instruction. To increase content area literacy in science, students must be taught strategies to use in deriving the meanings of unfamiliar words. The WordBuild Vocabulary Development System teaches the critical thinking skills students need to identify science words that are likely to be found on standardized tests.

“Our middle school language arts teachers have been using the WordBuild Vocabulary Development System for the past three years,” said Sandra Whitaker, 6-12 Language Arts Coordinator for Albemarle County Public Schools. “The program teaches students how to pull apart and put together words again, as a way to decipher unfamiliar words when presented with few or no context clues. As a result, teachers in other academic subjects have noticed a vast improvement in their students’ reading comprehension skills.”

The WordBuild Vocabulary Development System is a series of educational materials designed to improve vocabulary, language and reading comprehension skills for students in grades 3-12. The program is based on morphology, or the study of the units of meaning in words. Similar to how phonics helps a student “sound out” unfamiliar words, a mastery of Morphics helps a student “mean out” unfamiliar words. The curriculum teaches students how English words are constructed by focusing on the meanings of prefixes, roots and suffixes, also known as morphemes. Once students learn the definitions of common morphemes, they gain the skills to decipher thousands of unfamiliar words, and their vocabularies increase exponentially.

The WordBuild Vocabulary Development System consists of two series, Foundations and Elements. Intended for grades 3-5, but available for vocabulary instruction intervention for grades 6 and up, Foundations contains two years of morphics-based instruction. Elements is intended for grades 5-9, but is available for vocabulary instruction intervention for grades 10 and up, and contains three years of morphics-based instruction.

Dynamic Literacy has published a supplemental guide for educators entitled, “Using the WordBuild Vocabulary Development System to Improve Student Performance in Science.” To download a copy, visit www.dynamicliteracy.com/resources.php.
For more information on the WordBuild Vocabulary Development System, or to speak with a sales representative, visit www.dynamicliteracy.com or email info@dynamicliteracy.com.

About Dynamic Literacy
Dynamic Literacy, LLC is committed to improving vocabulary, language and reading comprehension skills for students through the WordBuild Vocabulary Development System. Based on frequently used Latin and Greek roots, the program is a series of educational materials designed to teach students how words are built by focusing on the meaning of prefixes, roots and suffixes. Gaining the skills necessary to decipher unfamiliar words helps improve students’ performance in the classroom and on high-stakes assessments. The company was established in 2002 and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Va. For more information, visit www.dynamicliteracy.com or phone 888-696-8597.

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