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I Poems October 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Bradley @ 1:13 am

While reading the information found in different links, I learned that instructional scaffolding is an important aspect of literary instruction and learning.  The purpose of instructional scaffolding is to simplify, clarify, and then teach the procedures and framework.  After all of the steps, the students should eventually be able to do the activity successfully on their own.  All students should be able to succeed with all of the scaffolding they receive through the suggested lessons.  One of the most frustrating things for me is trying to complete work and not knowing exactly what the teacher wants.  By going over how to find information, giving students the worksheets (organizational scaffolding) to fill out, and creating an I Poem as a class, no one should have an excuse for not doing well on this assignment.  Everything is laid out for them.

I really like the idea of I Poems because they are a creative way for students to summarize what they read.  Students usually have to write a few sentences to demonstrate their understanding of a reading, and I think most students find that boring.  By creating I Poems, students are more engaged and interested in carefully reading and recording information.  The power point stated that using I Poems increase student understanding and I can see how it does.  Students must pay attention to what they are reading to be able to fill out the worksheets and then make an I Poem that demonstrates understanding of the reading.  Also, I think students like making I Poems because they don’t have to worry about creating the form of their poem because the teacher gives them a template for it.  I think I Poems are a low stress and fun way to read and then demonstrate understanding .


Seals and Science October 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Bradley @ 11:01 pm

Re 4030 seals and science


Reciprocal Teaching and Discussion Director October 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Bradley @ 2:13 am

Reciprocal teaching is used before reading, during reading, and after reading text.  There are four strategies used: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting.  The students and teacher switch roles and take turns leading the discussion.  Reciprocal teaching can be used to teach individually, in small groups, or as a whole class.  The point of reciprocal teaching is for students to monitor their comprehension and thought process while they are reading.

The point of Discussion Director is to pose questions that really get the students thinking about what they read.  The questions should require the students to back up their answers and rely on background knowledge and experience to fully answer the questions.  There are several types of questions that you can ask as the discussion director.  Some questions will be easier than others to answer and support.

Reciprocal teaching and discussion director are instructional strategies meant to allow students to actively learn.  The teacher isn’t the one coming up with the questions and giving the answers—it is the students.  This requires the students to read deeply for comprehension so that they can participate in the activities and come up with meaningful questions.  They must be able to prove and back up their answers.

Reciprocal teaching differs from discussion director in that it relies on four general strategies for comprehension demonstration: summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting.  Students are given one topic to address for the section they have read or are reading.  More than one person has a role to play in the discussion.  Each student shares their opinions and findings with their group or the class.  When using discussion director, the only general guidelines for questioning is to use who?, what?, when?, where?, why?, and how? questions.  One student is the questioner and all of the other students answer the questions.  The questioner is supposed to politely disagree and ask for more depth in the answer from the students to make sure the students really comprehend and back up their answers.  This is mainly how discussion director differs from reciprocal teaching.


Multitext Study vocabulary activities, vocabulary overview handout, and article September 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Bradley @ 1:41 am

A major point of the article was that vocabulary instruction shouldn’t simply be having students memorize lists of words and their definitions.  There are better ways to directly and indirectly teach students vocabulary.  The article goes over a variety of ways to effectively teach vocabulary.  Indirect instruction includes a wide variety of reading, listening to someone read, and exposure to words through word walls, word wizards, and other such activities.  Direct instruction involves explicitly teaching parts of and definitions of words.  Each of the three papers we are supposed to talk about in this post explains useful ways to increase vocabulary and, therefore, reading comprehension.  Students will benefit from direct and indirect instruction, but they are useful in different ways.  Indirect instruction, such as word wizards, are useful because students must write the definitions in their own words.  The teacher is able to see that they understand the definition if they must write it in their own words.  They must also relate the word to their own life.  This will help students remember the word better than if they just read a definition out of the dictionary.  Direct instruction is more useful when teaching about parts of a word.  Morphology knowledge is directly related to reading comprehension and should be included in an effective  vocabulary program.  All of the handouts were informative and have given me strategies to help students become better readers.


Reading Assessment, Multitext Unit, and Integrating Article September 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Bradley @ 12:55 am

After observing a reading assessment, reading the multi-text unit, and reading the article, I noticed that all are centered around helping students succeed.  The reading assessment is the first step because until you know what level your students are reading on, you can’t choose books for them to read.  Some teachers wish to divide students up into different classrooms for reading instruction based on their reading ability while others simply make all the whole class read the same on-grade-level books, regardless of their reading ability.  Neither of these options are necessary or the best option for individual students.  The article talks about how by choosing a common context, such as theme, genre, or author, the teacher can select books for every instructional reading level in their class.  In this way, all students will be learning about the same topic and increasing their reading comprehension and vocabulary.  In my fifth grade classroom  at Millers Creek, the entire class reads the same little book for social studies everyday.  They get into pairs and are supposed to read to each other and then fill out a worksheet to check for comprehension.  I have a problem with this because the books are boring, even to me, and many of the students don’t understand what they read.  I have seen first-hand the importance of choosing books that are interesting and matched to fit each student’s instructional level.

Multi-text Units are great because they are created to be fun and maximize comprehension due to shared reading and all of the worksheets and activities included in the unit.  Through shared readings students are able to see the teacher model strategies for deepening understanding and learning how to figure out something they don’t understand.  I think the students in my class at Millers Creek would benefit a whole lot more from the little social studies books they are reading by doing shared reading with their teacher instead of partner reading.  I would still prefer not to use the little social studies books because they are so boring.  The article mentions the importance of choosing books are interesting to students and those little books are not interesting at all.  They are just like reading out of a text-book.  I can see how students who must read books that are above their reading level and boring would despise reading time.  They aren’t getting any better or faster at reading or comprehension, the whole point of having students read!  This is why giving students books on their instructional level that are interesting to them is so important.  It is the only way students will develop an appreciation of reading and improve their skills.


Shared readings: Modeling comprehension, vocabulary, text structures and text features September 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Bradley @ 3:44 am

This article reminded me of how some teachers are teaching poetry the wrong way.  They want students to figure out the meaning of the poems instead of simply enjoying the words.  This makes students dislike poetry because it is just a guessing game trying to find out what the author meant when they wrote the poem.  This article suggests that some teachers have the wrong approach for teaching about reading and comprehension.  Instead of questioning students about the text after reading, teachers could use four categories and guidelines to help students become better readers–comprehension, vocabulary, text structures, and text features.  I really liked the examples where teachers thought out loud, modeling what students should do to figure out the meaning behind what they’re reading.  I think that is much more useful than asking comprehension questions about what they just read.  Everyone benefits from seeing examples of how to do something.  In the vocabulary section the teachers talked about the importance of word part lessons.  My seventh grade English teacher focused on learning the parts of words and I still benefit from that study.  I think everyone should teach about parts of words rather than learning definitions of single words.  I think pointing out the text features is also very useful.  Older people who already are fluent readers may take for granted that students know what the purpose of bold-faced words are, but they may not.  Text features can tell a lot about the meaning of a word or passage and should be brought to students attention.  I found this article to be very informative.  All of the information in it is common sense, but it was useful to read an article that lays out step-by-step what I need to do when doing shared readings with my students.


3 Pirate Articles September 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Bradley @ 3:12 pm

In order to understand how to do something, I have to see an example.  The three pirate articles helped me understand how to create an engaging unit surrounding a topic.  I really want to make fun and interactive lessons for my future classroom and these articles will definitely be helpful for me when creating fun lessons.  From the Pirates in Historical Fiction and Nonfiction article, I especially liked the Piquing Curiosity section.  I can imagine how students would be much more excited about a new topic study if they were to walk into a classroom filled with interesting things surrounding the topic.  Playing pirate music and displaying pirate artifacts in a classroom to start of a new unit of study would engage even the most reluctant learners.  I also thought it was useful to read fiction and nonfiction books about the study.  Some students may enjoy reading fiction better than nonfiction or vise versa, and reading both will reach both types of readers.  The Swashbuckling Adventures article suggested that students use double entry diaries and data retrieval charts to aid their comprehension of what they are reading.  I think students should always take some sort of notes when they are reading because it helps to remember everything.  Even now, I always have a pencil or highlighter in hand when reading a book or article for school.  There is so much information to remember when reading and using a DRC or DED will help students practice good note-taking habits.  The Internet Workshop and Blog Publishing article provided everything one would need to know in order to create a unit that involves the internet and blogging.  Once again, I liked seeing explicit details about what I need to do when attempting to plan such a unit.  I especially liked the idea of having students create “I poems” because the audience would really be able to see what the student knows about the person (or whatever you’re studying) based on the amount of detail in the poem.  I hope to create units based on what I read in all three articles.  I’m sure my students would appreciate such fun and engaging lessons.