Tuesday, March 13, 2007

English Update March 13, 2007

Curriculum..... Parents..... How involve parents in their children’s education? Give parents suggested activities for follow up at home on what is being taught in the classroom. File. S Darling. RT (Feb. 05), 476-479.

Curriculum..... Profession..... How define a “professional”? Abraham Flexner (1915) on defining a profession: A profession involves essentially intellectual operations with large individual responsibility, derives raw materials from science and learning; works this material up to a practical and definite end. WA Jenkins. “A Sense of Profession.” 519.

Curriculum..... Research..... What are some problems with educational research? Problem: Translating educational research into classroom practice that improves student performance. BM Taylor, et al. RRQ (Jan/Feb/Mar 05), 40-41.

Curriculum..... Strategies..... What do we mean by “strategies” in learning? Focus on teaching children strategies to use when they read and write. What strategy will students use, for example, when they summarize a book? KR Mehigan. RT (Mar. 05), 552-566.

Curriculum..... Teaching..... Why are teachers NOT technicians? “This research perspective affords a close look at the complexities of the teacher’s role in both leading and empowering students, and therefore validates teachers at a time when they are often simply viewed as technicians.” P Whitin. RTE (May 05), 365.

Curriculum..... Teaching..... How does a teacher’s language affect students’ learning? “Early childhood teachers understand that ‘What is the sound at the end of the word’ assumes that the child knows the concepts letter, word, sound, and end (or left-right progression of letters).”

Curriculum..... Teaching..... How improve teacher growth in teaching? Schedule study groups among teachers on particular problems and topics. Provide professional reading materials dealing with the topic or problem. C Cobb. RT (Feb. 05), 472-474.

Curriculum...... Inservice...... Question to teacher prep students or to classroom teachers: “Do you agree with this statement?” Interesting way to begin a class. Put the statement on the board and have students respond, first orally and then in writing.

Curriculum..... Teaching..... What do the terms “formal” and “informal” mean? “While the terms ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ seem ubiquitous in the educational literature, we wonder if their definitions may be more elusive than is generally acknowledged.” C Williams and K Hufnagel. RTE (Feb. 05), 261. [Reactions: I think of ‘formal instruction’ as direct instruction. I think of ‘informal’ methods as inquiry, focusing on answering questions to which the students do not know the answer. Another either/or type of issue. Both methods work.]

Curriculum..... Teaching..... What do we know about students’ education before they have reached our level? As teachers, we need to understand what has occurred before our students reach us and what will occur after they leave us. Ray. 2005. [Reactions One of my many failures as language arts supervisor, K-12. I needed to do more to inform each level—elementary, middle school/junior high, high school, college—of what was occurring at other levels. A daunting task, but it could well have been my ticket to observations at each level. Couple that purpose with the purpose of evaluating the implementation of the language arts curriculum and I would have had plenty of reasons for observing classroom teaching. I could have sent questionnaires to the various colleges to which our students would tend to go. And I would need to make very clear that my purpose is not to evaluate teachers’ teaching. ]

Curriculum..... Teaching..... How can teachers of all subjects motivate students to read? Teachers, even of Phys ed, need to think of texts—books, Internet sites, magazines—that are related to their subjects and give students a chance to explore them. PB Marlett & CJ Gordon. JAAL (Nov. 04), 226-237.

Curriculum..... Teaching..... What are some questions that help teachers plan their lessons? Three questions suggested by Postman & Weingartner as teachers plan their lessons: What am I going to have my students do today? What’s it good for? How do I know? SL Vanderstaay. EJ (Nov. 04), 53.

Curriculum...... Teaching...... How use the computer in the classroom? Before teaching any unit, be sure to explore Web sites dealing with that unit. Will build background knowledge, could raise questions, could be useful as follow-up activities. Suggested by LD Labbo, who gives Web sites to attract children involved with poetry. RT (Nov. 04), 308-311.

Curriculum..... Teaching..... What are some different philosophies of teaching? “What Margaret Mead has done, without explicitly intending it, is to describe the possibilities of a new kind of classroom, a classroom in which all—including the teacher—are learning and exchanging and developing, discovering together….” JE Miller, Jr. EE (Apr. 71), 176. “Induction is probably the most permanent way to learn something.” WA Jenkins. EE (Apr. 71), 183.

RT = Reading Teacher. RRQ = Reading Research Quarterly. RTE = Research in the Teaching of English. JAAL = Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. EJ = English Journal. EE = Elementary English.

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