Monday, April 30, 2007

English Updates. April 30, 2007. Eng. Ed. April 2007. Archives.

English Education. April 2007.
Curriculum..... PhD..... Bob Petrone is doing his PhD dissertation on the literacy practices of adolescent boys who participate in skateboarding culture. EngEd (Apr. 07), 196. [Make what you want of that information.]

Literature..... Response..... Students prepare stories of scenes in novels or short stories. What's the difference between a story and a summary? Suggested by MM Juzhik and MB Sherry. EngEd (Apr. 07), 236-258.

Literature..... Culture..... What problems do immigrants face on coming to America? One reason for reading multicultural literature. What are assumptions about immigrants by American students? MK Thompson. EngEd (Apr. 07), 260.

Speaking..... Writing..... What is the relationship between speaking and writing? “…I find that the more opportunities students have to practice formal oral language, the better their academic writing becomes.” M Cruz. EJ (Jul. 05), 15.

Writing..... Reading..... What is the role of the writer in encouraging readers to read? “To make sure the readers persist, we have to pique them with questions worth answering.” S Dimeo. Wrt (Apr. 05), 33.

Writing..... Advice..... What are some purposes for writing? “Write the book you want to read.” Marilynne Robinson. Wrt (Apr. 05), 25.

Writing..... Argument..... What are the assumptions in an argument? In examining cartoons as well as arguments, what assumptions must the audience share with the cartoonist and the polemicist? BL Brunk-Chavez. TETYC (Dec. 04), 179-185.

Writing..... Assignment..... What are some interesting writing assignments? Students recall and try to re-create in writing a scene from nature, when they said, “That’s beautiful.” R Laughlin. CN+ (Jan. 05), 3.

Writing..... Assignments..... What are some criticisms of writing assignments in classrooms? “But the main insight I have about my own literacy history is that none of the important or meaningful writing I have produced happened as a result of a writing assignment given in a classroom.”—Lillian Bridwell Bowles, 1995. KB Yancey, CCC (Dec. 04), 298. Have students write for real audiences and send that writing to the real person. H Mancina. EJ (Jul. 05), 31-35.

Writing..... Basic..... What is one goal in working with basic writers? “Overcoming any students’, but particularly basic writing students’, fears and doubts regarding themselves as writers is a huge victory. A. Reichert. TETYC (Dec. 04), 171.

Writing..... Beginning..... What is the most effective way to begin stories? “The most common mistake we writers make, especially in first drafts, is to back into the tale and wait too many pages to start the real story.” S Dimeo. Wrt (Apr. 05), 31. “Start with a bang, not a whimper. That play on TS Eliot’s famous line from ‘The Hollow Men’ offers fiction writers good advice for two major reasons. A bang-up opening to the narrative not only hooks the reader but also helps focus the writer’s tone and intent on what follows. Noted writers have long affirmed just how crucial the opening is…. But the best way to master a good opening is to see how classic authors…have done it best.” S Dimeo. Wrt (Apr. 05), 31.

Writing..... Children’s literature..... How long does it take writers to write books? Roald Dahl: “I have written only two long children’s books myself, and for all I know they may be completely worthless…. Each of them took somewhere between eight and nine months to complete, with no time off for other work, and eight or nine months is a big slice out of the life of any writer….” Wrt (Apr. 05), 8.

Writing..... Courses..... What don’t standardized writing tests tell us about student writers? “Standardized tests like the SAT II and our own writing placement test, while they do provide some data about student writers, do not capture some of the qualities—like motivation, task persistence, and the metacognitive abilities that allow students to take courses strategically—that count most heavily toward success in the university. (That is why high school GPA remains the most accurate single predictor of success in college.)” S McLeod, H Horn & RH Haswell. CCC (June 05), 556-580.

Writing..... Courses..... What are the advantages of short courses in writing? “Authors found that the short, 6-week writing course helped students with poor standardized test scores succeed in learning to write because of “immersion.” “We now know that our accelerated courses do not shortchange but actually support student learning: we can now look for ways to offer such ‘immersion’ experiences in other venues….” S McLeod, H Horn & RH Haswell. CCC (June 05), 556-580.

Writing..... Creative..... How teach students to construct a story? Using 12 shots, students create a photo story with accompanying text on index cards. R Wilder. CN+ (Aug. 05), 14-15.

EngEd = English Education. CN+ = Classroom Notes Plus. CCC = College Composition and Communication. Wrt = The Writer. TETYC = Teaching English in the Two-Year College. EJ = English Journal.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

English Updates. April 26, 2007. Archive.

Literature….. Response….. What was the influence of Louise Rosenblatt on teaching literature? “At a time when New Criticism was the major theory in the field, Rosenblatt presented a strong albeit minority voice calling for the legitimacy of personal response to the reading of literature.” Roen, D and Karolides, N. CE (July 05), 565.

Literature….. Response….. How teach students to recognize the theme? Students list 12 stories that have influenced them and tell why. Students list 12 stories, write theme and pick one quotation from the story that relates to that theme. JD Wilson, Jr. CN+ (Aug. 05), 408.

Literature….. Selection….. What are some reasons for selecting literature to teach? “I select literature that connects to what they are learning in other classes.” J Koszoru. EJ (Jul. 05), 27.

Literature….. Shakespeare….. How help students to “translate” Shakespeare? “I asked them then to move their chairs into their groups and to spend the next hour of class writing out formal, polished translations of the soliloquy. KL Kleypas. TETYC (Dec. 04), 176.

Literature and writing….. Response….. What are some creative activities for responding to literature? Students respond to a book by using 10 different types of writing, “Multigenre.” For example: letter; essay; report; advertisement; advice column; autobiography of a character; biography of a character; book review; dictionary; how to; interview; lesson plan; memo; obituary; play; talk show transcript; TV newscast. J Gillespie. (JAAL (May 05), 678-684.

Reading….. Books….. Are Americans readers? Garrison Keillor: “Most books that are sold in America are not read, and we know this.” Wrt (Apr. 05), 8.

Reading….. Effects….. What can police officers gain from reading books? “Police officers in Nezahualcoyotl, a working class suburb of Mexico City, have been ordered by the mayor to read one book a month or lose their chance of promotion. Mayor Luis Sanchez tells the London Guardian that “reading will improve their vocabulary and their writing skills, help them express themselves, order their ideas and communicate with the public. Reading will make them better police officers and better people.’ ” Wrt (Jul 05), 8.

Reading….. Comprehension….. How can comprehension questions destroy the joy of reading? “Kim’s students reported being in tears over their inability to correctly answer the detailed questions on the books, even when they had read and enjoyed the selection.” WC Kasten & LG Wilfong. JAAL (May 05), 656.

Reading….. Internet….. Do the strategies of reading print text transfer to reading on the Internet? “Do students need to be taught to apply [to the Internet] the same strategies as in print environment? Does the online environment require a set of new strategies for comprehension? A Kymes. JAAL (Mar. 05), 492-500.

Reading….. Modeling….. What is one method for improving reading instruction? Demonstrates what a successful reader does. Wenk, M. EJ (Jul. 05), 42-48.

Reading….. Prior Knowledge/Internet….. What is the role of prior knowledge in successful reading? “In the online environment, it is equally important that the reader or searcher consciously activate her or his prior knowledge.” A Kymes. JAAL (Mar. 05), 494.

Reading….. Skim/Internet….. What are some reading skills that are needed to read Internet text successfully? “With printed text, readers may skim or scan to determine length, organizational format, and key passages that might relate to the purpose of the reading activity…. Due to the volume of text on line, it is necessary for students to become proficient at skimming and scanning for information.” A Kymes. JAAL (Mar. 05), 494.

Reading….. Think-aloud….. What are some examples of modeling reading skills and strategies? “The think-aloud is a technique by which the individual voices her or his thoughts during the performance of a task…. …the think-aloud has been used to provide information about user cognition and processing during task performance or problem solving.” A Kymes. JAAL (Mar. 05), 493. “Instruction in the think-aloud strategy must be modeled.” A

Reading….. Vocab/Internet….. What advantage does the Internet have in increasing understanding of words? “In a traditional print environment, the discovery of new word meanings might be through the use of contextual clues, morphological awareness, or the use of external reference materials. Online, the reader might use hypertext links to access a dictionary or alternate pages with detailed information, diagrams or other images that explain and elaborate definitions and related concepts.” A Kymes. JAAL (Mar. 05), 495.

JAAL = Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. EJ = English Journal. Wrt = The Writer. CE = College English. CN+ = Classroom Notes Plus. TETYC = Teaching English in the Two-Year College.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

English Updates. April 25, 2007. Archive.

Curriculum….. Terminology….. How does terminology get in the way of teaching and learning? Author “demystifies’ math by changing formal terminology in math to terms that more clearly relate to the concept: ‘For example, why use ‘percentages’ when ‘hundredths’ would do?” Which is more important, the term or the concept? [Consider doing the same in English grammar. Why not ‘—ing verb’ for ‘gerund,’ etc.] Demathtifying: Demystifying Mathematics by L Samson. Reviewed by JW Lott. MathTchr (Feb. 05), 446.

Curriculum….. Tracking….. What is the problem with “tracking” students? Tracked students achieve/behave according to the level of their track. We need to see them as individuals. We need to know and encourage their aspirations. R VanDeWaghe. EJ 94:6 (Jul. 05), 85-86.

Curriculum….. Tracking….. How should teachers deal with “untracked” classes? Challenges the belief that untracked classes should engage in multi-ability small-group work. Teacher used whole-group instruction with much teacher attention to individual’s needs. Freedman, et al. RTE (Aug. 05), 62-126.

Curriculum….. Tracking….. How should teachers look at the supposed homogeneity of their classes? “We have concluded that if we want an educational system in which increased numbers succeed, we will have to stop striving for homogeneity in our classrooms. Rather, we will need to assume heterogeneity, regardless of whether or not classes are tracked. If we work from an assumption of heterogeneity, we would never think we could teach the whole class, and we would not believe tracking would make teacher’s jobs easier.” Freedman, et al. RTE (Aug. 05), 121.

Curriculum….. Visual….. What should be the role of the visual in English classes? “For more than a decade now, English studies has been increasingly engaged by questions surrounding visual communication—its functions, its limits, its place in our classrooms, in our scholarship, and in our daily lives.” George, D. and Shools, D. CE (July 05), 587.

Language….. Grammar….. What are the differences between “natural” grammar and “taste-based” grammar? “It is important to introduce students to the distinctions between natural grammar and taste-based grammar early in efforts to teach against linguicism” [prejudice against people because of the way they speak]. LA Zuidema. JAAL (May 05), 689.

Literature….. Censorship….. Why should Huck Finn NOT be required reading? “We think that Huck Finn is an important work of art that should be available in every library in the world, but we don’t think that it should be required reading in any predominantly white high school where African American students are in a small minority.” M Franck and N Niilampti. EJ (Jul. 05), 20.

Literature….. Children’s….. Why are Hans Christian Andersen’s tales different from other tellers of fairy tales? “This year marks the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen—who launched a new form of story telling by actually creating new tales for children, rather than simply recording or retelling existing oral traditions.” Wrt (Mar. 05), 10.

Literature….. Culture….. What are the effects of reading multi-cultural literature? “When I began to read about other cultures, I felt doors opening on a world that was far greater than I had realized.” L Yep. EJ (Jan. 05), 54.

Literature….. Culture….. Why use multi-cultural literature? We want students to see themselves in what they read; we want them to understand other, unfamiliar cultures; we want them to learn what we share as human; we want them to learn to feel empathy, not dislike, for people who are different from us…. We want them to learn “to appreciate not fear differences.” CZ Zitlow. EJ (Jan. 05), 93.

Literature….. Culture….. What hidden messages do classic fairy tales convey? Classic fairy tales convey the message that physical beauty is to be prized. “Not only is beauty associated with goodness in these tales, but evil is associated with ugliness.” Dr. Lori Baker-Sperry. Wrt (Apr. 05), 12.

Literature….. Culture….. What are some problems with using multi-cultural literature? Carol D. Lee (1993): “One cannot adequately read the literature of a people without knowing something of the culture and the historical circumstances of that people.” JAAL (May 05), 720. [Makes point that just adding multicultural books to the class list is not enough. Teacher has to prepare by building up background information on the culture.]

Literature….. Interpretation….. What do we mean by teaching students to ”interpret”? “One of my favorite teaching phrases is, ‘Great literature lends itself to more than one interpretation,’ a line I usually add to, ‘If the text supports it, it’s valid.’ ”B Bennett. EJ (Jul. 05), 63

Literature..... Kennings ..... What are some creative activities in response to Beowulf? Students create kennings after reading Beowulf—alternate names for people. Example for Grendel: “misbegotten son of a foul mother” and “guardian of crime.” Also ‘swan road” for sea lane and “God’s beacon of brightness” for the sun. R Stevens. CN+ (Jan. 05), 14-15.

CN+ = Classroom Notes Plus. EJ = English Journal. JAAL = Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Wrt = The Writer. CE = College English. RTE = Research in the Teaching of English.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

English Updates. April 18, 2007. Archives.

Curriculum….. Research….. How begin the process of action research? Begin action research with a question. Read background information. Then plan the study. Review of Taking Action with Teacher Research. E Meyers & F Rust (Eds.), 2003. Book consists of reports of action research. JAAL (May 05), 717-718.

Curriculum….. Schools….. What do most Americans want in their schools? “Americans seem to want schools to be more or less like the schools they attended." Yagelski. EngEd (July 05), 267.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. What is the definition of “praxis”? Praxis: intersections between theory and practice. H. Roskelly. EngEd (July 05), 288.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. How should teachers reflect on their teaching? Encourage teachers to journal about, take notes on and ask themselves questions about their own learning experiences.” G Brent. EngEd (July 05), 300.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. How do students learn best? “Students learn best when they find their own experience useful to their learning.” H Roskelly. EngEd (July 05), p. 289. “Students learn best when they feel confident and when they find a reason to learn.” H Roskelly. EngEd (July 05), p. 289. Students learn best when they discover the relationship between personal experience and public knowledge.” H Roskelly. EngEd (July 05), p. 289.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. What should teachers’ attitude be toward their students? “We are not gatekeepers; we are gate openers” Yagelski. EngEd (July 05), 268.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. How help students summarize the class at the end of each period? Creates “exit slips.” With 10 minutes before the end of class asks students to respond to a prompt related to the objective for the class period. Students turn their “exit slips” in to the teacher as they exit the classroom. B Wagner. CN+ (Aug. 05), 1-3.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. How should teachers work with the published programs they are required to use in their classrooms? Modify them according to their strengths and shortcomings to meet the needs of your particular group of students. Dudley-Marling, C. RTE (Aug. 05), 129.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. How are teachers responding to the emphasis on high-stakes testing? What we received were articles about the strategies teachers are using to resist the priorities of high-stakes testing and the loss of their professional autonomy.” Editors. LA (Jan. 05), 167

Curriculum….. Teaching….. What are the roles that teachers must play with their students? “Instead of being a coach, a trusted elder, who would guide my young students into the world of reading, I became their examiner and their judge.” K Bomer. LA (Jan. 05), 171. [The fact is, teachers need to be both “coach” and judge. Can’t get around it. Ray.]

Cur Teaching In what way should students never be identified? “A child should never be known by a number or a test score….” K Bomer. LA (Jan. 05), 168-176.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. How would you characterize a world without art, music and literature? When the teacher raised the issue of dropping art and music from the curriculum because of budgetary reasons, one student said that would be OK, he could enjoy them on his own, he didn’t need classes in art and music. Students debated with him. The question came up, “What would the world be like without art, music and literature?” The teacher proceeded to take down all of the posters in the room, dropping them on the floor, leaving the classroom bare. The students recognized his point: “…you are showing us what the world would be like without music, art and writing. It would be a hospital.” The author is dramatizing the art of the teachable moment.” KF Carter. EJ (Jan. 05), 15-16.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. What is teaching all about? “It’s about loving to teach and loving to learn.” L J Rodriguez. EJ (Jan. 05), 45.

Curriculum….. Teaching….. What are the effects of the inquiry approach to teaching? Article on “realistic math” as taught in Holland. Based on selected problems that deal with real situations. But “teaching” means turning the students loose to figure out how to solve the problems themselves. RW Case. MathTchr (Feb. 05), 374-382.

MathTchr = Mathematics Teacher. EJ = English Journal. LA = Language Arts. RTE = Research in the Teaching of English. CN+ = Classroom Notes Plus. EngEd = English Education. JAAL = Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

English Updates. April 16, 2007. WSJ, RRQ, CN+ and RT 07

Curriculum….. Business….. Fighting burnout in business. Companies hold meeting-free days. Do something everyday that is pleasurable and unrelated to business. Yoga. Volunteer work like coaching wrestling. Wall Street Journal. (Apr. 16, 07), Internet.

Literature….. Poetry….. Students select lines of poetry because they are memorable, use them as models for poetry writing. I Wendt. Classroom Notes Plus (Apr. 07), 1-12.

Writing….. Poetry….. Write “I remember….” poems. JS O’Connnor. Classroom Notes Plus (Apr. 07), 12-14.

Reading….. Practices….. Suggests that adult teachers of low-level adult readers study and use the actual practices of these readers rather than ignoring them or even changing them. Emphasis on their actual practices can lead to improved reading. D. Mallard, et al. Reading Research Quarterly (Apr/May/Jun 07), 188-213.

Reading….. Internet….. Does reading on the Internet and digitally as opposed to reading printed text on paper require different strategies? This study suggests it does. Used skilled sixth-grade readers. Requires a greater need for inference, for example. Suggests a need to adjust reading to different formats on the Internet. [Ray: However, readers need to adjust to different formats in printed text as well.] J Coiro and E Dobler. Reading Research Quarterly (Apr/May/Jun 07) 214-257.

Reading….. Kenya….. Early experiences in reading in Kenya led to negative attitudes toward reading because it was forced and did not deal with Kenyan heritage and choice in reading materials. Need to emphasize more than one method for teaching reading—emphasis on the direct-instruction method, for example. K Commeyras and HN Inyga. Reading Research Quarterly. (Apr/May/Jun 07), 258-281.

Reading….. Phonics….. Student when asked to decode the first letter of the word “made,” did so, but then gave the first letter as “d.” He didn’t understand the word “first” in “first letter.” Don’t assume students of ESL (English as a second language) understand what are basic assumptions to you, the teacher. M Aukerman. Reading Teacher (Apr. 07), 626-634.

Reading….. Defined….. Is “reading” defined the way most legislators define it? “…making of meaning from print with an emphasis on phonemic awareness, vocabulary, phonics, fluency and comprehension”? TL Williams. Reading Teacher (Apr. 07), 636-652.

Reading….. Comprehension….. Meaning is developed by activities, explanations and reflections. In other words, meaning does not stop with decoding print. CH Ikpeze and FB Boyd. Reading Teacher (Apr. 07), 644-654.

Reading….. Issue….. Emphasis on phonics today leads to students’ becoming word callers rather than comprehenders. Antidotes to word calling are thoughtful questions, not the ready—made, easily identifiable rote questions and another is to allow children to talk about what they have read. DD Massey. Reading Teacher (Apr. 07), 657-666.

Writing/Reading….. Summaries….. Teach students to write summaries by creating magazine covers with graphics and including summaries. L Assap and R Garza. Reading Teacher (Apr. 07), 678-680.

Reading….. Comprehension….. “Can you picture it?” Key to visualization. K Onofrey and JL Theurea. Reading Teacher. (Apr. 07), 681-684.

Reading….. Tutoring….. Planning sessions: Need assessment (Why are paraprofessionals needed?); strategy, rationale, brief research and application. Paraprofessionals should discuss what happened after using the strategies with children. Examples of strategies: echo reading, choral reading, preview, repeated readings, phrased readings, sorts of various kinds; summarizing, asking questions, inferring, guided discussion. C Cobb. Reading Teacher (Apr. 07), 186-188. [Examples of these strategies can be found on the Internet.]

Curriculum….. Coaching….. One model of coaching teachers is problem-solving based on the students’ problems. J Hasbrouck and CA Denton. Reading Teacher. (Apr. 07), 690-693.

Curriculum….. Parents….. Prepare parents to use specific activities with their children. Introduce, model and briefly practice. Then use at home. Discuss what happened. JR Paratore and G Jordan. Reading Teacher (Apr. 0078), 694-696.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

English Updates. April11, 2007. Archives.

Curriculum..... Community..... What is meant by a “community” in the classroom? “I understood community as interdependent, with each member doing whatever she could to help other members achieve success.” T Perry. EJ (Jan. 05), 89. [It seems that the believers in making a class a community are not recognizing the strong drive for competition that is a part of American capitalist culture.]

Critical Thinking..... Defined..... How define critical thinking? “As Catherine Fox argues, ‘adopting the pragmatic insistence that meaning resides in consequences’…we might begin by positing critical thinking as what examines the consequences of our choices….” 271. AE Winans. CE (Jan. 05), 253-273.

Curriculum..... Change..... What topics in a subject are most important to teach? “Mathematics considered important to one generation—logarithms of trigonometric functions…—may be nearly obsolete for another generation. This raises the question for both students and teachers: what mathematics is important to teach and to learn?” J Mahoney. MathTchr (Feb. 05), 390-393.

Curriculum..... Criticism..... What skills are needed by job applicants? WSJ “Asides” editorial points to article in a previous edition in which a company in Ohio had to reject more than 20,000 job applicants because they can’t do high-school algebra. WSJ (Sept. 11, 1995), A20.

Curriculum..... Criticism..... How respond to criticism that Americans are not doing well educationally compared to other countries? Americans are not doing well educationally compared to other countries. Critics of this evidence question the validity of using objective tests to measure performance. Inq. (Jan. 7, 1996), G1/G5.

Curriculum..... Criticism..... What are some criticisms of American education? Frank J. O’Rourke, a writer from New Jersey, says that sex education courses have not produced more responsible sexual behavior among teenagers. He says one reason is that educators adopt programs before testing whether they will work. He concludes that dropping sex-ed would ‘free teachers to spend their time teaching grammar and math and we might get students graduating from high school who can write a sentence and figure an interest rate. Now they seem to know more about condoms than they do conjunctions.” Inq. (Sept. 17, 95), E5. [Rhetoric over truth.]

Curriculum..... Drugs..... What’s wrong with programs designed to discourage teens from taking drugs? Teens say that drugs and alcohol are everywhere, and drug education efforts, for the most part, are a joke. A ninth-grader said, “People do their homework while the health teachers are telling you about the dangers of drugs and the assemblies are going on.” Inq. (Sept. 13, 1995), A1/A9.

Curriculum..... IQ..... What are some different kinds of intelligence? Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple types of intelligence: “ The basic claim is that intelligence is not a single measurable entity but that we all possess eight different kinds of intelligence and use them in different proportions.” A. Reichert. TETYC (Dec. 2004), 166.

Curriculum..... Mathematics..... In making up problems for students to solve in a subject, what do teachers need to consider? Math teachers have many resources for problems to use with their students, including making up their own problems. When doing the latter, teachers need to consider whether the problems will interest the students, whether it is different from typical textbook problems, and whether solution of the problem is amenable to different strategies. M Munakata. MathTchr (Feb. 05), 386-387.

Curriculum..... Mathematics..... What are some methods for solving math problems? Methods for solving math problems: drawing diagrams; working backward; simplifying the problem. G Polya, How to Solve It, Princeton, NJ: Princeton U. Press, 1973. In M Munakata. MathTchr (Feb. 05), 387.

Curriculum..... Mathematics..... How make use of short periods of available time in class? Books provide problems for when a minute or two are available. Why not use the same idea with SAT-type grammar, using style, punctuation, usage problems? Series of math problem books is called Daily Warm-Ups, by a variety of people. MathTchr (Feb 05), 447.

Curriculum..... Religion..... Why should religion not be dealt with in education? “I was raised to believe that the secular nature of education was more than just the separation of church and state. School was a place where rationality, science and tangible proof reigned. Faith, the belief in things unseen and unprovable, had no place in education.” BT Williams. JAAL (Mar. 05), 514.

Curriculum..... Research..... Why is limiting teachers to the results of published research harmful to the profession? Responds to the federal government’s requirement that all teaching be limited to scientifically-based researched evidence for practices they use. Says that this requirement shuts teachers off. Fails to enlist their voices, their own research into the practices they use. “Teacher research, in which teachers and others work together to investigate their own assumptions, their own teaching and curriculum development and the policies and practices of their own schools and communities has a vital role to play in improving practice. Teachers matter, not only in terms of student achievement in their individual classrooms, but also as potential contributors to the knowledge base on effective teaching. narrow conceptions of research that silence the voice of teachers diminish the entire teaching-learning enterprise.” Dudley-Marling, C. RTE (Aug. 05), 130.

RTE = Research in the Teaching of English. JAAL = Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. MathTchr = Math Teacher. TETYC = Teaching English in the Two-Year College. Inq. = The Philadelphia Inquirer. WSJ = Wall Street Journal. EJ = English Journal. CE = College English.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

English Updates April 8, 2007 Archive

Writing..... Technique..... How help students learn to write fiction? Each person in a group writes the first paragraph of a story. Then pass to the right. Write second paragraph. Then pass to the right and write the third paragraph. Etc. F Jones. Wrt (May 05), 12.

Writing..... Testing..... What are possible effects of state and SAT writing tests? I do agree that state and SAT writing tests on someone else’s topics deaden writing, take away student interest in writing and do lead to leaden writing that may be correct, but lacking in enthusiasm and joy in self-expression. Ray 11/04.

Writing..... Usage..... What should be done about complex usage problems? “If a word is rarely used in spoken English and if the rules that govern its use are so convoluted that they make the average language user beg for mercy, that word should be expelled, excommunicated from the language. Whom is such a word…. There is ample precedent for banishing words from the language. Thee and thou left us years ago, leaving us with only you, an excellent replacement.” D Soles. EJ (May 05), 34.

Writing..... Word choice..... What are some problems with students’ writing? ‘In student work at each level—freshman through graduate—whether the focus is composition, literature or linguistics/stylistics, I find the same thing: in reading a lack of understanding of the meaning of words in context, a lack of sensitivity to the powers and limitations of words, a lack of interest in and healthy curiosity about words, and in writing, the fruits thereof, namely, incorrect, vague, imprecise, inappropriate, uninteresting, and ultimately ineffective diction.” D Rygiol. CCC (Oct. 78), 287.

Writing..... Word Processing..... What effect does word processing have on students’ writing? Students using word processing made more revisions than students using pencil/pen. A Cook, A Goldberg & M Russell. RTE (Nov. 04), 202. (abs.)

Writing/Speaking..... Argument..... How succeed in argumentative writing and speaking? “…the good rhetor answers the opponent’s questions even before they’re asked.” WC Booth. CE (Mar. 05), 379.

CE = College English. CCC = College Composition and Communication. RTE = Research in the Teaching of English. EJ = English Journal. Wrt = The Writer.

Friday, April 6, 2007

English Updates April 6, 2007 CN+ (Jan.07) and Archive

Classroom Notes Plus. January 2007.
Writing..... Research..... How organize a research paper, using the computer? AdaptPower Point to present research paper. N Reed and X Chen. CN+ (Jan. 07), 9-15.

Literature..... Censorship..... Who should choose what children should see on TV? V-chip means government selection. Hamlet's sword play might be the victim of a V-chip. Leave selection to parents. DLN (Jul. 14, 95), A12.

Literature..... Censorship..... What's wrong with adult entertainment? Adult entertainment prohibited because it brings with it crime, drugs and prostitution. DLN (Mar. 23, 95), D5.

Literature..... Censorship..... How deal with hateful ideas? Hateful ideas must be allowed. Only way to respond to these hateful ideas is to counter them. Judith Rodin. U. of P. Inq. (Mar. 6, 95), A9.

Literature..... Censorship..... Are children influenced by viewing TV? Children are influenced by program content, just as children are influenced by advertising. Cal Thomas. DLN (Mar. 3, 95), A11.

Literature..... Censorship..... Is there an ulterior issue in censorship? The issue was censorship. The real issue was a feud between the student and the teachers. Inq. (Mar. 3, 95), B1/B6.

Literature..... Censorship..... What is one cause of censorship among college newspapers or magazines? Any negative remarks about groups will lead to suspension of college magazines. In this case, Haitians. Inq. (Mar. 2, 95), B1/B4.

Literature..... Censorship..... Who can define community morals? Minister wants to define community morals. Inq. (Mar. 2, 95), cc4.

Literature..... Censorship..... What is the justification for teaching Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye? 9th and 12th graders mature enough for its explicit sexuality and excessively vulgar language? English department: Raise student awareness of African-American issues and encourage intellectual discussion of issues of race, rape, incest and violence. Inq. (Apr. 27, 95), B5.

Literature..... Censorship..... How can dangerous information be put responsibly on the Internet? Freedom to put dangerous information--bomb-making equipment--on the Internet. With freedom must come responsibility. Inq. (Apr. 25, 95), B2.

Speaking..... Civilized..... Bank has banned 90 "uncivilized" sentences, including: "I don't know"; "Can't you see I'm busy?" "Wait over there"; "If you don't like it talk to the manager." Inq. (Apr. 25, 95), B7.

Literature..... Censorship..... Does talk-radio inflame action? Or does talk-radio make action less likely? Inq. (Apr. 25, 95), A7.

Literature..... Censorship..... How can hate speech be used responsibly? Hate speech can have consequences. Must take responsibility. Inq. (Apr. 25, 95), A19.

Literature..... Censorship..... How is rhetoric different from incitement? Fine line between rhetoric and incitement. Inq. (Apr. 25, 95), A8.

DLN = West Chester, PA, Daily Local News. Inq.= Philadelphia Inquirer. CN+ = Classroom Notes Plus.

Monday, April 2, 2007

English Updates April 2, 2007 Archive

Writing….. Process….. How resolve a problem with your writing? Writer goes to the movies when having a problem writing a short story or novel to watch how the screenwriter or director builds story and character. EM Abbe. Wrt (Dec. 04), 6.

Writing….. Process….. Does the quality of successive students’ first drafts improve as a result of teacher feedback? [In my experience, the quality of students’ ten-minute writings did improve as a result of my correcting their expression in successive ten-minute writings, which are really first drafts, if not completed essays. Ray.] GB Patthey-Chavez, et al. RTE (Nov. 04), 206-207. (abs.)

Writing….. Process….. How learn from other people’s writing? Mary Higgins Clark summarized the first and last paragraphs of each chapter of duMaurier’s Rebecca to see how she created terror or suspense. EM Abbe. Wrt (Dec. 04), 6.

Writing….. Publishing….. What is the hardest job in having your book published? “When I held the completed manuscript in my hands, little did I know that the hardest jobs—getting the book published and getting it noticed—were still ahead of me.” L Borders [Author of Cloud Cuckoo Land]. Wrt (May 05), 14.

Writing….. Publishing….. How publicize the written work of our students? We need somehow to post our students’ written ideas in markets and everywhere else the public gathers. What our students write should not remain enclosed in the classroom. N Welch. CCC (Feb. 05), 470-492. [Reactions: Interesting idea, but much would depend on how these written words are displayed. People who are in public places are there for a reason and will not be tempted to deviate from their purposes by spending time reading students’ writing.]

Writing….. Publishing….. How prepare book proposals? In submitting book proposals, you need to summarize your competition, other books written on your topic, and state why your book is different. Begin with M Allen. Wrt (Nov. 04), 15-16.

Writing….. Research….. How organize a research project? Students reflect on their personal experience with the subject; see a multi-modal presentation on the subject; consult children’s books on the subject; YA books on the subject; adult books on the subject; knowledgeable people on the subject; Internet info on the subject; prepare a Q &A on the subject; Produce unanswered questions about the subject. Ray (2004), suggested by Sr. P Randle. EE (Jan. 70), 156.

Writing….. Spelling….. What is “spelling consciousness”? Proposes the concept of “spelling consciousness,” whether students recognize that they have misspelled words. WJ Valmont. “Spelling Consciousness: A Long Neglected Area.” 1219-1221. [File]

Writing….. Spelling….. Do teachers understand how to teach spelling? Even though they use standard spelling basals, most teachers do not understand how to teach spelling. MT Fresch. RTE (Nov. 04), 189. (abs.)

Writing….. Spelling….. How predict spellings that end in “-er” and “-or”? Concrete nouns (water, slipper) tend to end in “-er,” while abstract nouns tend to end in “-or” (humor, flavor), but exceptions are “sugar” and “cellar.” JW Bloodgood & LC Pacifici. RT (Nov. 04), 261.

Writing….. Spelling….. What do we know about having difficulties with spelling? 85% of our words are spelled regularly. The difficulty has risen because the 15% that are spelled irregularly are used 85% of the time. GL Jackson & AM Guber. “The Way Out of the Spelling Labyrinth,” 94.

Writing….. Teaching….. How teach students to deal with controversial issues in writing? Motivate students to write by raising emotional, controversial issues, but show students how to control their emotions when discussing them and writing about them. J Lindquist. CE (Nov. 04), 187-209.

Writing….. Technical….. How help students write for a purpose? Set up writing situations for businesses that students complete. Example: Write “a document on tsunamis in light of current science and recent events so that a museum in Hawaii can hand it out to tourists.” B Devet. TRTYC (May 05), 411.

Writing….. Technical….. How prepare students for technical writing? Students research and choose companies for whom they are going to write technical information: name of company; products and services; divisions; size and location; Web site; why you chose this company. B Devet. TETYC (May 05), 411.

Writing….. Technical….. How help students write to accomplish some purpose? Sample assignments: instructions for elementary school teachers on how to bring their classes to the South Carolina Aquarium for a field trip; instructions for a director at Miramax on how to cast extras for a large scene; instructions for a new employee in a Starbucks located in a Barnes and Noble book store on how to troubleshoot a malfunctioning Utopia coffee brewer; a description for JIB (kayak manufacturer) safety inspector on innovations found in the company’s kayaks; a description for Love-Them-Mousies sales representatives of a young child’s oversized computer mouse; a definition of animation for newly hired tour guides at Disney World; a definition of aspirin which Pfizer representatives can present when they are invited to speak to a class of seven-year-olds.” B Devet. TETYC (May 05), 411-412.

TETYC = Teaching English in the Two-Year College. CE = College English. RTE = Research in the Teaching of English. EE = Elementary English. CCC = College Composition and Communication. Wrt = The Writer.