Friday, October 9, 2009

Topic: Homework

10-second review: What’s wrong with the instructional sequences in the following teaching scenarios?

Title: “Learners Need Purposeful and Systematic Instruction.” D Ross and N Frey. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (September 2009), 75-78. The secondary journal of the International Reading Association (IRA).

Instructional Sequences:

“A mathematics teacher solves a series of problems on the board and then assigns the odd-numbered problems at the end of the chapter for homework.”

“An English teacher reviews the previous chapter in the novel, lectures on the theme, and then suggests everyone to silent reading for the remainder of the period.”

“A science teacher assigns Chapter 14 in the textbook and tells every one to answer the questions at the end of the chapter (full sentences, please).”

The authors say that what’s wrong with these sequences is lack of preparing students for the homework. The teacher needs to talk through how to solve one of the math problems, how to preview the material for silent reading of the novel and how to survey (title, sub-title, illustrations, first paragraph, first sentences of the middle paragraphs, last paragraph, and raise questions to read to answer), read and then answer the questions in the back of the chapter.

Comment: This preparation suggested for homework is called modeling. The teacher models for the students what the students are expected to do when completing the homework. Parents will love teachers who model the homework because they won’t have to figure out how to do it for their children. RayS.

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