Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blog Week 7.Entry # 10. Create a rationale for giving homework

Entry # 10

Blog Week 7.
Entry # 10 Create a rational/purpose for giving homework and independent workObjectives for homework: to reinforce comprehension and application of the material learned in class.
Homework is part and parcel of instructional practices. It is not a busy work, it is a
constructive process that enables students to practice language skills acquired in class. A teacher
gives students homework to ensure comprehension and correct application. If there is no
homework following class work , students will not be able to move on to the next topic as
quickly as they should. In ELA classroom homework should be given with differentiated
approach in mind. The same graphic organizers can be used as homework assignments for Early
Production, Speech Emergency, and Intermediate/Advanced levels. When students come back
next day their assignments can be checked and discussed; starting with the lower level of English
speakers and moving up. If students have computers at home, they may practice spelling,
vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension prior to doing their homework. Computers
offer instant corrections, spelling prompts, and answers. Students who use educational web sites
are more likely to to do well on spelling quizzes and memorize new vocabulary faster. It is ideal
to recommend a web site that is a tutorial for American pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

References:Jane D.Hill & Kathleen M.Flynn(2006). Classroom Instruction that works with English Language Learners. Association for Sepervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandra, Virginia USA
Lesley Mandel Morrow (2006). Literacy Development in the Early Years. Allyn and Bacon is an imprint of PEARSON.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blog Week 5.Entry # 8.Watch videoclip of a sheltered literacy lesson

Blog week 5 Learning  Topic 5: Foundations of Reading Comprehension
Entry #8.Watch video clip of a sheltered literacy lesson.
To promote comprehension of the story ”Esperanzo Rising” the teacher begins preparation work  two weeks prior to the actual reading of the story. Students talk about inferences and background knowledge. Background knowledge is essential for comprehension.
                         The teacher gives explicit instructions before reading. She is using sheltering instruction to  introduce new vocabulary: lots of visuals to explain the meaning of new words. Intermediate ELA students come up with definition and advanced learners use the key words in context.
Sheltering instruction is present through the whole lesson. The teacher uses different strategies to insure comprehension: students summarize the main idea, they work with graphic organizers, students fill out a comparison chart of activities they do with their families and activities the family in the story does. Students are asked to work in groups and, if necessary, clarify the ideas in their native language. The teacher makes cultural connections. She talks about superstitions and asks the students if they can understand what a superstition is and make connections with their cultural background. The teacher allows the students to interact with the text and explore ideas, she gives they time to think.
Throughout the story the teacher makes sure that her students understand the text, make inferences, make connections with the text, use their background knowledge. In post-reading assignments the teacher uses sheltered review. She reviews vocabulary, asks the students to connect to their background knowledge, uses visual prompts. Students are actively engaged, they use post-it notes. As the students are reading they are asking questions. They use post-in notes to write clues, to ask questions if they are confused. This sheltered and in depth approach to teaching assures comprehension of the story both by native speakers and ELA students.
References: L.M.Morrow, Literacy Development in the Early Years
                      P.Gibbons, Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning

Blog week 4/entry # 7. Running record

Student # 1.  Anna/Russia.
Anna read slowly, word by word. She has a fairly good phonemic awareness and tries to sound our the words. Anna stumbles over sight words. This area needs to be worked on. Anna does not know a+l combination and substitutes other sounds for it. Anna needs to work on R-controlled vowels. She understands the content and tried to guess the next word instead of reading it; she used "class" instead of the printed word "school"in her reading. Anna needs to focus on letters in the word and sound them out. This way, she'll read actual words in the text. Being a Russian speaker, Anna encounters difficulties in pronouncing V and W sounds, which do not exist in her native language. This is a typical mistake and can be corrected with practice.

Student # 2. Ali /Iran
Ali read the text at a normal speed. He does not know A+L combination( all, tall. talk,etc). Ali struggles with sight words. He knows silent E rule and tried to sound out HAVE as HEIV, according to the rule of reading. It is recommended to refer a student to the sight word poster in the classroom. The student should practice reading these words several times before he reads a text. In the word SAY Ali did not sound the word, he looked at the first letter and tried to guess the word. The sentence says, " I have a lot to say". Ali reads it as," I have a lot to see." It is semantically correct, but it is not what the book says. Ali's focus should be on reinforcing the meaning and following visual cues. He should look at the letters and sound them out. It is not clear if his mistakes were typical to the mistakes that Iranians make when they learn to speak English.

References: Running Record Sheets,
                   L.M. Morrow,Literacy Development in the Early Years

Blog week 3. Entry # 6 Determine Learning vs. Acquisition

LT/# 3 The Reading and  Writing Connection
Entry # 6

The students

1.L            Look up words in the dictionary 
2 A             -make a Venn diagram to compare two stories
3.L            practice sounding out words
4.L            read in round-robin fashion
5.L            -correct peers when they make a mistake during reading
6.L,A            identify words on a big book page that start with the same sound
7.L            group cards with classmates names by a criterion on such as first of last letter
8.A            write rhyming poetry and then discuss different spellings for the same sound
9.L            ask the teacher to spell any word they don’t know
10.A            read a language experience story they have created with the teacher
11.A            -work in pairs to arrange words from a familiar chant into sentences
12.L              divide words into syllables
13.L     on a worksheet, draw a line from each word to the picture that starts with the
                        same sound
14.A             make alphabet books on different topics

Assignments1,3,4,5,7,9,12,13 are examples of Old school of learning because according to D.Freeman & Y.Freeman,”one view is that a second language is learned. Traditional methods of second and foreign language teaching follow the learning model….This is best accomplished by teaching each part of the language –the pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary-directly and systematically.” (p.33) Numbers 1, 3,4,7,9, 12 12 13 are the activities that students will be asked to do in traditional classroom.

Assignments 2,8,10,11are the examples of a more contemporary method of teaching, called acquisition. According to D.Freeman & Y.Freeman, “ The second view is that languages are acquired. Students use language in communicative situations”. (p.33)

Assignment 6 combines both approaches.

The teacher

1.             L            preteaches vocabulary
2.            A            does a shared reading with a big book
3.            L            makes sure that students read only books that fit their level
4.            L            has students segment words into phonemes
5.            A            writes words the students dictate for a story and has students help with the                                     spelling of difficult words
6.            L            asks students to look around the room and find words starting with a                                     certain letter
7.            L            uses decodable texts
8.            A            sets aside to me for SSR (sustained silent reading) every day
9.            L            teaches Latin and Greek roots
10.            A            has students meet in literature circles
11.            L            conducts phonics drills
12.            L            chooses predictable texts
13.            L            teaches students different comprehension strategies
14.            L,A            does a picture walk of a new book
15.            L            uses a variety of worksheets to teach different skills

Teaching practices 1,3,4,6,7,9,11,12,13,15 are based on the conventional approach of teaching the language to the students (see quote above).  These activities are conscientiously planned and directed by a teacher. Teaching practices 2,5,8,10 are the examples of “making language comprehensible so students can use language for different purposes.”( D. Freeman & Y Freeman. , p.33)
Teaching practice 14 is an example of both approaches.

References: D.E Freeman & Yvonne S.Freeman. Essential Linguistics.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blog Week 6;Entry # 9 Samples of Fiction and Non-Fiction Texts

Learning topic # 6 Reading for Narrative and Expository Text
Blog week 6
Entry #9 Samples of Fiction and Non-fiction texts

Samples of Fiction texts : chapters from Intermediate ELA reader “Call of the Wild” abridged after Jack London.
Samples of Non-Fiction texts: “The Write Brothers-Men with a Vision” and “Smart Shopping, Coupons, Rain Checks, and Rebates.”

Both genres support students’ learning of the language. Fiction provides everyday vocabulary and examples of a variety of writing styles; narrative , persuasive, etc.
Non-fiction has a more specific vocabulary, related to a particular topic. Genre of non-fiction is more challenging for ELA students. Texts contain a lot of scientific terms and a lot of information that requires background knowledge. Texts must be supported by pictures , if possible, to insure comprehension.
References: J.London,Call of the Wild,Ch. 1,2.
                   ELA textbook,Grammar in Context
                   P.Gibbons,Scaffolding Language,Scaffolding Learning

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blog Week 2. Entries # 4,5

Blog week 2

Entry # 4 Choose a text in a language that you are not familiar with. Read it, find a way to make meaning.

After considering what language to choose, I decided to go along with the alphabets I know: Latin or Cyrillic. I would never be able to make head or tale of the text in Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic. One can only imagine how students, whose alphabet is not Romanic, feel when they are given a text in a different alphabet. Probably, this is where the saying “ It’s all Greek to me” comes from. My text is in German. It was a Russian textbook for German speakers. The directions are given in German.  I did not understand everything, but I understood some of the instructions, thanks to cognates and background knowledge.
Strategies to use in teaching ELA students:
•    Look for cognates
•    Background knowledge on the subject
•    Visual and audio prompts

My second choice was a text in Check. It was a tour of  Moscow Kremlin. Check is a Slavic language with Romanic alphabet. I felt much better reading it. I had an advantage of having a background knowledge about Moscow Kremlin, Romanic Alphabet and congnates in Russian and Check. After comparing these two texts one can have a better understanding of challenges the students are facing: those who can find cognates in their own language feel more secure and can learn vocabulary faster. Teacher will use a differentiated approach in teaching those whose language offers little linquistic support to learning English.

Resources: Textbook, Teaching Russian to German Speaking Students
                  Text "Moscow Kremlin" in Check

Entry # 5.  Gennifer Choldenko “ Al Capone does my shirts”.
 One of the characters in the book, Natalie, has autism. Her brother has to give up much of his childhood to accommodate to is sister’s needs. The problem of autism is not acknowledged in some countries and cultures. This is something that will need to be addressed and discussed in class, prior to reading the book.

    Alcatraz was a prison for most notorious prisoners. Discussion about crimes and various ways of punishment in different countries .  If ELA students are advanced, one can talk about capital punishment and student’s outlook on it.

    School system. Should all students be accepted at the same school and educated the same way? (  At first Natalie was rejected by her new school).

    Al Capone, a notorious criminal, helps Natalie to get into a school which rejected her at first. Al Capone uses his “connections”. In some countries and cultures knowing the right people can get someone a long way. Discuss this with students and find out if this is customary in their cultures too.

References: Gennifer Choldenco, Al Capone Does my Shirts

Cynthia Mercati, “The Secret Room”.
This book is about World War 2 and the discrimination of Jews during Nazi invasion.

Components in the book, which need to be addressed to help comprehension :

•    What is a discrimination?
•    Racial discrimination.
•    Religious discrimination.
•    “Everyone in the world is different.” Acceptance and the value of it in human relationships.

References: Cynthia Mercati, " The Secret Room".


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blog Week 1/Entries#1,2,3

Blog week 1.
Entry # 1

An interview with Karen Eggebraten

Karen is a literacy and recovery specialist and works with K through 2 grade.

According to Karen, literacy should be a large block of the day with reading and writing . It's important to know the students' level. Instruction should be based on students' needs and strengths.Students should be given opportunities to read in small groups, large independent groups, with a partner.There should also be opportunities to talk and discuss stories, build language development.

Teacher should be assessing students with running records and monitor their growth and progress.
This information should be later applied to teacher's instruction.

Writing should be of multiple types: mini-lessons, dictations, interactive writing, independent writing.Writing should be child-centered. Students should be encouraged to share their work. Karen is convinced that it is the job of a teacher to provide a framework, secure environment and encourage students to write. A good teacher will help the students to see themselves as readers and writers.

Blog Week 1
Entry # 2

I grew up in Russia, the country of Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, where literature is loved and writers are respected. Thanks to Cyrill and Methody, Russian alphabet is phonetic and one can learn how to read in a week. Everybody reads; one can see people reading on a subway train, in the bus, at the bus stop.
I loved to read and Russian Language and Literature were my favorite subjects.
Looking back and reflecting on the writing instruction I see a lot of similarities. We had visual support in form of posters with spelling and punctuation rules. We had a great teacher who guided our discussions, allowed freedom of expression, and inspired independent thinking. These are the same things we are encouraging in our students.It is amazing how similar some of the teaching methods are: group work, discussion, sharing, writing a draft, editing and producing a final paper to submit to a teacher.
Resources: L.M.Marrow, Literacy Development in the Early Years

Blog Week 1
Entry # 3

Oral language and reading are intertwined. The more a child was read to at an early age, the better his oral speech is and the sooner he will be able to learn how to read. The more a person reads, the better his oral language is, the smoother his sentences are. Oral language of a well-read and a well-educated person differs greatly from the language of those who choose not to indulge in literature. Reading inspires thinking, thinking results in verbal expressions of one's thoughts and this very often leads to writing.

Resources: L.M.Morrow, Literacy Development in Early Years
                  Pualin Gibbons, Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning