Praise Jesus!

Waaaaaaaaahoooooooooooooooo my multi-text unit is completed! Feel free to check it out under the page titled “Multi-Text Unit”. The multi-text unit is based off of the fifth grade novel Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis. Hope you like it!

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I Poetry

I made me an I Poem from one of the links on the website and here it is (It was the online I Poem Generator that I used)

I Am

I am bold and beautiful.
I wonder how many stars shine in the night sky
I hear a bird chirping in the colorful trees
I see me going on a walk with my husband
I want all Krispe Kreme doughnuts to eat
I am bold and beautiful

I pretend to like foods when cooked for me even if I do not
I feel in love with my husband
I touch my head to my pillow and am instantly asleep
I worry about being a perfectionist
I cry when I am overwhelmed
I am bold and beautiful

I understand what it means to be a follower of Christ
I say that Jesus is the only way to Heaven
I dream about my future classroom
I try to be the best wife that I can be
I hope to make God smile
I am bold and beautiful

I think that I Poetry is a great way to not only let children express who they are but also to help them really dig deep into whom/what people/characters/animals are and describe them. The powerpoint brought up a lot of great points that statistically the students conceptualized the content more deelpy when done with the I Poems because they are transforming ideas from one form to another. This style of learning for the students helps them to understand deeper knowledge of the character/person/animal because they have to find out what they/it touches, likes, feels, etc.

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Seal Internet Workshop Questions

The science goal and objective for the fourth grade would be:

Competency Goal 1: The learner will make observations and conduct investigations to build an understanding of animal behavior and adaptation.
Objectives1.01 Observe and describe how all living and nonliving things affect the life of a particular animal including:

  • Other animals.
  • Plants.
  • Weather.
  • Climate.

1.02 Observe and record how animals of the same kind differ in some of their characteristics and discuss possible advantages and disadvantages of this variation.

1.03 Observe and discuss how behaviors and body structures help animals survive in a particular habitat.

1.04 Explain and discuss how humans and other animals can adapt their behavior to live in changing habitats.

1.05 Recognize that humans can understand themselves better by learning about other animals.

Any of the objectives listed above would be appropriate for the students learning about seals.

After viewing the three websites and reading on page 42 in Pirate Diary where do you think the location of the Greyhound was on the Ocean?

After reading about the pirates aboard the Greyhound thinking that they saw and heard a mermaid (page 42), what do you think? Do you think they actually saw a mermaid or some sea creature? If not a mermaid then what could they have seen and how do you know this?

Based on the three websites given, what kind of food does the seal eat?

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Reciprocal Teaching vs. Discussion Director

Reciprocal teaching reminds me of literature circles in that it has given “jobs” such as summarizer, questioner, clarifier, and predictor. This type of teaching enables the students to think deeply about the text and focus on their comprehension. The four different roles all have their own job they are to do as he/she reads the section of the text and they switch roles with each selection.

The Discussion Director way of teaching seems more classroom group based. The teacher is the discussion director and is engaging the students to think critically about a certain section of text. It is important for the teacher to be many different roles within this activity such as challenger, defender, clarifier, connector, etc. because in any discussion there will be a difference of opinions where some form of directing is necessary.

I feel that both ways of teacher, reciprocal teaching and discussion director, are great ways to engage students in a section of text however my personal favorite is the reciprocal teaching. I feel that this way of teaching gives the students are clearer layout of what is expected and what jobs they are to do. This way of teaching also makes sure that each student does their work because they not only have the please the teacher but they have to not let down their group members. I could see me personally using the reciprocal teaching technique in my future classroom.

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Combined Vocabulary Readings Reflection

I can honestly say that I never remember having vocabulary lessons in elementary school. I honestly do not remember learning about root words or prefixes/suffixes. I am one of those students who grew up reading very few books because I was never given the freedom in school to read what interested me. Of course I could check books out of the library however I was and still am a fairly slow reader so I did not have enough time to read the classroom text as well as my own choice of book. I remember reading books in middle school and answering questions based on each chapter however I do not remember going over vocabulary in the text nor techniques that I should have been taught to assist me in my decoding of texts.

With that said I found reading the article, multi-text vocabulary examples, and vocabulary instruction very beneficial to my future teaching techniques. I feel that because my past teachers neglected to properly teach me reading comprehension and vocabulary decoding skills that I have suffered in my confidence in reading. I was never properly taught how to break down a word. I will never forget in my seventh grade class I pronounced barometer (bar-oh-meter) and the entire class including my teacher laughed at me. That scene scarred me for life resulting in me not ever being confident in my morphology skills. Now that I am a prospective teacher my heart hurts for that situation where my own teacher laughed at my inability to properly pronounce text. I know now that I was not stupid but rather I was inadequately taught by my past teachers.

The article Breaking Down Words to Build Meaning gave many reasons as to why teachers need to help students learn how to break down the meaning of a word using context clues as well as reading comprehension skills. I really like Stahl’s statement that there are many factors involved in learning vocabulary “Stahl (1999) suggested that knowing a word means not only knowing its literal definition but also knowing its relationship to other words, its connotations in different contexts, and its power of transformation into various other forms.” -this had the lightbulb affect for me! I have only been exposed to vocabulary tests where even if I didn’t study I could still pass because they were so easy to take. I feel that this way of teaching vocabulary is lazy and shows no concern for the students comprehension of the actual word but rather tests to see if the students can memorize the words for a day.

The multi-text unit and how it implements vocabulary is GENIUS! I think that this way of teaching students new words is just what the article I stated above teaches as well. It actively engages the students IN a text while assessing their comprehension of new words. It is not giving the students a list of twenty words to define but rather is uses scenarios to help the students put the vocabulary word into context with themselves to further understand its meaning, it’s genius! Also the students are asked to explain why they felt that way or how something happened therefore making them prove that they know what they are talking about. If only my past teachers would have used such strategies to teach me and my classmates.

In regards to the Vocabulary Instruction handout I was shocked at the statistics it gave the reader. At the very beginning it stated “a student’s vocabulary should increase by 2,000-3,000 words a year.” The article continued to say that at least 400 of those words should be taught. That statistic absolutely blew my mind! At the end it stated that students should also read at least 21 minutes a day outside of school resulting in two million words per year! WOW! Unfortunately I fit into the next statistic which stated that “a student who reads less than a minute per day outside of school reads only 8,000-21,000 words per year”.

My desire as a future teacher is to create a love for reading in my students, one that I never had until college. I feel that if the students can love movies then they can love books because they are merely the script of the movie. My desire is to read as many books before I am a teacher and continue to read them while I am teaching to show students whether through my Notebook entries or my example how important reading is to me! This goal can be achieved with the proper teaching strategies such as the multi-text unit and internet workshops. I think that these are break through strategies that will change the way our future students think about reading. I am hoping that reading will evolve from being a “nerdy habit” to, for lack of a better term, “cool habit”. 😀 I definitely look forward to implementing all of the strategies learned so far into my future classrooms and it gets me so excited to be a teacher!!

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Combined Reading Responses

When I  read the article, Integrating Instructional Level…, I felt sorry for the students who have always been below grade level in reading and yet have been forced to read a class text that is too difficult for them. I feel that this is what creates a hatred for reading in those students. In elementary school, I experienced the classroom reading situation like what happened at the beginning of this article. I always felt bad for the students who had trouble reading and never understood why the teacher called on them because everyone knew who the slow readers were. It seemed unfair in my eyes that a teacher would knowingly call on a student who troubled with the text, I found it heart breaking as a child. I can say that now from a prospective teacher’s stand point I still feel the same. It is crucial for us teachers to meet the needs of our students WHERE they are rather than force them to gain no reading comprehension skills but rather skills of patience with oneself and attempted perseverance to make it through a too difficult text. After reading this article I look forward to using all the resources given at the end in order to meet the needs of all my future students. I know it will be hard work but I do not want to be a teacher who thinks that all my students are reading on the same level. It is possible for a class to be at the same level of reading but not probable.

One way to ensure that all students are being fed the proper books to read is to perform an Informal Reading Inventory to each student of the class. This way of assessing the student will let the teacher know what level of reading comprehension and reading fluency the student is achieving. It takes merely ten minutes to perform the actual assessment of the student reading text at different levels to determine where that student stands. This could be done within the first month of school and again at the beginning of the spring to ensure each student is excelling. Either way this type of assessment is short and valid.

Another way to make sure that all the students reading needs are met is to teach multi text units where the students have the opportunity to read books at different levels. This activity is geared towards the upper elementary grades because of the internet use and responsibility needed from the students themselves. In preparing a multitext unit the teacher chooses a quality novel appropriate for the grade level. Again, when choosing this book the teacher will have to choose a separate book for the below reading level students that still is about the same topic. Next the teacher will choose an information text to accompany the novel chosen. This books serves as either a read aloud book, resource for students to use or one that can be used to launch the unit to the class. The next step is to create an internet workshop (this is why it is geared more towards upper elementary students). The purpose of the internet workshop is for the students to find the answers themselves and learn media literacy online which viewing websites previously chosen by the teacher. It is crucial for the teacher to find sites that are child friendly meaning that the website is written in a language readable to kids or they will get lost in wikipedia or other large browsers. The last step is for the teacher to create an integrated literature packet that addresses the multi texts. This packet should keep the students involved in the text before, during and after they read it through activities such as reading/writing, drama, poetry, art, research, etc. This is also a time where the teacher can integrate other goals and objectives such as math, science and social studies. Vocabulary is essential within this packet as well. Words should be chosen from the text or from sites the students will view during their internet workshop.

By using the above three strategies to keep students involved and engaged in reading it will not only help all students with their comprehension skills but it will also help their confidence in reading therefore giving them a love for books. After all, isn’t it a goal for all teachers to create a love for books within their students? Well, it is for me.

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Shared Reading Response

When I read the title of this article I thought that I was going to know what the article was about because I was taught about shared reading in my RE3030 class last semester. As I read through the article I realized that shared reading is so much more than what I had originally thought.

I found it interesting that one of the teachers modeled what they were thinking as they looked at the book, The Red Book. I thought that this was genius in that it teaches students to observe the book during, before or after they read. It is something that I feel we all do whether we realize it or not.

I was surprised that the strategy for struggling readers to “skip it” even exists today. I agree with what one of the teachers said that they’d rather their students actually read something that is on their level than to try and decode a book of words too hard for them. I remember being told to “skip it” when I was in school but thankfully to me I have a Mother who read to me and help me decode those “skipped” words.

Overall I feel that shared reading is a fantastic way to help students comprehend text as well as vocabulary. It is important to teach all of the ways described in the article rather than just one part at a time because our minds don’t think in boxes so why teach that way?

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