"We must, at all times, remember that we don't teach a subject, we don't teach to a test, we teach you-- specific children with specific needs." (Ch. 15, pg. 301)
"To be called "Teacher" might indeed be one of the greatest compliments one could ever receive." (Ch. 15, pg. 303)
Chapter 15 was a great way to end this book. Kylene Beers talks about what being a teacher is all about. She shares some of the common desires of teachers. I like how she added that teachers teach to specific children with specific needs. I am not a teacher yet but from a student's standpoint, I know it can get easy to "teach a subject" and "teach to a test". Being a teacher is a stressful job but at the same time it is so rewarding. Future teachers and teachers of today need to remember they are teaching children. I greatly agree with Kylene Beers' statement: "To be called "Teacher" might indeed be one of the greatest compliments one could ever receive." I really enjoyed this statement because it is true. I can not wait to get that compliment. Before I began in the education field, I had no idea how much work teachers do. It is a special field and I hope the world will realize how important teachers are and treasure them.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Posted by JMitchell at 9:31 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The book chat with Dwight MacPherson was an interesting experience. Overall it was good because I had never chatted with an author. I really enjoyed the informal setting because it was relaxing and comfortable. In the beginning of that chat it was very chaotic. I think everyone was a bit nervous and were not sure how to do the whole chat thing, however, once the rules were established it seem to flow very well. Before the book chat I was thinking an hour would be too long. I was wrong! The hour went by so fast and I was a little disappointed. I felt I learned a lot about Mr. MacPherson but I wanted to learn more! Some of the questions that were asked were really good but I don’t think Mr. MacPherson had time to answer them all. I wish he could have gone into more detail on some of the questions. I thought it was interesting that Mr. MacPherson wrote Kid Houdini for one of his sons that has ADHD. This is proof that comic books do work for special education students. I would definitely do a book chat in my classroom if given the opportunity. Because some students may not have access to a computer at home, I would use one computer in the classroom while having each student type a question one at a time and wait for the response. On the other hand, for this class, I think it would have been neat to do a practice round. Not with Kid Houdini but with one of Dr. Rene Saldana’s books. I would love to read one of his books and then have an author chat with him. By doing this, there would be less confusion and hopefully more detailed answers during the book chat.
Posted by JMitchell at 7:43 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Comparison of three spellers … “The problem, however, isn’t with the spelling list; the problem is in presuming that all students should have the same list.”(
Understanding Sorting (
Spelling Word Walls/ Homonym Lists (
Beginning of chapter (
Dormant Readers (
As I viewed figure 12.2 and read the passage about the three spellers, it never occurred to me that students do not have to have the same spelling list. It would only make sense to give students an “individualized” spelling list. Some students need more time to fully understand how words work. Students learn at different rates and I think sometimes its easy to overlook a simple spelling word list.
Reading this chapter, as well as listening to my EDLL teacher, my brain goes crazy with all of the spelling rules. On page 254 it talks about sorting, when to sort and add –able or –ible. Looking back, I cannot remember how I was taught to spell. As a young adult, I feel like there are so many rules because now everything is so natural. I was reminded how confusing it can be for young students to learn how to spell.
While working with kindergarten and first grade students this semester, my teacher gave us a mini word wall to use with these students. I think this is great to have however sometimes I feel like the students did not try to spell certain words, their strategy was to look for it on the word wall. I’m just not sure when the word wall gets in the way of them learning to spell the word. The homonym list is a great thing to have in the classroom. I remember having this type of list when I was growing up. I found it very helpful and it helped me to understand when I use the certain homonyms.
At the beginning of this chapter it talks about the power of confidence and when students lack confidence.
I am definitely an aliterate. I can read but I choose not to, at least not for pleasure. As I read the types of aliterates, I considered myself being a dormant reader. I do like to read but I do so much of it for school that in my spare time I don’t want to open a book. I hope that when I finally finish school I will read more for pleasure.
Posted by JMitchell at 7:30 PM
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Chapter 10 as a whole
"With little effort, you can understand how a slow reading rate affects a student's attitude toward reading." (Ch. 10, p 210)
Building a Common Vocabulary (Ch. 11, p 223-227)
Chapter 11 as a whole
Chapter 10 is titled Fluency and Automaticity. As I began reading it defined what reading automaticity was and showed two transcripts about two 1st graders. After I read the transcripts, what immediately came to mind was my EDLL class and the kids I work with during that class. I thought of what I would do to help those two 1st graders, work on HFW/Sight words, model reading, have students reread texts, prompting. All of these things came to mind because every Tuesday and Thursday this is exactly what the students and I work on. As I went on to read, I realized I just read the whole chapter because all of the suggestions were things I was already thinking of and things I already do with students. I like chapter 10 because I am very familiar with it. Fluency is very important. Sometimes when the 2nd graders read to me on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have a hard time understanding what their book was about because of their lack of fluency. In chapter 10, Sophie's reading reminded me of how I read when I was younger. I am dyslexic and I remember having to sound almost every word out. By the time I finished reading I had no idea what I just read. Although I am older, at times I find myself working on reading accurately and fluency that the words I am reading are just coming out of my mouth; I am not reading to understand what the text is saying.
On page 210 it estimates how long it would take a slow reader to read 20 pages versus a someone who read at a more faster rate. Although I have had a lot of experience with reading, it takes me longer to process what I am reading and actually understand it. It takes me so long to read a chapter or two out of my school books and it gets so frustrating and old. This definitely has a lot to do with my attitude about reading.
I really like how this chapter defines and gives examples of things like :graphemes, phonemes, consonant blends, onset rhymes... All of things will help me on the TExES exam.
Again, the suggestions in chapter 11 are things I work on in my EDLL classes. It is a good feeling knowing that Mrs. Pratt has taught us things we will definitely use in the classroom with all ages/grades. Suggestion # 4 in chapter 11 is Teach Rime Patterns. This is also called "word families". In out lesson plans with the kindergarten and first graders we have a section designated for "word family practice". Example: We read the book "Owl Babies". Under "word family practice" we choose a word from our book, mice. The words to build from that word are: nice, dice, twice, slice, and rice. The students build these words in that order using letter manipulatives. This is always a fun activity for them and at the same time they are learning rime patters/word families.
Posted by JMitchell at 9:28 AM
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Likert Scales/ Semantic Differential Scales (Ch. 8 pg. 140, 141)
SWBS "offers students a framework as they create their summaries...decide who somebody is, what that somebody wanted, but what happened to keep something from happening and so finally, how everything works out." (Ch. 8 pg145)
"Text reformulation/ Story Recycling is a strategy in which students transform a text into another type of text..." (Ch. 8 pg 160)
Subtitle: Learning New Words (Ch. 9 pg 176)
Vocabulary Tree "has to do with how you teach root words." (Ch. 9 pg 188)
This chapter began with two different types of scales, Likert scales and Semantic Differential Scales. When I saw the examples of each of these I really liked them. I think these would be great to use in the special education classroom. I think it would give them a starting point for making generalizations about characters and conflicts.
Throughout this whole chapter I think the SWBS strategy is my favorite. I think this is such a great strategy to use in the classroom. When I first read the acronym I was confused, however when I saw the examples, it made so much sense. I am currently observing in a classroom with seven autistic children. There is a fifth grade student and I think this strategy could really help her. I am going to try it out and see what happens.
When I read the introduction to text reformulation I immediately made a connection. As I read on to read exactly what it meant, I thought back to history class. The hardest subject for me to understand and remember is history. It is so boring to me with all the dates and different names to remember. In class when the teacher would be teaching, everything was going in one ear and out the other. I remember always leaving the class feeling frustrated and annoyed. When I would talk to my boyfriend, which is now my husband, he would put it into narrative form. He would tell it like a story and I found it so interesting. When the information was presented to me in this way I understood it. Unfortunately none of my history teachers ever taught this way.
Chapter 9 begins with a bold heading that says "Learning New Words". When I read the heading it reminded me of the literature festival I attended. During the morning session I learned about teaching students vocabulary. The speaker of this class was focusing on "Getting the Kids Actively Engaged". What she did was divide everyone into groups and each group had a vocabulary word. Some of the words were: ubiquitous, vapid, supine, fedora...At the end of the class we were going to take a vocabulary quiz and when I saw the words I thought to myself "How am I going to remember the meanings?" Each group had their word and were only allowed to use an action/gesture for their word. There was no talking when defining the word. When each group came up with an action/gesture, we went around the room and the group presenting their word said their word, everyone else repeated, they did the gesture and we followed, and then we all said the word again. Each group did this and by the end of the class, we all made 100's!
The vocabulary tree on page 189 was appealing. I have never seen anything like it. This was also another strategy I think would be beneficial in the classroom. As I have been reading about all the strategies I am beginning to feel deprived as a student. I never had anything like the things I am reading about to help me as a young learner. I wonder if I had had this, would I be a better reader, a better student???
Posted by JMitchell at 8:20 PM