Monday, July 09, 2007

Ideas from

Making the Journey: Being and Becoming a Language Arts Teacher

by Leila Christenbury

1. The Questioning Circle (p 245-) This is a Venn diagram scheme for encouraging questioning in class. It consists of three overlapping circles, labeled “the matter”, “personal reality”, and “external reality”. The black area where all three areas overlap would be the most significant questions, the “higher order” questions.

2. Good questioning behaviors (p 250-)

a. arrange the class so students can see each others

b. learn about “wait time” and practice it

c. give students time with their own answers

d. give students your complete attention when they answer

e. have kids talk to each other, not just you

f. exhibit a pleasant facial expression and attentive body posture

g. be aware of the consequences of praise

h. use students answers to focus or extend discussion

i. let students (not you) repeat their own answers

j. watch student body language and behavior

k. make it a goal to call on every student every day

3. National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Standards for the English Language Arts:

1. Students read a wide range of print and

nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.

3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experiences, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., convention, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purposes and audience.

8. Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

9. Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and

social roles.

10. Students whose first language is not Enghsh make use of their first language to develop competency in the English language arts and to develop understanding

of content across the curriculum.

11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

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