Saturday, February 16, 2013

Direct Instruction


Think Alouds is the thought process going on in an individuals mind as they read. To use this strategy, a teacher will think out loud their own thoughts to make connections to the text. As a teacher is modeling this strategy it is important to make sure that the think alouds are genuine, language precise, and thoughtful. In Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller, she explains that her goal is to "give [students] a framework for thinking, as well as to help them build a common language for talking about books. For example, when children share their connections, I ask ask them to begin this way: "When I read these reminded me of..." (Miller, 55).

Reciprocal Teaching

Reciprocal Teaching allows children to think about their own thought processes and be actively involved in their reading processes through four main components: clarifying, summarizing, questioning, and predicting. These four strategies allow students to be engaged in reading and make the text more comprehensible. In my own classroom I use this strategy frequently. At the beginning of the year I introduced these strategies through characters-along with costumes and all. I told my kids that we had four important guests that day and I wanted them to meet. As the excitement grew, I quickly changed into character starting with Pavlov the Predictor. I wore a scarf over my head, told them my name and the purpose of using predicting while we read. The next character was Clara the Clarifier. For this costume, I had large, funny glasses that I wore. I explained to the students that I had large glasses because it was important to take a big look at anything we did not understand while we read. Next came Sally the Summarizer. In my best attempt at a southern accent in my cowgirl hat and lasso, I explained that when we summarize it is important to just tell a small part of the story, not the entire story. Finally came Molly Microphone. In a game show host voice with microphone in hand, I explained that Molly Microphone is the master-mind of asking questions. Now as we read and I know we are coming upon one of our characters in the book, I put on the costume with the corresponding strategy and we discuss the strategy at hand. It allows children to be engaged with their reading because they get excited about what costume I will pull out next, and it helps them monitor their own reading process.

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Character Diaries

Students create diary entries from the perspective of a character from a novel, an historical figure, person in the news, or an object writing in the voice of that person/item including key events.  

"You know that new girl Stargirl? She is stealing my spotlight! I might not get a chance to get on GQ! I've got to get my spotlight back. I am so mad at her! She STOLE my popularity! It's time to get revenge, and I know Wayne is going to help me!" -Alejendra N. 5th grade- Diary entry from Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Teachers should explicitly model an example of how to write from the perspective of a character. It is also important that may choose to add specific language objectives such as use of descriptive language and grammar mechanics.

(Making Content Comprehensible for English Language Learners- The SIOP Model, page 179.)


Connect- This is what I know
Correct- Do I need to correct anything? 
Collect- This is what I learned.

"CCC is a before, during, and after comprehension process that was developed by Suzanne Carreker (2005). It is alternative to the common method of KWLs. Both of these procedures are used to set a purpose for reading and stimulate background knowledge about a topic before reading, and to assess what knew knowledge has been gained after reading."

(Next STEPS in Literacy Instruction: Connecting Assessments to Effective Interventions, by Susan M. Smartt and Deborah R. Glasser)

Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are the use of schematic diagrams that provide conceptual clarity for information that is difficult to grasp. Students identify key concepts and make relationships among them. Graphic organizers also provide visual clues that students can use to supplement spoken words that may be hard to understand. This strategy is extremely beneficial in the classroom and can be used for a multitude of lessons. This strategy can be used through any point of the lesson as well. It can be helpful before reading, during reading, and after reading. 

Some examples of graphic organizers are text structure charts, Venn diagrams, story or text maps, timelines, discussion webs, word webs, thinking maps, and flow charts. 

(Making Content Comprehensible for English Language Learners- The SIOP Model, page 45.)

Reader's Theater/Role Play/Puppet Show

We combined these two strategies together because they are a kinesthetic way for students to have hands-on engagement in their learning by engaging in a type of drama. In pupperty, the teacher, or another student reads aloud a story, poem or article while students perform the actions with puppets. Puppets can demonstrate content knowledge when the student be unable to do so verbally. 

Reader's Theater and Role Plays allow the students to act out information, build oral fluency, practice academic vocabulary, and reinforce content knowledge. 

(Making Content Comprehensible for English Language Learners- The SIOP Model, page 179; 99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners with The SIOP Model, page 122.)

Dinner Party

"The purpose of Dinner Party is for students to assume the persona of characters in novels or short stories, authors of poets, historical figures, scientist, artist, politicians, or military leaders. During each Dinner Party, students must include specific content for the characters and respond in character to each other as realistically and accurately as possible. It is important that the knowledge o people's lives, accomplishments, flaws, and works be used to inform the performance."

(99 Ideas and Activities for Teaching English Learners with The SIOP Model, page 105.)

Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom can used in for a direct instruction lesson because the teacher is explicitly teaching the content through video or technology resources. The teacher will typically teach 75% of the lesson on video. Students are required to complete the video for homework. When students arrive for class, typically the remaining 25% of content is instructed at school. The remaining class time, students are giving a substantial amount of time for practice and reinforcement of skills. Students can also play games and interact to enhance the knowledge of the material taught. 

(YouTube by Alfonso Sintjago)

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