Critical Reading and Writing Class

09.13.2012

Hello! I hope everybody is enjoying the beginnings of fall! My semester is definitely in full swing at this point. I had a presentation today, and I have my first couple tests of the semester next week.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have a class from 8:00 to 10:00 called Critical Reading and Writing in Your Content Area. The class is an education class that all education students take to learn tricks and methods to help students read and write in your classroom no matter the subject. It is typical for people to come into this class with the attitude of, "I am not teaching English, so I don't need this class," but I think everybody has found this class useful. I honestly did not come into the class with that attitude because I know that in science you depend heavily on reading and reading in science is different than reading in English. Anyways, this reading class has become my favorite class this semester! My professor is Carol Lewellen, and she formerly taught high school English, but she does an incredible job applying her tricks and ideas to all content areas from history to music.

Today a couple other students and I had to prepare the lesson for the first hour of the class on vocabulary. We slaved over this project all week long, but it paid off because we got a 100%, and the class learned a lot. We taught them various strategies for making vocabulary more interactive and interesting. Some of our strategies included foldables; notecards with pictures, definitions, and synonyms; explicit morpheme analysis, etc. You can Google some of these strategies if you are interested.

Today Prof. Lewellen did a demonstration with us where two students measured out set dimensions and all of the students lined up along the lines. Once we were in a formation, Prof. Lewellen asked what we outlined. Eventually she told us we had created the outline of the Mayflower ship. She then told us how many people were on the ship, how long, and how tall it would be. She did the activity as a way to make something as boring as the dimensions of a ship come to life and be memorable.

The other day we were asked to bring in a children's book that related to our content area. Prof. Lewellen had us all share our books with those in our content area and explained how you could use children's books to introduce a new unit, review a unit, etc. I had chosen an Eric Carle book called The Little Seed, and I was sooo excited about this idea! I cannot wait to take this strategy to my classroom soon!

Have a great day everybody!