Teaching Scenarios Case Study

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Teaching Scenarios, v

Scenario #3 -- the Use of Literature in the Classroom Program- Level

Classroom Decision Making- the use of literature to teach reading literacy is well-documented in pedagogy as a way children can enter the world of literature, imagination, and genre while they learn the basic skills of reading and writing. As this progresses through the levels, though, the teacher is fortunate to have an ever increasing toolkit of resources. Literature comprises so many different ideas, concepts and plots, that it can be easily used to buttress core competency in almost every subject. Rather than simply didactic in approach, the relevancy of stories shows children how concepts are taken from theory into practice, and also clearly expand the skills of critical thinking, analysis, and synergy (Lehman, 2007). If a task is pleasant and stimulating, the child will naturally gravitate towards it -- what could be more pleasurable that covertly teaching a science concept through a story about pioneers or ocean explorers.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Using a literature based approach to literacy and other core curriculum areas allows for a greater flexibility within the classroom environment. Different classroom seating arrangements can be used depending on the subject matter, the activity, and the resources available. For example, if one was studying the Columbus Day and the results, the classroom could be divided into three areas representing different points-of-view: the Columbus, the Native peoples, and the European Sponsors or Royalty. A core story or stories would be used to develop competency, and then teacher prepared excerpts with point-of-view thesis from each of the groups handed to individual groups to study, discuss, and develop. Of course, the major point would be why did Columbus come to America, did he find what he expected, and what were the overall results of his trip? Numerous activities could be assigned: illustrating the major point-of-view of the group; developing a presentation to the sponsors assessing the situation, writing a thoughtful feeling-based paragraph about the major issue the group identifies, or even using the basis of the individual group to write a short story, poem, or play. Using literature in this manner allows for a renaissance, and even Montessori-like hands on approach. One certainly has robust readings; but could bring in other disciplines as well:

Science -- use of technology, disparate technologies (primitive labels), boat construction, navigation, gunpowder

Georgraphy -- continent's location, the seas, distance, topography, land mass

Politics -- competition between European leaders, why colonies mattered

Economics -- what was the motivation to explore, what drove the economy of the time

Medicine -- disease as a weapon

Ecology -- introduction of new species, disease, and pathogens to the environment

Math -- distances, odds

Philosophy -- morality, utilitarianism (ends justify means, etc.)

Thus, in one unit/lesson, the use of literature-based studies has not only surpassed the goal of inquiry and critical thinking, it has allowed the creative instructor to tailor the curriculum to the needs of the students, and to reinforce concepts that now have relevance (e.g. If Mixtli owned a maize field of…; if we had 100 men per ship and our ocean voyage was 42 days, how much food and water would we need to make that journey).

Part 2 -- Practical Examples -- Monitoring progress in literacy using literature may be accomplished in numerous ways. For instance, Children can write a short paragraph about a book they liked (or did not like). Teachers can develop checklists to fill out as they listen to children read. Teachers can observe whether the students (1) show interest in words, (2) can tell a familiar story, (3) can point to individual words on a page, (4) turn the pages at the appropriate time when a story is being read aloud, (5) can find a familiar book on a shelf, (6) choose to read a book or to write during free time, (7) notice words and symbols in the classroom setting, (8) spell words developmentally, (9) ask questions about print, and (10) are aware that print has meaning. Teachers should become continuous observers who monitor the child's interaction with materials in the child's educational environment (Sloan, 2003).

Indeed, one can take one of two, or a combination thereof, approach to utilizing literature as a literacy based instruction model: Teacher-Centered Approaches or Child-Centered Approaches. In Teacher Centered Approaches the function of the guide is to transmit facts, skills and values through the mastering of knowledge. This approach focuses on learning, understanding, and identifying a guided approach to the themes in the literature and allows for larger groups of students to receive knowledge. This approach does enhance literacy skills, but is not as effective in allowing other skills to come to the forefront. Child-Centered Approaches, however, do not require such a clear definition of exactly what should be taught and "received" from the literature chosen. Themes may be presented, but individual children are asked more open ended questions about what it is they learned, how they felt, and what moral or culturally relevant issues were uncovered. In this approach, it is the guide's responsibility to elicit robust and useful questioning that engages every learner (Walsh, 2005).

Part 3 -- Theory, References- Most parents will accept a teacher's observation that a child is making progress in reading, even without the reinforcement of test results. And a child who is an enthusiastic reader by the end of the 3rd grade will continue to develop competence in the upper elementary grades (Forgan, 2003). The literature approach has been similarly documented to be superior to basal learning programs, and allows a more robust development of the language. In fact, students accustomed to reading widely using literature are less perplexed when dealing with narratives of increasing complexity (Anderson, 2000). They have been "reading" actual reading materials for so long that their task is simply to learn new vocabulary and adjust to smaller typefaces, more intricate sentence structure, and complexity of plot design (Johnson, 1987; Yiio, 2009). Literature is also quite relevant in teaching problem solving skills. Many moral isues and quandries are listed in library and teaching sources that break down the appropriate book for the concept needed (e.g. death, loss, anger, etc.).

Scenario #2 -- Literacy Learning at the word level (Level 1)

Part 1 -- Classroom Decision Making -- Phonemic awareness is a part of phonological awareness in which subjects are able to hear, identify, and manipulate the smallest units of speech. This manipulation to the micro level requires phonemic awareness and has been found to improve children's reading comprehension as well as help children understand the basic parts of world. For instance, the spoken word "cat" can be separated into three individual phonemes, / k/, / ae/, and / t/. The more common approach to this has been the age old aphorism, "sound it out" (Linan-Thompson and Vaughn, 2007, 1-3).

In fact, in the National Reading Panel selected PA instruction for additional review and analysis, and found that using PA in early childhood reading programs, as well as evidence-based remediation programs, significantly improved reading comprehension and scores across the board when compared with other methods. The three major reasons for such excitement regarding PA were:

First, correlational studies have identified PA and letter knowledge as the two best school-entry predictors of how well children will learn to read during the first 2 years of instruction. Such evidence suggests the potential importance of PA training in the development of reading skills.

Second, many experimental studies have been carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of PA training in facilitating reading acquisition.

Third, there is currently much interest in PA training programs among teachers, principals, parents, and publishers because of claims about their value in improving children's ability to learn to read (NRP, 2000).

Part 2 -- Practical Examples

Example 1 -Phonemic Awareness intervention - Phoneme Segmentation: Say a word, have students say each sound of the word they hear; ensure they say each sound. Repeat the word until the sounds are clear; use daily to intervene until basic phonemes are mastered. Words Read by Teacher: 1) Yes, 2) Dig, 3) sip, 4) ten, 5) Hum. Show students how to segment sounds in word and demonstrate. Follow same routine, say with word "man" -- work in pairs and continue with sounds: tan, cat, mat, can, stop. Continue daily instruction until 3 and 4-phoneme word skills are mastered ("Phonemic Awareness Intervention," 2006; Guidry, 2003).

Phonics -- Use of cuing system to move from simply understanding clues of sound to clues of meaning:

The Three Cueing Systems (Source: "Phonics Interventions," 2003).

Meaning (Semantic)

Structure (Syntactic)

Visual (Graphophonic)

What is it?

Does it make sense? making sense of text and relaying meaningful connections context clues found in the text and/or background knowledge (comes from the students own experiences)

Does it sound right? making sense of the actual words in the sentences structural cues come from the students' knowledge of correct oral language structures the way in which language is put together into sentences, phrases, paragraphs, etc.

Does it look right? breaking words… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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