Monday, August 10, 2020

The Four Parts of a Critical Response Essay

Critical Response essays stump many students. Consider writing it step by step in four parts.  This type of essay is usually  based upon a reaction you have to a source.

The outline might be as follows:

I. Introduction and Thesis--Include the title of the work, the author's name and the year of publication in your introduction. Outline the main ideas of the article. Add a thesis that highlights one or more of the topics  in the article that you reacted to. This aspect of the essay should be one paragraph long.

II. Summary--Include a summary of the article, along with  the who, what, where, why and how. of it. Consider creating an argument about something mentioned in the essay.  Transition into writing about the article to writing your reaction to a topic discussed in it.  This part of the essay can be one or two paragraphs long.

III. Analysis--Clearly state the  issue that that you are reacting to, so that you can identify what you are writing about in the remainder of the paper. Use quotes from the article and an outside source in order to argue about the issue. This portion can be several paragraphs long.

IV. Conclusion--Restate your thesis about the issue you are writing about in new words. Summarize the main ideas of the issue you are writing about. Synthesize new revelations you can think of about the article.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Literature Reviews for Grants and/or Proposals

Literature review structure. 
Many students write literature reviews in their university courses. Literature reviews are a view of the literature that aligns with a selected topic you are writing about.

For example, if you are writing a grant or study proposal to buy Chromebooks for a class in order to create dialog journals (journals where teacher and EL communicate informally) that assist English Learners (ELs) to both acquire and learn English, you would have to describe how this type of communication benefits ELs acquisition and learning of English.

In addition, you would have have to use the literature (sources) you find in a library database to verifying claims for your research study and/or the purchasing of materials for a grant.

Professionals such as Grant Prose Inc and are in business online. Their webpage is very useful if you have any interest in converting a study proposal into a grant.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

5 Great Free Resources for Online Learning in the Arts


Google Arts and Culture has virtual field trips.

Library of Congress contains films and video of historical events.

PBS Learning Media  brings you standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more.  

New York Times Learning Multimedia to find out what's going on in pictures and graphs. 

Smithsonian Learning Lab includes ways to develop your own interactive learning experiences-or adopt exemplars made by teachers and Smithsonian experts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Six Challenges for English Learners (ELs)


Here are some challenges for English Learners (ELLs) with links for ideas about how to resolve them:

1. Academic language--for some of the best ideas look to Ana Chamot, as she developed CALLA, which is the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach. 
2. Idioms and figurative language--The Amelia Bedelia books are great for teaching idioms and figurative language. 

3. Sound/letter correspondence--Phonics is a great subject for teaching sound/letter correspondence. 
4. Sequence of events--Teach the sequence of events using lesson plan for the Very Hungry Caterpillar

5. Cause and effect--Use a multi-flow graphic organizer/thinking map  for cause and effect. 
6. Inferences--Check out good videos about teaching inferences

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

World Cultures are the focus of the National Endowment for the Humanities Lesson Plans

Angkor Wat Buddhist monument photo by Matthew Bamberg
A good set of world history lesson plans is available from the NEH. The plans include multicultural topics that cover Asian history and culture.

The Angkor Wat lesson is particularly noteworthy in that these ruins in Cambodia is the largest religious monument in the world.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Units on Mexican and Guatemalan History and Culture that would Align Well With Common Core

Mayan Ruins at Chichén Itzá in Yucatan, Mexico
Courtesy of Chris Newsome
Looking for lessons about Mayan Civilizations connected to the CCSS?

Harvard puts out a great teacher's guide, Magnificent Maya, and NASA puts out Calendar in the Sky that deals with the Mayan concept of time.

Both would align well with the following Common Core standards:

Grade 2: Recount stories, including fables and  folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

Grade 6-8: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

In addition, check out the resources for the Magnificent Maya lessons and a study of Mayan fables.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Multicultural Poetry for Phonological Awareness and Reading Fluency

Multicultural Poetry is also a good way to teach rhyming words. Also, you can consider culture with respect to poetry and read poems by diverse groups of poets. See https://poets.org/anthology/popular-poems-teach
Teaching students multicultural poetry requires that they "develop an established receptive and productive oral language vocabulary, an established understanding of the concepts of print (e.g., directionality, the understanding that print carries a message), the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in words (phonemic awareness), a basic sight-word vocabulary (i.e., any word the learner can recognize immediately and without decoding; Ehri, 1995), and a growing understanding of how words work within the larger grammatical structures of language (syntax). Prepared with these skills, students can begin to develop automatic word recognition, or automaticity" (Helman, p. 182).
Once they have these skills they can learn poetry as part of the third grade standard for reading literature
Teaching poetry gives all students a chance to learn about the flow of the English language when it's read aloud, or it's prosody, which is oral reading expression. When students read aloud with prosody they are showing that they are comprehending the text. Poetry is a good way to illustrate prosody. You can also teach prosody by modeling it and then having students follow repeat what you said with expression. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Distance Education Websites

Use these websites for distance education activities for K-12.