Fundamental Concepts

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reading writing speaking listening. Fundamental Concepts. Solid Foundation. Positive Community Critical Literacy Reading Writing Discussion. Positive Community. Effective Teachers. Critical Literacy. Beyond New Criticism. Social Justice. Cultural Responsiveness. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Fundamental Concepts

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Fundamental Concepts


+State and national standards outline several goals for students of English, based on the fundamental concepts of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They should be able to read a variety of texts and respond to them in various written and verbal forms. They should also be part of learning communities, where they learn to use these skills for their own purposes. 1Solid Foundation Positive Community Critical Literacy Reading Writing Discussion

+For an English classroom to be effective, it must have a solid foundation. That foundation should consist of a positive classroom community; a curriculum and instructional methods based in critical literacy; thematic, culturally responsive reading instruction; ample opportunities for writing and revising; and rich, respectful discussions.

2Positive Community

+A positive classroom community starts with the teacher. We cannot expect students to be automatically excited by or engaged in our content. As teachers, we must help them along by fostering an exciting, engaging community. On the first day of an education class, we brainstormed the characteristics of effective English teachers. The same characteristics came up again and again, and speak to how important creating a positive community is. 3Effective Teachers

+ An effective English teacher is personable, has open communication with students, goes above and beyond the curriculum, gives interesting and engaging assignments, is respectful of students rather than condescending, and enjoys what he or she does. Of those six traits, two thirds reflect the type of community the teacher fostered. 4Critical Literacy

+Part of building an open classroom community is valuing students knowledge and experience, which is where critical literacy and culturally responsive pedagogy come into play. Critical literacy is the practice of teaching students to think critically, explore the meaning they find in a text, and come to their own conclusions. 5Beyond New Criticism

+It goes beyond the standard model of New Criticism, where the teacher is the authority and students must learn the one accepted interpretation. Through critical literacy instruction, students learn to question the text, the authors, the information presented, and the ways in which information is used to maintain social structures and practices. 6Social Justice

+When we ask students to question power, information, and hierarchy, we open the door for a focus on social justice. By also giving them the tools necessary to take action, we empower students to be agents for social change in the face of injustice. This gives students the ability to be engaged citizens and make a real difference in their communities. 7Cultural Responsiveness

+ Students often do not see themselves in the literature, and culturally responsive pedagogy is one way to bring their lives into the classroom and validate their input. Using students personal experiences is a way to incorporate their cultural backgrounds and learning preferences. Beyond these important inclusion issues, culturally responsive teaching gives students a personal connection to the curriculum. 8Engaging Instruction

Thematic ApproachVarious Genres+Besides being culturally responsive, literature instruction must be engaging. Research says several things about effectively teaching literature to secondary students. Literature instruction should take a thematic approach, incorporating various types and genres of text. Novels, short stories and poems that focus on a central theme should be taught together. 9Nontraditional Text Childrens books Picture books Magazines Young adult novels Advertisements

+Texts that do not traditionally have a place in the literature classroom are also relevant, such as childrens books, picture books, magazines, young adult novels, and advertisements. This approach can help teachers relate to students interests, background knowledge, and experience with these various materials. It also give teachers an opportunity to differentiate instruction in order to give students materials appropriate to their reading levels. 10Literary Criticism+We also cant forget that studying literature is not just about plot, character, and the aesthetic appreciation of reading. Literary criticism allows students to look at literature in new ways, and gives them a vocabulary for discussing what important elements they find there. The widely varied lenses of literary theory can open students eyes to deeper levels of meaning they could not otherwise find. 11Writing

+ The most common way teachers ask students to respond to literature is writing. Writing and grammar have always been staples of the English classroom, but students are not always comfortable with them, and they are not always taught in the best ways. The standard step-by-step writing process is not realistic or helpful for struggling writers. This process must be revised. 12New Writing Process

+ Students should be invested in the process from the beginning, with a choice of topic and ample pre-writing activities. Then, students should be given ample feedback and revision time while they are writing. Students can participate in writing groups to give each other feedback, they can get teacher feedback, and they should be able to review and revise for substantial content issues multiple times. 13

+This creates more interested, engaged writers who produce more interesting writing. No writer simply composes, reviews, edits, proofreads, and then completes a piece of writing. The process is more cyclical, moving back and forth between stages fluidly. If this is how real writers work, this is what we should be teaching our students. 14Grammar

+Grammar has its place in this writing system as well, but not in the traditional explain-and-drill way. Pulling a sentence out of a novel and deconstructing it does not help most students remember the rules of grammar. Students learn grammar and usage best when they have concrete, specific, meaningful examples. The best place to find such examples is student writing. 15Relevant Grammar

+By looking at student writing and picking out the issues that students actually have, English teachers can focus their grammar instruction on what students need rather than rushing through a review of problems they do not have. Students can then directly apply this new grammar knowledge by editing their written work, thus taking grammar from an abstract, useless concept to something tangible and useful. 16Discussion

+As important as writing is in the English classroom, it is not the only way for students to respond to literature. Discussion is a vital part of a lively, engaged English classroom, if it is done properly. Too often, class discussions become sessions where students stare at the teacher, waiting for him or her to prompt them with the correct answer. 17Monologic Discussion

+ This teacher-centered, monologic format does not encourage vibrant, thoughtful student participation, and mostly results in guessing. Student ideas are not incorporated because the teacher has a specific set of points to make. When other ideas are shot down students actually become less comfortable speaking up, which will diminish future participation. 18Dialogic Discussion

+ Student-centered, dialogic conversation is much more robust and meaningful for students. In this kind of discussion, the teacher takes ideas from students, allows students to answer each others questions, and works with students to figure out the meaning in a text. This kind of discussion helps students understand and remember literature, relate it to their own lives, and move into deeper understanding. 19Student Success

+ A classroom where students are engaged, active participants in discussion, reflective readers, and confident writers is a classroom where students will be successful. These practices give teachers ample opportunities to ensure that their students will achieve at the highest possible levels while also enjoying their learning experiences. 20