Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel


From: Julie Hoffman (hoffmanj@basd.k12.pa.us)
Date: Tue Mar 28 2000 - 17:16:25 EST

  • Next message: Cheryl A. Schober: "Re(2): Question"

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    on 3/28/00 9:21 AM, ATHENAN418@aol.com at ATHENAN418@aol.com wrote:

    > As I sit and read many of your responses to how your students are reading and
    > responding, I start to get a little jealous. I work in a filled with students
    > who come from a variety of school districts. All of my students and I do mean
    > WRITING." I would love to have just one student come to school and not moan
    > and groan about having to read. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming and
    > frustrating when you have all of everyone else's reluctant readers in one
    > group.
    > I could see if these are kids who couldn't read, but they are not. These are
    > kids who have already made up their minds that reading "these stupid boring
    > books is dumb." With these types of kids, you are always recreating the
    > curriculum. It is truly challenging and at times rewarding, but the sane part
    > of me yearns for the group that may one day, at least once, (or twice) read a
    > book without the daily tug of war or pulling of teeth.
    > Shelia
    Shelia, I too work with students with this attitude. Oddly enough, they are
    very opinionated and love to discuss their opinions. I tell them early on
    that opinions are great as along as there is evidence to support what you
    have to say - it lends credibility to what you have to say. Since we do
    read and we do discuss in English class we approach our reading with looking
    for "hidden" evidence. One of the techniques we work on early in the school
    year is substantiating opinions with evidence from our reading. When they
    are looking for specific pieces of evidence to support an idea or opinion,
    they are more apt to enjoy a piece of work. They seem to bond to a story if
    they have to tear it apart to look for information. Another technique I
    have used with my non-readers is to give them each some tiny post-it notes.
    We draw a smiley face for character, a thunderbolt for conflict, a question
    mark for any questions they have about a section, and any other markers you
    can think about to demonstrate a literary term, etc. They use these in
    their books as they read as a landmark for certain answers they must find or
    to mark questions they have about the writing itself. I have found this
    helps with discussion as the kids feel more confident sharing things they
    have found in their reading.

    We do do a lot of reading aloud in class, some audio stories too, just to
    get them hooked on listening.


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