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: diana mayfield (mayfield@d20.co.edu)
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 18:20:34 EDT

  • Next message: Cindy O'Donnell-Allen: "Re: Reading in class"

    Sue Oliver wrote:
    > There was some discussion about reading aloud in class or giving class time for
    > students to read. I heartily agree that both should be allowed. I teach 8th
    > grade and most of my students enjoy being read to. Many of them are slow
    > readers and find it helpful to hear the first page or so before I turn them
    > loose to read on their own. It gives them a purpose for reading and I usually
    > leave off in a place where they want to keep reading. They keep at it until the
    > end of the story or chapter. This also helps slow readers to follow along with
    > the words. They can see and hear pronunciation and listen to how a sentence
    > should be read.
    > I also agree that kids need time in class to read. They do have hectic
    > schedules and appreciate (usually) what time they are given. If they misuse the
    > time, they don't get it in the near future.
    > One other idea. I just started a unit where I'm combining the reading of the
    > novel with their research. I gave them a list of 12 novels from which they
    > could choose. We have 10 of them as class sets, which I've taught before. They
    > must choose a novel that 3 other people in class are also reading. That way
    > they have a discussion group formed and we will meet in small groups along the
    > way. Also they must base a research topic on that novel. For example: No
    > Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt. They could research teen runaways, gangs,
    > circus professions, the Great Depression, hobos and Hoovervilles, etc. They can
    > choose any of the 12 novels and then select what topic they'll research based on
    > that novel. The other titles include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Iceberg Hermit
    > (Roth), Words by Heart (Sebestyen), Woodsong (Paulsen), Call of the Wild
    > (London), Hound of the Baskervilles (Doyle), Eva (Dickinson), Beardance (Hobbs),
    > Summer of My German Soldier (Greene), The Last Silk Dress (Rinaldi), and Z for
    > Zachariah (O'Brien). This gives the students a feeling that they have chosen
    > the novel and the topic and it's not being pushed down their throats. It will
    > also (hopefully) give a chance for quieter students to voice an opinion in a
    > small group that they wouldn't offer in front of the whole class. We'll see.
    > Any comments/suggestions?
    > Sue Oliver
    > ---------------------------------------------
    > Academy School District Twenty 20Mail
    Sue, I do something similar with in class reading. Currently, my
    sophomores are working on a three segment nonfiction unit. Segment One-
    20 minute in class silent reading of an autobiography/biography of
    choice (composition topic - recognizing objective or subjective point
    and view). Segment Two - a research paper on topic of choice. We are
    working on this through the research process in which each of six parts
    have due dates. Segment Three - selected readings from our textbook
    with one to two page, word processed summaries of related happenings.
    These will be turned in as a portfolio. We started this unit last week
    and will finish all segments May 5th. My juniors also read three
    contemporary novels written by American authors and do each of three
    activities - oral report/analysis, written review based on New York In
    Short, and a detailed creative project. I also give class time for
    silent, sustained reading. Diana.

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