Posted by: waldropcv | June 19, 2010

RE 4620 Course Reflection

This course has been the most beneficial teaching class I have taken yet (I hope there are others in the future that I find as helpful).  It exposed me to many helpful resources.  I plan on using many of these resources as a teacher.  I hope to use many of the different instructional strategies and lessons that I found through this, many of which I had never thought of before.  I think my personal favorite site I used for this class was Read, Write, Think.  I thought that many of the lessons on that site could be used very effectively in my class.  Now that I have been exposed to all these different resources, there is no doubt that I will continue to serach for new ones.  I have found out that the search for an exciting and interesting lesson plan is fun, and hope to continue to find useful ones in the future.  I don’t plan on continuing this blog, however.  As much as I have enjoyed reading and responding to other people’s posts and having other people read and respond to my posts, I know that I (and hopefully others from this class) will continue to research different methods of teaching without having to keep up with this blog.  This was the first online class I have taken, and look forward to my next one.

Thank you Ms. Deal and all my classmates for making this such an interesting and fun class.

Chris Waldrop

Posted by: waldropcv | June 19, 2010

Lesson Plan Summary

The lesson plan I found that is most intriguing to me as an instructor and hopefully as interesting to the students is called On a Musical Note (thanks Mr. Fulp).

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/musical-note-exploring-reading-861.html

In this lesson student’s are asked to read a book, and either while they are reading or after they read the book they are to create a soundtrack for the story and present their choices to the class.  There will also be classroom discussions about film’s use of music and sound and how those choices help or hinder a film.  It’s really as simple as that, but it is engaging enough for the students so that they will focus on what they are reading and come out with a better understanding of the story.  A helpful thing about this lesson plan is that it comes with many supplemental handouts that are helpful to the students to organize their thoughts on the text and the assignment of putting music to the text.  There are bookmarks students can use to mark significant passages: http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson861/SoundtrackBookmark.pdf  And a graphic organizer for students to even further devlop their ideas:  http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson861/SoundtrackChart.pdf  I would use this lesson for any high school grade level English class.

For the discussion on film’s use of sound and music I would use selections from a number of films to show how music creates an atmosphere that pictures and words sometimes cannot.  I would use some music from the Star Wars films (obviously, best soundtrack of all time), Saturday Night Fever, Purple Rain (second best soundtrack of all time), 2001: A Space Odyssey, and others.  These show a good representation of music (both instrumental and vocal) that contribute to a film’s story.

I like everything about this lesson, however the students’ presentation is essential and is what I like most from this lesson.  It gives the students an opportunity to explain their choices and how they relate to the story.

There is not much that I would change about this lesson plan, as it is one of my favorite I have found while searching for different lesson plans.  One thing that I would think would make it more interesting for both the students and myself is instead of having all the students do their assignment on one book, it can be used as a end of class project where the students can select any book we have read in the class to use for this project.  This would allow for greater diversity in the students’ work.

Posted by: waldropcv | June 18, 2010

Vocabulary Instruction Reflection

I think that the math teacher, Donna Hash, had the most difficult challenge to incorporate vocabulary instruction in her classroom.  There is very little room to add vocabulary in a math course.  Students have a difficult enough time learning everything else, so why through vocabulary quizzes at them too?  However, she made it work.  The one activity of hers that stood out to me was where she had students find out the etymology of words and similar words.   Words like “circumfrence” or “median.”  This can be very helpful.  If the student knows what the word “circumscribe” is, they will not forget what circumfrence means when that test rolls around.

The art teacher, Donna Link, deserves to be the North Carolina art teacher of the year.  The activities she came up with to incorporate vocabulary into her art class were incredible.  They introduced vocabulary to students, but not in a way like “We have to start teaching more vocabulary,” but in a way that made learning new words fun for the students.  Every one of her activities mixed her art class with vocabulary perfectly.

The idea of vocabulary in science class just seems natural to me.  In nearly all of my science classes up to 11th grade, most of the tests and quizzes were just on vocabulary anyway.  So Linda Miller got off easy on this one.

The English teacher, Lucas Pasley, would seem to have it easy to, as vocabulary is normally associated with English class.  Yet, he went out of his way to make vocabulary a prime focus in his class.  He incorporated Vocabulary Notebooks in his class, interestingly enough, I wrote about Vocabulary Notebooks for a Learning Strategy in a blog for last unit.  However, I didn’t think his strategy for the “final exam” was very good.  Sometimes a normal written test is the best choice.  As Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.”

Posted by: waldropcv | June 18, 2010

The Multigenre Paper Reflection

While reading this article, I was very skeptical about whether I would use the multigenre paper in my class.  I am not one who is stuck in the old ways of doing things, but I did not really understand how this would take the place of the classic research paper; though the first paragraph with all the negative comments about research papers did have me second guessing the research paper.  But I still wasn’t convinced until I read this, “The standard five-paragraph essay and documented research paper are oriented toward academicians (is that even a word?) only.  Real life writing seems to be made up more of letters, memos, invoices, maps (etc…)”.  99% of the students I am going to be teaching (I was in 11th grade when I had to write a research paper, and that is the grade I plan on teaching) are not going to be going into fields where they will need to write the type of research paper we are all used to.

The research paper I wrote in 11th grade was about the profession I was planning on going into at that time (which just so happened to be a high school teacher).  It was a little more interesting than a standard research paper in that we were to conduct an interview with someone in the profession we were writing on, I interviewed one of my favorite high school teachers.  So that was fun, albeit somewhat awkward.  But after reading and thinking about this, I wish I had been given the opportunity to write the multigenre paper.  Plus, I think it would be much more interesting to read as a teacher, if I have to read two classrooms worth of research papers as boring as mine was, I might go crazy.

Would you use this type of research paper in your classroom?  Would you have liked to write this instead of whatever kind of research paper you wrote in high school?

Do you think this could be a problem for students going to college, as they are expected to know how to write an academic paper?  Would that be reason enough to not do the multigenre paper?

Does the teacher need to teach all of these different genres (41 were used in the author’s class) to the students before they embark on this paper?  That would seem like a lot of time used to do all of that, however if it is not done the students may be limited in the forms they would write.

Posted by: waldropcv | June 18, 2010

“I” Poems Reflection

I really enjoyed reading the first article, the one that concerned the writing of “I” poems.  I tend to agree with nearly everything the article said.  I think “I” poems can be useful for any grade level.  Just a couple of semesters ago, I was required to write an “I” poem in a poetry class.  This is a great way to see how and what students connected with in the work they read.  And for the students who are less creatively inclined, they give the option for students to start with an outline of a poem and basically fill in the blanks.  This option can be just as effective as the other, as shown in the sample poem by a student “The Piano.”  When the article mentions imitating a poem, this is a very helpful strategy as well.  Just like the outline of a poem, it gives students a starting point where many students may not know how or where to start.  This form of imitation is also a very useful strategy (also used in the poetry class mentioned earlier).  I really liked the quote “We imitate not so much not so much to be like someone else as to learn what she/he has already learned.  When we know enough about how a poem is made, we are free to put our own stamp on things.”  This strategy of imitation can be useful not only for writers but for musicians too, as most musicians start by learning other people’s songs.  When that strategy is learned and understood one can begin to write their own songs [and poems].

Questions I have after reading this article:

Is basing a whole book on “I” poems necessary?  Do students need to write one, both before and after reading the book?  Wouldn’t writing just one when a student finishes the book be just as beneficial?

I wonder if when given the option to use the outline to create their “I” poem, the majority of students would choose it just for the fact that it would be easier and require less time and effort put into the poem?  If that were the case, would that then be a bad idea to offer that option?

Which would be a better point of view for students to write their “I” poems; from the point of view of the main character (as used with When Marian Sang), or to write from an inanimate point of view (as used with Sarah, Plain and Tall)?

Posted by: waldropcv | June 13, 2010

Instructional Strategies #3: Sketch to Stretch

Your Name: Chris Waldrop

Name of Strategy: Sketch to Stretch

Source: All America Reads

Link to the Strategy: http://www.allamericareads.org/lessonplan/wyw/after/sts.htm

Give a thorough description of the strategy and how it will be implemented:

Students will draw symbolic representations of their interpretation of a novel.  It is most effective when done after the reading of a novel.  The drawings can be anything; they can range from stick figures to a Jackson Pollack abstract piece.  However, each student will have to explain why they chose to draw what they did, and how it relates to the story.

Explain what part of the standard course of study is addressed by this activity.

Competency Goal 1: The learner will demonstrate increasing insight and reflection to print and non-print text through personal expression.

Competency Goal 2: The learner will inform an audience by using a variety of media to research and explain insights into language and culture.

Competency Goal 4: The learner will critically analyze text to gain meaning, develop thematic connections, and synthesize ideas.

Competency Goal 6: The learner will apply conventions of grammar and language usage.

Explain why you think this strategy will work. How does the strategy help your students learn?

This is a fun activity that will help students identify the main ideas and themes of a story.  It helps students understand symbols in a story while using symbols of their own to explain their personal reflection of the text.  Plus students will enjoy the break from writing.

Posted by: waldropcv | June 13, 2010

Instructional Strategies #2: Vocabulary Journal Review

Your Name: Chris Waldrop

Name of Strategy: Vocabulary Journal

Source: All America Reads

Link to the Strategy: http://www.allamericareads.org/lessonplan/wyw/vocab/journal.htm

Give a thorough description of the strategy and how it will be implemented:

Students will learn the meanings of confusing words or phrases by writing down these words or phrases in a chart.  Also in this chart they will write what they think the word means, as well as context clues that give them reason for this provisional definition.

The chart could look something like this:

Word/Phrase (page #) What I think it means Context Clues

Explain what part of the standard course of study is addressed by this activity.

Competency Goal 4: The learner will critically analyze text to gain meaning, develop thematic connections, and synthesize ideas.

Competency Goal 6: The learner will apply conventions of grammar and language usage.

Explain why you think this strategy will work. How does the strategy help your students learn?

This strategy will work because the students will learn to use context clues to help their understanding of certain words as well as the novel as a whole.

Your Name: Chris Waldrop

Name of Strategy: Predicting the Outcome

Source: All America Reads

Link to the Strategy: http://www.allamericareads.org/lessonplan/wyw/during/predict.htm

Give a thorough description of the strategy and how it will be implemented:

In “Predicting the Outcome” students will have read a chunk of a book and predict what will happen in the coming chapter(s).  This could be done in a couple of different ways.  The site recommends asking the students questions and having them answer these questions and base their predictions off of their answers to these questions.

I would go in a different direction and not give the students questions to answer so that their predictions will not be guided in the same way everyone else’s predictions would be.  It would be more telling of the students and their comprehension skills if their predictions were not guided by questions.  The students would write a short essay on their prediction and why they believe this will happen, as well as discussing their predictions with the class.

Explain what part of the standard course of study is addressed by this activity.

Competency Goal 1: The learner will demonstrate increasing insight and reflection to print and non-print text through personal expression.

Competency Goal 4: The learner will critically analyze text to gain meaning, develop thematic connections, and synthesize ideas.

Competency Goal 6: The learner will apply conventions of grammar and language usage.

Explain why you think this strategy will work. How does the strategy help your students learn?

The students will have to critically analyze the events leading up to the point in the novel which they are at, so as to make accurate predictions as to what will happen in the story.  The students will also be interested to finish the novel so as to see if their prediction was correct.

Posted by: waldropcv | June 4, 2010

Materials Review #3

1. Name of Site:

2. Link to Resources:

3.Source:

  • So to find many different songs to play for the class.

4.Identify the teaching topic of the materials—be specific. Identify the population of the students (grade, course):

  • The students learning this lesson would be in the 11th or 12th grade.  They will discover the common themes in poetry and music.  They will compare and contrast the themes and lyrics of poetry and jazz and rap music.  And how the themes reflect the lifestyle and culture of the author and time period.

5. Give a brief description of how the materials would be used:

  • Using YouTube, I would play selected recordings of jazz, hip hop and rap music, and have them write down characteristics of each style of music.  Then in a discussion the characteristics would be compared and contrasted.  Also using YouTube I would find selected poems, after listening, students would discuss the theme and subject of the poetry and compare the different pomes.  Then compare and contrast the music with the poetry.  The lesson plan suggests the poetry of Langston Hughes and the songs of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Grandmaster Flash, and Run DMC.
  • The students would then be split into larger groups and prepare a ten-fifteen minute presentation on either jazz or rap music.  The lesson plan suggests topics such as: Definition of music, Descriptions of music by individuals in that field, History of music (including era it became popular, pioneers in the field, etc.), Find at least four pictures or images to include in your presentation, Titles of the genre’s popular songs, Examples of at least four pieces of music, giving the theme/message and how it reflects the culture of the time. Use this music as a part of your PowerPoint or oral presentation.
  • As a final project for the lesson, the students using the themes they now recognize as appropriate for these styles, would create their own lyrics for their own jazz or rap song and present them to the class.

6. Explain why you would use this material with your students. How will the material help your students learn the topic?

  • YouTube gives students the quick and easy access to any song they want to study for its themes and/or ideas.  This lesson completes many of the national standards, but most obviously this one: Students understand the relationship between music and history and culture.
Posted by: waldropcv | June 4, 2010

Reaction to Internet Workshop and Blog Publishing

Internet Workshop and Blog Publishing, talks about how it is social studies teachers’ job to teach students to be “effective citizens”; aside from the fact that I’m not really sure what is meant by that phrase, I believe that it is every teacher’s job to help their students become something like an “effective citizen.”  As most of us know by now, there is more to being a teacher than just teaching 2 + 2 = 4.  Helping students grow into, [I hate to keep using this term, but] for the lack of a better term, “effective citizens.”  I tend to agree with this article in the idea of the increased use of technology and blogs that is currently happening.  I imagine it is in the not-to-distant future that many classes will be run like this one, completely through the internet.  Whether that is a good thing or not is beside the point.  It is important for future teachers to become more competent and comfortable with this type of technology and information.

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