TO: (another professor) I did have a few questions relating
to this site that I just opened. I was reading the response to the question
about teaching short story to ninth graders (you suggested SNOW! ) and
one major step was: 1) "Using ALL
pictures and using mime, the teacher introduced ALL vocabulary
words BEFORE reading the short story..." In how many class periods was this to
take place? And 2) what part of this major beginning is NOT teacher centered?
He/she appears to do all the work. Getting my 34 (per class) settled, involved,
and participating constructively seems to eliminate introduction of over 100
words in 43 minutes. Am I missing something? The NYC Dept of Ed is somewhat
fanatical about how they want things done according to specific "models" and the
observations go strongly against spending the whole time doing the instructing
(they prefer shared ignorance of students actually). But, I am missing the point
of "introducing" vocabulary. Just don't know where or how it can be done in any
reasonable time period.Thank you for your thought and information on this site.
I will most likely not have financial resources to pursue it but it has given me
some things to work with. SIGNED: __(an older - very much older - new teacher in
Welcome, to our Web Sites, and THANK
YOU for your visit and comments.
In reference to the story "SNOW!" I
personally had the wonderful opportunity to present this lesson, as
outlined, at a High School in Duplin County, NC. I was totally taken
aback by how "new" was the information I presented to the high school
students BEFORE we actually read the story (as part of Vocabulary
Development). They had never heard of the "Cuban Missile Crisis," had
no idea what nuns wore as part of their religious attire, knew nothing
about Friday drills or shelters against atomic fall-out, but
they totally enjoyed looking at the pictures I brought to the class
to present --at a fast pace-- the many vocabulary words they NEEDED TO
KNOW BEFORE reading to fully understand with 95-100% comprehension the
short story THE FIRST TIME they read it. AND THEY DID!!!!!
There is absolutely NO POINT in
reading text at the frustration level, that is, when the
reader has heard, seen, spoken and understood 80% or LESS of the words
he/she is about to encounter in text being read for the first time.
The point is to increase the amount
of PRE-READING VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT time so that the reader reads at
the INDEPENDENT level, that is, when the reader has heard, seen, spoken
and understood 95-100% of the words he/she is about to encounter in text
being read for the first time.
Reading Skills develop faster the
more a reader reads at the INDEPENDENT level.
That is what I did in the planning
and implementation of my lesson: A very effective way to develop
vocabulary and reading skills, including comprehension skills.
Of course, my lesson was
teacher-centered; however, I could have asked the students to research
in the Internet all the topics they would encounter in the reading
selection BEFORE reading "SNOW!" Students like to do that very much.
However, I was doing a demonstration lesson and did not have the
time for independent student research. On the other hand, I could have
used an LCD --as I do constantly in my own class-- and research WITH THE
STUDENTS the many "NEW" topics they would encounter in the reading
selection BEFORE doing the first reading of the text.
Surprisingly, with so many visuals
and physical mime of many movement words in the selection, the students
became totally involved in the lesson and AFTER the vocabulary building
(and the concomitant expansion of their knowledge base) they read the
story at the INDEPENDENT level with almost 100% comprehension. The
class periods in Duplin County, NC, lasted 90 minutes.
Now, if I would have been in Miami,
Florida or in Los Angeles, California, I would have had to add even more
visuals and vocabulary development since many of our students here in
Southern California have NEVER experienced "SNOW!"
I hope these ideas help you
visualize the lesson. And I DO feel sorry about the implementation of
"models" of instruction that do NOT take into account, as you say, the
knowledge base --many times a very LIMITED knowledge base-- that
students have. I do emphasize in my job description my main function
as "eradicator of ignorance," so I have no time to allow students to
share their ignorance about.
Thank you for the response - had actually taken the advice (before you
gave it but from what you indicated) and gave a quick (relatively
complete but without so many visuals) vocabulary development lesson
before reading - more complete than usual and, there was significantly
improved comprehension. Will work harder on visualization. Up to now,
much of my reading requirements were at frustration levels - problem
being the levels are unusually low in mixed classes. Again, thank you.
For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and
"coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK
- Training VIDEOS on the following topic:
1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading
- Training programs relating to E.S.L. instruction:
Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5,
7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for Paraprofessionals:
Web Site Programs for New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)
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Write and e-mail any additional questions you
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For information and credentials please click on the link below or
CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK, Ph.D.
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National Board for Professional Teaching
Standards, Certification (12/2006)
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