Monday, September 24, 2012
One SDAIE strategy that I've observed at my school site (specifically that my CT does) is using both visual representations such as power point slides to convey information on what the class is currently working on or relaying the homework for the day as well as verbally reinforcing the written directions. This helps ELL's through both hearing the directions and through seeing the words projected on the smartboard.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
There are multiple injustices at my school site. There aren't enough textbooks for every student and some teachers are making due with a classroom set of books that are meant to serve anywhere from 120-210 students. However, the injustice I chose has to do with the desks in the classroom. For the first three schools days, there were not enough desks. Classroom size ranges from 40-44 students and we were short 8 desks for those three days. The students that arrived late either had to stand for the entire two hour class or sit on the floor.
Two teachers were laid off over the summer, however this doesn't account for the lack of seats. Budget cuts and the desire to have all the desks look the same caused "Desk-gate". Our classroom was not the only one that was short desks, however, we were one of the last to get the desks we needed. The students were the ones to suffer in this mess of a situation. Those that were forced to sit on the floor had trouble seeing the board. The only consolation is that it was in the beginning of the school year when introductions were still in progress and in-depth instruction had yet to begin.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
I grew up with two parents who loved to read. Almost every weekend was spent in a bookstore acquiring more books. Good books, bad books, science fiction books, horror books, mystery books, young adult books, definitely adult books, reading was always an important part of my life. Many a late afternoon was spent sprawled on the couch or purple unicorn bedspread, eyes dancing across inked words with minds far away conjuring images of places that could only exist if I closed my eyes. I saw a movie every weekend that no one else could see but me. I love to read. My own personal tier of hell consists of being a world devoid of books and writing or something similar to Idiocracy.
With my love of reading and books, I understand that not everyone shares my passion. My parents were instrumental in my literacy and parents are the keystone to whether children grow up liking to read. I designed a simple survey that I gave to three class periods at my school site. All three periods were English 3 CP and a total of 112 students were surveyed anonymously. The survey asked four questions:
- Do your parents read (newspapers, books, etc.)?
- How often do you read on your own (non school books, magazines, social media sites, etc.)?
- What do you read the most (magazines, books, social media sites, etc.)?
- Do you like to read? Why or why not?
91 of the students responded that their parents read in some form. 64 students said they enjoyed reading. The majority of these students said they preferred books and reading material they picked. However, I found issues with the survey. Some students either read the questions wrong or didn’t care enough to answer the question correctly. For example, one student wrote “yes” for question 2. There were a few other anomalies that followed along the same lines. Many students were very vague for the second question and I believe that was my fault for wording the question the way I did. For future surveys, if I ask that question, I’ll have to ask it in a multiple choice format.
One of the common comments that students wrote for why they don’t like to read is that books are boring or that it takes up too much time. These two comments convince me of one thing, the students haven’t found the right book. A book exists for everyone, sometimes it’s difficult to dig through the ones that the person has no interest in.
Overall, I learned quite a bit from the survey, though I will have to rework a few questions for clarity if I decide to use this survey again.