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Talking,	
  Typing,	
  Teaching:
Helping Students Overcome Challenging Texts



Rebeca B. Delgado | Commonplace Entry #2
I recently had this
conversation with my
best friend from high
school:"
It made me sad to
think that his English
teacher did not give
the students the
confidence and tools
to engage in the
readin...
My friend’s plight with Paradise Lost made me wonder what his teacher could have
done to make the story accessible."
Looking	
  over	
  Beach	
  and	
  Wiggins,	
  I	
  found	
  that:	
  
talking about the text,	
  
creating interesting fo...
TALKING

Beach	
  (2012)	
  explains	
  that	
  one	
  of	
  the	
  most	
  integral	
  roles	
  that	
  an	
  English	
  ...
TYPING
Another	
  fear	
  that	
  many	
  students	
  share	
  from	
  junior	
  high	
  to	
  university	
  is	
  the	
  ...
TYPING
Beach	
  (2012)	
  explains	
  that	
  students	
  can	
  become	
  engaged	
  with	
  newfound	
  wri<ng	
  
ac<vi...
TEACHING
As	
  previously	
  men<oned,	
  being	
  clear	
  about	
  what	
  students	
  are	
  supposed	
  to	
  
underst...
TEACHING
Another	
  important	
  element	
  to	
  consider	
  as	
  an	
  English	
  teacher	
  is	
  the	
  likelihood	
 ...
In	
  reconsidering	
  my	
  friend’s	
  story	
  ader	
  
comple<ng	
  the	
  readings	
  from	
  the	
  past	
  
three	
...
REFERENCES	
  
•  Beach,	
  R.,	
  Thein,	
  A.	
  H.,	
  &	
  Webb,	
  A.	
  (2012).	
  
Teaching	
  to	
  exceed	
  the	...
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Rebeca Delgado - Commonplace Entry #2 - PDF

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Transcript of "Rebeca Delgado - Commonplace Entry #2 - PDF"

  1. 1. Talking,  Typing,  Teaching: Helping Students Overcome Challenging Texts
 
 Rebeca B. Delgado | Commonplace Entry #2
  2. 2. I recently had this conversation with my best friend from high school:"
  3. 3. It made me sad to think that his English teacher did not give the students the confidence and tools to engage in the reading. "
  4. 4. My friend’s plight with Paradise Lost made me wonder what his teacher could have done to make the story accessible."
  5. 5. Looking  over  Beach  and  Wiggins,  I  found  that:   talking about the text,   creating interesting forms of writing responses,   & clearly explaining how you want the students to understand the literature   are  all  valuable  ways  in  assis<ng  students  with  challenging  texts.  
  6. 6. TALKING Beach  (2012)  explains  that  one  of  the  most  integral  roles  that  an  English  teacher  plays  is   that  of  a  discussion  starter.  GeHng  students  to  talk  about  the  text  helps  them  to   externalize  their  thoughts  or  ques<ons  and  demonstrate  understanding.   Dialogic  discussions,  as  men<oned  by  Beach  (2012),  contribute  to  ensuring  that   students  do  not  fall  into  limi<ng  I-­‐R-­‐E  discussions  that  offer  only  closed  ques<ons   (ques<ons  with  only  one  answer)  that  the  teacher  facilitates.  However,  having   students  talk  to  one  another  about  the  text  and  ensuring  them  that  literary  analysis   supports  many  understandings  and  interpreta<ons  will  encourage  students  to  look  at   the  text  with  new  perspec<ves.  According  to  Wiggins  &  McTighe  (2005),  it  is   important  that  teachers  explain  to  students  that  the  study  of  literature  is  not  finite   and  that  “learning is an unending quest for findings”.  
  7. 7. TYPING Another  fear  that  many  students  share  from  junior  high  to  university  is  the  dreaded  essay.     But  what  if  teachers  considered  other  methods  of  wri<ng  responses?  
  8. 8. TYPING Beach  (2012)  explains  that  students  can  become  engaged  with  newfound  wri<ng   ac<vi<es  through  reading  and  crea<ng  comic  books.  One  such  work  that  is  op<mal   for  study  in  a  high  school  seHng  is  Art  Spiegelman’s  MAUS  (1986).   Students  may  also  construct  narra<ves  in  response  to  texts  by  wri<ng  their  own  drama   scripts  (Beach,  2012).  These  works  could  expand  upon  the  text  or  simply  be  a  crea<ve   wri<ng  ac<vity  on  their  own.  This  wri<ng  can  help  students  view  the  core  elements  of  the   story  in  new  light  as  they  work  to  adapt  the  plot  into  another  format.  
  9. 9. TEACHING As  previously  men<oned,  being  clear  about  what  students  are  supposed  to   understand  from  a  text  is  helpful  in  dismantling  dense  works.     Beach  (2012)  discusses  the  importance  of  evalua<ng  students’  work  through   forma<ve  assessments  that  give  students  consistent  feedback  about  their  progress   and  results.  Another  form  is  the  “feed-­‐up”  forma<ve  assessment  that  asks  students   to  “con<nually  clarify  their  purposes  and  expecta<ons  for  what  they  want  to   accomplish”  (Beach,  p.  237).    
  10. 10. TEACHING Another  important  element  to  consider  as  an  English  teacher  is  the  likelihood  of   students’  encountering  hurdles  in  the  reading.  Wiggins  (2012)  explains  that  this   “awareness  of  predictable  misunderstandings”  will  help  teachers  becer  prepare   lessons  that  cater  to  the  “rough  spots”  so  that  students  are  effec<vely  guided  through   them.   A  way  to  achieve  clarity  in  explaining  expecta<ons  for  reading  and  wri<ng  to  students   is  to  use  rubrics  (Wiggins,  2012).  Rubrics  provide  a  visual  breakdown  of  the  exact   criteria  that  the  teacher  expects  the  student  to  meet.  As  Wiggins  (2012)  writes,  rubrics   help  to  explain  that  understanding  is  “a  macer  of  degree  on  a  con<nuum”  and   answers  key  assessment  ques<ons  that  students  may  have.  
  11. 11. In  reconsidering  my  friend’s  story  ader   comple<ng  the  readings  from  the  past   three  weeks,  I  have  found  that  there  are   many  tools  and  ac<vi<es  that  his  teacher   could  have  u<lized  to  becer  prepare  the   class  for  Paradise  Lost.     By    teaching  with  clear  goals,  geHng   students  to  talk  about  the  text  &  write  in   crea<ve  formats,  teachers  can  becer  help   their  students  overcome  dense  and   in<mida<ng  texts  with  confidence  and   clarity.    
  12. 12. REFERENCES   •  Beach,  R.,  Thein,  A.  H.,  &  Webb,  A.  (2012).   Teaching  to  exceed  the  English  language  arts   Common  Core  State  Standards:  A  literacy   prac<ces  approach  for  6-­‐12  classrooms.  New   York,  NY:  Taylor  &  Francis.     •  Wiggins,  G.,  &  McTighe,  J.  (2005).   Understanding  by  design  (expanded  2nd  ed.).   Alexandria,  VA:  Merrill  Educa<on/ASCD.    
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