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Ayse Oral SEYSL 750, Professor Hacker

Recognition and observation are applicable to all aspects of life. Recognize that you, yourself, the teacher is a student and you will succeed as an effective teacher.

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Take interest in your students Observe their behaviors (i.e. are they tired, misbehaving, etc.) Remember that teaching is a human service and students should be seen as humans, and not just children Watch and learn Kid-Watching "They are effective observers and listeners, which leads them to solid ‘kid-watching’ decisions" (Allen, p. 7). Teachers who "kid-watch" are not only concerned with students' reading abilities or students' abilities to answer a list of comprehension questions correctly. These teachers nurture the entire student, and they know that students should be seen as people with interests, lives, fears, and dreams.

Inference Huh?!

Inference is simply a fancy word for drawing your own personal conclusion. Many students are asked to make an “inference” based on the information they have read in the text. However, the word itself—inference—can throw students off and us as teachers can experience losing another student into blankness.

Beers (2003) offers some techniques to resolve the inference confusion: (1). recognize the antecedents for pronouns (2). figure out the meaning of unknown words from context clues (3). figure out the grammatical function of an unknown word (4). understand intonation of character’s words (5). identify characters’ beliefs, personalities, and motivations (6). understand characters’ relationships to one another (7). provide details about the setting (8). provide explanations for events or ideas that are presented in the text (9). offer details for events or their own explanations of the events presented in the text (10). understand the author’s view of the world (11). relate what is happening in the text to their own knowledge of the world (12). offer conclusions from facts presented in the text.

Writing To Learn Reading and Writing Strategies Teacher-Student Correspondence


Teacher-Student Correspondence Writing Activity 1. Use question prompts to engage in controversial discussions on paper between you and your students 2. Prompts can be aligned to the topics that you are teaching 3. Use this communication method to get to know your students in a short period of time, and throughout the course of the year 4. This activity can also be used as an assessment. Ask students questions regarding the material you are teaching, and ask if they understand the information or whether they are having issues with the material. Mostly leave it open ended. 5. Utilize this tool with a writing assignment and have students respond to a prompt in which asks what area of the writing assignment they might need the most help Example Prompt "What bothers me the most right now is..." Example Response Prompt "The best advice I can offer you is..."

Falk (1979) states that language, including reading and writing, “cannot be taught in the traditional sense; it must be learned through…extensive exposure to and practical experience with the use of language in actual, natural contexts and situations” (as cited in Gambrell, 1985, p. 512).


The ultimate key to help students exercise healthy and effective writing habits is to incorporate the writing they already use in their daily lives such as, texting, note writing, emailing, etc. In addition, include what or who they might be most curious to learn about such as, the teacher.


Referenced Article Dialogue Journals: ReadingWriting Interaction Helping children learn to read and write as naturally as they learn to talk, dialogue journals offer interesting lessons for teacher and student.

Gambrell (1985) makes a wonderful suggestion, an activity in which all teachers, for all grade levels can use in the classroom to encourage writing. The Activity: Dialogue Journals

(Gambrell, 1985)

Helpful Guidelines to follow when using dialogue journals: 1. Materials: Make sure to use bound notebooks such as, marble notebooks in order to avoid ripped pages. 2. Motivation: Motivating students to write in dialogue journals is fairly simple for younger students, however in order to encourage older students, simply ask how the students feel when they receive an email or a letter from a friend. Most children, and adults feel very special when they receive a letter. 3. Time: Use 10 minutes of class time per day for students to write in their dialogue journals in order to show students that these journals are a serious contribution to their education. In addition, teachers can make writing in the dialogue journals a part of independent work or students can use these journals to respond to Do No prompts on the board.

Book Group

Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle

The Writing Workshop Model 1. Allow students to write freely 2. Hold independent conferences with students 3. Allow students to peer review in order to take ownership of their work 4. Observe your students 5. Focus on the grammar portion towards the end of students' writing

The Seven Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Writing: 1. What do I do when some of my students simply do not finish their work? 2. What do I do if my student limits his or her writing to only one topic all the time? 3. What do I do with a student who has great ideas but does not write clearly, spells incorrectly, and does not use proper grammar? 4. What do I do for students who have just arrived from another country and must write in English? 5. What do I do to encourage my students to revise their papers? 6. Should I allow my students to write about anything? 7. Does heterogeneous grouping really work?

Seven Suggestions and Answers: 1. Be persistent. Basically, take on the role of a nagging parent, but without the nagging part. If you see the student in the hallway, remind him or her that he or she still needs to hand in a paper. Allow the student to come during lunch, after school, etc. 2. A student who writes only about one topic all the time is not in jeopardy of falling behind in enhancing his or her ability to write well. In fact, it is actually a great idea for the student to be engrossed in his or her topic so deeply that he or she can always write on that particular topic from another angle. 3. Establish whether the student is not concerned with conventions or whether he or she does not know how to use conventions. Allow the student to type his or her work on a word processing program in order to eliminate some errors as he or she writes. Finally, find a way to publish the student's work in order to emphasize the importance of paying attention to grammatical conventions. 4. Allow the student to write as much as he or she can in English, and allow him or her to write in his or her language. The student can translate the written work at a later stage, and it can help to encourage his or her peers to help during collaboration. 5. Share a piece of written work that you may have and revise it in front of the class as part of a mini lesson. Also, allow students to trade papers with one another, provide a worksheet guide, and let the students make corrections on one another's papers. 6. Too much freedom can warrant some very graphic stories from our teenage students. Make sure to converse with students about their ideas in order to ensure that the ideas are appropriate. 7. Mixing and crossing-culture grouping works to enlighten students on their peers work ethic, behavior, etc. Often times, students who are privileged and students who are underprivileged can teach each other a great deal about life, and the ways in which each student approaches life, lessons, and especially, written assignments.

Student's Level of Interest in Selections of Genres

Case Study

The First Hand Experience of a Literacy Specialist To Be

Sci-Fi Mystery Classics

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (1948) The History of the Lottery by Winning With Numbers (2006)

Chosen Texts

Death by Stoning: The Condemned by Head, T (2012)

FYI The results of the QRI-5 (Leslie & Caldwell, 2011) revealed that the student was able to read high school level texts. Therefore, “The Lottery” (Jackson, 1948) fit the student’s criteria for texts in which she favors, and the story is read in grades 912. Subsequently, two short nonfiction texts titled, “Death by Stoning: The Condemned (Head, 2012) and “The History of the Lottery” (Winning With Numbers, 2006) were read in order to build background knowledge regarding punishment by stoning and how the lottery began.

Retrieved from: Coding Strategy

1. Concepts or facts the student already knew was marked with a check (√) 2. Information the student found confusing was marked with a question mark (?) 3. New, unusual, or surprising information in which was understood, but shocking to the student, was marked with an exclamation point (!) 4. After all the reading was done, the student replaced all of her question marks with an asterisk (*)

Case Study Part 2

The First Hand Experience of a Literacy Specialist To Be

Before (Lemons) Pre-reading Strategy

Addressing Controversial Issues: Justice, Double Standards, Corporal Punishment, etc.

After (Lemonade) After Building Background Knowledge

Motivation to Read: Responding to Prompt “You’re given the power to kill people simply by thinking of their death and twice repeating the word goodbye. People die a natural death and noone will suspect you. Are there any situations in which you would use this power? [Explain why or why not]” (Stock, 1985, p. 19). 

Student develops a conversation with the text.

Instructor models by responding to the question prompt.

Student and instructor continue to stop every ten minutes to respond to what they have read in the text.

A heated debate of why, and when this power can be used, and the debate revealed the student's ability to write persuasively. In addition, as the instructor and student continued to read the story, the prompt lingered in the student's head and it caused her to revert back to her original answers and change her mind often. Great reading behavior!

The Book of Questions by Stock (1985)

Case Study Part 3

The First Hand Experience of a Literacy Specialist To Be

Visual Literacy "You Gotta See it to Believe it: Teaching Visual Literacy in the English classroom" by Seglem & Witte (2009) Strategy: Tattoos (p. 218)

Lesson Objective: Evaluate and interpret the symbolic significance of the multiple images presented, and create one to two paragraphs in which will demonstrate student's inferences.

Reference: Seglem, R., Witte, S. (2009). You gotta see it to believe it: Teaching visual literacy in the English classroom. Journal of Adolscent & Adult Literacy, 53(3), pp. 216-226.



 Analyze picture, write a few sentences describing the reason why the artist may have drawn the picture

 Two printed copies of a tattoo design

 Give each image a name

 Colored Pencils

 Write the images down on the Relationship of Two Images handout  Explain the relationship between images  Choose 3 pairs of images  Put 3 pairs of images on Death and Eulogy Worksheet  Write one paragraph eulogy for each image that is identified as a eulogist

 Two handouts: Relationship of Two Images and Death and Eulogy

 Journal Notebook

Why Use It?

The Image

The tattoo strategy utilizes popular culture as a means to engage students in critical thinking skills such as, interpretation, synthesizing information, and transforming one’s background knowledge into more, non-linear literary inquisitions. (See following pgs. for student work, etc.)

Thoughts and Reflections Hmm, group work, technology, multiliteracy, public writing, good reading behaviors, blogs, hands on teaching, brochures, creativity, oh my!?

Nontraditional Writing Projects A wonderful, and effective way to write about the information we learn in class or learn about ourselves was the travel brochure. Although the idea was to hone in on a topic such as ancient Greece, or WWII and explore different areas in which some events have occurred, I was able to utilize my creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to expand on an issue that was very personal. By taking a previous assignment and integrating it into the travel brochure assignment, I was able to learn more about myself and my learning disabilities. As a result, upon finishing the travel brochure, the entire assignment made me realize how open ended the assignment can be if my students choose to take the same route. In addition, the assignment explored a different type of writing that is often overlooked in the classroom because of the push to infuse conservative writing into our students minds. Ultimately, the parody of the travel brochure actually helps to make the writing process more fun and it will surely help students remember important information.

Group Work Creates Learning Harmony Collaborative Work

I must be honest. I am not a huge fan of working in groups. Group work tends to create a burling anxiety for me, and since I have very strong opinions and a strong personality to boot, I have a tendency to bump heads with my group members, or worse, I suppress all of my leadership qualities for the sake of keeping the peace. However, I have discovered a wonderful quality in human beings when they are bound together, whether forcefully or willingly, we are always there to rescue each other in times of stress and uncertainty. During the book group presentation, I was taken aback by my group members' amiable nature and immediate instinct to rescue me from falling apart in front of the class. I know now that collaborative work groups are not Revisiting Old Assignments is a great way to Travel simply to create heterogeneous groups or to have students help each other in order to lighten the teacher's load. No. Collaborative work groups remind us humans to push aside our pride, be open to suggestions, and allow others to help you.

Ayse Oral Notebook Presentation  

Ayse Oral SEYSL 750, Professor Hacker Teachers who "kid-watch" are not only concerned with students' reading abilities or students' abilitie...

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