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TEACH Delta Region STANDARD

Table of Contents Seminar Review Pp. 1-2 ** Intern Spotlights P. 3 ** Mentors of the Month P. 4 ** Babies in Bloom P. 5 ** Practitioner’s Corner: Reflective Insights Pp. 6-7 ** Announcements P.7

Seminar Review Foldables Rachelle Applewhite I love foldables! I feel like foldables really bring a lesson to life and it also gets students more involved in a lesson on a higher order thinking level. They are constructing something from scratch and putting their name to it! I am currently planning a large end-of-the-year lesson on Louisiana as it is our bicentennial year and will be doing a large shutter-fold book. I am really looking forward to the students being able to display all of the parts of their unit in one place for a hopeful keepsake that they will hold on to and be proud of creating. Dr. Donna Packer is an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development at ULM. She taught first grade for 34 years at Claiborne Elementary and George Welch Elementary in Ouachita Parish. She retired in 2004 and taught at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS and then the University of Texas in Tyler, TX. Dr. Packer returned to Monroe and has been teaching early childhood and reading classes at ULM.

*Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education


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Seminar Review (Continue)

Scott McHand I enjoyed the seminar for Elementary teachers in March. Working with Dr. Dona Packer, Assistant Professor from ULM, making foldables was fun. She made foldables very interesting and I have used them in my classroom since the session. The students enjoyed making them in class as part of a review for a test on a Monday, and were still talking about them on Friday. I never knew that folding paper could be so educational! Thank you Ms. Packer for your time and dedication to education.

Reciprocal Teaching Stephanie Pierce During last month’s seminar, Mrs. Jackson presented the reciprocal teaching strategy in the format of cooperative groups. Each student was given a role: discussion leader, predictor, questioner, clarifier, or summarizer. Using cooperative groups lessens the burden on individual students and also facilitates peer tutoring. Students can answer questions and clarify the unclear parts of the text for each other. The beauty of cooperative groups coupled with reciprocal teaching is that all of the students have not had the same experiences and do not have the same knowledge base. Students are able to share what they know with regard to the topic being discussed, and this leads to a better understanding for the group as a whole.

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INTERN SPOTLIGHTS Bridgette Tannehill Bridgette teaches Child Development and Food & Nutrition at Ouachita Parish Alternative Center. She does an excellent job reaching at-risk students. Her class is very valuable for teens that are at risk of becoming teenage parents. She is quite knowledgeable in her content area and makes excellent use of technology. Bridgette introduces students to the realities of pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing. She is a Master Teacher. (Nominated by Mary Reighney)

Stephanie Pierce Stephanie teaches 8th grade English at a local junior high school. She teaches students with a wide range of ability in a school that has a high percentage of at-risk students. Stephanie has a strong knowledge of content, but more impressive is her ability to organize and present it so that students get the maximum learning opportunity. She works hard to motivate them by using things which interest them, and to which they can relate. It is very obvious that Stephanie enjoys teaching, she enjoys her students, and she enjoys trying to meet their needs on a daily basis. She is definitely an asset to her school and school system. (Nominated by Jo Pee)

Brandon Pierce Brandon teaches Life Science to eighth graders at Lee Jr. High in Monroe. He also coaches football and track. Brandon and his wife are the parents of a young daughter. His wife teaches at St. Fredrick’s in Monroe. They commute each day from Farmerville. Brandon strongly believes that teaching is giving. He says that it takes both knowledge and patience to teach. Having a positive attitude each day is also important to Brandon. He finds teaching at Lee to be rewarding and wants his students to see the usefulness of Life Science knowledge in today’s world. In Brandon’s classroom, students must take the knowledge they learn and apply it. He uses many “hands-on” activities in class. Students work in pairs or in groups on these activities. Sometimes the teams compete with each other and receive a reward for hard work in achieving their goal. This could be a treat or a test grade. He changes the makeup of the teams or groups and gets different sets of students to work with each other. This enables him to move around the classroom and to check for understanding. (Nominated by Polly Dupuy) 3


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Above & Beyond... Mentors of the Month Kaye Sharbano

Glenda Redden

I would like to nominate Ms. Kaye Sharbano as mentor of the month. When she comes to my classroom she not only observes me, but also gives me tips on how to make the students classroom experience better. Anytime I have a question, I know I can contact her and she will do her best to help. I can tell that Ms. Sharbano truly cares about the students she works with. She makes sure that as a teacher, I am given all the tools to succeed. Thank you, Ms. Sharbano, for all of your hard work and dedication to the ULM M.A.T. Program. (Submitted by Scott McHand)

Mrs. Redden has really exemplified what being a mentor is about. From the first time she walked into my classroom and saw me (resembling a deer caught in headlights!) to the final observation this spring, she has been a true blessing through my experience in the TEACH Delta program. In the fall, when I was struggling to keep up, she calmed and reassured me. As I became more comfortable in my lessons Mrs. Redden gave great tips and techniques to build my confidence and broaden my scope in the classroom. I received positive feedback, fair evaluations, and positive praises. I have been way outside of my comfort zone, but Mrs. Redden has been there to reassure me of my abilities to rise to the challenge. I am grateful for these things and will cherish them throughout my career. (Submitted by Rachelle Applewhite)

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Babies in Bloom Janishi Hightower and her husband are happy to announce the birth of their son, Elijah David Hightower, born April 5th, 2012. Elijah weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 ½ inches long.

Melanie and Keith McGough with their little daughter Ruby Jean McGough are happy to announce the birth of their new family member, Aubrey Atkins McGough, born April 12, 2012. Aubrey weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces.

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Practitioner’s Corner: Reflective Insights Reciprocal Teaching in Action by Stephanie Pierce

Imagine this: You are a 7th grade science teacher covering a unit on ecosystems. You peruse the Internet to find a current article that would enrich your students’ understanding of the concepts being covered. The bell rings, the students file in, you pass out the article and ask them to read it silently to themselves. You look over and realize that Billy is fumbling around with something in his backpack, Susie is drawing hearts on her notebook, and Joe is making silly faces. As you draw the reading session to a close and begin a discussion about the article, you realize that many of the students in your class cannot identify the main idea. Not only that, but many of them did not even make it through the article. What’s going on here? Unfortunately, many of us do not have to imagine that at all; we live it every day. Perhaps science is not your content area, but you know what it is like to hand a student something to read only to get blank stares and disengagement in return. Some of our students are not coming to us with the skills required to read and comprehend on grade-level. They are behind, and we have to find a way to catch them up. There are many strategies in our “teacher toolbox” which we could pull out to help them increase their reading skills. One such strategy is called reciprocal teaching. Reciprocal teaching is a scaffolding strategy, which breaks down the steps that skilled readers use every day. Struggling readers do not usually think about how they are supposed read; they just see the words on the page, realize that it is going to be difficult to understand, and either give up or zone out. Reciprocal teaching gives them a step-by-step process, which they can use with almost all reading assignments that will increase their comprehension. The delivery of the reciprocal teaching strategy can look different in various classrooms. One teacher may have students working out the steps on a worksheet while another may have Post-Its and a class poster. This activity can be completed individually or in cooperative groups. No matter the delivery method, the steps are always the same. 1. Students start off with the predicting step. In this step, students use what they observe by just looking at the article, book, or chapter. They make a prediction about the contents of the reading assignment based on titles, subtitles, graphics, vocabulary, etc. Students can also activate prior knowledge during this step, relating what they see in the reading to what they already know or have experienced. 2. After predicting, students read a portion of the text. Then, they stop and question. The questioning step helps students think about the material that they are reading. Asking questions gets the students to think about the unclear parts of the reading or things that they may want to know more about. Questioning encourages students to “dig deeper,” especially when the question is not answered in the text. Perhaps this could yield impromptu research for bonus points. 3. Students then clarify. Students should identify words, phrases, sentences, or whole sections of the text that they are unsure about. Students should then be given the resources (i.e., dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia) or strategies (i.e., re-reading, peer tutoring) that they need to ensure that they are clear about what the text is saying. 6


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4. Summarizing is the portion of the reciprocal teaching process which requires the student to find the important ideas or events from the text. During this step, students create a summary statement in their own words, which shows that they understand what they have read. Reciprocal teaching is a cyclical strategy. This means that as soon as a student completes one section of reading, the steps should be started over for the next section. Using what they know from what they read, students should predict what will happen in the next section of reading, generate questions, identify areas which need clarification, and summarize for the new section of text. It should also be noted that, although these are the steps of the reciprocal teaching strategy, they do not always have to be completed in the same order. Predicting is the logical first step, but the other steps can come at any point during the reading. For instance, a student may need to stop during a portion of the assigned reading and clarify a vocabulary word or write down a question that they have about that section. Students do not necessarily have to complete steps 2-4 in the listed order. Reciprocal teaching has proven to be an invaluable tool in my classroom. I have used it while reading fiction and nonfiction selections, long and short selections, in cooperative groups and individually. No matter the subject, reading assignment, or grouping format, students can benefit from reciprocal teaching. As students learn the process, our hope as educators is that we can remove the scaffolding and the students will still go through these steps in their heads as they read. At some point, each student will be ready to take off the “training wheels” and read competently on their own. That is when we step back, smile, and appreciate our jobs because we have just handed our students the keys to success: the ability to read and comprehend.

ANNOUNCEMENT •

Interns who have checked out laptops for Summer I & II 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2011, or Spring 2012 need to check out their laptops again. Basic personal information and the laptop's tag number are required for the check out. Contact Ms. Yantea Ingram at ingramyl@warhawks.ulm.edu. Interns who fail to complete the paperwork for the coming Summer 2012 to Spring 2013 will have a hold put onto their ULM account until the necessary paperwork is completed. Thank you for your attention!

Congratulations to Brittany Taraba, who submitted a project proposal to DonorsChoose and got funded. She will be granted a set of 6 activity tubs for 3rd to 5th grade science that have supplies or demonstrations for every topic in her curriculum.

Editors

Tiffany Jackson Professional Development Coordinator TEACH Delta Region

Photographers Cho Yi Sit Graduate Assistant TEACH Delta Region

University of Louisiana at Monroe Strauss Hall 260. 700 University Avenue Monroe, LA 71209

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Theo Cheng Graduate Student TEACH Delta Region

Sahara Ricks Graduate Student TEACH Delta Region

The TEACH Delta Region Standard- April Edition  

Newest edition of University of Louisiana at Monroe 's Master of Education program newsletter

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