Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chapter 10 Content-Area Learning

In reading content-area learning, I was disappointed about one thing, the arts are not mentioned. I understand that they are not considered a “core subject” but one can always hope. I feel that motivation and self-regulation, and language comprehension are items that I take into consideration when designing lesson plans. Having said that, the section of this chapter that intrigued me was the “writing to learn” idea mentioned on page 430. The book states that writing has been credited with improving student learning capacity and academic achievement. The language arts teachers at our school are firm believers of this theory. They require students to actively participate in the world that surrounds them, by commenting on events in the form of editorials. Some topics covered were, the border wall, the recycling ban and the Arizona law. The teacher then submitted the articles to the local paper’s “Letters to the Editor”. Over the past couple of months, a good portion of that classes’ letters were published. The students increase in self-efficacy in their potential to be published writers is quite evident. Students were in the computer lab researching literary magazines and online student sites for opportunities to publish more of their work. I couldn’t help but think, this is an excellent example of “writing to learn” and its benefits on student self-efficacy and academic achievement.
Do any of you, have any examples of instances similar to this, or other programs that exist out there?

5 comments:

Hilda said...

Wow! That is awesome! What grade levels are these? I also like the "writing to learn" idea. The more the students are exposed to different types of writing, the more they will get interested in writing. My students are 2nd graders and they began the school year writing very poor sentences. But I pushed writing a lot in my classroom this year. Their writing skills have greatly improved. The librarian even posted stories and poems that they wrote. they were so excited about the work they had created. It's very important that we make their writings meaningful to them.

Nila Pena said...

I agree with Hilda, that is awesome. it's great that they require the students to participate in world events. They are awakening them by making them aware that they have say so on what goes on in our world. I remember when I was in 6th grade my language arts teacher would have us write to a pen pal from the other middle school in our town. I belive it was every two weeks that we would write to our pen pals. She would then deliver our letters to their teacher and their teacher would do the same. It was neat, I think it did help us learn, because she would remind us about grammar rules, sentence structure and she would let us use the dictionary during the time that we would write out letters.

Renae Molden said...

This ties in very well to technology in education. I have had many English teachers tell me that using technology in the classroom is not their job but the technology coordinator's job. I disagree. Technology works best in an English based classroom. When a student has an authentic reason to write: newsletter, website, blog, etc. the students are much more motivated to learn to write well. For example, a student writing an article for a published newsletter will have a reason to use excellent grammar and to spell words correctly. They have an audience for which to perform.

Marni said...

That is a great idea, that bears repeating. I had always had my students read the newspaper each morning and comment on it, but never thought about sending their comments into the newspaper where they could get the gratification of seeing them. I used the "Writing to learn" in every subject where I could. I always thought that writing journals were a great way for the kids to remember what they had done, and also add comments.

Shannon said...

I think the lack of arts being mentioned is sad. My teachers use me on a regular basis. I am asked to help find songs that support their lessons. I have been asked to teach them and some have even been implemented into the form of a music program. I do agree that technology sure aids in our classrooms too.