Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Secondary Sources for Ethnography paper

My question is, how do you pick material that is suitable for students and what do you do with parents who don't agree?

I've only looked at one source but I've learned that it's important to look at the district requirements first and see what the choices are and then limit your selection from there. After you have a better feel for the classroom, it will be clearer what types of material they are ready to handle. Providing parents with the knowledge of what material will show up in these books and how you find it relevant will defend your rationale and hopefully sway their opinion.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Class Blog (teaching reading)

learning how to post a blog for a class

Friday, October 24, 2008

What is the last step an educator can take to convince a parent to allow their child to read a particular book?

If I were in this situation, I think I would encourage the parent to read the book along with their child. Maybe the reasons they have for opposing it are opinions from other people who have read the book; if they read it and get the chance to discuss it with their student while that student is also reading it in class, perhaps they would feel more comfortable with the material. They could also read it before their kid has the chance to so they can then make the final decision. I would describe my rationale for the choice, show them what kinds of projects and analysis we'll be doing in class, and the main themes I want students to get out of it. If they see what the main focus points will be maybe they will realize that the material that they were uncomfortable will be explained or taught in a way that doesn't shock students, just informs and teaches in a way that lets them come up with their own interpretations of the work. I'm guessing the department would have to approve the book anyway so letting parents know it's on the list of acceptable books for the school they may change their minds.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Response to Gee and Delpit

Gee disagrees with Delpit concerning acquisition, stating that it is definitely NOT learning, rather an inherent ability to build knowledge of a language through the exposure to conversation in the home. They both agree that “apprenticeship” and learning “superficial features” are ways to identify insiders and outsiders, or who they should include and who are excluded from a certain discourse community.

I stand somewhere in the middle, maybe a little closer to Delpit in that acquisition is in a sense learning as you continue to acquire parts of your discourse as you grow older. I also believe teachers should try not to resort to “not teaching” based solely on the grounds of discomfort or fear of embarrassing the student. In a way that doesn’t single the student out, they should find time to correct mistakes so that the student is aware and won’t make the mistakes later down the road when they could be embarrassing.

These arguments are relevant to us as English teachers because we are aiding student’s “apprenticeship” in the form of schooling: it prepares them and exposes them to different manipulations, usages, and forms of language that they can then apply to their futures. They are always learning more about their language, their primary discourse is the foundation but they will continue to grow from there. As Gee explains, you cannot be considered an “insider” if you do not have a good control of the language or if you can’t use it to function within the group.

I’d like to explore or learn more about how to modify lessons for second language learners as to accommodate all levels of language speakers in my classroom.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Language Investigation 3

As a child, I've always loved English. In Elementary School, fifth grade in particular, I was placed in 6th grade spelling. My friends and I in this group were the "Bees," as in spelling bees. This catapulted me into loving the subject.

My high school years were the most influential. After my dad died, I wanted to write a book that adolescents dealing with loss didn't have. I started writing journals and experiences and things I thought would help grieving teens. Teachers in high school helped me tremendously and I built on my writing skills through their guidance.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Warm Up 2: Chapters 5 and 6 of Rose

1. What kinds of reading and writing did you see students doing in school? Why do you think Rose chose these assignments?

They were reading and writing things that sometimes were out of their comfort level as well as things that could help them relate to their pasts. Shakespeare, for instance, caused anxiety and angst as one student in particular couldn’t get a grasp on the language. When reading poems to the veterans, he seemed to choose things that would reflect on their own lives. One man on one of his phone conversations said the speaker of a certain poem seems like an old man that has led a good life. I think he chose these assignments to both challenge and build upon skills and knowledge while reinforcing works that could be relatable and more understandable. I think also that these assignments were in place to help build confidence. The young girl reading Shakespeare, after he practically dragged her through each scene, admitted that while she didn’t like the text, or didn’t know is she liked it or not, she did like knowing what it was about. Rose seems to be helping students build confidence in themselves and find ways to respect text even if they can’t understand them completely. The students were writing what they knew to begin with: who they are as people, what their hobbies are, what their families are like. From there, Rose encouraged them to branch off and discover new ways of writing and news things to write about.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Language Investigation 2

The vocabulary I use with my friends is mostly abbreviations and combinations of other words that save us from actually pronouncing them separately. At our apartment, if someone announces that they are taking a "b show," (pronounced shau) everyone knows they are referring to a body shower, one where you don't wash your hair, therefore making it much faster. After that, everyone may indulge in some fresh baked "cooks," or cookies.

We also have names for people that have come about by accident. My younger sister, Dani, is forever "Dank" to my roommates, as that is the first choice that comes up when you try to text her name. "Thermo" is is our friend Theron, another texting related creation.

My boyfriend and I are constantly stretching our English muscles with displays of language manipulations: combining phrases to make words only we will understand. When we first met, we discovered a shared concern for men who have large "man boobs," or "moobs." One might even call them "super man boobs." From this, we now refer to them as "moopers." When something is extra, ridiculously great, is "ribedonkulous." Its origin unknown, we think it may have ALSO been texting related.

With my family, we share a discourse based on shared memories and experiences. In a setting with friends, our discourse comes from our everyday life, the things we use, and possible immaturity that seeps through the brilliant, college exterior.