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Topics - jingguojovie

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Feedback--Peer Review / Peer Review Form
« on: March 29, 2012, 01:15:37 PM »
-Janice Jayes, Olexandra Kostenko, Hamzah Abbadi, Jing Guo

This is the peer review form we created from Tuesday's class.

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General Writing Resources / Webblogging/Blogging in ESL writing
« on: February 07, 2012, 12:58:17 PM »
I started to blog in English on a regular basis on my own blogger as an English learner myself four years ago and found the writing experience meaningful and fun. I named my own blogger "Poetry and Prose Paradise" since I love to explore my life and verbalize them in these two genres. I have been hesitant to show anyone this blogger of mine but at some point, I thought it might be a good idea to share it with my students who I hope would find it inspirational and fun thus start to create their own English blogger and enjoy writing in English.

I think I could start by introducing the blogger site I use to my students and ask them to create their own. Teachers and students could share access to one another's blogger and exchange ideas and comments regarding writing in English. I guess I might want to give it a try in the future because as international student and non-native English speaking teacher at the same time, I share many similar experiences with the students in the ESL classrooms. Therefore, by making available my own writing to the students, I could probably encourage more of them to write more for fun rather than just write for academic purpose.

Following are a couple interesting sites:

http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Campbell-Weblogs.html
http://www.onlinedegrees.org/top-25-esl-blogs-for-teachers-and-students/

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  When I was teaching TOEFL and SAT back in China, one of my American colleagues who teamed up with me actually picked out this book—Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as her teaching material for the interest reading class as part of the SAT prep course. I though it was cool to pick an authentic English literature book as reading material for this interest reading class as part of the TOEFL prep course. And I thought it was a good idea for our private training school principle to assign a native speaker of English to teach this part of the course. I observed her first lesson. It was a very small class made of five 8th graders and I was kind of surprised none of them were intimidated by some of the “big words” (for example, I doubt many 8th grader would have the slightest idea what “muggle” means) in the first chapter. As a non-native English teacher, as I was reading the first chapter, I also had a couple of words (including “muggle”) that I did not know and chose to look them up as I went reading. But if I were to teach my students using this book, I am wondering if I should discourage them from looking up new vocabulary as they are reading since personally looking up words slows me down and sometimes spoils the fun of reading itself. However, I also find it necessary for me to understand those new vocabulary to be able to understand the whole idea. Even though a lot of times I am able to guess from the particular context what certain new words mean, I also think it is nice to look them up.

This colleague recommended a Harry Potter lesson website to me. She used these comprehension questions from this website to check if these students understood this first chapter. Growing up learning English like this (doing comprehension questions), I thought it was not a bad idea and I was used to this way. Comprehension questions based on the content of a novel chapter like this give me a chance to check if I understand who is who and what is going on in the story though I would say some of the following questions are more valuable than the others. So I think as teachers, when we are giving students comprehension questions, we need to be carefully designing our questions that are valuable and meaningful to the reading comprehension process.

I think Harry Potter is potentially a good read and teaching material even for an exam prep course such as the one I was one of the teachers of. And I think it is possible to combine the philosophy behind all the three models mentioned in class about reading: develop language skills through reading authentic texts, appreciate other cultures and enjoy the reading process.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 1 "The Boy Who Lived"
 
 1. The Dursley's were ----------- family.
 a) a wizard
 b) an ordinary
 c) a rich
 d) a royal
 
 2. Mr. Dursley became upset after hearing -------.
 a) the weather forecast
 b) the Potter family mentioned
 c) his wife was sick
 d) he lost his job
 
 3. The evening news reported -----.
 a) an elf sighting
 b) a new fashion trend
 c) an airplane crash
 d) strange owl behavior and shooting stars
 
 4. The cat ------.
 a) chased the other cats in the neighborhood
 b) had run away from its master
 c) turned into Professor McGonagall
 d) showed Albus Dumbledore how to find the Dursleys
 
 5. Dumbledore liked to eat -----.
 a) peppermint
 b) lemon drops
 c) taffy
 d) chewing gum
 
 6. You-Know-Who's name is really -----.
 a) Voldemort
 b) McGonagall
 c) Dursley
 d) Dumbledore
 
 7. Dumbledore's watch had ----- on it.
 a) Roman numerals
 b) six hands
 c) moving planets
 d) stars
 
 8. Hagrid brought Harry to the Dursleys ------.
 a) on a motorcycle
 b) in a car
 c) by bus
 d) in a boat
 
 9. Hagrid was -----.
 a) average-sized
 b) small and thin
 c) giant-sized
 d) a fat dwarf
 
 10. Harry was to live with ------.
 a) Albus Dumbledore
 b) Professor McGonagall
 c) Hagrid
 d) Mr. and Mrs. Dursley
 
 11. Why was everyone celebrating?
 a) Harry Potter was born.
 b) Voldemort had lost his powers.
 c) Lilly and James were dead.
 d) Dumbledore was elected head master.
 
 12. Dumbledore had to click the Put-Outers twelve times; because he didn't want anyone on the street to see anything that was happening.
 
 What is the best way to revise the sentence above?
 a) Because he didn't want anyone on the street to see anything that was happening Dumbledore had to click the Put-Outers twelve times.
 b) Dumbledore didn't want anyone on the street to see anything that was happening because he had to click the Put-Outers twelve times.
 c) Dumbledore had to click the Put-Outers twelve times and it was because he didn't want anyone on the street to see anything that was happening.
 d) Because Dumbledore had to click the Put-Outers twelve times he didn't want anyone on the street to see anything that was happening.
 
 13. Which sentences best summarize Chapter 1?
 a) The Dursleys are an utterly normal family in England - boring, overweight and typical. Mr. Dursley is the director of a drill-making firm, while Mrs. Dursley watches over their beloved son, Dudley, who can do no wrong in their eyes.
 b) After Dumbledore appears, he spies the cat and calls her Professor McGonagall. She transforms into an elderly woman with glasses and a tight bun, wearing an emerald cloak.
 c) Because of the attack, Harry has a large scar in the shape of a lightning bolt on his forehead.
 d) The Potters are killed by Voldermort. Their son Harry survives the attack. He is placed in the care of his relatives, the Dursleys, until he is old enough for the wizard world.
 
 14. Look at the graphic organizer.
 Description: http://www.mce.k12tn.net/reading18/sequence.jpg height=200

 
 Which event belongs in the empty box?
 a) The cat that had been reading a map turns into Professor McGonagall.
 b) Dumbledore explains that he has written a letter explaining everything to the Dursleys.
 c) Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and Hagrid make a toast to Harry Potter - the boy who lived!
 d) Mr. Dursley is hugged by a complete stranger.
 
 15. Which line from the story shows that it is written in third person?
 a) "Shoo!"
 b) A lemon drop.
 c) It's lucky it's dark.
 d) "I know . . . I know . . . " he said heavily.
 
 16. What is the implied theme of this chapter?
 a) Determination
 b) Surviving the Environment
 c) Good vs. Evil
 d) Friendship
----------Key----------
 
 1. (b)
 2. (b)
 3. (d)
 4. (c)
 5. (b)
 6. (a)
 7. (c)
 8. (a)
 9. (c)
 10. (d)
 11. (b)
 12. (a)
 13. (d)
 14. (b)
 15. (d)
 16. (c)


Source of the comprehension questions: http://www.mce.k12tn.net/reading18/harry_potter.htm

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