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Messages - ryanboydryanboyd

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The Westing Game -- Lessons / Re: Chapter's 1-7 Lesson Ideas
« on: October 20, 2011, 08:57:44 AM »
I created a writing assignment to distribute to students.  The writing assignment asks students to focus on creating topic sentences as well as building sufficient support for the topic sentences through explanation.  I'm not quite sure if the length of the assignment (400 words) is appropriate for this level though.  Any suggestions?

I have developed pre, during, and post tasks that focus on building metacognition of English learners that are required to read Astronomers Debate Where 1st Interstellar Starship Should Visit.  The tasks are designed for intermediate to advanced learners.  See the attached document for task details. 

The Westing Game -- Lessons / Chapter's 1-7 Lesson Ideas
« on: October 03, 2011, 12:37:25 AM »
 Since there are so many characters throughout the book, I thought method to keep track of the character's is necessary.  This sort of evolved from Jo's post about using Facebook profiles as a during reading task to keep track of characters.  Basically, each student (assuming we are teaching a class of 16 students) would be assigned a different main character in the story.  Each student would then be required to create a poster that provides some basic information about his or her assigned character.  The following would need to be included:

-A picture of what the the student imagines the character might look like (the teacher may bring magazines to class for poster development days to help with this)
-One quote from the Westing Game that describes the character with an explanation as to why it relates to the character
-A brief description that illustrates what the character likes to wear, what the character looks like, and how he or she acts
-A brief description that illustrates why the character is believed to be innocent of killing Mr. Westing or not

Each week or class day, students should update a "status" on their poster by putting a new hypothetical quote that the character might say that is related to the events that have occured in the previous reading.  Post-it notes or some other easily removable writing tablet  should be attached for this to make updates easier to manage.
A second activity would come at the end of chapter 6.  The students would be assigned a 3-paragraph essay that asks them to explain who the student believes killed Mr. Westing and who they believe did not kill Mr. Westing. The students will need to have

Reading Activites (during reading) / Re: Facebook Character Profiling
« on: September 20, 2011, 04:10:39 PM »
That seems quite clever and fun!  This ties in quite nicely to character development. 

You could assign small groups of students to a main character in the text.  They would then be required to create an actual online profile (using Facebook, Myspace, Cyworld, or even Ren Ren in certain EFL contexts).  The students could refer to these profiles for character background information.  Additionally, the group of students who are in charge of each character's profile could be required to make status updates from each character's perspective based on what happened in the assigned reading segment. 

To take this idea further each group's character could then befriend the other characters in the novel and comment on the status updates from the perspective of that group's character.  It will help students understand the characters better as well as what is occurring in the assigned reading--not to mention that it could motivate students to read and participate more since social networking has become quite popular especially in high-school-aged students these days.

Reading and writing can be taught not only in the real world, but also in a virtual world.  The materials below briefly illustrate methods that can be used for reading and writing based tasks in a virtual world--specifically Second Life

Since such a class would be taught entirely through the internet, the amount of technology necessary to make lessons successful seems to grow exponentially.  However, here I only present only two online services that can work alongside Second Life to help students in RW classes. 

Google docs can be used to allow students to work on short, in-class writing activities.  This works well with second life's voice chat function, so that the students can write and discuss simultaneously.

Dropbox can be used for collecting reading comprehension questions as well as submitting in class reading quizzes to ensure that students complete reading assignments.

Included are the materials that briefly explain ways in which reading and writing can be taught in a virtual world. 

-The outline (boyd_445_rw_presentation.doc) contains basic information.

-The presentation (ryan_445_slrw_presentation.ppt) contains some screen shots that depict how some strategies for teaching writing can be implemented in a virtual world such as Second Life.

-The critical review of Google docs (ryan_boyd_587critique.doc) can provide background knowledge on how Google docs works.

-Lastly a step-by-step for setting up a shared Dropbox folder can be found in the (01_115_dropbox.doc) document

I would have to teach "Human Is" to an advanced group of students or a high intermediate students in a country that is technologically advanced (maybe Korea, Japan, or China). 

I think that a good pre-reading activity for students would be to write a paragraph describing their understanding of what a human is and to write a second paragraph describing their understanding of an alien.  It would work well for some schema activation. 

After reading the story a short 3-paragraph essay could be assigned asking the students to choose whether they believe it it is right for the alien to inhabit Lester's body.  They should provide support for their choice.  As a class you could also take a vote on this issue.

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