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Messages - dunn10

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Using Literature / Re: Using images to teach reading strategies!
« on: May 06, 2020, 10:58:44 PM »
Your lesson reminded me of a different lesson where the students are provided a picture and have to write captions for it. I think for older students or more advanced students they could provide a more detailed analysis of a photograph. The New York Times offers a resource called "What's Going on In This Picture", a picture is provided and the students have to figure out what's happening. It's great for engaging students schemata and critical thinking skills.

Here is the link

I agree that addressing the student and asking how they feel about their paper is important. I think this shows you recognize their efforts and you respect them. Additionally, individual conferences are a nice way to interact with students that might otherwise be shy in front of their peers. I like to take a little time to ask them some questions to help build rapport. As one of my colleagues calls it "shooting the breeze". In doing this, i hope students feel more comfortable during class, and have a lowered affective filter that will allow them to fully participate. Lastly, individual conferences are a great time to check-in with students that might be struggling with the class. I always try to prepare some ideas/solutions for students that I notice are struggling and encourage them to contact me, when they are in need of help or not understanding class content. When you deliver this information one-on-one, I have found the students take your advice to heart. When, I make suggestions or encourage students to reach out to me if they are struggling as a message to the whole class, I never get any follow-ups.

General Reading Links / Advanced Reading: Creating Imagery
« on: May 06, 2020, 10:12:13 PM »
I've used this article with advanced students in the past. I have them read the article for homework and highlight or take note of any of the unique methods or language the writer uses to create imagery or details within the story. During class, we have an open discussion about what the students think. Some common comments students make are the use of unique adjectives/ vocab, using -esque (dali-esque). Some questions to help guide the discussion are;

How would you describe the main character's personality? What in the text allowed you to form your opinion of his personality?

What feeling do you get when the author is describing the landscape?

What do you make of the writers questions and the main characters short answers? How does this Q&A help you conceptualize the main character? What are you learning about the main character?

Another idea I've had is to have the students write a short story based on the photos from the article (before reading the article). After they write their short story they can compare their story to the article. This activity could give the students a different perspective on their writing skills and identify some components they might want to develop for descriptive writing.

BBC Article The Dogged Old Man Of The Badlands. 

Here are a few more FREE resources;

OASIS: This source is a collective from 97 sources (majority of which appear to be academic) that allows you to search for a wide range of educational tools; textbooks, courses, modules, audiobooks.... When I searched textbooks for "ESL", I received 700+ results. This could be great for resource for educators that have low budgets and are i need of classroom resources.

Google Dataset Search: If you are in need of some data, Google's Dataset Search provides a fast and convenient way to get started. This would be useful for students that are writing research papers or argumentative papers and are in need of some data.


Intensive Reading / High Level ESL/EFL Learner
« on: March 10, 2020, 09:09:30 PM »
The Dogged Old Man of The Badlands by BBC journalist Chris Haslam can be used to introduce high level learners to descriptive writing. Students could take an intensive approach to the article by dissecting it. Students will use different colored highlighters to mark the different methods of description used by the journalist. In taking this intensive view of the article the students will see the different components that contribute to a descriptive writing.

Adjectives: blue
Word-play: green
metaphor: red
use of non-English language: yellow
units/numbers: purple

General Writing Resources / Short Reflective Writing Prompts
« on: March 10, 2020, 08:48:57 PM »
Story Corps offers a large collection of recorded stories that are short and thought provoking. In the past, I have used these audio stories as a prompt for students to write reflections in their journals. Many of the stories evoke an emotional or ethical response from the listener. Hence, the students often have thoughts that they can easily reply to. Depending on the story, Story Corps can be used for students from middle school to Adults. The learners would need to be higher intermediate or advanced in order to comprehend the stories.

Learning L2 Reading & Writing / Re: P.I.E. Structure
« on: March 08, 2020, 08:05:57 PM »
I also worry that PIE or TEA writing form is overemphasized. It's even possible for the instructor/teacher to become so focused on the TEA or PIE that they don't recognize other forms of writing that were just as effective in reaching or connecting to the audience. While TEA and PIE most likely make for a nice solid foundation for beginning writers, there are many other ways to write. The writer might have a good reasons for not giving an explanation. For example, maybe the writer wants the reader to think on their own, or provoke a feeling from the reader. It would be dreadfully boring if everyone wrote in the TEA or PIE form. After students have proven they are capable of writing in the TEA or PIE form it would be beneficial for the students to be able to explore other forms of writing to effectively reach their audience.


To help students build and comprehend vocab students could be tasked with highlighting vocabulary that falls within certain categories.

The students could be tasked with highlighting the elements within the article. For example,hydrogen.

The students could also highlight units of measurement in a different color. For example. light year.

Rick, Luciano, Karla

Motivation / Before the Extensive Reading Begins
« on: March 01, 2020, 08:33:43 PM »
Children of all ages have preconceived ideas of different books and genres of books. If you have ever taught before, you know well, you will have some students moan and complain, as soon as you introduce the book to the class. From the very start of the book the student motivation is low. Even worse, their negativity can spread and lessen the motivation of the other students in the class.
 This is why I would not recommend introducing the text as a sudden announcement to the students. As the teacher, I would show a love and appreciation of the books and the book genres that will be used throughout the school year, long before the students ever realized they were in a reading class. I would like to share a few tips that I have learned from teaching.
 1. If you have a classroom that is yours, decorate it, better yet, plaster it. Are you going to read the Hobbit? put up movie posters of the Hobbit. If you were going to read Animal Farm, by George Orwell, consider some old government propaganda posters.
 2. If you don't have a classroom, get a tattoo of the book cover on your arm. Okay.... maybe a tattoo is a bit much. However, there are many clothing items that can show your enthusiasm for the books you will be reading. I have a coffee mug with famous lines from literature, and I have piqued my students interest several times, due to the mug; "Mr. Dunn why does your mug say "My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know.""?
 3. Music can engage students and increase their interest. Especially if the book being read has been turned to a movie or was originally a screenplay. Simply by asking "do you want to hear the soundtrack to the Hobbit or to Star Wars?" 
Ultimately, when the teacher is enthusiastic about the book and reading, the students will often reciprocate that same enthusiasm, especially if you have time to build their interest. Teacher enthusiasm is essential for the initial motivation of the students.
 Please share any methods you have for engaging your studentsí interest before the reading begins.

The Hobbit stuff / Resources and Article
« on: February 05, 2020, 08:19:22 PM »
1) A nice brief article titled: Middle Earth in the Classroom: Studying J. R. R. Tolkien by Richard Roos. The article is nice in that it gives an overview of the various literary devices Tolkien utilizes. In particular, Roos focuses on the ballads that are found within the Hobbit, and brings to light how they can be understood by students. Overall, I would use this article to reflect and pull new information from the Hobbit to engage students thinking.

2) The Hobbit: How England inspired Tolkien's Middle Earth by Rumeana Jahangir Gives an overview of the various settings within the Hobbit and where they probably correspond to in England. A teacher could use this content to have their students fictionalize different places within their town/city. Students could see if they can properly identify the places their peers wrote about.

3) "The Hobbit" Full Cast Radio Drama by BBC Radio Group. I would consider using the audio of the Hobbit, for a guided reading during class time.

The Hobbit stuff / Guess Who the Hobbit
« on: February 04, 2020, 11:15:17 AM »

Guess Who based on Reading Text

Many of us have played the classic Guess Who game. For this game/activity students can create their own Guess Who game boards. The teacher can provide the students with a grid of 5x5 blank squares. As the students learn the descriptions of different characters within the book, they can draw the characters in each box (until they have 25). This activity will help students in remembering and identifying different characters, especially if there are numerous characters (such as the 13 dwarves in the Hobbit)

TO be continued

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