In my work as a teacher, I cannot help but notice that many of the reading selections written for our students include words that are beyond our students' experience. Students simply do not have & could not usually acquire the background knowledge necessary for understanding some words they encounter in subject-specific reading selections, such as social studies & science. Reading instruction in language arts classes cannot adequately address all the words students need to know, as language arts teachers have other specific concerns to address every day. This is why every teacher must be a reading teacher & consider reading an integral part of their subject. Certain subjects are the best place for students to encounter, learn, and understand some of the vocabulary they need to know, while context clues are only useful if students already have the needed background knowledge. In other words, a context clue is not really a clue at all if students do not have the background knowledge... read more
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The projects assigned in this class along with the instruction given gave me many ideas of how to assign creative projects in my classroom so that students are working with technology while maintaining a strong sense of motivation to learn the material in the classroom. But, with all this technology in use I still believe that learning the technology will take away from learning the actual content that needs to be taught. Teachers may get caught up in teaching the technology, that they may have to teach themselves first, and will lose time teaching the literature or grammer that was originally the origin of the project or lessen. I think that if I were going to use the technology in the classroom through any of the methods that I learned in this class, I would use it as a teaching method such as if I were to use a video, I would produce it myself to relay information to my class. I think that by having the students produce their own projects through technology would take too... read more
I recently got a tip about this language-learning app from Duolingo and have been test-driving it on my iPhone for a few days in Spanish, a language I've never formally studied. And I like it, quite a bit in fact. As an ESL and German teacher of many years, and someone who has dabbled in a variety of other languages, I put a lot of thought and study into the process of learning language. Duolingo covers many of the important bases by incorporating key principles into its design: Activities for all four facets of language study: writing, reading, listening, and even speaking (you speak into your device's microphone and it judges your pronunciation). Moving gradually from passive recognition (What does "Adios" mean? - choose from word bank) to active use (What is "Goodbye" in Spanish? - no word bank). Overlapping reviews, incorporating grammar and vocabulary from previous lessons into new lessons. An emphasis on daily practice - they will send you a daily... read more