Example Motivational Quick Tip: Ask students to complete a project
at the end of their reading assignments so that students set a purpose for
reading. For example, developing a mural, making a diorama, or constructing
a model encourages students to read a text for functional purposes. This is
especially successful when students are delving into subjects that are of
interest to them. Projects or oral presentations also provide a chance for
students to collaborate with others. Group work may reduce the uneasiness
striving readers commonly experience and motivate them to use language
socially and positively.
Literacy Area: Reading
When reading a chapter book (novel), I would section the reading into one
or two chapters at a time. The activities with these chapters varied but
usually included a graphic organizer of some type (character, plot,
comparison-contrast, etc.). To encourage dialogue, these activities were
conducted in pairs or small cooperative groups. Students maintained these
activities in a folder until we finished the book. We also varied how we read:
buddies, audiotape, silently, etc. Not all children might be motivated all the
time, but with variety, many will be motivated some of the time.
Arleen Mariotti of Adams Middle
School in Hillsborough County
Literacy Area: Reading
As we read a novel I break the book into smaller "chunks" and have the students not only summarize in paragraph form, but also in a picture. Many of our students are visual learners, so by giving them the freedom to choose what to draw that will help them remember that
particular "chunk" of the story they put down on paper what they see in their own mind. Once they finish the book they have a wonderful study guide!
Lisa Gaither of Bannerman Learning Center.
Literacy Area: Reading
Be an avid reader yourself of YA/Childrens books and make this evident to
your students. Having conversations with your students about what youre
reading and sharing your enthusiasm speaks volumes because by this you are
showing them that reading is something you value. This also allows you to
recommend books to your students based on your knowledge of their
likes/dislikes and the books contents. If we want our students to be readers,
we must first be readers. Students need reader role-models and in many cases
we are the only reader role-model that they may currently have in their
lives. Sonja Perkins
of Braden River Middle School.
"Houses of Character" In this "Character Building" activity, students of any
grade level can learn to use adjectives as context clues (about themselves)
to let others discover their secret identities. First, choose/create a model
of a house with windows all around. Colored paper looks nice. (Seasons such
as Christmas work wonderfully for this lesson, as they can "decorate" their
houses with authentic scenes and colors.) Then, cut out 3 sides of the
windows and fold open for now. Students write in an adjective describing
something positive about themselves in each window. Next, close window and
decorate on outside, including the entire house and surroundings. Object of
game is for other students to guess who the person is, based on the
character qualities, aka adjectives/context clues displayed about each
person. Integrates art, grammar, reading, writing, and builds self-esteem!
Anita Luciani Bass of Fernandina Beach High School in
Internet "Scavenger Hunt"! Each student chooses between DiscoveryChannel.com
and ESPN.com. Once into the site, students have 10 questions to answer. The
students must read several short articles on the website in order to answer
the questions. The students worked quietly and were highly motivated to
complete the assignment. You can also "step it up a notch". Ask students to
read just one or two articles from these high interest websites; then have
them answer numerous multiple-choice and short response questions, (similar
to FCAT format) regarding the articles: main idea, context clues, author's
purpose, etc. Sharla J. Parker of Fernandina Beach High
School in Nassau County
Literacy Area: Reading
Assign the students to illustrate a part of the book they are reading.
This can be a character, setting, event, etc. The page number (s) should be
identified. A quote should also be included. Have them take the vantage
point of what graphics would have helped them in comprehending the text. A
variety of mediums can be used. Students may draw, use clip art, or images
from the web. This activity helps the student visualize. It also supports
research skills. The finished product can be adhered to the corresponding
journal. The best part though, is the fun students have doing it. Nancy
Sherk of Sarasota High School in Sarasota County
Literacy Area: Love of Reading
Alas, I have tried, quite unsuccessfully, to become a YA reader. So, I leave that for our Media Specialist, and in my classroom, I encourage a love of reading another way. As I finish a novel, I bring it to school. I give my students a quick (censored, of course) book talk. At first, my students could not believe how many books I read. Now, they look forward to the book talks and encourage me to finish books so they can hear all about it. It only takes a few minutes once or twice per week, but I am hoping it will make a lasting impression of my love of reading.
Gina McGrath of Umatilla Middle School - The best middle school
Literacy Area: Choices
Offering choices develops ownership. When students make decisions they are more likely to accept ownership & control of the results. This sense of control fosters responsibility. When the control belongs to the teacher so does the ownership. However, always offer choices that are equally acceptable in your eyes. Choices can be offered in the areas of: Topics, learning Processes (methodologies) and Products. Within any set topic or theme there are usually a variety of sub-topics where students may identify a personal interest. Learning processes can be varied and students can be encouraged to find alternatives. When students are offered opportunities to make decisions they learn a great deal about the consequences of their choices. L.E.S.
of Corp. Academy South Senior High
Literacy Area: Choices
Offering choices develops ownership. When students make decisions they are more likely to accept ownership & control of the results. This sense of control fosters responsibility. When the control belongs to the teacher so does the ownership. However, always offer choices that are equally acceptable in your eyes. Choices can be offered in the areas of: Topics, learning Processes (methodologies) and Products. Within any set topic or theme there are usually a variety of sub-topics where students may identify a personal interest. Learning processes can be varied and students can be encouraged to find alternatives. When students are offered opportunities to make decisions they learn a great deal about the consequences of their choices.
L.E.S. of Corp. Academy South Senior High
Literacy Area: Book Choice
Many of my students don't enjoy the books they read because they don't know
how to choose books they will like. I go two steps beyond book talks to help
my students find books they will enjoy: Step 1: I read a portion of a
popular book aloud to the students and have them complete some type of
quick, fun activity (drawing, discussing, predicting, debating, etc).
Reading portions aloud helps students to go beyond what the book is "about"
and experience the author's writing style and difficulty level of the book.
The activity helps students to become more interested in the book (and less
intimidated). Step 2: After Step 1, I send around a piece of paper with the
book's title on top. Students who want to read the book in the future write
their name on the list. I keep the lists in a binder. When the book comes
back from the first student, I pass it on to the second. (This also
encourages them to return my books!) Since I started this system, many more
students are reporting positive reading experiences with independent
reading. Margaret Little of North Port High School in Sarasota County
believe teens should be encouraged to read whatever they want to read:
Sports magazines, video game magazines, teen gossip magazines. My slogan to
teenagers is "Get your read on". They should read whatever they want- just
read!! (This does not include the internet). I believe our choice in
literature changes over the years, but we all must start by first falling in
love with reading. Everyone likes to read- they just don't know it. When you
read you escape into another world and you gain knowledge about that world.
Knowledge is power. Smart people have power...because smart people read.
www.williespears.com Author of Keisha's Dilemma (takes place in Panama City,
FL). Willie Spears of Camden County GA
Literacy Area: Reading Chain
Create beautiful book chains that represent information and illustrations from your latest class novel. When students read a novel or a section in the textbook, have them make sketches that illustrate the concept or events and include a factual caption. Make a class paper chain of information and pictures. Each student writes and draws on a strip of construction paper. Have the class stand in front of the room. The first student reads their strip and then folds it in a circle while you staple it. The next student reads their fact and then attaches their strip to the chain. Continue through the entire class. Display the chain in your classroom.
Student Equity Positioning
plan on making the following changes in my school: To work with
administration in developing and implementing the schools equity
positioning plan. This plan squarely places students as equal stakeholders
in their education. It focuses on the fact that all students, regardless of
race, culture, or socio-economic status have an inalienable right to
equally share in the aggressive, relevant, and meaningful instructional
process. All students are capable of brilliance and are equal stakeholders
in their education. This also includes the acceptance and implementation of
a more student-centered learning environment, whereby students make
decisions that affect their instruction. This, of course, is professionally
guided and monitored, with the teacher as the captain of the ship. This
creates an unparalleled sense of ownership where pride in accomplishment
and success are bottom line features. I will accomplish this by
continuing to work with administration in the design and development of the
equity positioning plan and, most importantly, invite other teachers and
students to contribute to the process. Once the plan is finalized, we will
hold staff development sessions that illuminate the plan with solid and
sincere ways to implement it. Teacher mentoring will play an important facet
in assisting others to understand and implement the plan. Modeling is an
important key in implementation. Don Hessler of Martin
County High School in Martin County
Literacy Area: Vocabulary
Vocabulary may be the unglamorous stepchild of reading instruction, but
getting kids interested in words is crucial to their success as readers.
Thus this story: At the beginning of the year, my students HATED doing word
maps, but I knew that they needed some word study and they learned words
better using word maps. Later in the year, they were enthusiastic about word
maps and often REQUESTED that we do them. So I asked what made the
difference. It turns out that giving students 3 example sentences helped
them to better understand the word so they could do the rest of the map much
more easily. Apparently, students are motivated by being able to understand.
:-) Also, they loved sharing their clues via the ActivBoard. They enjoyed
sharing with each other and felt less pressure to come up with a clue for
every single word since they could use one of the clues that was shared with
the class if they really needed to. Now my entire Intensive Reading class
(all level ones) is telling me that the 50 words that will be on the final
exam "isn't many" and they're bragging that they don't have to study because
"we already know all of these words" (and they DO). AND they're begging me
to let them write a story using as many of the words as possible.
Margaret Little of North Port High School in Sarasota County