Monday, November 26, 2012

I am into my fourth month of co-teaching and in this small amount of time, I have been really surprised by the literacy level of the students in my 8th grade class.

September 30, 2013
They have incredible ability to read and comprehend texts like, analytical articles on economic recession. They were amazingly good at summarizing the short paragraphs, getting the main idea and even making inferences when we read the article in class. However, when it came to writing a detailed reflection on their reading, many of them demonstrated poor writing skills. For example, I noticed several writings with syntax errors and poor choice of words and even more than one spelling mistakes in each sentence. 

December 15, 2013
By this time I know my students better and have taught them how to improve their writing skills through the use of graphic organizers for mapping and rubrics to make the expectations clear. In my classroom, the students are almost always engaged in working with a partner or small group discussions after reading and before starting their written responses. I also taught them how to pair up with a partner to review each other’s draft, give a critical feedback so that each of them can revise and edit their drafts before turning in the final work.

May 30, 2014
This is almost the end of the year and by now my literacy rich classroom looks like a room full of energetic students, engaged in discussions with small groups or a partner. The walls of the room are pasted with the projects, writings and drawings my students are proud of and word walls we have been creating for each unit. By now, most of them can write 5-6 paragraphs with few grammatical errors. One more thing tat they have learned to do independently is, revise and edit their own work. This does not mean that we have given up the peer reviews. My students still follow the practice because it opens them up for new and fresh ideas and perspectives and interact with their peers. We will continue to learn in partnership and be open, respectful and helpful to each other.

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