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Jordan Loo

SCED 3720
Dr. Bartholomew
November 2, 2014
IES Content Teaching Strategies
Recommendation 1. Provide explicit vocabulary instruction
*Vocabulary Instruction
Simply put vocabulary instruction is a basic teaching principle that allows students to study
words. Teaching students about prefixes, suffixes, etc. will help them understand how words
were created and will help them with other content areas as well.
In my classroom I will have lessons on root words, prefixes, suffixes, etc. to help students grasp
an understanding on how common words came to be. I will also have 5-10 vocabulary words a
week that deal with a class theme whether it be a book we are reading in class or an idea we
are exploring. Students will learn the connotation and denotation of each word and know how
to spell them. Vocabulary quizzes will take place each week so that students will know they are
expected to keep up with the vocabulary list.
*Writing to Learn
Reading, writing, and content learning are related. Teachers use writing-to-learn strategies at
the beginning, middle, or end of class to help students inquire, clarify, or reflect on the content.
The student thinks for a minute or so, then writes for about five minutes. Some teachers begin
class with this strategy to help students focus on the topic. Students have said that it was
difficult to think about a social conversation that they had had earlier in the day when they

were actively writing about the stock market crash. Other teachers conclude their classes by
asking for a summary of what students had learned in class, for a description of one highlight of
the class, or a prediction of what the class would study the next day. Regardless of how
teachers implement this strategy, writing helps students think about the content, reflect on
their knowledge of the content, and share their thoughts with the teacher (Fisher).
I will have a journal topic every day on the board that students must write about. Depending on
the lesson plan for the day the journal entries could take place in the beginning, middle, or end
of class. Student journal entries must take up at least half a page or more and will be graded
every other week by me.
Recommendation 2. Provide direct and explicit comprehension strategy instruction
*Read-Alouds
A read-aloud—or shared reading—is one of the most effective ways for young adults to hear
fluent reading. A good literacy plan advises that teachers read to their students every day in
every class for at least five minutes. Some teachers read the text aloud while students listen;
other teachers read the text aloud while students read along. Most often, the selections are not
from the textbook; instead, teachers select other materials that build students' background
knowledge, provide them with interesting vocabulary words, and ensure they are hearing
fluent reading (Allen).
I would integrate some form of read-alouds in my classroom every day for at least 5 min and
either read myself, allow volunteers to read, ask every student to read in turns, or ask everyone
to read aloud together at the same time.

*Structured Note taking
“The students draw a vertical line about two inches from the left side of the paper, log main
ideas and key words to the left and details to the right of the line, and write a brief summary of
the lesson at the bottom of the page. Teachers throughout the school quickly noticed the
implementation of this strategy because they realized that they no longer had to devote
instructional time to teaching a study technique. Other teachers have remarked that note
taking is not simply a way to record facts; it also leads to deeper student engagement and
reflection” (Spires).
Taking notes is an important skill all students need to work to improve. While many students
write what they hear, it is hard for them to figure out what to study and why they have written
the things in their notes. As an English teacher I believe that it is my job to help students figure
out the best way for each of them to take notes. Spires gives an example of structured note
taking in his example, however, there are multiple other ways to go about taking notes and
each strategy helps different kinds of learners.
Recommendation 3. Provide opportunities for extended discussion of text meaning and
interpretation
*Jigsaw
The Jigsaw strategy is designed for cooperative learning. The idea is comparable to a jigsaw
puzzle in that “pieces” or topics of study are researched and learned by students within groups
and then put together in the form of peer teaching between the groups. Students work in
groups of three to six to become experts on a particular topic which is based on an overall
theme or unit of study. The group members are charged with learning everything they can

about their assigned topics. Each group member participates in the research efforts and
becomes an “expert” on his or her particular topic (Crawford).
I think that the Jigsaw technique is another excellent way to help students learn by allowing
them to teach. They have the responsibility to learn a single topic that they have to teach to 3-4
other people. This weight of having others rely on what you learn should be a catalyst for
deeper learning. I would probably implement the Jigsaw exercise at least once or twice a
month.
*Cubing
The Six Sides of the Cube:
1. Describe it (including color, shape, size (if applicable)—How would you describe the
issue/topic?
2. Compare it (what it is similar to or different from)—“It’s sort of like”
3. Associate it (what it makes you think of)—How does the topic connect to other
issues/subjects?
4. Analyze it (tell how it is made or what it is composed of)—How would you break the
problem/issue into smaller parts?
5. Apply it (tell how it can be used)—How does it help you understand other topics/issues?
6. Argue for/against it (take a stand and support it)—I am for this because/This works because/I
agree because

“Cubing encourages students to look at information in different ways and to use different ways
of thinking—critical thinking! The information that comes from the different considerations of
the material can be used to complete descriptive writing assignments that can begin with short
paragraphs and evolve into longer essays or research papers” (Crawford).
This exercise could be implemented in many different content areas. It allows students to have
an objective rather than to just be spoon-fed information. I could have students split into
groups and complete each of the 6 objectives or I could have them roll a dice with these
prompts written on each side and have each group complete only a few of the objectives.
Recommendation 4. Increase student motivation and engagement in literacy learning
*K-W-L Charts
K-W-L charts are a great way to hook students into learning. These language charts start with
the question, “What do you know about the topic?” Following this discussion, students are
asked, “What do you still want to know about the topic?” Once the unit of study has been
completed, the language charts are used again and students answer the third question, “What
did you learn about the topic (Ogle)?”
I think that this strategy would be a great benchmark assessment to see what the students
already know and what they learned from class lessons. I think there are many different ways
to create K-W-L charts. They can be drawn, written, or a combination of both.
*Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers provide students with visual information that complements the class
discussion or text. Organizers come in many forms.
I think that providing Graphic organizers AND allowing students to create their own graphic
organizers will certainly help those visual and kinesthetic learners to grasp class material much
easier. Graphic organizers will also help to do something a little bit “outside of the box” in an
English classroom.
Recommendation 5. Make available intensive and individualized interventions for struggling
readers that can be provided by trained specialists
*Reciprocal Teaching
“Reciprocal teaching allows students to become the instructors of the content that they are
studying. Working in groups of four, the students read a text passage together, following a
protocol for predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing—skills that teachers have
modeled over a series of lessons until students are comfortable assuming these assigned roles.
These student-directed discussion groups can then monitor their comprehension and reinforce
their understanding” (Carter).
I believe that one of the best strategies to learn something is to teach it. In order to teach a
specific lesson or idea one must know a substantial amount of information about that idea. I
probably wouldn’t use this strategy at the beginning of the semester. I would first demonstrate
how to have discussions or presentations and then when students know what is expected I
would assign group presentations or discussions to take place in the classroom.
*“I do it- We do it- You do it together- You do it alone”

I am not sure who created this technique, however, its effectiveness is beyond measure. I have
used this technique multiple times. The basic idea is that the teacher will perform what needs
to be taught whether it be sentence diagramming, charting a plot, etc. then the students do an
exercise with the teacher possibly on the chalkboard or smart board. The students are then
split up into groups and do another exercise similar to what has been done. Finally the students
are then expected to perform the same task on their own.
I believe I could use this technique almost on a daily basis. This is the best way for students to
get the repetition and help they need to learn a specific idea or skill.

References

Allen, J. (2000). Yellow brick roads: Shared and guided paths to independent reading, 4–12.
Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Blachowicz, C., & Fisher, P. J. (2002). Teaching vocabulary in all classrooms (2nd ed.). Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice-Hall.
Carter, C. J. (1997). Why reciprocal teaching? Educational Leadership, 54(6), 64–68.
Crawford, Tammy. LLTchrGd_mac (n.d.): n. pag. Litandlearn.lpb.org. Literacy and Learning,
1999. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.
Fisher, Douglas, Nancy Frey, and Douglas Williams,. "Seven Literacy Strategies That Work."
Reading and Writing in the Content Areas. 11 2002: 70-73. Web. 2 Nov. 2014.
Ogle, D. M. (1986). K-W-L: A teaching model that develops active reading of expository text.
Reading Teacher, 39, 564–570.
Spires, H. A., & Stone, P. D. (1989). The directed notetaking activity: A self-questioning
approach. Journal of Reading, 33, 36–39.