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English 478 Lauri Dietz

Week Two

What is Learning?
From Ambrose, Susan, Bridges, Michael W., DiPIetro, Michele, Lovett, Marsha C., Norman, Marie K. (2010). How Learning Works: Seven Researched-based Principles for Smart Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

In this book, we define learning as a process that leads to change, which occurs as a result of experience and increases the potential for improved performance and future learning (adapted from Mayer, 2002). There are three critical components to this definition:

What is Learning?
1. Learning is a process, not a product. However, because this process takes place in the mind, we can only infer that it has occurred from students’ products or performances. 2. Learning involves change in knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, or attitudes. This change unfolds over time; it is not fleeting but rather has a lasting impact on how students think or act. 3. Learning is not something done to students, but rather something students themselves do. It is the direct result of how students interpret and respond to their experiences— conscious and unconscious, past and present.

Seven Principles of Learning
1. Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning.

Classroom Assessment Technique #1: Background Knowledge Probe
From Angelo and Cross (121-125) • Background Knowledge Probes are meant to help teachers determine the most effective starting point for a given lesson and the most appropriate level at which to begin instruction. • By sampling the students’ background knowledge before formal instruction on that topic begins, these probes also provide feedback on the range of preparation among students in a particular class. • For students, the Background Knowledge Probe focuses attention on the most important material to be studied, providing both a preview of what is to come and a review of what they already know about that topic.

Classroom Assessment Technique #3: Misconception/Preconception Check
From Angelo and Cross (132-137)

• The greatest obstacle to new learning often is not the student’s lack of prior knowledge but, rather, the existence of prior knowledge. • Because assessment activities such as this CAT identify misconceptions and preconceptions early on and help students explicitly recognize and understand them, students stand a much greater chance of learning new material correctly and integrating it into their “revised” and often “transformed” knowledge structures.

Results of Week One Background Knowledge Probe
Adverb (17/20)
– “Adverbs modify verbs” – “An adverb is a word that describes a verb” – “The adverb describes the degree of how a verb occurs”

Example sentences:
– – – – – – “She hit the ball lightly.” “I walked slowly to the train station.” Adverbs can modify the sentence as a whole (EG 144). “Eventually, I got out of bed.” Adverbs can modify adjectives (CMS 5.153). “The really giant boy.”

But, also remember…

In pairs, take turns to: 1. Define adverb. 2. Create a sentence that models how to use an adverb. 3. Explain how the sentence exemplifies what an adverb is.

Results of Week One Background Knowledge Probe
Passive Voice (10/20) – “Passive verbs do not show a subject making an action but place the direct object before the subject.” – “Passive voice is when the subject is not the do-er of the verb or when the doer of the verb is unknown.” Example sentences – “It is said that passive voice is bad.” – “The beer was drunk by John.” – “The house got built by Daniel.” But, also remember… – “The passive voice is always formed by joining an inflected form of be (or, in colloquial usage, get) with the verb’s past participle” (CMS 5.115). – Sometimes the be-verb or the agent isn’t named {the advice [that was] given} (CMS 5.115).

In pairs, take turns to: 1. Define passive voice. 2. Create a sentence that models how to use passive voice. 3. Explain how the sentence exemplifies what passive voice is.

Results of Week One Background Knowledge Probe
Coordinating Conjunction (6/20) – “Connects two related independent clauses.” – They “are used to link items, ideas, and topics in a sentence…and show all items are important.” Example sentences: – “I jumped over the ball, and then I raced to the third ring.” – “The cat ran away, but the dog just looked around stupidly.” But, also remember… – Coordinating conjunctions (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So) can connect words, phrases, or clauses. The key is the connected elements must be equal in “grammatical rank.” (EG 141; CMS 5.194). – “Abraham and Jeff worked today” (CMS 5.194).

In pairs, take turns to: 1. Define coordinating conjunction. 2. Create a sentence that models how to use a coordinating conjunction. 3. Explain how the sentence exemplifies what a coordinating conjunction is.

Results of Week One Background Knowledge Probe
Appositive (6/20) – “an appositive renames the noun.” – “An appositive offers information set off by commas to elaborate on a particular noun.” Example Sentences – “My aunt, the fifth-grade teacher, talks much too loudly for my taste.” – “Grapes of Wrath, my favorite novel, is on sale at the bookstore.” But, also remember… – While appositives are often set off by commas, they are not when they are restrictive appositives and “cannot be removed from a sentence without obscuring the identity of the word or phrase that the appositive relates to” (CMS 5.21). – “The poet Robert Burns wrote many songs about women named Mary” (CMS 5.21)

In pairs, take turns to: 1. Define appositive. 2. Create a sentence that models how to use an appositive. 3. Explain how the sentence exemplifies what an appositive is.

Results of Week One Background Knowledge Probe
Modal Auxiliary (2/20)
– “They typically indicate future desire: could, would, might, must, should, shall, will, can”

Example Sentences
– “He can walk to the zoo.”

But, also remember…
– “We use these modal auxiliaries when we want to express that the action of a verb did not actually occur” (EG 34). – “We would have gone to the wedding, but we were out of the country.”

In pairs, take turns to: 1. Define modal auxiliary. 2. Create a sentence that models how to use a modal auxiliary. 3. Explain how the sentence exemplifies what a modal auxiliary is.

Create a Sentence

Begin by writing a simple sentence following the Intransitive Verb Pattern at the top of a piece of paper. Rewrite the sentence adding:
– – – – – An Adverb Passive voice A Modal Auxiliary A Coordinating Conjunction An Appositive

• Pair up and check each other’s sentences to make sure all five elements were integrating correctly.

CAT #10: Pro-Con-Caveat Grid
In groups of four, complete the Pro-ConCaveat Grid for your assigned proposition:
Instructors should take a Prescriptivist approach to teaching grammar OR Instructors should take a Descriptivist approach to teaching grammar.

CAT #10: Pro-Con-Caveat Grid
• Pass your Pro-Con-Caveat Grid to the team to your right. • In your team, read the responses on the paper you receive.
– – – – Do you agree or disagree with the pros and cons? Discuss similarities and differences. Do you particularly like something? Do you disagree with something?

Annotating Sentences Activity
From the NCTE’s “On the Teaching of Grammar” • “Studying formal grammar is less helpful to writers than simply discussing grammatical constructions and usage in the context of writing (Harris, 1962).” • “Usage, sentence variety, sentence-level punctuation, and spelling are applied more effectively in writing itself when studied and discussed in the context of writing, rather than through isolated skills instruction (DiStefano and Killion, 1984).”