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EDPB 505: Reflective Journal

October 2, 2018

The most notable topic that I have been introduced to since joining this program

is how to incorporate reading and writing across the curriculum. I find this topic to be

most significant for myself because I don’t have English/Language Arts as a

teachable, and will be incorporating the skills, tools, and strategies I learn in this

class, to the other subjects I plan on teaching as I move forward into my professional

career. Furthermore, i see the idea of “cross-curricular learning” is a fantastic step

forward for education. Incorporating fundamental skills in every subject across the

curriculum is an excellent means to further developing essential skills such as

numeracy and literacy.

When I was first introduced to the idea of incorporating reading and writing

across the curriculum, I thought that this makes complete sense. It made me realize

something I had not initially thought of—that since reading and writing is a

fundamental skill that, it should then be taught in every subject. I was then stuck

wondering how such a seemingly impossible task could be accomplished. For some

classes, such as Social Studies, incorporating reading and writing seems fairly

straight forward. For others, however, such as Wood Work, Physical Education, Art,

Math, or even the Sciences, I initially was confounded about how I could possibly

incorporate reading and writing into those subjects. My first eye-opening experience

came from when I was at practicum at Dover Bay Secondary School. I was observing

a Physical Education 8 class. During the class the students went for a run, and then

worked on some skills, and then played a game to end the class. Before the students

were allowed to leave, however, they were required to write in their learning logs. In
their learning logs they were instructed to write down a few things about what they

did in the class, their run time, if they thought they improved, and any other

comments, opinions or questions from the class. The activity itself took maybe 5

minutes to complete. Subsequently, I was struck by how easy it actually was to

incorporate writing into a Physical Education class. And then it hit me that if it is that

easy to incorporate writing into Physical Education, then it should be just as easy to

incorporate it into other subjects as well.

My group presentation is also focusing on how to incorporate reading and

writing into other subjects. During the preparation I read a number of articles about

how to better incorporate English/Language Arts tools across the curriculum.

Learning Logs emerged as a fantastic and easy way to incorporate ELA tools into any

subject (Cahoon, B., 2008). I was already familiar with the utilization of Learning

Logs from my brief experiences at Dover Bay. Of course, you can design the learning

logs to specifically fit the individual subject. Furthermore, another strategy that stood

out to me was The I-Chart which has been used to aid in developing critical thinking

while incorporating English/Language Arts tools across the curriculum (Hoffman, J.,

1992). It involved creating a chart and listing key elements, viewpoints, and stances,

from differing perspectives. The activity helped foster a deeper understanding of

multiple perspectives surrounding a particular topic or subject area. Again, this

strategy can be utilized in any subject.

Additionally, when we did the Thomas King, Borders reading, I was again struck

by how easily we could apply that activity to other subjects. For example, if I were to

apply the reading to one of my subjects, say social studies, for instance, you could

focus more on the themes of identity and hold a discussion.


Initially when I began the program, I was certainly not feeling confident about

having to teach English/Language Arts when I become a teacher. However, the more

I learn about incorporating reading and writing across the curriculum, and the various

strategies to aid in doing so, the more confident I am becoming in my ability to teach

English/Language Arts. Moreover, I am excited to learn more strategies in how to

better incorporate English/Language Arts into my teachable subjects. I believe it is

imperative to teach fundamental skills, such as numeracy and literacy, across the

curriculum. Therefore, the more ways and methods I learn to do so, the more

comfortable I’ll be, and the capable I will be to serve my students. Furthermore, if I

ever do have to teach an English/Language Arts class, I want to learn how to better

engage students with English/Language Arts.

References

Cahoon, Barbara. (2008). Literacy across the curriculum: Teachers teaching teachers

about content area reading strategies. English Quarterly, 40(3/4), 22-33.

Hoffman, J. (1992). Critical Reading/Thinking Across the Curriculum: Using I-Charts

to Support Learning. Language Arts, 69(2), 121-127. Retrieved from

http://www.jstor.org/stable/41411571