FEATURES FOR TEACHERS
Features For New Teachers
Volume 4, Issue 21
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Society is made up of people and it is our duty to make positive changes in the society for its good. The Bhutto Institute's students of social sciences (SZABIST) in this regard are doing great work in the field of social sciences by letting students go in the field and to help our society, for creating and bringing about awareness. Education is essential; therefore we students of SZABIST, under the guidance of instructor MAM RASHIDA VALIKA, started our program by emphasizing the importance of education. Education is an asset which helps people to overcome every problem in their lives. It is a need of every individual to be accepted in society and therefore it is a right of every human to acquire education.
Islam says that education is compulsory for everyone (male and female). In this regard, the Zindagi Trust Foundation is doing magnificent work bringing education to the lower and deprived of society. I visited personally these areas where Zindagi Trust has set up schools for providing education to everyone. This noble work of promoting education really brought a change in our society. These schools are not only run by teachers, students, and parents solely, but a major credit goes to the efforts of the authorities.
the visit, it was clearly seen that the students were very enthusiastic
and students over there are from every walk of life, working with heart
and soul and many dreams in their eyes. They knew that education is necessary to live in society and to walk hand in hand with
modern education and technology. Teachers there were also very
interested in their noble profession and in expanding the sense of
importance of education in one’s life. They were happy to provide the
community with education so that a change process can take place. There
were many resource materials including charts, cards having pictures of
fruits, vegetables, birds, animals etc, and teachers tried to draw upon as many
students' senses as they can in order to help them learn and
Not only is this work conducted by teachers and students but community members that are parents’ support also helped in this project to great extent. Parents are the great support of students in making them go to school and getting their education. Parents want their children to acquire education so that their future life can become secure and they can help their community and society.
This awareness of the importance of education is the result of the great idea and innovation of Zindagi Trust Foundation for the betterment of the society. Beyond the foundation, the government is also helping this noble group in this great act and causing the upbringing of those in deprived society and communities. Although there are many shortcomings in this system, we can not negate that the schools for this cause have been provided by the government itself. Criticizing the government and the system is not at all good; instead we should look at the positive attribute of it and we should help the government and such foundations in their dignified thoughts and action.
There were three groups: one that focused on educating students that is student mentors, a second which focused on teaching and training of teachers who were the teacher mentors, and a third which was to talk and bring awareness within the community members (the community mentors). I was in the community mentors group. During the visit, I taught students and parents about the importance of education. Later, on an art day that was organized on to support the importance of art, I made parents aware of the importance of understanding their children and to supporting them so that they have faith in their family and love them. The major problem that we figured out was that girls were forced to become married at an early age; therefore, my other group colleagues and I made parents aware that encouraging a girl to become educated is like making a whole generation educated. We also demonstrated how important it is for them to live in good conditions in the society and to handle life’s situations. Teacher mentors catered good and informative workshops and training students and told them how important is to have two-way interaction within class. It is important to make children understand through activities, and teachers should use good activities for that and should use as many resource material as possible, and to encourage their good work. Student mentors taught students their current curriculum with effective strategies.
We all focused on these three aspects in order to bring knowledge about importance of education. Students, teachers and parents there were very supportive and were welcoming.
The change can not be brought drastically; change appears slowly and comes with a certain pace of time. No doubt there are many problems due to some government units, but other units of government are also working. On the other hand, it is good to provide some form of education rather than not to provide any. The positive change can only be brought with the unity of three units: that is the community, other organizations and government. Together we can bring change in the society by creating awareness.
Reading is vital to all learning; it plays an important role in the child’s learning process, as it is one of the key ways of learning. It is an essential skill to be acquired by children and also a basic skill that influences other skills like writing, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation etc. unless they are able to read, they will not understand and comprehend the text. Although, reading and understanding go together as it makes the learning process more effective and meaningful but there comes the role of teachers along with those instructional strategies through which all children eventually comprehend the text, no matter how difficult the text would be. The selections of appropriate activities that can play a key role in facilitating students understand the meaning of the text.
During schooling, I did not understand the purpose of reading, it was activity for me like other instructional activities when teachers asked us in the classroom to read and then follow questions/exercises at the end of the text, and I used to take reading activity as fun. Richards, J.C (1997) shared the reasons for reading, he mentioned, “there are three major reasons for preparing students to read: (1) to establish a purpose for reading a given text, (2) to activate existing knowledge about the topic and thus get more out of reading the text, and (3) to establish realistic expectations about what is in the text and thus read more effectively (pp.64)
As a language teacher, the study helped me to revisit my teaching experience; I went through my previous experiences. I reflected on the phase I of my teaching career there I continued what I learned as students and then phase II of my professional when for the first time I enrolled for a language course, I reviewed my teaching practices and took appropriate actions to teach language in a better way. I also requested my Coordinator to provide reflection and feedback about my lesson plans and classroom practices, as I was novice in the teaching profession.
As a Teacher Educator, I continued working with all teachers whether they were experienced or novice. In our regular monthly meetings we discussed issues related to classroom teaching syllabus issues, challenges which students faced etc. there we discovered that teachers have to prepare their own reading activities, as they are not provided in the textbooks, I chose this study to review only reading activities in the text books.
The ability to read is the remarkable type of expertise most humans develop among themselves. In TESOL journal, reading is defined as follows:
acquiring information from a written or printed text and relating it to
what already know to construct a meaning for the text as a whole”
According to Grabe and Stroller (2002), Reading is an ability to draw meaning from the printed page and interpret this information appropriately.
Hoover and Peterson (1996), view that skilled reading requires decoding
and comprehension. That student who cannot read it means they cannot
decode and comprehend either. For sufficient reading s/he must know both
decoding and comprehension.
Models of Reading
As for as the
models of reading are concerned Eskey (2002) is of the opinion, scholars
have developed various models of reading process. Model based on the
idea that reading is just taking meaning from the text are called bottom-up
model. Models based on the idea that reading is directed by the
brain and that the brain makes predictions about the meaning of the text
and confirm these predications are called top down model. Models
based on the idea that reading is best thought of combining information
from the text with knowledge supplied by brain are called interactive
and Post Reading Activities
Bernhardt (1991) says, reading as an interactive process; recommend authentic texts of interest to Students therefore, reading materials in terms of a three-phase approach: pre-reading, while reading and post reading activities.
Interactive models of reading suggest that readers reconstruct the text information, based on the text, and on the prior knowledge available to them most researchers including Carrell (1998) and Barnett (1989) have emphasized the need for schema activation before reading. Moreover, if students lack the appropriate schemata, they should be given them. Thee are fact, the two main functions of pre-reading activities, which ask for students’ involvement, interest, and motivation basically, they are a means of incorporating the student’s knowledge of the world, their ideas and opinions, before checking them against the text and at the same time, they generate vocabulary on the related topics, this further assist in their vocabulary development.
Pre-reading activities provide opportunities for students to activate their background knowledge; it helps students to establish the purpose for reading. Little (1988) mentioned; an authentic text is one created to fulfill some social purpose in the language community in which it was produced’ (pp.27). Pre-reading activities also encourage the linking of prior knowledge with text. It also allows students to predict about the content and discuss reasons for individual predictions
Whereas, the main goal of the while reading activities to help students to understand the writer’s purpose, and some time the text structure and content, several techniques help to achieve the goals. While reading activities comprises direct reference questions, which mainly practice language, rather then comprehension, since sometimes they can be answered without understanding the text; indirect reference questions, usually employed to recognize text cohesion where the reader has to identify the text the words or pronoun refers to; and inference questions which require an understanding of vocabulary, and make the reader think about eh text; comprehension can be checked and developed eventually.
While-reading activities help students locate answers, it provides opportunities for students to anticipate ideas, it also encourages students to organize new information and integrate it with old information. Students can summarize the text in their own words.
The post reading activities helps students to merge what they have read and, at the same time, related the text to the students’ experience, knowledge, and opinions etc. Barnett (1989) have proposed different activities, which contribute to the integration of reading with the other language skills, and which are similar to ‘real’ activities performed by readers, such as listening facts, summarizing, describing or providing information, as well as discussion, and writing compositions, new versions, or endings etc.
The aim of the post-reading activities are to provide a greater amount of activities that help reflect on the texts; as well as a greater variety of creative tasks that help students to relate their experience, views, and knowledge to the texts. The variety of activities can be integrated with other skills in integration of reading with writing so students relate their creativity and imagination to the texts.
Post-reading activities provide opportunities for students to summarize text in their own words, it encourages them to seek additional information from outside sources. It also develops the link among pre reading and while reading activities and also encourage students to evaluate their predications, purposes and questions, etc. identify main gist of the text, and also provides extension to hands-on-activates that involves students actively in creative endeavors.
To summarize, individual reading lessons consist of three stages pre, while and post reading activities, that should be connected. Individual reading lessons include activities that prepare students for passage, guide them during their reading and follow up after the reading.
Are we moving into a POST-LITERATE society?
time I tossed you the bombshell idea that we are moving into a
post-literate society. Again, this doesn’t mean the students can’t
read, but they choose to communicate in other ways. I left you with a
homework assignment to read what other educational bloggers are saying.
I also finished the article with the suggestion that you think about how
this idea would influence the classroom.
what should a classroom look like in a post-literate society?
Are we going to take out the printed word?
Are we going to box up all the books?
No, students still need to learn comprehension and other reading
skills. It should be more of a change in balance.
It is more about our approach.
the past, a traditional classroom was basically text based.
A 21st century classroom should be balanced with
multi-media and text. In the past, a teacher would begin with a
text-based lesson, and occasionally supported with a multi-media
reinforcement such as a movie (or if you want to go way back, a
filmstrip). With today’s students, our lessons should begin with a
multi-media form of lesson to capture their interest and then move to a
text support for added connection. Every school should have a contract
with a multimedia center such as United Streaming. At www.unitedstreaming.com
you will find thousands of movies aligned by grade level and subject
matter. They have even aligned their media with state curriculum
standards. But the best part is the fact that they have broken the
movies into segments. Students today are multi-media driven, but at the
same time when it comes to learning, they don’t want a 45-minute
movie. They lose their interest after 10 -15 minutes. With segments, you
can pick the exact part that fits with what you are teaching.
Here are a few great BLOGS to check out:
Proponents of year-round school cite:
Multi-tracking allows more cost-effective use of school facilities (classroom space, computer labs, libraries, media resources) as well as staff resources (education specialists such as physical education, foreign languages, music, art, therapists and counselors).
Reduce class sizes and overcrowding in classrooms
Alleviate need for new school construction
Teachers may spend less classroom time reviewing material since less time elapses between school sessions
Inter sessions may be used for remediation courses and tutoring, or for enrichment activities
Prevention of student and teacher burnout
Decrease of teacher and student absences due to shorter instructional cycles
Increased opportunities for extra help and studying.
Increased opportunities for volunteering in the community
Shorter breaks from school encourage students to stay involved with athletics and provide less time to become couch potatoes
Flexible staffing patterns and alternative salary and benefit programs
Relevant surveys in year-round districts indicate that 64% of teachers prefer year-round education, while only 20% oppose it (remainder are neutral). A Utah State Board of Education survey indicated 84% of teachers preferred the year round calendar.
New York State Board of Regents study concluded that disadvantaged students lose 27% more learning over summer months than their peers.
For older students, employment may be easier to obtain as there is less competition.
More opportunities for family vacations. Vacations can be taken at off-peak times reducing overall costs are and producing a more rewarding experience. Increased vacation opportunities encourages parents to take more, smaller vacations closer to home rather than 1 long expensive one out of state.
Opponents of year-round school cite:
Year-round schools show little to no academic improvement due to the calendar change.
Multi-tracking, while cost effective in the short term, actually ends up costing more due to higher utility costs, less or no down time for building maintenance, and the loss of opportunity to build before the cost of labor and materials rise after population increases force the building of new facilities. Multi-tracking does not alleviate the need for new school construction, it merely puts off the decision to build until it is even more cost prohibitive, thus locking communities into overcrowded schools and multi-tracking year-round calendars.
Multi-tracking can cause family and community disintegration. This occurs when siblings/neighbors are on different tracks. Further disintegration is seen when extended family and church members are on different tracks, or in the case of single-tracking, different inter sessions.
Teachers' ability to attend college classes in the summer is compromised due to a year-round calendar.
Teachers who have children in a year-round school, but teach in a non year-round school, or in a year-round school on a different track or calendar, are not able to vacation at the same time during the year or the summer as their family.
Teachers have more problems with children staying focused before a break, and upon return due to the more frequent breaks throughout the year.
Students on year-round calendars tend to lose out on summer employment to their non year-round counterparts.
Student burnout can increase due to the reduction in down time during the summer.
Advanced placement classes are sometimes removed in favor of year-round calendars.
Students in year-round schools have more opportunities to forget what they learned due to the added and extended breaks throughout the year.
Summer school, where classes can be taken for credit are replaced with inter sessions. throughout the year, for no credit.
Inter sessions. tend to turn into play time as inter session content turns into fluff classes and sometimes taught by community volunteers with no background check required.
Curriculum and materials for the normal school year are approved by the board, but curriculum and materials for inter sessions. are not.
Community members who want to maintain family time and traditions are pitted against those in favor of the change causing community division.
School districts frequently employ deceptive methods to push the calendar through. Many surveys are framed to yield a predetermined result, yet only the numbers are reported.
Difficulty in scheduling school-wide events such as student assemblies, open-house, or PTA meetings and other functions because at least 1 track is out of school at any point in time.
Child care is more difficult to obtain.
Some health problems are seen when conducting school activities and classes in the summer heat.
People find it hard to pay attention.
Fire drills are probably the most common situations you will
encounter. The best way to handle these is to teach your students what
to do in the event of a drill or an actual evacuation. Yes, you can
teach this to your students. Fire drills are to be surprises only WHEN
they occur, not a surprise in WHAT to do. It is good practice for your
students to know exactly what the procedure to follow is. The most
important part is to be sure YOU fully understand the school's fire
drill procedure and you can confidently teach it to your students.
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