Reading Response Week 6


Literacy plays an important role in all content areas not just in English Language Arts. I do believe that all teachers have to teach literacy in their classroom to train students to be able to do more than just read and write words from a text. It’s important we teach our students how to be critical thinkers who learn from literature, effective note takers who can respond to a text and problem solvers who can analyze a text. My freshman class this year has force me so far to implement literacy techniques more in science and also reteach basic ELA skills because they are entering High School with low levels of reading and comprehension skills. “ To be scientifically literate is more than being able to read science texts and recognize scientific vocabulary, rather it is the ability to comprehend, interpret, analyze and critique a text”. (Washburn and Cavagnetto Pg 2-3)Being able to think critically is something my students struggle with. I decided to focus on promoting them to think outside the box more, problem solve and write more in class. It hasn’t been easy because they are in the stage of their lives where they are questioning why is education important but also they’re English skills are weak. Sometimes in a lesson my ENL students perform better than my general Ed students. I believe it’s because they are learning the English language and applying the skills while my other students have forgotten the basics and are lacking certain skills to allow them to communicate effectively. Rubrics play a big role in my classroom; I try to give rubrics for all writing assignments. When I give students short responses I create a regent style rubric for my questions showing them the types of answers I am looking for. I also allow students to see the rubric that allows students to make comparison between their responses and the examples provided in the rubrics. Rubrics are important because they provide students with what is expected from them in specific discipline. (Applebee and Langer 2011) Adolescents in this generation are writing poorly. My students are writing the way they speak, to me this comes from social media and the increases of technology adolescent are exposed to from such a young age. On my ride home last week I seen a young girl on the bus if I had to guess I would say she is a tenth grader. She was scrolling through Snap (social media) really fast and actually pausing and reading what appeared on her screen, my bus ride is 35-40 minutes long. I thought to myself on the bus if only I could Snap my ecology unit and have my students focus and grasp the material so quickly the way this young girl was engaged. Kathleen Yancy talks about how writing now belongs to the writer and not an institution she discuss how everyone is a writer because of blogs and social media (Yancy, 2012)I have to agree with her in some aspects but I wish the education system will realize the impact social media and online reading has on adolescents and find an interactive way to incorporate more technology in classrooms and give us access to use any social media platform in our classrooms if we could prove how this would engage our students with the topic or unit. It’s important that all content areas try to make literacy a focus during instructional time.The effort they are putting into writing could be better. Being able to read, comprehend and communicate effectively will benefit students to becoming future global citizens. Applebee and Langer discuss that writing task are becoming to organize and detailed with the things they want to be included. This can cause writing task to not be authentic and expressive. When you write you should not have to worry about rules and guidelines. As a teacher I find this to be challenging, although I love to give students freedom to express themselves the goal of the writing assignment still needs to be met but the process they want us to include does not promote unlimited brainstorming or authenticity. I like to expose my students to textbooks because I like them to see all forms of writings a lot of my students do not own books or read books outside of school. For this reason I try to use the textbook once in here unit just to expose them to a different style of literature.I was surprised that Daniels on Pg. 52-58 discusses that textbooks are exceeding hard to read, badly designed and are not designed with the students in mind. I do think the content needs to be accurate but not necessarily interesting. I still think I will use the textbook once a month with my students because I believe my student population needs to be exposed to as many different kinds of literature as possible. The literature our ELA teacher gives students is very different from literature in a science classroom. I have recently added an anchor chart with the definitions of words like describe, analyze, inference, depict and state in my classroom to help students better understand what the task is when the regents or readings use that kind of vocabulary. I hope this gives my students confident in reading text and reminds them that literacy is important in all subjects.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito


      Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough response. You have clearly articulated the various challenges we face in our classrooms in terms of address literacies effectively.

      This particularly stuck out to me:

      It’s important we teach our students how to be critical thinkers who learn from literature, effective note takers who can respond to a text and problem solvers who can analyze a text. 


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