Group E week 5 discussion

Hey guys hope everyone is having a great week I look forward to hearing from you all this week as we explore close reading. -Tatyana

    • Xin

      I love biology and I love teaching biology. Being a teacher for the last year and a half has been rewarding but very tiring as well. I did not think to come into teaching to teach basic English literacy. It is a struggle daily being a teacher in NYC, especially in the 21st century. Guiding student's reading in science means helping them decode the content vocabularies. I find myself having a different experience learning science back when I was in school than the students that I am teaching. I am teaching them how to break down sentences and deciphering keywords. It is a different feeling... "Teachers of content, social studies, science, and other technical subjects will help students meet the language and literacy challenges of their respective fields." (Hinchman & Moore, 442) New York City is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. With this wonderful mixture of cultural richness comes the difficulties of English proficiency among students that have just immigrated to the city. While it is crucial to provide close reading to our students, how can we justify this when we are ENL students that barely know the letters of the English alphabet? There are at least two ELL students in all five of my Living Environment class, I provide them with a keyword definition handout. For example, we are covering characteristics of life this week and one of the keywords is "Homeostasis". The students would rewrite, in their own words, the definition of homeostasis and draw a picture relating to the word. Additionally, they would then use the word in a complete sentence. It is a demoralizing feeling when the students are not able to comprehend the meaning of a content vocabulary. The promises of close reading might not be appropriate to all the student population. The CCSS suggest that all students encounter challenging texts that are worth reading and rereading closely. (Hinchman & Moore, 444) Additionally, in Nancy Boyles's article "Closing in on", she mentions the fact that close reading is targeted toward students in later grades where they are more inclined to think abstractly and close reading should be incorporated from kindergarten so that the students are building a foundation on the principles of close reading. (Boyles, 37) While it might seem like a promising method to encourage struggling readers to selectively pick their reading and then rereading them closely for further understanding, the system doesn’t account for factors like English Learners, students that have been "pass on" through the grades, and students with special needs. In addition to the ELL students in my class, there are many students with IEPs in my ICT classrooms. There are students in my 9th-grade class with 3rd or 4th-grade reading level. We have differentiated different textile levels for those struggling readers but when they are reading at such a low reading level, it is hard to fulfill the goals of close reading. According to the article, "how smart readers think", some of the thinking strategies of "effective" readers are to connect, visualize, question, and infer about the assigned reading. (p30) Again, I would argue that the article targets and speaks to readers that have achieved some form of proficiency in reading. It is hard for ELL and low reading proficiency students to comprehend and analyze the assigned readings when they are struggling with fundamental English.

      • Xi Xi Hu

        By Xi Xi Hu

        Close reading refers to students’ ability to read in between lines of the text to uncover multiple layers of meanings that would eventually lead to deep comprehension. Basically, students should grasp a deeper understanding of the text aside from the Ho-Hum questions. As Boyles pointed out in her article, teachers should be mindful in our guiding questions for the text dependent questions. Often times, these questions fail to generate real discussions because they all basically have a “correct” answer. Instead, close reading should encourage our students to think about questions such as the author’s choice of language, the text structure, and point of view. Close reading became a principal aspect of reading in the Common Core Standards. Hinchman and Moore supported the emphasis on close reading. They agreed that “close reading can be a valuable part of youth’s literacy repertoires, deserving a place among the range of 21st century competencies such as critical thinking, information literacy, flexibility, and collaboration” (Hinchman and Moore). Close reading should be valued because students’ ability to close read text can increase their ability of critical thinking and processing information obtained. Close reading requires read and reread, annotate, summarize, and self explain. I stopped at read and reread section. Reflecting back on my students, most are not motivated to read at all let alone rereading a text twice. Perhaps, that is the reason why many students are having difficulty close reading.

        Reading science text is hard. Often times it is hard to understand the content because readers do not have enough prior knowledge to to activate what Daniels and Zemelman referred to as the “Columbus key.” Like they pointed out, for them to read a science text, they would need someone to tell them beforehand the definition of some terms, an overview of the whole text, show some models, and etc. I think it would be wise to take Dalton and Grisham’s approach in their “Love that Book” article to tackle this issue. Dalton and Grisham explained the importance of multimodal response to literature to increase student engagement. They advised to try different approaches of student response to literature such as VoiceThread collaborative response, video book trailers, illustrated letters, multimedia posters, and parting shots. These are good approaches because it offers students more choices for how they want to develop and express their thinking and feeling. I think we can take these approach in assigning science literature to students. Instead of making them reading hard content text, we can expose these text in the form in which they will understand better and be more engaged. Maybe we can reverse the process and ask students to write a formal paper base on what they learned from these models.

        My students took their first Chemistry exam on Tuesday. Many did not do well on the exam. As I asked them to reflect on the exam and possible explanations as to why they did not do as well as they hoped (for those who said they had studied), many responded that they were having difficulty reading the questions. Few students said the Chemistry content was not hard, but how the questions were worded made the questions more difficult than it looked. As Fisher and Lapp mentioned in their article, “our students must acquire the language of the test and exert the choice to apply this academic language when they believe it is a factor for success.” Many students are lacking academic language. For many students, academic English is like a foreign language because they do not use it outside of classroom. And for this reason, many students who struggled to speak academic English do not consider themselves as scholars because they hold a negative image of themselves. I will try to expose my students with as many exam questions as possible so they become familiar with the language.

         

        • Tatyana Jackson

          By Tatyana Jackson

          Guiding students in reading in the disciplines is crucial especially giving them the ability to make sense of the reading through connections to prior knowledge. Daniels and Zelmelma brought my attention to this, when I was reading the cricket passage although I could read the words and phonetically make sense of it without knowing the context of cricket it was useless to me. More importantly even knowing it applied to cricket without having the prior knowledge to assimilate the information the words still looked like nonsense which is probably what happens to a lot of our students. This helped me really understand my ELL students who struggled today understanding a regents question in what it was asking but when I rephrased and gave it another context were able to give me correct answers. I think its important to be mindful of this as we move forward in our planning and implement scaffolds like the stages of reading (Daniels 36) The strategy of close reading is important because it teaches the students to ask these questions that we ado when reading without thinking about it. For this to happen, we must develop students’ capacity to observe and analyze. If we want to create close readers who are also independent readers, we need to explicitly teach how to approach a text to uncover its multiple layers of meaning. In the meantime, we’ll need to come to class prepared to ask important text-dependent questions when students’ own questioning fails to produce a deep understanding. But those questions need to be more than “text-dependent”; they need to represent the full range of the Common Core standards. (Boyles 41) It is all in the planning of how you create your questioning how students will develop theirs I think as science teachers (or maybe its just a me thing) we often come in with a lot of content knowledge and the skills on how to decode and analyze higher text that we sometimes take for granted that what we perceive as an appropriate text may not be because of skills we failed to teach. Hinchman suggest a Combination individual reading with student-led,small-group talk can provide a powerful scaffold for youths to learn to think for themselves as they interpret texts, and it teaches them to note features of others’ interpretations. I think this is a critical way to give multiple entry points for our scholars especially in the science field sometimes students can explain better to each other in a way you haven’t perceived.

          • Tatyana Jackson

            By Tatyana Jackson

            xixi i had the same problem recently its like the way the questions are asked really tripped them up its not the acquisition of the material based on the tutoring session i had afterschool with some of my scholars who did poorly but rather how the material is asked of them.

            • Gerald Ardito

              By Gerald Ardito

              Xin,

              I thought you did a really good job articulating the dilemma you are facing.

              This really caught my attention:

              I love biology and I love teaching biology. Being a teacher for the last year and a half has been rewarding but very tiring as well. I did not think to come into teaching to teach basic English literacy. It is a struggle daily being a teacher in NYC, especially in the 21st century. Guiding student's reading in science means helping them decode the content vocabularies. I find myself having a different experience learning science back when I was in school than the students that I am teaching. I am teaching them how to break down sentences and deciphering keywords. It is a different feeling.

              I am curious to know how you are thinking about bridging this divide.

              • Gerald Ardito

                By Gerald Ardito

                Xi Xi,

                I was really intrigued by your response:

                My students took their first Chemistry exam on Tuesday. Many did not do well on the exam. As I asked them to reflect on the exam and possible explanations as to why they did not do as well as they hoped (for those who said they had studied), many responded that they were having difficulty reading the questions. Few students said the Chemistry content was not hard, but how the questions were worded made the questions more difficult than it looked.

                I am wondering about how you responded to their feedback.

              Group E

              http://pacecommons.org/groups/profile/8353/group-d
              Sub-Group of ED 656 - Fall 2018