Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Using a graphic organizer is a wonderful SDAIE strategy to help students connect and organize the key elements of a given lesson. This strategy is often helpful for English learners and other students who may benefit from a visual representation or organizational tool. The accompanying picture is of a graphic organizer my co-teacher and I issued to our students during the entire first unit. We had them fill it out periodically throughout the unit, and it seemed to have a very positive effect on student mastery regarding the development of democracy. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Literacy Survey

Literacy Survey

I issued a short literacy survey to my class this week to get a feel for their reading habits and to see where they get their information. See below:

Literacy Survey                    Name:__________________

1. What do you spend the most time reading? ( X all that apply)

Facebook___        Magazines___      Internet Articles___

Fantasy___            Sci-Fi___                Texts___

Other__________________________(please specify)

2. How many hours do you spend reading, for fun, per week? (Circle one)

Less than 1            1-2          3-4          5-6          7-10        10+

3. What was the last book you remember enjoying? _______________________

4. What language do you prefer to read in?

___English             ___Spanish           ___Other

5. How many books have you read so far this year? (Starting from January)

___0       ___1-3     ___3-5     ___5-9     ___10+

As expected, the vast majority of students claimed that they spend the most time reading Facebook posts and text messages. However, I was surprised at the amount of students replied that they actively read internet articles. About a third of the class wrote in some type of book(s) in the space and a couple wrote that they do not read anything. After averaging out all 41 survey responses to number 2,I found that the average hours my students spent reading per week was 1-2 but was excited to see that a few had circled 10+. Many of the students wrote that the book they had last enjoyed reading was The Hunger Games and a couple had written Game of Thrones. Only one student in my class selected that they prefer to read in Spanish over English. I learned a great deal about my classes reading habits but the thing that stuck out the most to me was the overwhelming number that selected Facebook and internet articles.

The fact that out of 41 surveys, less than five students did not select an internet or technology based medium that they read from the most, was very exciting to me. What this tells me is that my class could quite possibly benefit greatly from further integration of technology into the classroom. I find this idea both encouraging and exciting because I it is my desire to use technology to the best of my ability to help world history come alive. While I have hesitant to incorporate Facebook into the classroom, there are many different ways that I can utilize Blackboard to forum posting and discussion groups online. One of the ideas that I am most excited about is a current event blog, in which the students create their own blog that they post current event assignment onto. The possibilities are endless, however, I do know that there is one individual in my class that has neither an internet connection not computer at home so if I do assign a web 2.0 assignment I will need to provide ample class time in a computer lab.