An Online Course: Producing A Project of Ideas & Resources
Because of the extensive number of links, the most important are signified with a *1* sign. These also cover the widest array of Certification Standards. Be sure your course work reflects your having learned from these sites.
This is a PASS/FAIL course. Therefore, SELECT and BASE YOUR WORK on those areas that best match your current interests. You can return any time to areas that match future concerns and changing interests--one of the many advantages of on-line learning. Note the Rubric for Course Portfolio Assessment.
Essential Question 1: Based on links from the sites below, how should you approach sentence study in order to make it more effective?
GRAMMAR in a new LIGHT
Why do so many students and teachers dread grammar? Why has research found it ineffective in improving student composition or "correctness"? See what you can learn to answer these questions from links on the following page. Give particular attention to the ideas of meaning and combining sentences.
Teachers@Work Over 200 sites of ideas and resources for teaching language and literature. Type in the search topic you want, but also note the range of useful sites!
This web page starts with GRAMMAR, because it is a traditional and usually very ineffective bedrock of the English curriculum. Moreover, one-sentence composition can form an ongoing part of the entire English curriculum by having students compose and apply *1*THE WRITING PROCESS in giving responses to readings, feedback to other student writers, and work in all the language arts!
This first section reflects a *1*CENTRAL PRINCIPLE of making English teaching and learning more effective: INFUSE MEANING (no empty content skill work) and look for ways to COMBINE one area of English with others.
From at least two sites/activities you want to use, write an imaginary dialogue (script form) between yourself and two teachers—one tending to support your ideas, the other quite doubtful. Use this dialogue to develop ideas for how you would use and justify the activity or idea for "grammar" teaching.
Essential Question 2: Based on links from the sites below, what are the richest multiple link sites for the rest of the English curriculum?
Spend at least 5 hours total surveying and reprinting key pages from the following multiple link sites covering a wide range of the English curriculum:
*1*Mrs. Adams' Red Apple Site - Includes world, American, and British literature resources, as well as Advanced Placement materials for high school teachers and students. Note the menu of resources down the left side of the page.
From at least three of these sites/activities you want to use, write an imaginary dialogue (script form) between yourself and two teachers—one tending to support your ideas, the other quite doubtful. Use this dialogue to develop ideas for how you would use and justify the activities or ideas.
has a section on *1*Study Guides for Novels and plays commonly taught. Many teachers find the kind of "scaffolding" support from these Study Guides is necessary for many students. Surf and search these for varieties of ways to foster student responses and insight, adding these to a section on LITERATURE in your Project.
*1******ENGLISH COMPANION***** has a superb range of useful links. Explore the "Room 82" guides about 2/3 down the page on the left, as well as the "Tools" for teaching. In the *1*"How To Read a Poem/Short Story/Novel, etc. short documents, you will find strong process-assignment structures, "scaffolding" again to help inexperienced readers. In his rationale for teaching novels and stories, site author and classroom English teacher Jim Burke writes "narrative fiction often provides the only encounter with the imagination during the course of the school day; in this one respect, teaching such texts is vital." Imagining is crucial for mental and spiritual health. Reading and writing imaginative prose and poetry touches not only the heart of English, but the hearts of students and teachers as well. Try to sense what a tremendous privilege, gift, and challenge it is to teach and learn English, what glorious fun can be had,and what a high life's purpose it is to help young people gain power over the heart/mind/language connections and expressions!
Ten Ways to Play with Literature -- Great ideas! Note the other "10 Ideas For..." lists in the left margin. These are from Traci Gardner, the Online Resources Manager for the National Council of Teachers of English in Urbana, Illinois, where she manages web pages and other educational Internet resources for teachers and educators.
Myth*ing Links -- Prof. Kathleen Jenks of Pacifica's Department of Mythological Studies has developed this amazingly fertile and thorough site on myths and archetypes.
Links on Mythology -- This page contains links to websites on mythology, that is, the study of myths or the mythic stories themselves. This definition includes fairy tales, legends, and the study of mythic themes in pop culture, as well as the relationship between myth and science.
*1*Compose an imaginary Journal entry for a student who has tried an activity you select from the foregoing section. Have them write about a project idea they might like to propose, based on the activity.
Make a good collection of reprints for a LITERATURE TOOLS section of your Project.
Essential Question 4: Based on links from the sites below, what can I find in the STANDARDS & BENCHMARKS of Educational Reform that can be productive guidance?
Note the sections correlated to the California Standards and Frameworks in the Teaching Tools section on the
National Standards, and State by State Standards are also on the Web. You are expected to be familiar with these (the Frameworks in whatever state you teach in) and target your teaching toward them, as made distinct in the school(s) you teach in. No one teacher is expected to address all the frameworks, of course; it is a team effort, spread over a span of grades. Ask other teachers what "division of labor" they have devised, and if not, why not.
A compendium of the "best" English standards from around the nation will give you a great conceptual overview of K-12 English teaching, based on 10 principles. Spend quality time reading these benchmarks and reprinting some for the grade level(s) you teach.
**Lastly, two positive yet difficult directions for school-wide, positive, productive reform are 1)
Small Schools By Choice, meaning breaking big schools down into "houses" or "clusters" of 70-120 students each. This helps students and teachers to know each other better--and results in higher attendance, achievement, and less violence. Smaller school units also make it easier to bring about
Having students write from and about their subject readings is an accepted tradition in both conservative and progressive schooling. Several sites below suggest ways you can enhance the usefulness and power of writing as a learning tool.
Make it a practice to use writing as a learning tool, not just for testing. Review sites at *1*Writing To Learn for ideas. Many of these sites have excellent background and guidance for using writing in a progressive way, while accomplishing conservative ends.
*1*The I-Search Unit --
Detailed information on phases of an I-Search assignment, the most successful way to teach the research paper in a meaningful way.
Highwired.Net - free opportunity for
high school journalists to participate in an on-line newspaper simply by registering their school
with the site
In "teaching with heart," you can use writing as a healing and more deeply spiritual means than most teachers have. It can be part of teaching your students and yourself that Your Thoughts Are Very Powerful.
Creativity and Imagination are "at risk" during adolescence, meaning it is one last great opportunity to develop these human traits, a final fertile period in the life cycle. Make the most of it, and you will find tremendous energy and life in your teaching!
Notice that many sites and links in Parts 2 and 3 pertain to writing as well.
Essential Question 6: Based on links from the sites below,
how is SHAKESPEARE a Special Case, and what 'Net resources are most useful?
Spend several hours considering tips on these sites for this sixth section of your notebook:
Simulating Hamlet in the Classroom A pdf document (Adobe Acrobat) from the MIT program in Systems Analysis/Dynamic Modeling--that demonstrates how dynamically complex systems, such as good plots and characters, can be best understood through computer simulation of the way every change affects the whole system, which in turn affects the part. An innovative way of showing students how complex systems work--including their own bodies, their families and relationships!
ThinkQuest Search **Type "SHAKESPEARE" into the Search window, and get over 20 Shakespeare unit projects!
Compose an imaginary Journal entry for a student who has tried an activity you select for teaching Shakespeare. Have them write about a project idea they might like to propose, based on the activity.
Essential Question 7: Based on links from the sites below, what additional ideas show the 'Net's usefulness for Teaching & Learning English?
PubList.com - only Internet-based reference for over 150,000 domestic and international print and electronic publications
BookAdventure - students in grades K-8 demonstrate their reading comprehension through short quizzes and earn rewards; from Sylvan Learning Center
PinkMonkey.com - chapter summaries, huge library of literature classics, study guides and more
Xrefer - large and diverse collection of reference works from some of the world's leading publishers
Traditional Grammar: An Interactive Book - complete, free introduction to the basic syntactic structure of modern English and the most common prescriptive errors in formal writing and how to avoid them
GlobalEnglish - comprehensive curriculum in business and general English for a wide variety of English language learners
1st Headlines - links to individual stories in most major newspapers and network news Web sites from United States and around the world
Media Literacy Clearinghouse
Concerned with helping students develop an informed and critical understanding
of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by them, and the impact
of these techniques.
Based on links from the sites below, and considering the following "EXTRA TOPICS" sites, how might you make your teaching more relevant and reach more students? Particularly, through a) working with parents and families, b)using alternative assessment to help students learn more, c) confronting the dilemma of depth vs. coverage. d) teaching the gifted and talented, the learning disabled, and English Language learners likely to be in your classes via "inclusion", e) coping with challenges of (beginning) teaching, including mastering the dynamics of questioning, and f) helping students with career planning and transition to life after high school.
SchoolNotes.com FREE! Easily develop homework assignments and class information, posting it on the Web!
*1***Consider, too, the importance of WAIT TIME. Most teachers ask questions at an extremely rapid rate, and average only one second of wait time after each question and after each student answer.
When teachers increase wait time by 5 seconds, the following results occur:
1) Longer student answers;
2) More appropriate answers;
3) More frequent student responses;
4) More answers on the analysis and synthesis levels;
5) More questions and responses from slow learners; and
6) More confidence by students in their answers.
Go through your Project. *1*Make an annotated Table of Contents for each section, and **star the sites you want to be sure to make reference to in teaching the English language arts.
Describe ideas you have gotten that you believe will make your classes come alive.
Finally, compose an imaginary letter to a friend who has written, asking you about teaching. Tell the friend about one class based on ideas from this online course—the kinds of students you have, the work they’ve done, how you’ve evaluated them, and what you want to try to add next year.
Mail your completed work to:
Chad C. Osborne 923 West Mission St. Santa Barbara, CA 93101