by Timothy G. Weih, Ph.D.
Learning to Read Begins in Infancy
Reading fluency is a crucial ingredient of reading comprehension. Research has suggested that elementary students who are not reading within certain parameters of reading speed, accuracy, and expression, experience compromised understanding of what it is they are reading.
In order to fully understand how students learn reading fluency, we need to take a look at how infants began to acquire speech. When parents are talking to their infant, the child looks at their faces, and listens to their voices, and then, at a certain stage of development, begins to mimic what he is observing with his senses. At first, his attempts at speech are known as “baby talk;” however, he soon learns to form words accurately by listening to the speech he hears, and by watching the facial expressions that go along with the voices, that together, communicate meaning.
When an infant is being read to, the opportunity for him to acquire speech, and to make associations between ...
Having retired from public education after about 35 years in the classroom, I encountered withdrawal and so returned as a volunteer, guest presenter, and college supervisor. There are few thrills greater in life than working with excited teachers and engaged students.
I have discovered that good teachers want to get better; great teachers wish to advance strategies and skills; fantastic teachers want to know and be and do terrific things every day in every way to reach and teach every child. Regardless of the above mentioned category, these teachers want to improve so that their lessons engage students and bring them academic success. Yes, there are a few educators who prefer the status quo, drifting along with the current while trying to avoid stress, strain, or cultivating talents. Fortunately, I know little of these folks as I am not invited into their private realms nor do I necessarily want to go.
Inspired teachers light up the room with motivation and creativity. Students here ...
The Internalization of Narrative Story
What happened to my son's passion for learning, his overwhelming curiosity, and his constant drive to produce? These are questions that I've asked myself over the past 8 years of my son's formal education beginning in Kindergarten at our community public school. Prior to these years, he quite literally filled our house with his writings and drawings. We bought enough reams of card stock to fill a small warehouse. In addition, we had boxes of markers and crayons, along with tape, glue, and scissors. He was constantly producing stories related to his life experiences connected to Thomas the Tank Engine and SpongeBob SquarePants. Not only did he create his own written and illustrated stories based on the characters from these TV shows, he also created physical, action stories by building the characters out of Legos and then narrating a verbal story as he manipulated them. He even developed stop-action-video stories with his iPod and voice-over ...
by Timothy G. Weih, Ph.D.
Many teachers shy away from teaching poetry. They mistakenly think that everything has to rhyme, contain deep meaning, or follow a complicated formula; however, poetry can take many, uncomplicated forms with one such form being List Poetry. List Poems are simply lists of words or phrases that are all related to an overall topic, so it’s the topic or main idea that connects them together. They don’t have to rhyme, although they can, if that’s what you want.
If students have very little experience with poetry, a great strategy to start with is Magnetic Poems (adapted from Gillespie, 2010), which incorporates the elements of List Poetry. In addition to gaining the literacy benefits of this strategy which are described in the next section, elementary students will begin to learn and understand the differences between themselves and their classmates, thereby leading them to a deeper appreciation and tolerance for people unlike themselves, which is a terrific skill that they can ...
We live in a world of science, the most profound force changing our lives. Language is closely linked to the intelligence of mankind. It is employed to explain and convey science, with scientific writings being records of sciences. Language itself is considered no science. However, in my recent article "independence of written language from the non-textual world" we noted that the texts are part of science. We mentioned the world can be re-explained. Now, let's start re-explaining the world from discussing "writing as part of science". Herein, as always, we consider written language the essential form of language.
Principle of investigation
We treat texts as independent visual information, capable of forming part of science, instead of as representations of science.
We consider science as collections of sensory information, mostly what we see. Science is divided into textual portion and non-textual (visual and non-visual) portion. Investigations are carried out on the characteristics ...
~~Warmers are fun and communicative, they should take around five minutes, be very simple to set up and are a good way to review or practise language. They are not an opportunity to present or learn ‘new’ language. They should energise the learners rather than dominate the lesson.
Learners need time to ‘warm up’ in English at the start of each lesson. By varying your activities and making them brief and purposeful learners will be more energized and focused towards dealing with the target language of the lesson.
By varying warmers the learners can be kept on their toes, interested, focussed and extends their knowledge. Always using the same warmer can be repetitive and often result in the same or similar language being produced week after week. Warmers should energise the learners rather than let the warmer dominate the lesson.
Below are some ideas for warmers, these can be adapted for different levels and learner types.
Stand learners in a circle, say your name “My ...