Directions for the homework assignments Spring 2012

Due 1/31 Using I Wonder Questions to Tackle Challenging Texts
  • Purpose: The goal of this assignment is for you to apply the idea of encouraging students to generate I-Wonder questions by selecting two of your own I-Wonder questions with the text used for your comprehension self-assessment (see below).
  • Directions: You should use the same text you used for the comprehension self-assessment for this assignment. Return to the text after reading the Chris Tovani chapter in which she encourages modeling "I wonder questions" for students. Generate one "I wonder question" that seeks to clarify your understanding of something you read, and a second "I wonder question" that seeks to deepen/extend your understanding beyond the text you read. Bring your "I wonder questions" to class tomorrow to share in preparation for observing the "think-aloud" that I will model during class. This will also prepare you for the written "think-aloud assignment" that's coming up with a different text, designed to teach students in your content area.

Due 1/31 Comprehension Self-Assessment
  • Purpose: The goal of this assignment is for you to become aware of the active reading strategies you currently use when reading gets hard, practice using all of these strategies, and reflect on how these practices may improve your own reading and study skills.
  • Directions: You should follow the directions as outlined on the assignment sheet. First, read your challenging text the way you would normally. Then, be sure to read the handout that accompanies the directions to help you better understand how to use each strategy as part of your comprehension problem-solving process. Then, reread a short section of text and complete the strategy chart, taking time to practice and reflect on your use of each comprehension strategy.

Due 2/2 Tackling the Text Think-Aloud Assignment
  • Purpose: The goal of this assignment is to give you practice anticipating portions of texts that might be challenging and thinking aloud for your potential students in ways that model metacognitive strategies for understanding texts at these challenge points.
  • Directions:
    • (1) Read Beuhl Ch. 1 Cognitive Strategies for background information that connects to the concepts we covered in class about the strategies that good readers use (p. 3-13).
    • (2) Read #3 Lapp et al article on Think-Alouds - download from the wiki - to view examples of how to organize your modeling of how to tackle challenging texts using a three column chart. You can also refer to the handout from class with modeling how to read on the Internet as another example.
    • (3) Refer to Reading #4 Block & Israel article on the wiki for additional ideas for thinking aloud about each strategy.
    • (4) Complete the Tackling The Text Think-Aloud Assignment using the chart on the back of the assignment sheet and a challenging text (the one you covered in class or a new one). You can download a copy of the Tackling the Text Assignment from the tab at Readings/Handouts A under the Asking Questions heading. You can type your answers right into the document and bring it into class next Tuesday. Be sure to relate your lesson to your content area standards and be prepared to teach a short "mini-think-aloud" lesson with a new partner using your "script" in class on Thursday, Feb. 10.

Due Feb. 7 Metacognitive Text Discussions (Blog Post #2)
  • Purpose: The goal of this assignment is to give you practice viewing and synthesizing key ideas across multiple sources that extend your understanding of text-based discussions and think-aloud metacognitive strategy instruction. Details for the assignment are described on the Blog Post #2 directions on the Ning.
  • Read Buehl's Chapter 2 and complete the 1 page reading guide (which you can download from the Reading Guides link).

Due Feb. 9 Adolescent Literacy Reports and Knowing, Understanding, and Doing
  • 1. Complete Knowing, Understanding, and Doing handout to clarify examples of each. We'll discuss next class.
  • 2. There are six numbered reports on the Jigsaw Activity page. Download the report that matches the number you were assigned and skim/read it, using the handout you were given to indicate the report's purpose, relevant statistics, important keywords/phrases, and a graphic/visual organizer (on the back of the sheet) representing how the keywords fit together to structure the report. Make six copies of your handout and be prepared to share your handout in a 5 minute overview report to the rest of your group next class.

Due Feb. 16: Ideas for Activating Knowledge with Anticipatory Activities
  • Purpose: The goal of this assignment is to encourage your continued reflection about the value of different types of anticipatory activities as a way of frontloading your lessons to encourage success for all of your students.
  • 1. Read the Billman (2002) article about picture books and the activities for activating prior knowledge in your Buehl book including Anticipation Guides, Connect Two, First-Person Reading, K-W-L Plus, and Story Impressions (see your syllabus for page numbers). Reflect on ideas that especially resonated with you.
  • 2. Post your reflections on the VoiceThread I created at .You will need to login as a new user to view the VoiceThread (remember your login and password). Read the directions on the cover slide (and hear me read them as well). Scroll through the slides to view one or two of the instructional activities that you liked and click on the "Comment Tool" at the bottom center of the window to share your reflections about it's value and how you might use it to teach your content. Click on the microphone tool to record your voice or the text tool to type your reflections. Others will be able to hear/read your reflections when they log in as well. Think about the power of using VoiceThread in your own classroom!

Due Feb. 16: How might interactive websites be used to frontload your lesson by activating or building background knowledge needed for your lesson? (Click on "Frontloading Lessons" on the left menu)
  • Purpose: The goal of this assignment is to further broaden your thinking about how to frontload your lessons - this time with interactive websites that contain images, video, audio, photographs, animations and manipulatives.
  • 1. Explore some of the content specific websites at our wikispace list of interactive websites
  • 2. Consider how a specific interactive resource might be useful to (a) activate, (b) assess, and/or (c) build students' prerequisite knowledge for your lesson/unit on a specific topic BEFORE you teach?
  • 3. Click the appropriate "here" to add your comments. Follow the directions at the top of the page to edit the wiki with your comments.
  • 4. Be prepared to share one website example and specific details with others during our next class.
  • A good example, but could be better if MORE SPECIFIC to a particular learning objective (think...what do you want students to know, understand, and be able to do):
    Site 1: History Ease - Excellent Tool for 20th century U.S. political or social history.
    Activate PK: History Ease provides an easy tool for students to explore a U.S. 20th century decade, by time period, subject, political event, social causes, etc. It provides the students a first hand look at images and media which are primary sources. These images can let students access a mental image of the time period.
    Build PK: History Ease also provides students with captions under each photo/video for concise contextual knowledge. The program is also set up so students can view 1, 2 or 4 images at the same time, to compare and make connections between historically important events.

Due February 23: Collaborating with a Partner to Brainstorm Statements for Your Extended Anticipation Guides
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to collaborate with a partner to brainstorm anticipatory statements about a topic in your discipline that will deepen thinking and learning. This will be done in preparation for creating an Extended Anticipation Guide - which you will work on in class on March 1.
  1. At the end of class on Feb. 24, exchange ideas with your partner about the topic you have selected.
  2. At home, complete the syllabus readings (Grasek, 2009 about studying controversial issues and Wood et al to learn more about Extended Anticipation Guides).
  3. Work at home between Feb. 24 and March 1 to draft five anticipatory statements about your topic AND five statements about your partner's topic. In addition, locate an interesting website about your topic AND your partner's topic that might be useful to "extend" learning in that area. Bring these 10 draft statements and 2 websites to class on Tuesday, March 1.
  4. During class, you will work with your partner to decide on the best statements and then create your worksheet on your laptop or one of the class laptops. You will hand in work for your partner and your own work to get full credit for this assignment.
  5. Click here for more information and ideas/examples from previous semesters