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Monday, May 3rd, 2004
11:49p - KWL


KWL
 

Please reflect on what you have learned over the past 15 weeks:) Post your reply as a response to this thread. This serves as the L for the KWL chart.

J.Lawrence

Response:

What I learned in this class I will probably be rediscovering for a long time, as most of these ideas are going to get better after they’ve had sufficient time to soak instead of just flying by quickly once. Looking through my texts, they are pretty liberally highlighted, and I have made margin notes where incidents occurred to me.

o Through diligent detective work, I discovered that Terry Piper is FEMALE, not male.

o I discovered that I am NOT conversationally competent!

o All the stuff I did in Accelerated Reading last summer with the zone of proximal development (horrid name) makes a lot more sense in context, which I now have a bit of. o I picked up little tidbits about English that I’ve always ‘known" in the sense that I use it correctly naturally, but was unable to factor out on my own, (like introducing a new subject with the indefinite article, then switching to the definite one. Logical, but I’d never noticed it before. ) That type of thing fascinates me.

o Insights into the cultural problems second language learners experience likewise captured my attention.

o An affirmation: Socio/economic background is NOT tied to language learning for 90% of the students. Thank GOD!

o Other ways of organizing narrative from Black/Indian/Hispanic cultures.

o Other ways of questioning.

o The six characteristics of childhood preschool learning drug into the school years and looked at in terms of what it meant in the classroom.

o The phonics/whole language debate and explorer teaching. That gave me a great feeling of relief, as I hit the phonics in worksheets about the five Spanish sounds that cause confusion, then jump into using the language, letting other grammar happen. After I’ve made sure the students can pronounce the sounds, we only refer to it when there is a problem… A prop, nothing more.

o I transferred a Piper quote on success in reading comprehension from p. 239 to my journal so I can use it in my reading class. I think it will end up in the school newsletter that goes home to parents.

o Memory strategies. You can never have enough of those at your fingertips.

o Functions of language. I’d never really given them much thought. I was thrown back into transformational grammar and deep structure of the simple sentence with that one.

o Case studies are innately interesting to me. (So Between Worlds went over bigger most of the time than Piper, who has a pedantic, pedestrian style.

o Lots of the examples of distinctions in sound that were covered in chapter 2 in Piper, I simply COULD NOT HEAR. Not from lack of trying. I don’t think that would ever be a good area of specialization for me… It reminds me of trying to make the Polish C, Z, S sounds correctly. I never did get them straight. I could not tell when I was correct and when not.

o How terribly complex "simple" things like reading and speaking are!

o Classroom based research smacks of playing with other people’s kid’s futures…

If I flipped through the text books to see what is marked in yellow, I’d be here all night. I guess fatigue is putting an end to this list, not lack of more content.

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