Ms. Helms' Blog

I Am Poem

 

I Am Homer P. Figg

Inspired by Multi-Text Book

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
I am displeased with being told I’m too young to make a difference.

I wonder what they will say when I prove them wrong?

I heard the unnerving, strident “shot heard round the world.”
I see appalling wounded men from battle fighting for their life.
I want to help, somehow.
I am displeased with being told I’m too young to make a difference.
I pretend events occurred, to soften the blow of reality, some calling it lying.
I feel numb, discouraged yet motivated to find my brother Harold, who is fighting this ghastly bloodshed war.
I touch the immense, light blue sky while I’m soaring in this new invention they call a hot air balloon.
I worry if I’ll ever find my courageous, stubborn, older brother Harold.
I cry seldom, but when memories of my mother fill my head, the tears trickily from my exhausted eyes.

I am displeased with being told I’m too young to make a difference.
I understand the bitter realities of war, now.
I say stand up and fight, for family, your country and yourself.
I dream about the bright future Harold and I deserve, if only we could escape our uncle.

I try to tell the truth, but sometimes a lie emerges.
I hope Harold, knows I appreciate him taking care of me since our parents passed.
I am displeased with being told I’m too young to make a difference, so I’ll show them, I can make a difference.

 

After reviewing the poetry PowerPoint and exploring the links about I poetry I now have a deeper understanding of not only how I poetry is formed but the research and framework behind using these creative poetry concepts in my classroom. I have mentioned earlier that poetry was difficult for me in school because I was always given the assignment or task to “interpret” the poem based on what the author meant. I do not recall being allowed to create my own poem especially an I poem. It was interesting to me how well students responded in vocabulary as well as other testing situations after being exposed to I Poetry. I was also amazed to see the direct connection between comprehension of a text or topic and I poetry. Having students recall their understanding of a character, setting or main idea through I poetry are excellent ways of bring the text to life and what a fun way to asses their understanding. Students can own their poem and feel a de After reviewing the poetry PowerPoint and exploring the links about I poetry I now have a deeper understanding of not only how I poetry is formed but the research and framework behind using these creative poetry concepts in my classroom. I have mentioned earlier that poetry was difficult for me in school because I was always given the assignment or task to “interpret” the poem based on what the author meant. I do not recall being allowed to create my own poem especially an I poem. It was interesting to me how well students responded in vocabulary as well as other testing situations after being exposed to I Poetry. I was also amazed to see the direct connection between comprehension of a text or topic and I poetry. Having students recall their understanding of a character, setting or main idea through I poetry are excellent ways of bring the text to life and what a fun way to asses their understanding. Students can own their poem and feel a deeper connection with their produced work. I also support and like the idea of having class and student poetry books. The class books would be an excellent resource for future students entering my classroom. I believe students will take honor in their “books” which will promote the essentialness of writing I poetry. I feel more encouraged to incorporate poetry into my classroom to not only meet the standards of the state but because of the positive rewards presented in the PowerPoint. As I learned earlier in our previous poetry lessons marinating your students on the type of poetry you are teaching is a must and there is not exception for I poetry. I poetry is a unique and innovative way to strengthen student vocabulary and deepening comprehension skills as well as deepening their creativity. eper connection with their produced work. I also support and like the idea of having class and student poetry books. The class books would be an excellent resource for future students entering my classroom. I believe students will take honor in their “books” which will promote the essentialness of writing I poetry. I feel more encouraged to incorporate poetry into my classroom to not only meet the standards of the state but because of the positive rewards presented in the PowerPoint. As I learned earlier in our previous poetry lessons marinating your students on the type of poetry you are teaching is a must and there is not exception for I poetry. I poetry is a unique and innovative way to strengthen student vocabulary and deepening comprehension skills as well as deepening their creativity.

 

Science Goal 1: The learner will make observations and build an understanding of similarities and differences in animals.

All Science Objectives under goal one would be appropriate. This goal allows students to develop an understanding of animals and as they advance in grade would deepen their understanding of animals. 

1. Where do seals live?

Answer: Atlantic Ocean, Arctic. In water and on land.

2. What foods are in a seal’s diet?

Answer: Fish and squid

3. What is the life span of an average seal?

Answer: 25 years

            Throughout the semester I have been taught and given numerous strategies and resources to implement in my classroom for reading. These approaches have been engaging, authentic and flexible giving me the ability to reach all levels of learners. Recently I was introduced to two new methods to incorporate into my classroom; Reciprocal Teaching and Discussion Director. Reciprocal Teaching and Discussion Director have many similarities and differences. With any strategy it is important to use them at the right time and in the right way to ensure the most possible success.

            Both reciprocal teaching and discussion director are meant to be used in an interactive way. Students are required to engage in conversation about material they are reading or have read. Students are encouraged to create higher order thinking questions to engage their peers in the reading material. Both activities provide students the opportunity to practice their comprehension of the text. These methods offer students a more collaborative way to develop understanding of a text rather than answering questions on a worksheet. Students are not only learning communication skills they are also learning how to listen as others speak and then take what that individual said and form a response. These strategies should be modeled by a teacher before turning students to lose on their on. By modeling for students and teaching them how to ask questions and the types of questions to ask you are setting them up to succeed.

            Although these strategies have many similarities they also differ in some ways. To being, the discussion director is one specific role that is the “leader” of the discussion for the particular text. During Reciprocal Teaching students are given one of four roles; Summarizer, Questioner, Clarifier, Predictor. Each role in the reciprocal teaching activity is equally important and engages all students. The teacher is also an active participant in this activity. The reciprocal teaching method happens during the reading for the purpose of encouraging students to check their comprehension during the reading and making the most of the text. Discussion director works opposite. These questions are ask after the text is finished. By administering the questions this way students must listen throughout the reading. This prepares students for End of Grade Testing by asking the same types of questions that will be seen on the test.

            To conclude, both strategies are engaging and help increase student collaboration for the purpose of understating a certain reading material. Although these methods have similarities and differences they both should be implemented correctly by having a teacher model how to correctly complete these activities. Reciprocal Teaching and Discussion Director are two methods I would want to incorporate in my classroom setting.

The Multi-Text vocabulary activities, vocabulary overview handout and the article “Breaking Down Words to Build Meaning: Morphology, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension in the Urban Classroom are in my opinion all related. The article mentions that “as students read challenging texts, especially those in the content areas, they encounter increasingly complex words” (p. 134). By using the vocabulary activities outlined in the multi-text unit you are giving students the opportunity to expand their understanding of new and complex words which in return increases comprehension. My cooperating teacher at Millers Creek, Mrs. Handy, uses a method similar to that of the multi-text unit. Although the kindergarten students are unable to write Mrs. Handy engages them in oral activities similar to the “word wizard” activity. She uses text talk activities and asks for students input on certain unfamiliar words. Students play around with definitions and connections of the words to their life in group discussion and then Mrs. Handy gives them the correct definition. She adds these words to their “word wall” and uses these new words when she is speaking orally to her students and also praises them for their use of their new words, like the vocabulary handout suggests.

I benefited from reading in the article how students generate their own methods for solving unfamiliar words because I used similar methods when I was an elementary school student as well. I agree with the article that these strategies should be taught to other students. When students are taking a standardize test they will need to understand and implement these strategies independently to be successful. I was also optimistic to see that the activities implemented during the multi-text unit can be and are essential methods for ensuring deeper comprehension by students. While reading the multi-text vocabulary activities I saw that some of the words throughout the text could cause confusion and frustration for students who are not familiar with such words. By creating a discussion about the unknown words, having students write the words, define the words, use and connect the words students will eventually be able to read the words.

To conclude, I see a direct connection between the three reading materials and their positive effects on student comprehension and an increase in vocabulary. I have seen first hand the strategies being used in a classroom and am now encouraged to find ways to use these activities and strategies in my future classroom.

When reflecting on the article; Integrating instructional-level social studies trade books for struggling readers in upper elementary grades, the multi-text unit and my observation of the reading assessment I see a direct connection between three. First, all three items have student’s needs and interest in mind. They all are related to student achievement and the steps associated with making that achievement possible. The article made numerous comments about choosing books that students enjoy reading but also books that they can read.

The assessment allows for teachers to examine a child’s rate and accuracy to find out what level of reading is instructional for the student. If a child is reading at a frustration level then there is little to no comprehension being attained by the student. If the child is comprehending little to no information then the student is learning little to nothing. It is the responsibility of the teacher to administer the test but to also implement the information they gained from the assessment. Simply assessing the child and ignoring the results will not help the student comprehend more information. By assessing a student at Millers Creek I will be able to provide the teacher with the information about the students reading level and provide him or her with resources and appropriately reading material for the student.

Teaching and providing students with reading material at their level is essential however choosing books that students are interested in is also important. The article mentions that picking books that students enjoy will enhance their interest in reading in an outside of school. The multi-text unit is a great example of a way to integrate numerous subjects as well as spark student interest. Although some students may not be interested on a unit about pirates you can do numerous multi-text units throughout the school year to reach all the likes of your students. Although I am in the beginning stages of creating my multi-text unit I see that the benefits will be rewarding for both teacher and student. This assignment takes planning and research but students will begin to see reading in an enjoyable way.

To conclude, the article, multi-text unit and reading assessment are all connected. When students can read the material assigned to them they will begin to gain more knowledge and their reading will improve. They will also begin to enjoy reading instead of being intimidated or bored with the material. Teachers have an important role to play in what, how and when their students read. By completing the reading assessment at the beginning of the year and getting to know your students personally and academically you will be able to chose books that are both enjoyable and readable for them.

            As I read Shared Readings; Modeling Comprehension, Vocabulary, Text Structures and Text Features for Older Readers I became very enthusiastic that the process of modeling reading can be extended to the older grades. Although I will be very flexible and willing to teach primary grades, my heart is in upper elementary. I always thought that once students reached a certain age they were “on their own” for reading.  Engaging students during their reading by asking them challenging questions is an excellent way to build reading comprehension. Not only is this concept tested during the End of Grade Test but it is also an important 21st century skill. Simply having students read silently then answer questions on a worksheet is not beneficial to the emergent reader or upper grades students. I also feel that through this article I would model reading for upper grades students because I feel that it would encourage students to enjoy reading because they will see their teacher and their peers engaged and reading together. After the students see others reading and enjoying the process then when they go to apply the skills they will gain more from the reading than simply reading it alone. Modeling will take time to implement and plan but I feel that the benefits will be rewarding for both you and your students. This process of modeling can be difficult at first for teachers and students to get use to but both should allow this to be learning and enjoyable process.