Saturday, April 17, 2004

What Elementary Teachers Need To Know about Language.

What Elementary Teachers Need To Know about Language. Just in case you don't know all of this already. It is a good summary of the basics of oral and written communication.

From the site:

Over the past decade, education reforms have raised the educational bar that all children in the United States--including newcomers--must clear to finish school and participate in the economic and social world of the 21st century. These reforms place tremendous pressures on children and teachers: In addition to mastering the content-area curriculum, children must become skilled users of language. They must be highly competent in reading and writing to pass the various assessments that constitute gateways for completing school, getting into college, and finding jobs. Teachers need a wealth of content and pedagogical knowledge to ensure that they are providing appropriate instruction to all students. Teachers also need a thorough understanding of educational linguistics--how language figures in education. This foundation would support teachers' practice overall, and in particular, it would help them teach literacy skills (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998), especially to English language learners (August & Hakuta, 1998). If approached coherently, preparation in educational linguistics would cover many items on lists of teacher competencies, such as skills in assessing children, individualizing instruction, and respecting diversity. This Digest summarizes some basic aspects of oral and written language about which elementary teachers need expertise in order to promote literacy. However, it is only one part of the formula for effective teaching. How literacy skills should be taught and how teachers can learn what they need to know about language are beyond the scope of this Digest.


Classroom teachers and other educators should be able to answer a basic set of questions regarding oral and written language. Underlying their knowledge should be an understanding that oral language proficiency developed first in the native language (and often in a second language) serves as the foundation for literacy and as the means for learning in school and out. Teachers need to know how written language contrasts with speech so they can help their students acquire literacy.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Mrs. Large's Second Grade WebQuest Page

Mrs. Large's Second Grade WebQuest Page. Resource to enhance thematic units taught in second grade. Primarily based on science or social studies themes.

From the site:

I designed this website for my second grade students to use as we study each of our themes throughout the year. The purpose of each webquest is to enhance the thematic unit that we are currently studying. If by chance anyone else should happen to visit my site and would like to try a webquest I would be very happy. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to try them. I hope you enjoy them. These could be adapted to first grade or classes with only one computer by doing them with the whole class. It would take much longer in some cases, but I think it could be done.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Parent Involvement in Elementary Language Arts: A Program Model.

Parent Involvement in Elementary Language Arts: A Program Model. Get those parents involved!

From the site:

"Parent involvement" is fast becoming a hot topic. Teaching periodicals, parent magazines, newspapers, and even television talk shows and special broadcasts are emphasizing the impact parents make in educating their children. Topics include hints on effective communication at conference time, tips for establishing study skills and habits at home, and information on how to use parents effectively as volunteers in the classroom (Vukelich, 1984).

A potential limitation with the teacher-parents involvement suggestions described in some articles is that even though they may be worthwhile, they often lack an overall organization that allows teachers to plan and develop principled programs for parents (Becher, 1986; Becher, 1984; Vukelich, 1984). Many well-meaning, dedicated teachers approach parent involvement as an "afterthought" that may lack purposeful implementation. Parent involvement, in this sense, is not seen as part of the curriculum. A general format may help to eliminate wasted effort and guide the development of an organized approach to parent involvement--a parent involvement program that is integrated into the language arts curriculum.


Petit (1980) attempts to organize the various dimensions of parent involvement. Petit specifies three levels or degrees of increasing parent involvement: (1) monitoring, (2) informing, and (3) participation.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site

Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site. Includes reviews of great children's books, classroom activities, lesson plans, and professional topics.

From the site:

This is a collection of reviews of great books for kids, ideas of ways to use them in the classroom and collections of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes and professional topics.