Final Reflective Synthesis Essay

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Final Reflective Synthesis Essay af Mind Map: Final Reflective Synthesis Essay

1. Gee, J. "Learning and identity: What does it mean to be a half-elf?." What video games have to teach us about language and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. 45-69. Print.

2. How you define literacy as connected to your discipline.

2.1. Experience

2.1.1. At Gardner, it appears that literacy is graded based on the completion of worksheets and binder work. Students are taught a lesson and then complete a worksheet related to the lesson.

2.2. Core standards

2.2.1. "English Language Arts Standards » Science & Technical Subjects » Grade 6-8." Common Core State Standard Initiative. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <>. Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics. Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks. Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

2.3. Text

3. What it looks like for students to be literate in your discipline.

3.1. Experience

3.1.1. "Not a pushover" blog post "...So, students colored diagrams and a student tried to stab another student. Neat. What does that mean for us future educators? I see some merit in the diagram coloring/ labelling exercise. One of the core standards for the sciences is to be able to read and interpret diagrams. So, coloring a diagram is probably one of the most basic ways to prove that a student understands a diagram"

3.1.2. "Texas, it's Australia" blog post ..." I thought this would be a good test in literacy of map reading, a pretty important skill in the sciences. Maps are read to determine climatology, geology, species distribution, and a multitude of other reasons. The map was a simple global map with the plate tectonic boundaries drawn on it...These students were never taught to read a map! Clearly this is an important skill when talking about regions that are being studied in the sciences."

3.2. Jetton, Tamara , and Cynthia Shanahan. "Learning with Text in Science." Adolescent Literacy in the Academic Disciplines. New York: The Guilford Press, 2012. 154-70. Print.

3.2.1. Teaching students the difference between reading in an English classroom and a science classroom.

3.2.2. In a science classroom, you do not "read for the gist of it." Instead, students need to read carefully and make note cards about foreign ideas. Reading is an active process, not a passive one.

3.2.3. Students can write papers describing an experiment after engaging in hypothesis testing and recording results.

4. What it looks like for you to teach so that students will be literate in your discipline.

4.1. Experience

4.1.1. "Not a pushover" blog post "... I think it is important for students to remain challenged while completing assignments. An instructor should aim to make students think, not just identify the difference between red-orange and red while shading in the mantle. "

4.1.2. "Copious Vocabulary" blog post "The student's build their notebook each class period by adding in that days activities. This is a great organization tool- it almost guarantees that the students have a way to reflect on their notes. The downside? Every single class period students are filling out papers instead of demonstrating ability."

4.1.3. "The Rock's Engaging" blog post " The students were learning about the rock cycle using a worksheet that went along with a website that the instructor guided them through. The worksheet had the same image that the website had. The students wrote out numbered steps of the rock cycle and descriptions on the side of their worksheet. This is was the first time I experienced a mildly quiet classroom. Students raised their hands and offered answers to what might be happening during the rock cycle."

4.2. Text

4.2.1. Jetton, Tamara , and Cynthia Shanahan. "Learning with Text in Science." Adolescent Literacy in the Academic Disciplines. New York: The Guilford Press, 2012. 154-70. Print. "This week the students were filling out their vocabulary worksheet. This was very reminiscent of the idea found in the reading "Adolescent Literacy in the Academic Disciplines" by Jetton and Shanahan. The reading suggested students fill out a vocabulary notebook to organize their ideas. This is exactly what the students were doing. They would copy down the word, other forms of the word, part of speech, definition, draw a picture, and then how the student would remember it. I liked this idea for learning vocabulary, but it seemed like a very dry lesson."

4.3. Lemov, Doug. "Planning that Ensures Academic Achievement." Teach like a champion: 49 techniques that put students on the path to college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. 57-66. Print.

4.3.1. "What will my students understand today?"

4.3.2. Objective, assessment, activity Define objective Daily activity to assess objective Activity to master objective

4.3.3. You can't make students love a subject, so do not make that your objective.

4.3.4. Know your student's learning speed and be prepared to change the pace if needed.

4.3.5. Plan what students will be doing each step of the way.

4.4. McCann, Thomas, Larry Johannessen, Elizabeth Kahn, and Joseph Flanagan. "Talking in Class." Talking in Class Using Discussion to Enhance Teaching and Learning. Urbana: NCTE, 2006. 1-11. Print.

4.4.1. Learning as a process that involves interaction with others and requires the practice of certain habits of mind that go well well beyond simple recall.

5. What you learned about literacy and its connections to the teaching of students in your discipline.

5.1. Experience

5.1.1. "Texas, it's Australia" blog post "I think it's important for students to figure things out on their own, but if they have no base knowledge, how do you respond to that?"

5.2. Abrams, Sandra, and Hannah Gerber. "Achieving through the Feedback Loop: Videogames, Authentic Assessment and Meaningful Learning." English Journal 103.1 (2013): 95-103. Print.

5.2.1. We need to give students the opportunity to revise almost indefinitely.

5.2.2. The feedback loop is not specific to an assignment; it involves an integrated understanding that students need repeated perspectives, their progress toward short- and long-term goals.

5.2.3. Education is about "growth, continuity and reconstruction of experience."

5.2.4. If a game is too difficult or too easy, then a student will abandon it.

6. Introduction

6.1. I was placed in an 8th grade Earth science classroom at Gardner Middle School.

6.2. I never considered the idea of literacy in science. I always thought that literacy was something that was taught in English classrooms; not science.

7. Conclusion

7.1. The idea of having worksheets to guide learning is good in theory. In practice, though, it appears that daily worksheets are monotonous. Having a worksheet everyday may come across as busy work to students and they may not complete assigned tasks.

7.2. Each subject has their own version of literacy.