This semester, I have been surprised by the literacy levels of my students. They really enjoy reading outside of school. I gave a literacy questionnaire at the beginning of the semester and found out that a bunch of my students liked to read for pleasure. This really surprised me because I expected my students to be disinterested in reading. I did realize my students were not able to read period texts. They had problems reading "old English". The students also had problems reading editorials from newspapers. I had to front load a lot of vocabulary that I would have expected them to know but they were not knowledgeable of it.
By September 30, 2013, I expect my students to be very engaged in reading. I hope to teach them literacy skills that not only will help them in the course but help develop them as students. I would really like to have my students be able to read primary documents with limited assistance so that we can dive into texts that will enhance their knowledge of the curriculum. I know that I need to teach the students a lot of skills in order to achieve this goal. I feel that incorporating activities that allow the students to exercise their reading comprehension and critical thinking will be very beneficial. I hope my students will be prepared to read primary source documents by the time we reach Imperialism in late November. Then they will be able to read and comprehend "White Man's Burden" by Rudyard Kipling and get a complete understanding and opinion of racist Imperialism was and get an understanding for why Europeans thought this. I hope to teach them proper skills in fromulating a thesis statement. This is pivatol for history clases because we write a lot!
By December 15, 2013, My literacy rich classroom will include lots of activities that incorporate multiple sources to help the students get a deeper understating of the content that we are learning in class. I may use class discussion and group work to help the students get a fuller understanding of the material. I have noticed when I co-taught as a student teacher that group work and analysis was a vital assets to teaching literacy in the classroom. I feel that the students will get a fuller understanding of the source materials. I think that I will incorporate a lot of writing activities to help the students improve their literacy skills. I think that having the students write a fifteen minute journal entry as an anticipatory set will really be successful in class. This will allow the students to write what they remember from last class and check their understanding. I can also incorporate music from the era that we are learning to help my students get interested in the content we will be learning.
By May 30, 2014, I hope to incorporate a lot of primary source documents that I know my students will be able to decipher. I really like the idea of having the students bring in "Current Events" to discuss in class and write a response. I feel that by this period of the semester, all the content will be very easy to relate to the students lives. I hope to include lots of multimedia sources to help improve the students understanding of the content. I like the idea of having the students read primary sources because this will really give them a full understanding of content in history. I feel by this period, I will have given my students plenty of skills to be successful at the next level. I also think that the students will have built a vocabulary that they will not need too much assistance from the teacher to understand the context of the readings. They will have the skills to understand this. I hope that my students will be able to write complete paragraphs and convey their thoughts.