Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Emma's Response

Emma Giovinco
TCH 412
Book Club Post #3
Chapters 3 & 4
April 27, 2012

          The last two chapters of this book proved to be very interesting. Chapter three
focuses heavily on the need to make reading meaningful for students, instead of just
reading something to answer simple questions, we want students to use their opinions and
background knowledge. As in the previous chapters, the author gives many strategies that
can be useful to aid students in the classroom when reading and writing. The first strategy
that we encounter in this chapter (pg. 65) is actually not one of my favorites. The strategy
is basically an outline or a story map of a reading. The key component to this strategy is
that students read something in class, and then map out what they think are the most
important parts of the reading. My mentor teacher at my CPD along with the teacher that
he makes his curriculum maps with (who is also an 8th grade social studies teacher on
another team) gave this assignment to their students. Most students succeeded and I do
believe that this strategy helped them, however, many students mapped out what they
thought were the key concepts of the reading, and when my mentor went over them, the
information that the students chose as important, deemed to be somewhat trivial
compared to the rest of the text. And when it came time for the quiz about that information
the next week, they still associated what they personally thought was important from the
text as the most important information instead of what the teacher wanted them to find.
One strategy that I liked very much is one that incorporates the need for students to
understand multiple perspectives through history. While the students at my CPD were
working on a DBQ, I reviewed the actual DBQ questions that they had worked on the day
before. The questions incorporated perspectives from muckrakers and robber barons
which provided the students with effective background knowledge to argue two
perspectives if necessary.
          I also fell in love with the quote on page 74 that states, “social studies are about
phenomena to be explored, not just answers to memorize”. I even added this quote into my
advocacy assignment given to us by Professor Kava in which I have to defend the
importance of social studies being taught in middle and high schools. As seen in Frederick
D. Drake and Lynn R. Nelson state in their book, Engagement in Teaching History: Theory
and Practices for Middle and Secondary Teachers, which is our text for TCH 430, my Social
Studies methods class, it is extremely important to create a sort of historical laboratory, in
which students can interact and immerse themselves into the history that they are learning
about. And this quote reminded me of exactly just that.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more about outlining, Emma. With young student it is so necessary to provide more structure and possibly do some explicit think alouds to model how to determine what is an important point in a SS text. I, too, remember that when left to themselves, younger students would choose the randomest facts. Love the idea of the historical lab and am glad you are talking about that with Professor Kava.