Mrs. Frye


February 2016

EDU 453 Blog Post #6

This article contains multiple ideas on best practices in English, as well as other content areas.  It also has things to decrease in the classroom, and it is incredibly useful and easy to navigate, I am definitely glad I found it!

Some of the ideas for best practices in English that I have not discovered yet are:

  • Grouping by interests or book choices
  • Silent reading followed by discussion
  • Encouraging invented spelling in student’s early writings
  • Student ownership and responsibility by: ƒ Helping students choose their own topics and goals for improvement ƒ Using brief teacher-student conferences ƒ Teaching students to review their own progress
  • Writing for real audiences, publishing for the class and for wider communities

I especially love the idea of actually publishing student’s writing.  Many times, students ask “what’s the point of this?”, and by making their  work meaningful, students can ensure that their writing is going to be read, and what they are writing about is is for more than just a grade.

The article also suggests decreasing:

  • Teacher talks about writing but never writes or shares own work
  • Teacher control of decision-making by: ƒ Teacher deciding on all writing topics ƒ Suggestions for improvement dictated by teacher ƒ Learning objectives determined by teacher alone ƒ Instruction given as whole-class activity
  • Devaluation of students’ ideas through: ƒ Students viewed as lacking knowledge and language abilities ƒ Sense of class as competing individuals ƒ Work with fellow students viewed as cheating, disruptive
  • Round-robin oral reading

In all of my education classes, the importance of building a positive relationship with students and developing a sense of trust is always emphasized.  By allowing students to read your own work and giving feedback not only establishes trust and openness, but it demonstrates the principle that we shouldn’t expect our students to do anything that we ourselves wouldn’t do.




EDU 453 Blog Post #5

A good portion of the English classroom is teaching literature.  We teach how to read a book, why read it, and how to analyze what we read.

There are many different strategies in this article that relate to learning literature, including scaffolding, providing choices, and different modes of reading (reading aloud, books on tape, independent, or cooperative).  While there are a lot of good ideas in this article that can spark ideas, there aren’t very many suggestions on how to get students excited about reading.  I love reading, but others do not.  Did you like to read? Did any teachers get you excited about reading? What suggestions do you have?

EDU 255 Blog Post #3

17 Ways to Help Students with ADHD Focus

The CDC suggests that 11% of students aged 7-11 have ADHD.  These students are not solely in special education classrooms, but in the general education classes as well.  This article has 17 ways any teacher can help students with ADHD.  These include squish toys or filled balloons that students can squeeze under their desks (to keep distraction to a minimum) and keep their hands busy, attaching velcro under desks for students to touch, or allowing gum chewing/chewable necklaces.  The article also suggests a variety of different chairs that allow movement, a standing desk, leg bands, and even adding a stationary back to the back of the classroom for students who have to move.

I think these tips are great, and they can apply to many students, not only those with ADHD, and they could really help students with ADHD succeed in school.  While these tricks may not help with all students, teachers should remain flexible and come up their own unique ways to help their students succeed.

EDU 453 Blog #4

“English Language Arts are one of the most creative subjects on the school curriculum that can have a major impact on the minds of young students.”  This quote from the article made me realize how important and how well PBL can be integrated into the classroom.

Instead of reading a book, having discussion, quizzes, and a project, we can, as the article suggests, use PBL and have students create a game, make a video, or use digital technology to create a poster board with visuals.  I really liked this article because it kind of opened my eyes and demonstrated how creative my future classroom can be.

EDU 453 Blog Post #3

This article explains exactly what differentiated instruction is, and what it is not, using an 8th grade English class as an example.  The author uses letting her class choose what novel for a book project as an example of student choice instead of differentiated instruction, which was informative for me, since I would see letting students choose a novel based on their interests and reading level as a good idea.

The author gives her definition of differentiated instruction as, “differentiated instruction is not, though, about simply designing curriculum that is “different.” The differences must target and accommodate students’ diverse needs and deficiencies in the learning process through careful changes in content, process, and product”.

She again uses the book project example again, stating that she should have given all students in depth questions to answer as they read their books, so everyone was working toward the same goal, like plot development.  The questions would range based on reading level and readiness.  Then, students would create different projects, using different processes.

She also suggests that using differentiated instruction shouldn’t be a nightmare to grade and keep track of all different projects.  She suggests,”Differentiated instruction is not, though, about simply designing curriculum that is “different.” The differences must target and accommodate students’ diverse needs and deficiencies in the learning process through careful changes in content, process, and product.”






EDU 255 Blog #2

The Top 10 Challenges of Special Education Teachers


50% of special education teachers leave their jobs within the first five years.  Why is the burnout rated so high?

This article is on the top 10 challenges that special education teachers face, some of them I don’t think may people realize, and some I believe all teachers face.  For instance, lack of parental support, variability of student’s needs, and public criticism are concerns of all teachers.  Most realize the amount of paperwork for IEP’s and other documents that special education teachers have to do, but other things such as tracking student progress and data collection take up a large amount of time, as do collaborating with general education teachers, and scheduling with specialists.

However, i think this article is focusing solely on special education teachers and forgetting that many general education teachers also teach sped students, and many times they are the ones that recognize a learning disability.


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