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[teacherartexchange] Art, reading, and writing

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From: Jayna Huffines (jayna_99_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Apr 23 2006 - 18:40:26 PDT


I teach at a middle school that consistently boasts
high test scores, so our main goal is to help the high
achievers have even more success- and that is more of
a challenge than one might think. One of the ways I
work toward this goal is to include reading and
writing in my classroom. Although the kids expect it,
they still complain. I am working on strategies to
help the students understand what they read, and to
also understand why I ask them to read. By the time
they are in middle school, it is ingrained in their
minds that reading and writing are boring punishments.
It was a humbling experience to discover that they had
not been completely reading the assignments I had been
giving them, because they would turn in answers to
questions that were worded almost identically. I
actually watched two girls spend the entire period
trying to sneak the answers to questions back and
forth without me finding out. I thought "wow! these
kids are learning nothing but how to cheat better!" I
waited until the end of the period to express my
concern to the class and to let them know that they
would never have to read a selection on thier own and
answer questions again. I plan to use reading
strategies from now on instead of attempting the old
standby of assigning the reading and the questions to
do for homework. I just don't know if that method has
ever been successful. I do strongly encourage those of
you who don't include reading and writing in your
classes to try- it is amazing how much information the
kids retain from reading it, if you present it in a
way that is meaningful for them.

Jayna

Jayna

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