• How does this vision relate to your thinking about literacy and content area subjects?
After reading the vision statement I couldn’t help but think of my own literacy skills and how I came to have them. When I reflect on my own learning experiences I can think of many teachers who challenged me to think outside of my own personal experiences and to read and research the thoughts of people who had different thoughts and ideas. I hate to use the cliché “broaden your horizons”, but that is indeed what many of my teachers, from the elementary to post-secondary level challenged me to do. Simply put, I think developing the ability to read with a critical eye was a key component of my education and has allowed me to both think introspectively and have an open-mind when approaching new ideas and reading materials. Regardless of the content area, I think I was challenged to look at the information from multiple angles and to assess it on its merits.
• How does it relate to how you teach at present?
The vision statement relates quite well with many of the goals I have for my own students. We discuss a lot of political ideas and views in my class. I am constantly reminding my students that they need to listen and read about the ideas of not just people with their own views, but also to the views of others. I try to teach them to identify bias, but also to understand empathy. It is easy to judge a statement using your own worldview and experiences, but it is also important to try to understand what people are trying to say and where they are coming from when they say it. I also often discuss the importance of word choice, specifically that the way you say something can really impact the message you convey. We app...
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... peers we have also developed formative and summative assessments that demand the students perform at a higher level intellectually. This has helped shape the learning experiences and activities in my classroom to provide a lot more practice at reading deeper. For example, we often examine primary sources and discuss not only the basic facts provided, but also the bias, themes, claims, and evidence that are provided by the source. This new approach has really raised the bar regarding what is expected to be successful in my class. One thing I would like to implement even more in my class to continue this process is close reading and its application in my course.
• View and summarize the content in three videos related to your preferred content area. Include your impressions about the lessons, and comment on the links to the Common Core Standards.
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