Course Load Calculator

Have you ever wondered just how much work your class or course actually entails for students, or if you are a student just how much time you need to invest in your coursework outside of class.  This guest post by my colleague at the Center for Learning and Teaching at The American University in Cairo looks the advantages and limitations of just such a tool. Check it out!

A Guest Post by Maha Bali

Would You Use a Course Workload Calculator?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is the second time I come across something like this. A course workload calculator. This one from Rice University (I have a soft spot for them because I taught there in 2008).

https://cte.rice.edu/workload

Rice University

On the one hand, I feel like it can be useful for people who teach courses at the same level to compare their workloads to each other or what is expected.

I do like that they ask if readings have new concepts or are difficult, for example, so I think some people might find that useful, e.g. should they assign the reading and expect students to understand it before they discuss it in class? Perhaps certain readings can be done before, but others after. Also, the calculator doesn’t account for reading ability esp for non-native speakers. But it does allow you to adjust the reading speed for example, which I guess to be honest you may need to do for different segments of students. I once had two freshmen in my mostly senior and junior class, and they truly struggled with some of the readings. The other students had no problems at all, either they were better readers or better bluffers (which, honestly, is a good strategic learner move).
Read More (redirects to Maha’s blog, Reflecting Allowed).

 

My Life as a Reader and Author

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

One of my goals as a teacher and professor is to guide my students to think of themselves as readers, authors, and creators. To help students realize just how much reading and writing have played a part in their lives, I use an assignment I call My Life as a Reader and Author.  The assignment involves the creation of a mandala with symbols representing different aspects of literacy in the students’ lives.  The directions, paired with examples in the PowerPoint are fairly simple:

The texts we read and the texts we compose can have a powerful influence on our identities.  In this assignment, you will create a visual representation of your life as a reader and author using the mandala to organize and capture your ideas. Briefly explain each symbol.

Zahraa created this mandala, below, using digital tools.

Mandala

Zahraa’s Mandala

She then described the significance of the images.

I divided my mandala into four sections:

  • Reading Section

 I added a photo of my laptop as usually I use it to read online and also to download softcopies of the books that I want to read. I like to read on my laptop as I have different folders to save whatever I want to read and highlight on it.

I added the photo of the book the power of thinking without thinking. It is the most recent book that I have read. I found this book so interesting and I learnt a lot from it. In addition, I recommended this book to my friends who do not like to read very much as I found the author’s way of delivering information is so good.

I added google logo as it is my close friend when I need to know or read about anything.

  • Junior development section

In this section I added a photo of my weekly visit to children orphanages. I am a part of Volunteers In Action (VIA) club at AUC. Every week end we visit an orphanage and we give sessions to children about different things like peace, cleanness, attitude and manners. I added this photo because these children motivate me to read more about the topic before delivering it to them in order to teach them in a correct good way.

I added photos of cleanness and right & wrong photo to highlight some of the things I teach them during the sessions

  • Experience

While reading I experience new things and know a lot of new information. This photo describes things that one can achieve while reading like how to manage your time, select your goals and how to learn from others mistakes, especially if you are reading about someone’s bibliography.

  • Writing

In the writing section I added a photo to describe my favorite time of writing which is in the early morning with a cup of coffee.

Malika chose to combine shapes from the Internet and then draw her symbols.

Malika's Mandala

Malika’s Mandala

Resources

Mandala Generators Online:

Staedtler:

MandalaCreator:

MandalaMaker:

ColorMandala:

DrawMandala:

Mandala Creator:

Mandala Creation Software:

MandalaMakerTM :

Mandala Maker from Tucows:

Adobe products and plugins (e.g., Illustrator, Photoshop) that can be used to create mandalas).

Illustrator:

MirrorMe plugin for Illustrator:

PhotoShop:

Inspiration:

Mandala Project:

Literacy Beat and TERSG go to Copenhagen

by Dana L. Grisham and Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Two members of the Literacy Beat team are in Copenhagen, Denmark for the 18th Nordic Conference on Literacy and the 21st European Conference on Literacy held at HF-Centret Efterslægten, a school in the northwest part of the city.

IMG_0554

School Name

Dana, DeVere, and frequent Literacy Beat guest poster Linda Smetana presented an overview of the study from the Teacher Education Research Study Group (TERSG) from the Literacy Research Association.

What Does Effective Writing Instruction Look Like? Practices of Exemplary Writing Teacher Educators

  • Linda Smetana, California State University, East Bay
  • Thomas DeVere Wolsey, The American University in Cairo
  • Dana L. Grisham, California State University (retired)
  • Roya Q. Scales, Western Carolina University

Abstract

Recent research indicates that pre-service teachers receive insufficient instruction in the teaching of writing (Graham, et al., 2014). A study of 50 U.S. teachers in preparation found that only about 25% had a writing-intensive methods course in their program (Myers, et al., 2016). Using constructivist grounded theory, researchers investigated the modes and methods of 18 teacher educators across the U.S., the content of writing methods courses, how they structured learning experiences for new teachers, and the theoretical and practical models of writing that were employed.Data were gathered through collection of course syllabi and interviews with writing faculty. Data were analyzed through open coding for themes. The research team triangulated the data for reliability and did member checks to refine the themes. Findings showed that exemplary writing instructors viewed writing as a tool of power for social justice. They sought to develop teacher candidates who saw themselves as writers by employing a process writing approach across a variety of genres, taught in writing methods classes. The implications and the applications to k-12 classrooms will be discussed in the session.

IMG_0552

Dana, DeVere, Linda

Selected References

Myers, J., Scales, R. Q., Grisham, D. L., Wolsey, T. D., Smetana, L., Dismuke, S., … Martin, S. (2016). What about writing? A national exploratory study of writing instruction in teacher preparation programs. Literacy Research and Instruction, 55(4), 309–330. doi:10.1080/19388071.2016.1198442

Sanders, J., Myers, J., Ikpeze, C., Scales, R., Tracy, K., Yoder, K.K., Smetana, L., & Grisham, D. (In Press, 2019). A curriculum model for K-12 writing teacher education. Research in the Teaching of English.

Scales, R.Q., Tracy, K.N., Myers, J., Smetana, L., Grisham, D.L., Ikpeze, C., Yoder, K.K., & Sanders, J.   (2019). A national study of exemplary writing methods instructors’ course assignments. Literacy Research and Instruction, 58(2), 67-83.   DOI: 10.1080/19388071.2019.1575496

Comprensión en Cuatro Cuadrados

 

Aprendiendo con la lectura para los grados superiores

La enseñanza eficaz de idiomas se caracteriza por cuatro elementos críticos:

Contenido, conexiones, comprensibilidad, interacción.

Contenido

Las lecciones se centran en el contenido del nivel de grado y toman en cuenta las necesidades de desarrollo del idioma inglés que tengan los alumnos.

Ejemplos:  El alumno será capaz de… saber, entender, explorar… en ciencia, historia, literatura, matemáticas, etc.

Comprensibilidad

El lenguaje oral y escrito se presentan de manera tan comprensible como sea posible en un entorno de baja ansiedad y gran interés.

Ejemplos: visuales, aclarar, empatía, gestos, ajuste velocidad del habla, modelos.

Conexiones

El plan de estudios está conectado con los antecedentes y experiencia de cada alumno.

Tener en cuenta: Los conocimientos previos de cada alumno, y usar una variedad de formatos. El Contexto es importante.

Interacción

La instrucción se organiza para asegurar una alta frecuencia de interacción entre los alumnos y el maestro, entre los alumnos mismos, y entre los alumnos y el plan de estudios.

Cada interacción debe promover la reflexión sobre el aprendizaje propio de cada individuo (metacognición).

¿Qué es el contexto?

sustantivo: contexto; plural: contextos

  • Las circunstancias que forman el escenario para un evento, declaración o idea, y en términos de lo que puede ser completamente entendido y evaluado.

Fuente: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/context

Adaptado de los materiales de SDAIE en California.

Writing for Science Learning: Book Creator

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Science teacher Kathy Blakemore has inspired generations of seventh-graders to take better care of our planet, to be curious about all its inhabitants, and to learn more about what makes its ecosystems work as they do.

Recently, Kathy and her students at Elsinore Middle School in Lake Elsinore, California decided to take their learning public. Using Book Creator, the students published a book titled, Incredible Invertebrates. Students worked in teams to identify sources about various phyla and then synthesize graphics and their reading. They learned about what it takes to write a book that is appealing to their audience as well.

Amazing Invertebrates

Incredible Invertebrates Click to read this book, made with Book Creator https://read.bookcreator.com

Each chapter is organized describing where the invertebrates live, what threats exist to their survival, and what fun facts the student scientists and authors uncovered. I was very impressed that the students cited their sources and identified key vocabulary that their readers will want to understand.

Congratulations to Mrs. B and her 7th-grade GEMS students on a job well done.

Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

In this post, I share an infographic representing the ideas in the article,
“Accuracy in Digital Writing Environments: Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check”. Access the article by clicking here and scrolling down to the article.

You are welcome to share this infographic in your classroom or for nonprofit educational purposes.

Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check

Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check

Infographic design by Getty Creations

Creative Commons License
Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check by @TDWolsey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at literacybeat.com/2019/03/26/read-up-ask-around-double-check/.

XII Internacional Conferencia de Lectura en Guatemala

Recursos de la conferencia

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