Friday, March 1, 2013

This Week's Presentations Feb 28-Mar 1

This week I made presentations in Somerset, NJ, and at Rutgers University, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Those powerpoints from those presentations are now available.

https://sites.google.com/site/febmarch2013/this-weeks-talks

4 comments:

Angela M. said...

Hi Dr. Shanahan,

I have a question about the first slideshow, slide 28, in regard to which words should be pre-taught: would you teach ALL of the words you highlighted in blue prior to reading the passage? (i.e. lane, seething, cauldron, etc.) How would you pre-teach them?

Thank you.

Angela M. said...

Hi Dr. Shanahan,

On an unrelated note, what is your opinion of literature circles? Do you know of any evidence supporting (or not supporting) their effectiveness?

Thank you.

Tim Shanahan said...

I like the idea of literature circles, but they are more difficult to operate well than some teachers seem to recognize (that shouldn't discourage them from trying, of course, but perhaps should encourage them to try harder or to be more self aware). In terms of research, most of the studies of literature circles is more descriptive of the practices than evaluative. However, I did find one recent experimental study (this one with English learners) showing that literature circles can be used effectively to improve reading comprehension--McElvain, C. M. (2009). Transactional literature circles and the reading comprehension of English learners in the mainstream classroom. Journal of Research in Reading, 33, 178-205.

Tim Shanahan said...

No, I would not teach them all. The point of the slide is to contrast words that we teach because they are valuable vocabulary words that we want our students to master and those words that might not be important in that sense, but that are critical in understanding a text. Lane is definitely not a high school word, but it is not likely known in this context, and it is essential to this text. The same with killers and calving. I have no doubt cauldron will be taught, and it is useful here, though it is used metaphorically which complicates things. In preparing kids to read a text, only preteach words that really matter to that text and that are not defined in the text.