Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Entry #10 - Bless, Address of Press
When reviewing the blogs of peers, I found a sentence in Post #9 by J.Kerouac that stopped me in my tracks. The quote read...
"The use of this expository reading and writing provides limitless possibilities for the ways students can access new information and learn content. In my current classroom, we’ve combined our science and writing unit"
The first sentence in the above quote is something I am recently becoming familiar with. During my undergrad and graduate work I have learned the benefits of expository text and how to use it appropriately, but I have never been given specific examples of how to provide opportunities for student growth through expository text. It is limiting to think that I have settled in my own room using mainly fictional text simply because it is what I am most comfortable with AS WELL AS what my students are most comfortable with. But isn't my job to balance those students on the edge of their very own comfort zone?
Kerouac proved she is doing just that by going on to state that she has combined science and writing units in her own classroom. Five years ago I would've looked at her like she had 3 heads. Although my eyes widened initially, after thinking about this concept, I realized all of the benefits that come from it.
Right now I am struggling with science in general, specifically, with how to add it into my classroom across other subject matter rather than in isolation. Pairing it with writing, or making writing a large part of science, would cause for a smoother transition as well as help to make connections across the curriculum. I also love the idea that using expository text to introduce topics in science give students specific, concrete examples of what certain types of expository text look like. “Through instruction and reading and writing experiences, children grow in their ability to differentiate among genres” (Tompkins, 2012, p. 202). Using writing in science curriculum is the perfect opportunity to help students grow in their ability to identify specific genres.
Teaching across the curriculum is a concept I learned early on in my education at Nazareth, however it is one that really causes the teacher to stop and think. In order to appropriately teach like this, I must first understand how topics relate, compare, overlap, and how I can think about them in a variety of ways. I must understand this before I ask any child to understand and make those connections as well. Kerouac's post was a great example of how as educators, we can take concepts that to most do not seem to relate on the outside, and make connections between them to deepen our understandings of them both!