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Make Writing and Learning Meaningful for Basic Writing Students South Texas College McAllen, Texas Karen Armitano, Ph.D. Virginia Norquest, M.A. Jinhao.

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Presentation on theme: "Make Writing and Learning Meaningful for Basic Writing Students South Texas College McAllen, Texas Karen Armitano, Ph.D. Virginia Norquest, M.A. Jinhao."— Presentation transcript:

1 Make Writing and Learning Meaningful for Basic Writing Students South Texas College McAllen, Texas Karen Armitano, Ph.D. Virginia Norquest, M.A. Jinhao Wang, Ed.D. NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence May 30-June 2, 2010 Austin, Texas

2 Literature Review -- Baker, E., Hope, L., and Karandjeff, K. (2009). Contextualized Teaching & Learning: A Faculty Primer -- Defines the concept of contextualized teaching and learning (CTL) as relating subject matter in a course to meaningful situations that have relevance to students lives in the context of motivation theory, problem-centered learning, social learning theory, and brain research. -- Shows programs that focus on employing CTL to support learners basic English, math, or English as a Second Language skills. 2

3 Literature Review --Gillespie, M. K. (2002). EFF Research Principle: A Contextualized Approach to Curriculum and Instruction --Defines contextualized curriculum and instruction as relating real- life contexts to teaching and learning in light of cognitive research and transfer of learning --Aims at skills and knowledge learners need to perform tasks meaningful to learners in real life --Focuses on application rather than possession of knowledge and skills 3

4 Literature Review --Price, D. V. and Roberts, B. (2009). Improving student success by strengthening Developmental Education in community colleges: The role of state policy -- Recommends various ways to strengthen Developmental Education. Among them include the following: New ways of contextualizing curriculum by integrating academic skills with occupational programs (p. 3). Alternative delivery of programs (e.g., Career Pathways, bridges) to accelerate the transition from developmental education to college-level courses (p. 3). 4

5 South Texas College Located in the Rio Grande Valley College facts Fall 2009: 27,132 students Spring 2010: 26,309 95% Hispanic Developmental Courses: English, Reading, and Math Three Developmental English levels Fall 2009--71 (536), 81(605), 91(425) = 1,593 Scheduled twice weekly/2 hours/1hour lab 5

6 Prior Developmental English 71 Curriculum Isolated writing topics Isolated from a community Isolated from other developmental courses Isolated from academic courses 6

7 Gates Grant for STC Developmental Courses Integrates academic writing skills Integrates academic research Integrates college communities Integrates developmental departments Integrates an academic discipline 7

8 Inter-Contextualization in Developmental English, Reading, and Math Across developmental departments reading and math assignments in writing writing and math assignments in reading reading and writing assignments in math 8

9 Intra-Contextualization within Developmental English Within English 71 writing assignments--journals and writing projects reading assignments--2-3 sociology articles math assignments--statistical input on a graph 9

10 Syllabus: Developmental English 71 Overview of Syllabus (pp. 2-12) know self know community Overview of Gates Project illustration essay project--Week 6-12 (pp. 6-11) theme--The Value of a College Education situation blurb--(pp. 13-14) 10

11 Contextualizing SociologyWhy? Part of core curriculum Identifies groups of people in society e.g., haves and have nots in education Places individuals in community groups e.g., college community, family community Addresses social change e.g., first generation college students 11

12 Using Sociology Textbook Textbook display to class (p. 15) Printed excerpts from text education chapter plus graphs special arrangements with publisher Digitized images from the text on classroom computer 12

13 Contextualizing Reading via Sociology Articles Instructor chooses 2-3 scholarly sociology articles Articles relate to topic about a college educations value (Latinos and Education pp. 16-17) Student downloads linked sociological readings from syllabus on website (p. 18)website 13

14 Writing Journals Student reads choice of 2 sociology articles Student writes summary/response journals to articles instructions for journal (p. 19-20) sample journal entry (p. 21) other readings (p. 22) 14

15 Researching Actively! Researching Actively! Essay Topic: The Value of a College Education Student finds 3 interviewees classmate or someone currently in college faculty/staff with a degree family member with no college Student asks interview questions (pp. 23-24) 15

16 Lets Do It! Ask a shoulder partner interview questions (pp. 23-24) Take brief notes Be a good interviewer Switch Total time allotted---3-4 minutes 16

17 Contextualizing Math Student administers survey to interviewees (p. 25 ) Class tallies results of survey (p. 26) Option: Instructor tallies all classes results (pp. 27-28) Student creates graph from data MalesFemales 1. llll Total = 41. llI Total = 3 2. IIIIII Total = 62. II Total = 2 Total # Males = 10Total # Females = 5 17

18 Lets Do It! Turn to survey (p. 25) Answer Survey Question #1(rank your completion of educational goals) Tally responses: raise hands (p. 26) 18

19 Lets Do It! Create graph via Word 2007Word follow step-by-step PowerPoint (pp. 29-32) input data (pp. 27-28) save graph copy/paste graph into essay (p. 33) meet Dave on YouTube (p. 34) 19

20 Creating Graph from Data 20

21 Organizing Interview Responses Identify main ideas of interviews (p. 35) Use index cards (p. 35) Examine thesis samples (p. 36) 21

22 Lets Do It! INDEX CARDS (p. 35) Take out large index card in packet Draw 3 columns Choose a heading for top line from main ideas Family attitudes towards college NameQuestion #Quote or phrase Mary 4 & 5Quit school at age 14---I had to work. Jose8Mom said needed masters. 22

23 Writing the Essay Write thesis (p. 36) Read sample essay (pp. 37-38) Fill in outline (pp. 39-40) essay structure--lead in (p. 41), intro, thesis, body paragraphs, conclusion, full circle draft essay using outline and index cards insert graph explain graph in sentence form (p. 42; p. 38 C) 23

24 Using Quotes Correctly punctuate quotes (mechanics p. 43) insert quotes for support (37-A) Add sociology article quote to text (pp. 44-45) insert article quote for support (p. 37-B) 24

25 Reviewing and Revising Self-evaluate with rubric (pp. 46-47) Go for tutoring (+5 points) Revise and correct (peer editing) Rewrite Fill out personal writing log (p. 48) Publish Student comments (p. 49) 25

26 So What? What are the advantages of a contextualized curriculum? Engages the students with relevant topics, e.g., self, community Teaches essay structure and research process Transitions students to college level classes Challenges students to think outside the box Develops critical thinking skills Creates developmental English curriculum of substance Unites developmental departments via topics Links developmental with academic departments 26

27 Whats Next? Developmental Courses Fall 2009: Contextualize sociology Fall 2010: Contextualize history Fall 2011: Contextualize another academic course (e.g., psychology, government, biology) 27

28 Faculty Perceptions of the Contextualized Curriculum 1. Teaching Journal Teaching Journal 2. Themes about what went well: a. Interaction in and out of the classroom (interviewing others, etc.) b. Collaboration on tallying the data from the survey c. Creation of a graph d. Realization of other points of view 28

29 Faculty Perceptions of the Contextualized Curriculum (continued) 3. Themes about student challenges: a. Juggling multiple parts of the project (reading, journaling, interviewing, surveys, graphs, essay) b. Handling the amount of reading and the level of difficulty of the college articles and textbook c. Deciding where to insert the graph and how to use sentences to frame the use of graph d. Quoting secondary sources e. Using computers for non-traditional students f. Feeling tired and overwhelmed/some couldnt turn in work on time 29

30 Faculty Perceptions of the Contextualized Curriculum (continued) 4. Themes about faculty challenges: a. Not enough time to finish entire curriculum b. Difficulty in providing enough one-on-one help and repetition of instruction c. Problems with copying and using models from college level textbook due to copyright issues) 30

31 Student Perceptions about the Contextualized Curriculum 1. Student Reflection Paper Student Reflection Paper 2. Themes about student perceived challenges: a. Fitting the graph into essay b. Putting information from survey to graph c. Fitting quotes into essay d. Finding someone to interview e. Feeling nervous about asking questions to interviewees f. Feeling not enough time g. Gathering all information, sorting information to make sense, and organizing the essay h. Writing correctly 31

32 Student Perceptions about the Contextualized Curriculum (continued) 3. Themes about what students learned: a. How others value a college education b. How to interview c. How to do research/how to quote d. How to make a graph and use it in the essay e. How to compose an essay (use thesis statement, examples, clarity, organization, and full circle) f. Benefited from a step-by-step approach 32

33 Recommendations When Contextualizing 1. Use step-by-step approach 2. Use repetition 3. Use modeling 4. Use PowerPoint presentation 5. Provide handouts (how to insert graphs, etc.) 6. Provide content area textbook (sociology book in this case) 7. Provide technical support to teachers and students 8. Provide lab time 9. Allot enough time for the project (6 weeks needed for this project) 10. Structure faculty collaboration on lesson planning 33

34 References Baker, E., Hope, L., & Karandjeff, K. (2009). Contextualized Teaching & Learning: A Faculty Primer. Retrieved April 3, 2010, from Gillespie, M. K. (2002). EFF research principle: A contextualized approach to curriculum and instruction. (EFF Research to Practice Note 3). Jessup, MD: ED Pubs. Retrieved April 3, 2010, from Price, D. V. & Roberts, B. (2009). Improving student success by strengthening Developmental Education in community colleges: The role of state policy. (Policy Brief). Retrieved April 3, 2010, from the Working Poor Families Projects Website: 09.pdf 34

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