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Monday, November 12, 2012

Learning Log Entry # 10

As I was reading through everyone's blogs (once again I was quite overwhelmed with the amount of entries and the amount of really awesome things that were being brought up) I came across a passage in Jaimie M.'s blog. In her seventh blog entry Jaimie writes, " job as a hopeful teacher is to take away the frustration that certain lessons bring to students and to bring excitement back into the lessons of even the most boring topics...I needed to kick my habit of showing my feelings about certain topics."

I feel that a lot of the time when I was student teaching and even substitute teaching I would show my negative feelings towards a subject when I was teaching it. If something was boring it was easily shown on my face, so the students weren't very excited about learning the topic. Why would they be? If the teacher wasn't excited about it, why should they be? In this entry Jaimie was talking about the expository genre and finding new ways to teach the expository genre. Going into student teaching and even now I want to make sure that I can make learning fun for every student. I love to have fun in the classroom, while making whatever activity we're doing educational as well, so that students are having fun and learning at the same time. When social studies or science time comes around though, the fun sort of goes out the window for me, just as teaching writing of non-fiction texts. I'm the kind of teacher that likes creativity and I thought that you could only be creative in narrative or descriptive genres, but Jaimie and Gretchen showed all of us ways in which we could be creative in the expository genre as well. 

After reading this particular quote I took a look back at Tompkins' (2012) chapter on expository writing, just to see if I could obtain some new knowledge that maybe I had missed the first time around. I always thought that when teaching the expository genre you would state that it was a nonfiction text and then just go from there. Tompkins (2012) states that teachers should, "...share a collection of nonfiction books, including informational books, almanacs, guidebooks, photo essays, alphabet books, and biographies and guide students as they examine the books to identify the characteristics of the genre" (p. 213). I never realized that you could provide students with such a wide array of texts in order to introduce them to the genre. I would have never thought to introduce them to guidebooks or even an almanac, considering I haven't even opened an almanac since I looked at my grandpa's about 10 years ago!

Keeping in mind that I was apparently not the best at teaching expository writing, I really like how Tompkins (2012) gave me a lot of insight and resources to guide me through my education as a new literacy teacher. I really like how she gives real-life examples of how the strategies are used in classrooms and how they could be used. The "Types of Expository Writing" section on page 207 will really help me to not only use more strategies in the classroom, but it will help me to become more excited when teaching the expository genre, because I really enjoyed the idea of the alphabet books and the "All About..." books. I am so excited to use these new strategies in my future classroom!

1 comment:

  1. I do hope you make an effort to explore the expository genre with your students in a wide range of "forms." Learning about ourselves and our world through expository texts can be really fun as well as informative!