Teaching and Learning Resources by Peter Pappas

Rigor, Relevance and Reading for Content-Area Mastery

This week I’m presenting four workshops at the 2007 MAPSA Conference in Detroit Michigan.

Three sessions addressed “Rigor, Relevance and Reading for Content-Area Mastery” at elementary, middle and high school. The sessions demonstrated that teachers don’t have to sacrifice content to help their students achieve academic success. I featured practical examples of how teachers can support standards-based instruction in their subject area while improving student skills in vocabulary, comprehension and analysis. My goal is to present a session that is rigorous and relevant to teachers—we’ll actually use the strategies being promoted, not just talk about them!  Here’s the handout for these sessions.
Elementary Session (1.1 MB pdf)
Middle School Session (1.4 MB pdf)
High School Session (1.6 MB pdf)

I used my TurningPoint audience response system and posed questions which probed participant expectations of students and instructional strategies. The system allows me to capture participant thinking and use it foster some lively discussion and reflections. You have to model what you preach, so we worked through some higher-order thinking and problem solving ourselves. Thanks to Christina Stellers at Turning Point for supplying additional responders.

My fourth session was “Digital Publishing: Rigor, Relevancy and Literacy in Action.”   In case you haven’t heard – print on demand technology has made it possible to produce beautiful hard cover and paperback books without minimum runs or prohibitive upfront costs. Kids are motivated by producing books for an authentic audience. Publishing helps students master course content and develop project management and teamwork skills. The power of publishing enables students to think like writers, to apply their learning strategies and to organize and express their learning. It exemplifies the best of the information revolution –students as creators of content rather than as passive audience.

I featured two new products: FlipNLearn, is an innovative learning foldable that student design and print on school printers using specialty paper. EdteckPublisher – is book design software that allows students to design paperback books and then easily upload them for publication by digital on-demand press.
Publishing workshop handout (1.6 MB pdf)

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