The Effective Teaching of Language Arts

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9780023883101: The Effective Teaching of Language Arts

This book by an award-winning author presents readers with a wealth of information regarding the four primary language arts skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The focus is on effective teaching of these skills at the elementary school level, and it contains an enormous amount of children's literature of all genres. Research on learning environments, motivation, instructional procedures, and teacher effectiveness is tied to examples of lesson plans, themes, and formal and informal assessment strategies. Real-life examples of children's oral and written responses to literature are included. The book also contains the newest multicultural children's literature. This book is a must-have reference for all primary education centers and schools, as it contains thoroughly updated booklists with helpful annotations. Can also be useful for teachers of ESL courses in secondary schools and continuing education centers. Parents interested in home schooling will find this book a useful resource.

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From the Publisher:

Field-tested and backed by sound research, this popular methods text provides students with a broad background in language arts, including assessment and instruction in the major areas of speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Thoroughly encompassing the basics and the trend toward literature-based instruction, it offers clearly developed methodologies and lessons, and makes extensive use of children's actual language samples to illustrate ways literature can enhance the development of cognitive skills, oral language, and skills in listening, grammar, usage, composition, reading, and writing.

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Effective teaching of language arts requires commitment to excellence on the part of classroom teachers. The language arts include speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Excellence cannot be attained without thorough knowledge of the language arts and understanding of methods that develop language arts abilities in children.

Because teachers are accountable to the children they teach, to the administrators of the school, and to the parents, they must have knowledge about their students. Diagnostic procedures are suggested for evaluating children's strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This test includes numerous formal and informal assessment strategies that will improve the teaching of the language arts.

Diagnosis is worthless, however, without research-based knowledge about learning environments, motivation, objectives, instructional procedures, grouping, and teacher effectiveness. Because effective teaching is built on a solid knowledge base, the latest research citations have been added to this edition. In addition, examples of lesson plans, instructional/thematic units, and learning centers demonstrate how theory can inform classroom practice. The successful use of these ideas with children is indicated by the inclusion of examples of children's oral and written responses.

For preservice teachers needing experience planning lessons, evaluating language arts abilities, or teaching a lesson, activities designed to help students apply these abilities are included throughout each chapter and at the conclusion of each chapter. All of the "For Your Development" activities have been used with college language arts classes or as inservice presentations with experienced teachers. The professor and the students may choose as many of these activities as they wish in order to develop the objectives of the chapter and to explore effective teaching strategies.

Each chapter in this text contains features geared to the development of effective language arts instruction. At the beginning of each chapter, chapter objectives are listed to provide an overview of content, preview the materials to be covered, and stress the major concepts to be mastered.

The chapters on tools for writing—grammar and mechanics, handwriting, and spelling—have been maintained and updated. There is currently an increased interest in improving children's abilities in all of these areas.

Changes to This Edition

This new edition of The Effective Teaching of Language Arts includes the following:

  1. A "Best Practices" table has been added to Chapter 1, which lists the chapters in the book that deal with the instructional strategies developed around these best practices for teaching based on recent research.
  2. A significant amount of new children's literature titles have been added throughout the book, including a variety of new uses and activities with which to use these latest works.
  3. Chapter 5 goes into detail regarding the recent research on "best practices" for teaching, as well as reviewing approaches that increase phonemic awareness and phonics and vocabulary understanding. Assessing students' reading abilities is also covered.
  4. Chapter 8 offers a new section on the authentication of literature, including projects and activities for use with students to help them learn this valuable skill.
  5. A new section on using literature models of effective sentences and paragraphs for teaching is included in Chapter 10.
  6. Chapter 11 offers the latest on handwriting research, including a list of guidelines for effective handwriting instruction and new lesson plan ideas.
  7. The newest titles in multicultural literature have been incorporated into Chapter 12, as well as the latest research on teaching English as a second language. An updated and greatly expanded section on multicultural education has been added as well, including new lesson plans geared toward integrating Latino, African American and other cultures into teaching. Developing a multicultural storytelling festival for the classroom is also detailed.

The goal of this text is to provide support, motivation, and knowledge for the classroom teacher who is responsible for the effective teaching of all children. This goal can be achieved if we can instill in teachers a commitment to excellence.

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