Engaging in the Language Arts Exploring the Power of Language

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-03-17
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Engaging in the Language Arts: Exploring the Power of Language, written by distinguished authors Donna Ogle and Jim Beers, brings the language arts to life for teachers through a focus on contemporary communication and visual literacy, coupled with varied genre and electronic resources. The guide unique in that it is all about helping teachers ensure that students learn to use language to communicate with others in our increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse society#x13;and to draw upon a great language resource in their classrooms to do this: the language power of their students themselves.

Author Biography

Donna Ogle is Professor of Reading and Language at National-Louis University in Chicago, Illinois, and is actively involved in staff development projects work in the Chicago Public Schools, the Reading Leadership Institute, and in other American school districts. Dr. Ogle serves as a literacy consultant internationally, including Critical Thinking International and as a part of the editorial review boards of Lectura y Vida and the Thinking Classroom. She recently finished her term as president of the International Reading Association (IRA). Donna also conducts research on visual literacy and content comprehension, having developed both the K-W-L and PRC2 (partner reading in content, too). She is the author of many books, book chapters, and professional articles and conducts national and international workshops on teaching for comprehension and higher order thinking, as well as using the arts in teaching. Her K-W-L procedure has become so renowned that teachers use it all over the world.


James Beers is Professor of Reading, Language, and Literacy in the School of Education at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. He is also the Director of the Eastern Virginia Writing Project of the National Writing Project, which helps teachers help their students become better writers. He has a B.A. in English from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. in English, and Ph.D. in Reading from the University of Virginia.  Dr. Beers has taught reading, writing, and spelling to students at all grade levels and has published books, chapters, and articles on reading, writing, and spelling. Among these publications are Developmental and Cognitive Aspects of Learning to Spell and Writing for Competency. James is also an author on the Scott Foresman Reading and Spelling Programs. He has given numerous in-service workshops throughout the United States and Canada for teachers and administrators on the teaching of reading, writing, and spelling and has assisted a number of school systems in developing K-12 reading and writing curricula and the three- to four-year plans for implementing the curricula. Along with his wife, Dr. Carol S. Beers, James has participated in the Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking Project through the International Reading Association’s International Volunteer Program. This project has helped teachers in eastern European countries promote critical thinking and independent learning through reading and writing in their students. James and Carol are currently co-authoring a book that addresses what every principal should know about reading.

Table of Contents









CHAPTER 1 Introducing the Language Arts

    What Is Important about Classroom Language Use? 4

    What Is the Authors’ Perspective? 6

    What Are Important Aspects of Language Study? 7

    How Do We Organize and Structure Ideas? 13

    How Do Our Communities Influence Language Development? 14

    What Is Your Role? 17

    What Does Good Instruction Look Like? 20

    How Can the Standards Help Your Teaching? 26

    How Can You Get Started in This Study of Language Arts? 28

    What Are Your Interests and Questions? 29 


CHAPTER 2 Assessing Language Arts

    Why Is Language Arts Assessment Important? 34

    How Are National Language Arts Standards Related to State and School District Language Arts Standards? 34

    What Are Principles to Follow in Language Arts Assessment? 39

    How Can You Assess Language Arts? 40

    When Do You Assess Language Arts? 58


CHAPTER 3 Supporting Diverse Learners

    How Do We Define Diversity?

    What Do You Need to Know When Teaching English Learners?

    How Does Diversity Affect Your Classroom?

    How Can You Differentiate Instruction?

    How Can You Support Students Who Struggle with Language Learning?

    What Intellectual and Social Needs Are Important to Consider?


CHAPTER 4 Understanding Oral Language Development

    What Is Language?

    Why Is Oral Language Important?

    What Do We Know about Oral Language Development?

    How Does Language Develop?

    How Does Language Change during the Preschool Years?

    Is Language Development “Finished” When Children Enter School?

    What Do We Know about Dialects?

    How Do Students Use Language?

    How Can We Promote Language Growth?


CHAPTER 5 Engaging with Literature

    Why Is Children’s Literature Important for Reading and Writing?

    What Do We Know about Children’s Literature?

    What Do We Know about How Children Learn about Literature?

    How Can We Teach Children’s Literature?

    How Can We Assess Students’ Understanding of Literature?

    How Can We Support Diversity and Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom?

    How Can We Support Technology Use and Children’s Literature?




CHAPTER 6 Developing Speaking and Listening

    How Do State and National Standards Inform Oral Language Instruction?

    How Can Social Interaction and Communication Be Developed?

    How Can You Develop Exploratory Uses of Language?

    How Can You Help Students Gain Confidence in Speaking?

    How Can Students Learn to Use Language to Inform Others?

    In What Ways Can You Develop Students’ Ability to Listen?

    How Can You Support Students Who Struggle with Classroom Communication?


CHAPTER 7 Reading in the Primary Grades

    What are Important Factors for Successful Beginning Reading?

    How Does Beginning Reading Develop?

    How Can You Support Reading Development?

    How Can You Assess Early Reading Development?

    How Can You Support Students Who Struggle with Story Comprehension?


CHAPTER 8 Reading Beyond the Primary Grades

    What Are Goals for Literacy beyond the Primary Grades?

    What Instructional Strategies Are Supported by Research and Best Practices?

    How Can Students Be Encouraged to Read for Literary Purposes?

    How Can Literacy Be Developed across the Content Areas?

    Why Is Visual Literacy Important?

    How Can Visual Literacy Be Developed?

    How Can You Organize Classroom Instruction to Accomplish Your Goals?

    How Can Integrated Units of Instruction Enhance Learning?

    How Can You Support Students Who Struggle with Reading?


CHAPTER 9 Spelling Development

    Why Is Spelling Important for Reading and Writing?

    What Do We Know about English Spelling?

    How Can We Teach Spelling?

    How Can We Assess Spelling?

    How Can We Help English Learners with Spelling?

    Why Teach Handwriting? 


CHAPTER 10 Developing Vocabulary

    What Do We Know about Vocabulary Development during the Elementary Years?

    What Does a Good Instructional Program Include?

    What Role Does the Dictionary Play?

    How Can Students’ Word Knowledge Be Assessed?

    What Is Effective Vocabulary Instruction for Students Who Struggle with Word Learning?


CHAPTER 11 Writing Development

    How Do Students Develop into Writers?

    What Is the Writing Process?

    How Can You Help Students Become Writers?

    How Can You Assess Students’ Writing?

    How Can You Support Struggling Writers?


CHAPTER 12 Writing Conventions

    What Are Writing Conventions for English?

    What Do We Know about Teaching Writing Conventions?

    How Can You Teach Writing Conventions?

    How Can You Assess Writing Conventions?

    How Can You Assist Students Who Struggle with Subject-Verb Agreement?  


CHAPTER 13 Exploring Writing Genres

    How Do You Define, Teach, and Assess Personal Writing?    

    How Do You Define, Teach, and Assess Story Writing?

    How Do You Define, Teach, and Assess Informational Writing?    

    How Do You Define, Teach, and Assess Poetry Writing?

    What Strategies Can You Use with Students Who Struggle with Writing Genres?





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