Instructional Strategies Resources


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Web Quests

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Distinctions between learning to read and reading to learn
Phonemic awareness
Learn about the importance of phonemic awareness in learning to read. This ERIC site defines "5 levels" of phonemic awareness. Discover how phonemic awareness relates to the "reading wars". Tips for educators are included.

Components of reading
Created at the University of Oregon, this site is part of the National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators. The technical reports focus on emergent literacy, word recognition, phonological awareness, metacognition, text structures, and vocabulary. Reports are straightforward and provide additional references.

Helping your child learn to read
This informative site is created for parents by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Specific ideas, beginning with activities for infants, are presented to try at home. Suggestions emphasize the need to read, discuss, and write with children of all ages.

Learning to read, reading to learn
What is the difference between learning to read and reading to learn? At what point might difficulties arise? How might educators address these issues? Visit this New England Comprehensive Assistance Center site to explore such questions.

Learning to learn
Learn about the various processes involved in reading. Information is provided on topics including word recognition, semantic processing, and comprehension. Within each subject one can find excellent links to additional resources.

Helping children with learning disabilities
A list of the "10 prerequisite skills" for reading can be found here. Within this site are excellent links to such pages as tips for educators and tips for parents. The focus of this site is teaching children who have learning disabilities. The emphasis is on a balanced approach to teaching reading.

Learning to read   Comprehension Web quests   Vocabulary Study strategies   Writing   Brain TOP
Comprehension
Reading strategy awareness inventory
This inventory provides an opportunity to learn about your students' reading to learn skills.

Guidelines for teaching learning strategies
This is a very brief set of guidelines for teaching learning strategies. The article appears in an on-line journal devoted to ESOL instruction, but the suggestions have broad applicability. While there, look around at other issues of the journal, at other articles in which you might find ideas.

Cognitive strategies
This review of research, "Advances in Research on Instruction," provides teachers with guidelines for assisting children in the development of cognitive strategies. Learn about the importance of scaffolding information for children. Suggestions for instruction from this chapter include: providing guided practice, reciprocal teaching, and modeling think alouds.

Cognitive strategy instruction
 "The cognitive strategy research of 1975 to 1990 has produced an impressive series of results, and, even more important, has produced a technology for continuing this line of research and practice." Thus begins another research review by Barak Rosenshine, under the title "The Case for Explicit, Teacher-led, Cognitive Strategy Instruction."

Reciprocal teaching
What is reciprocal teaching? This document provides a brief description of the comprehension monitoring tool. The four key components of reciprocal teaching are described.

Inquiry charts
James Hoffman's article, "Critical reading/thinking across the curriculum: Using I-charts to support learning", discusses the importance of teaching children to compare and contrast information about a topic from multiple sources. The author gives a description of how to create and use an inquiry chart to promote students' comprehension.

Think, pair, share
This strategy was designed to facilitate student participation in classroom discussions. A step-by-step guide to implementing the strategy is presented.

Library of graphic organizers
Teachers can download usable copies of a multitude of graphic organizers.

Graphic organizers
For a description of spider maps, KWLHs, network trees, and other graphic organizers, check out this site.

More graphic organizers
The examples on this page offer ideas for content area teachers. Suggestions on using graphic organizers in English, science, social studies, and mathematics are available. Look at the concept map on concept mapping.

Semantic maps and other graphic organizers
This site gives examples of 12 graphic organizers, including semantic mapping, problem/solution, chain of events, and cycle organizers. Descriptions of each accompany the graphic display.

Graphic organizers and accompanying questions
Graphic organizers such as thinking grids and KWLHs are described here. With each graphic organizers one will find a description, a list of suggestions, critical questions, and ideas for use.

Incorporating technology into units of study
Have a look at the ideas for enhancing thematic units with technology. If by chance you're teaching any of these topics, the links and materials here may be of interest.

Metacognition, prior knowledge, and motivation
The National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators offers this document that discusses the importance of metacognition in reading comprehension. Within the document, the authors provide information on the influence of prior knowledge and motivation on metacognitive
strategies.

Schema theory of learning
What is schema? This brief article lists characteristics of schemata and includes principles that teachers may apply to their classroom. 

Prior knowledge
This Eric document discusses the importance of prior knowledge in comprehension. It lists suggestions for enriching prior knowledge. Concrete examples are provided that offer suggestions for the classroom teacher.

Concept mapping
Building prior knowledge may be facilitated through concept mapping. Click here for a description of the classroom activity and an example.

Anticipation guides
Kid Reach offers a description of anticipation guides and provides multiple examples. Check out the list of anticipation guides for a variety of stories, grades K-12th.  Lesson plans are attached.

Learning to read   Comprehension Web quests   Vocabulary Study strategies   Writing   Brain TOP
Web quests
"Some Thoughts about WebQuests"
Bernie Dodge, the teacher who initiated this revolution in teaching and did much to make the web a viable tool for teaching.

Using Web quests in the classroom
Ken Watson, doctoral student in the Curry School, University of Virginia wrote this on-line article, "WebQuests in the Middle School Curriculum: Promoting Technological Literacy in the Classroom". The article suggests methods of incorporating web quests into the classroom to facilitate student learning.

Web quests for k-12
Students at the University of Virginia created these web quests for use in elementary, middle, and high school. Quests are ready for use in your classroom.

Creating your web quest
Flowchart
Click here to see the web quest design flow chart created by Bernie Dodge. It's a good model to follow.

Lesson plan ideas
Have a look at several sites that have materials from which you might start your work. See a compliation created by Cpt. Jamie Estes at Fork Union Military Academy.

Gifs, backgrounds, and animated buttons  or other clipart
Clipart and backgrounds complete your WebQuest and can make them more attractive and engaging. Investigate these web sites which provide free clipart, buttons, icons, and backgrouds as well as links to other excellent sites.

Tools for using graphics
This site provides tips for using graphics in your web quest.

Frequently asked questions about HTML
Clare Kilbane, a Curry graduate student, has compiled a brief guide to web page construction, called "Frequently Asked Questions about HTML." View a copy of her suggestions.

Learning to read   Comprehension Web quests   Vocabulary Study strategies   Writing   Brain TOP
Vocabulary development and word study
Introduction to word study
Created by Professor Thomas Estes at the University of Virginia, this power point presentation offers a description of word study as it applies to the content areas. Learn about the stages of development children progress through as they learn the sound, pattern, and meaning of words.
Vocabulary instruction and reading comprehension
This brief article by Carl Smith discusses the relationship between vocabulary instruction and reading comprehension. Article topics include: instructional techniques, content area reading, and teacher dilemmas.

Vocabulary university
Home of Vocabulary University, this site provides interesting ideas for educators. Meet Sam Mantics and Cinny Nym as you explore the vocabulary puzzles. If you choose, register your school to become part of Vocab U.

English on-line resources
This is a link you'll want to bookmark for sure. It's your gateway to the corpus of texts on-line in the electronic text center of the University of Virginia. This includes access to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Crossword puzzle creator
If you love crossword puzzles and want to make one for your class with the words of the topic you are studying (or the topic of your web quest) give this site a try. It's a crossword puzzle generator!

Research on vocabulary acquisition
The National Center to Improve the Tools of Educators offers this synthesis on vocabulary acquisition. Though the document is long, it will bring you up to date on what we know about vocabulary development. Of particular note, the report highlights the differences among students in vocabulary development and strategy use for vocabulary growth.

Instructional implications from research
Refer to this briefer technical report  for instructional implications for vocabulary acquisition.

Vocabulary Improvement Project
Information about the Vocabulary Improvement Project can be accessed here. Read about an intervention framework for building vocabulary, with day-by-day suggestions. Also, visit the language links, which primarily focus on bilingual education.

Merriam-Webster online language center
Tons of ideas and resources, including the dictionary and thesaurus in hypertext format. You'll want to bookmark this on every computer you own! Try it out, think of all the exercises you could design to teach with it.

Latin and greek roots
This is an online book which the author provides for free as a resource for teachers. Once you get to the main page, click on Latin or Greek.

Learning to read   Comprehension Web quests   Vocabulary Study strategies   Writing   Brain TOP
Study strategies
Study skills
A wonderful site maintained by faculty at Virginia Tech. A true wealth of information on study skills. The links on the site go to many easy-to-follow prescriptions for successful study. Teachers and students of many grade levels will find the ideas here they need to promote better habits of study. 

Study guides and strategies
Created by faculty at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, this mega-site has links to dozens of local and linked pages that provide a catalog of information about every imaginable aspect of studying. Another really great site, full of great resources for becoming a better student.

Test questions
Strategies for test questions. Different kinds of tests require different kinds of test-taking strategies. This study guide provides students with some helpful  approaches for objective questions, essay questions, and test problems. 

Homework help
Provided by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, this site provides guidelines for teachers to help their students with homework. Be sure to click on the resources link for additional Internet sites that provide tips for homework help. 

Learning to read   Comprehension Web quests   Vocabulary Study strategies   Writing   Brain TOP
Writing to learn
Connections
This web page is an example of what might be done in any school that wants to use the web as a way to put preservice teachers and students in a cooperative relationship with one another. As you look at it, think about the possibilities it implies for your school and a nearby university.

Lesson plans
Here you'll find dozens of lesson plans for teaching writing and the many complements to writing. The plans are listed alphabetically and grade level appropriateness is marked to make them easy to browse. 

Journals
Discover the usefulness of double-entry journals and response logs as a tool for learning. This site by Marilyn Joyce provides definitions for these writing to learn activities, samples, and ideas for assessment. 

Writing to learn activities
Check out this site compiled by the University of Richmond on writing to learn activities. This link will take you to a description of double-entry notebooks; scroll to the bottom of the page for links to other writing to learn activities (e.g., entry/exit slips; summaries; reader-response writing).

Learning to read   Comprehension Web quests   Vocabulary Study strategies   Writing   Brain TOP
Web page created by Thomas Estes and Kathie Burgess. University of Virginia. Last updated 12 April 2000.