Blog Post 2 – ELA Standards

July 7, 2007 at 1:32 pm | Posted in uncategorized | 17 Comments

Expand upon the ELA activity we did in class. 

Select a topic from your content area.  Then choose a post-it (ELA standard) that you liked best.  Specifically explain how you would incorporate this standard into the way you present your content area lesson. 

ELA standards can be found at

– Bill, Bonnie, Laurie, GiGi



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  1. For Standard 3 using writing, I think the use of proofs can be fit into this. It requires the students to methodically think through and express each step. As they go, they will need to make sure that what they are writing logically follows their path of thinking and that it is a true statement that would not allow someone to disprove their work. Students would be using a combination of mathematical representations through formulas and perhaps examples as well as sentences to further explain their thought processes. Examples of proofs can be found on . A specific example from this cite, shows that there are several ways to prove that the square root of 2 is irrational.

    Proof 2
    A standard proof of this result does not differ from the proof that 5 is irrational. Still, the argument can be modified a little.

    The premise p2 = 2q2 tells us that p is even. Assuming p and q mutually prime, q is bound to be odd. However, the square of an even number is divisible by 4, which leads us to conclude that q is even. A contradiction.


    There are several ways to do this proof, which makes it an ever greater learning tool for students since they will get a chance to see that there can be different ways to get to an answer and to express an answer. Hopefully, this would help them realize they do not have to do everything the same way as their peers to get to the desired result and can benefit from seeing the proof written in a variety of ways as well.

  2. Sorry, not very good with blogging yet…The hyperlinks should have been:

    The cite’s link:

    The example’s link:
    sq_root irrational

  3. I think for my activity, I would have my class participate in a debate. From class we saw that debates can easily cover all of the ELA standards in some way. I would have my class debate stem cell research. This debate would cover the following in the standards:

    Read/write for information and understanding
    Write/speak for literary response and expression
    Read/listen for critical analysis and evaluation
    Speak/listen for social interaction

    Students will do research on the internet, in newspapers, magazines, or in books. The following had some examples of what students may look at:
    This was an article done by CNN that showed some of the current debate on stem cells.
    This was a special done by CNN that shows both sides of the debate.

    Students would have a couple of days in class (as well as for homework) to gather their research and decide which side they would like to participate in. Then we would have an in class debate where both sides would take turns showing their reasoning. As in any debate there would be ground rules to prevent any major arguments. The reason why I picked stem cell research as opposed to other hot topics in science was that many people don’t know much about the debate on stem cells. It would give the students more knowledge on the topic so that they could make an educated decision about which side they would prefer to support.

  4. I would use use standard 4 to incorporate discussion in an evolution lesson. I would have the students do a KWL for this topic, and then as a group we would discuss the outcome at the end of the unit. I prefer this type interaction and feel that for a topic with a lot of debate in it, this type of interaction works best.

  5. The topic I choose is global warming, and the standards that I would incorporate into the lesson would be:

    1. Information and Understanding
    2. Literacy response and Expression
    3. Critical analysis and Evaluation

    I would encompass these ELA standards by implementing journaling in my class. This tool would allow students to document their thought processes, therefore enhancing cognitive development. Journaling connects literacy and knowledge, by challenging students’ perspectives, beliefs and interpretations of various subject matters (i.e. global warming).

    “Journaling is a tool for gaining self-understanding and practicing language skills through drawing and writing. It nurtures self-esteem while strengthening communication skills.”
    (Capacchione 1989)
    Student will be asked to write or draw their view of global warming and list any questions that they may have. The topic of global warming will be analyzed thoroughly via lecture, film viewing, and supplement reading. Students developed questions will be addressed, and students will evaluate the given information and later asked to revisit their original entry on global warming and re-enter any “new” beliefs or thoughts on the topic.

  6. Within the ELA Standards, Standard 3 addresses critical analysis and evaluation which easily fits with math. This standard especially comes into play with activities such as reading, producing and analyzing graphs. Students have to recognize criteria and analyze data to interpret the graphs. This is especially important at the intermediate level. The students then would write an explanation of their interpretations and how they might use the information gained from the graphs. When creating a graph, the students must label diagrams, graphs and charts correctly for them to clearly convey the correct information. Within the lesson, I would show students how important those small things can be to a graph. With one missing label or title the whole meaning of the graph can be changed or lost.

  7. A topic that I could seamlessly incorporate ELA standard 4 and part of 3 into would be a lesson on probability and random sampling. Students, in groups, would have to collect data and graph it, and hopefully also understand what they find. They will be required to interact with each other in an appropriate and respectful manner. Then they will give an oral presentation to the class of their results and findings, while presenting their graphs. Students will be required to speak formally to the class, including but not limited to peers, teachers, and aids, during their presentation. And of course, individually each student would be required to hand in an individual write-up explaining their findings.

  8. All four ELA standards will be helpful in teaching students Physics and Math. Standards 1, 3, and 4 will assist in creating an understanding of different topics. I look forward to doing a unit on Global Warming (content area being Physics). Specifically, I would focus on the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. I would begin the lesson by grabbing their attention with Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” movie trailer. They would then read information posted on the following NPR site:

    Students would enter into a discussion about the movie and web site, sharing their thoughts with their peers.

    Lastly, the students would be expected to “critically analyze and evaluate” the trend in increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The lesson would incorporate
    Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.
    Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
    Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.

  9. In science, one of the easiest ways to incorporate the ELA standards (1 and 3, and perhaps 4) is to have the students write up their labs in the scientific format. The first three sections (Introduction, Methods and Results) address Standard 1: information and understanding. Students must identify and understand the problem, be able to articulate the methods used and report the their results of their study. The third standard is addressed in the Discussion section, where students have to critically analyze and evaluate their findings. If you have students present their results (for a bigger lab project), then Standard four is also addressed.

    Learning to write up labs in the proper format not only addresses the ELA learning standards, it also prepares students for college, as this is a common method for lab presentations at that level.

  10. Similar to what Bonnie would do with her students, I would have my students participate in debates on controversial science topics. I think that debates are a useful and interesting way to explore both sides of an issue. Debates allow students to view and exchange information and opinions that they may not share otherwise. Additionally, as we discussed in class, debates cover all of the ELA standards.

    While studying genetics I would have my students explore genetic modification and during the unit on reproduction I would have my students explore cloning. During the different units within the curriculum students would visit two online websites on genetic modification and cloning. I choose these topics because I felt they would nicely tie into the units as well as align with the NYS Living Environment standards. These topics are also something that students may be familiar with but have misconceptions about.

    Both websites include information on the benefits and controversies of the two topics. Students will review the website for homework and answer some questions. The next day in class the students would be divided into two sections, those in favor of genetic modification (or during the other unit, cloning) and those against it. The students would have the class period to research more information, review notes from the website, and come up with some key points for their debate. On the third day of class the students would have the debate.

    This would fit into all of the ELA standards. Students will read, write, listen, and speak for:
    1. Information and understanding
    2. Literary response and expression
    3. Critical analysis and evaluation
    4. Social interaction

    Students would be responsible for reading information and drawing conclusions from what they read, share, and hear. They would have to choose a side based on the information they encountered and their opinions on the topic before and after the debate. Students would (in groups) analyze their collective information and determine what points would best contribute to their side of the debate. During the process students would be interacting in groups, and as a whole class.

  11. I think that all the ELA standards are important and should be utilized in the study of my content area – Chemistry. Understanding the vocabulary of technical terms is critical in learning about and applying chemistry concepts. One of the first Chemistry units taught is Atomic Concepts and involves understanding and being able to describe the structure of an atom. Lessons include being able to relate experimental evidence that led to discovery of the atom, understanding an atom is comprised of neutrons, electrons, and protons, why the atomic number of an element correlates with how many electrons are in each element. Students need to be able to explain that even though we cannot see an atom it does exist and has mass.

    ELA standards that apply would be 1 (information and understanding) and 3 (critical analysis and evaluation) although standards 2 and 4 may also apply depending on the activities I could employ for projects, homework, or in-class discussions.

  12. The topic of evolution versus intelligent design and Standard 4 (read, write, listen and speak for social interaction)can go hand in hand for instruction. Upon presenting students with scientific facts and theories that have developed over time via articles, textbook facts and other literary sources, students can write what theory they believe in and how it is backed up scientifically. Upon completion of this, classroom discussion and debate can be provoked by sharing of their short essays. It may also be beneficial to go beyond debate by having the students do another written analysis about if they learned anything from the class discussion, and if so, if it had an effect on their opinion and why.

  13. I always find it difficult to come up with effective ways to incorporate reading and writing into math topics. I believe the easiest and most obvious topic used to incorporate reading and writing would be geometric proofs. This would fall under the category of Standard 1.

    Coming up with a way to incorporate Standard 3 has to be the most difficult. After all math is kind of a dry subject to most and attempting a lesson which requires a student to express how math affects their lives requires some creative thinking.

    For this post I’m going to tackle Standard 1. I’m stealing an idea for my calculus teacher of some 15+ years ago. I would have the students derive an important formula or constant and create and presentation in order to transfer the newly acquired knowledge to their peers. One example of this is the derivation of PI. PI is one of those constants we were given when it was time to caculate the circumference of a circle.

    This project would be a group project of 2 or 3 students per group. The students would need to do some research on the topic accessing information from a variety of sources. The presentation would be of the electronic form (ex. Powerpoint). This project will allow students to gain new knowledge with the oppurtunity to transfer it to others. This is the kind of project the best fits in after the AP exams and been taken in May and provides and good way of making use of time between finals and the end of the school year.

  14. In a science classroom it is always very important to incorporate literacy and ELA standards into students learning. I find that students are best able to demonstrate their learning of new science content through writing activities or giving verbal information. I have found that laboratory activities are great for ELA Standar 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
    Prior to the activity students make a prediction (hypothesis) about what they think will happen in the If… Then… Because …. format. This format allows the students organize their thoughts easily. Once students complete the activity they then need to analyze their data and see if this supports the hypothesis or not. Once this analysis is complete students need to complete a conclusion in a CEI format (Claim, Evidence, Intepretation). For the claim portion students state if the hypothesis was correct or not. The evidence is then taken from the laboratory activity to support the claim. This is the part that students need to realize what is evidence and if it supports the hypothesis or not. Most 8th graders struggle with this and need help analyzing their data in order to identify the data that supports the claim. Once students support their claim with evidence they need to complete the intepretation which is a way for students to connect the laboratory activity to a real world situation or to another concept they are knowledgeable of.
    I agree that debates are a good way to use ELA standards because it allows students to demonstrate their knowledge through verbal ways. Debates also allow students to evaluate different material and determine if it supports their side of the debate.

  15. “Journaling is a tool for gaining self-understanding and practicing language skills through drawing and writing. It nurtures self-esteem while strengthening communication skills.” (Capacchione 1989)
    Student will be asked to write or draw their view of global warming and list any questions that they may have. The topic of global warming will be analyzed thoroughly via lecture, film viewing, and supplement reading. Students developed questions will be addressed, and students will evaluate the given information and later asked to revisit their original entry on global warming and re-enter any “new” beliefs or thoughts on the topic. From GiGi
    I felt that this was a great concept and that it could be used in different contexts. Great Idea! Blogging is Wonderful!!!

  16. I believe that all the ELA Standards would fit into the mathematics curriculum. I teach 9th grade – Algebra and my students use all four standards whether they are aware of it or not.

    Standard 1 addresses the students ability to collect data and facts to discover relationships and ideas. In Algebra, students might need to take prior knowledge to interpret tables or graphs to come up with a function or generalization from the information given. One of the questions on the final exam last year dealt with finding a linear regression from a scatterplot. Students had to estimate a slope and find a y-intercept, to determine a line of best-fit from a grouping of random points.

    Standard 2 addresses students abilities to read and listen to different types of texts to relate them to their own lives and be able to develop an understanding of how it relates to history. Students take problems in mathematics and not only solve them, but try to relate them to their own lives. Students not only solve word problems about real life and history, but also make connections. An elementary example would be relating decimals/percentages/fractions to discount prices in store.

    Standard 3 addresses the analysis of experiences, ideas, information and issues in a variety of ways. In mathematics, students interpret and analyze mathematical situations and sometimes, opinions are necessary for mathematical situations that have not been proved or when students have not been taught enough background knowledge. In this situation, students will be forced to use prior knowledge to address their own opinion on the topic. For example: Is 0.9999999999…=1? There is a definite answer to this, but students might be divided on the topic, causing them to state an opinion.

    Standard 4 addresses the ability for students to use language to communicate with a wide variety of people. Mathematics is a universal language. The concept of 1+1=2 is the same in the US as it is in any other country. So students would be able to express their knowledge of mathematics to enrich their understanding of people and culture. One way to express this is exposing students to a little history of mathematics. For example, duplation – multiplying like an Egyptian – for which students use “repeated addition” to figure out products of two numbers. The mathematics of Egyptians were computed in base 60 – rather than base 10 – but there is still an understanding of the mathematics.

    Its funny to think how ELA directly relates to mathematics when students don’t directly find a correlation between the two subjects. But now that I really have thought about how these standards directly relate to the content, I will address them in my classroom.

  17. Redo of Blog Posting 2 – ELA Standards. A topic I could pick to relate to this ELA activity would be one of the first units taught in Chemistry class – Atomic Concepts. I think one of the key area’s for this subject is being able to explain that even though we cannot see an atom it does exist and has mass. Students need to understand how early scientific discoveries in the 19th century led to these determinations without the use of the modern technology that is available today. I would try to generate discussion or debate about this topic, similar to the activities that Shelby and Bonnie have outlined in their blog postings. I’d begin by discussing what information the students already know or understand, then allow the students to exchange information about the subject matter to stimulate interest and exploration. I think the Pre-Reading strategies we’ve learned about in class is a great way to aid the initial topic discussions and would also include using models, pictures, or concept maps. Also linking the subject matter to real-life examples such as the problems with lead in lead paint would be something they could relate to. Additional information outside of their textbooks would be provided to guide their understanding and would include handouts, assignments, or projects.

    I also think that getting students to think critically about a subject or assignment is something that we as teachers need to continually incorporate into our lesson planning. Based on my teaching experience, students usually will ask a question or see if you can solve a problem for them rather than just doing it themselves. Often its not hard, they just need to put some effort into it or be pushed or prodded ahead by an understanding teacher. A key part to the Atomic Concepts unit involves critical thinking about abstract concepts, so this is something Chemistry teachers have to be continually aware of.

    Although the information presented here is mainly related to ELA standards 1 (information and understanding) and 3 (critical analysis and evaluation) I think all four ELA standards can be incorporated into the unit lessons and activities.

    There is a wealth of information on the web about this subject. The following links contain useful information on atoms that kids can relate to:

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