need help: how to teach non-literate 11th graders social studies

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by abat_jour, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    Sep 25, 2014

    My students don't have low-reading; it is non-existent. They don't fully understand simple sentences (when I speak). 11th grade history.
    They think New England is England (after maps, quizzes etc). My tests/quizzes are written so that answers are in the test and all test questions have been taken/reviewed before.

    How can I carry on a class? Behavior is a big prob as well. "I show up and misbeahve=A" mentality. Pretty abysmal.

    90 min block. Told to keep it structured. Fill in the blank w/ word bank and video are the two best things. They want ppt notes, which they copy down, but when I assess them they don't really understand what it means (although I explain).

    I guess I am looking into elementary ed type stuff?

    help on instructional activities plz...btw...its one of the worst districts in my state I think; I was at an urban school before and this is a FAR more dire situation
     
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  3. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    Sep 28, 2014

    so no one has students who are illiterate?
     
  4. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Sep 28, 2014

    I have many students who seem to have similar problems, I think. But I'm not entirely sure we're on the same page... do you mean the students are actually illiterate? In that they cannot read/write? Or are their skills simply really poor? Your example of England vs New England isn't always a literacy issue... it's a geography issue. Many of my students have never had a single class on world geography, and so they have no idea where anything is. I do map assignments each unit where they have to label blank outline maps (yep... 16 year olds coloring and labeling a map).

    I use PPT notes as well, but I find that if I break them down into very small chunks, and have the students write it down BEFORE I say anything, that works better. They spend a minute or two copying the slide, and then listen as I explain. I also use that time to discuss the content with them.

    I've also found that behavior/midset is the bigger issue. It's not that my students cannot read (although admittedly, their skills are far below grade level), but simply that they'd rather not. They've gotten by in many classes with very little, to no, effort, and like it that way. I try to meet them halfway... I've reduced the workload in my classes (as compared to what I would do in a higher-income district), but try to hold them to a higher standard than most are used to. Most kids will rise up to the challenge if you can get the behavior problems under control. And a few don't of course... those tend to flunk.
     
  5. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Crash Course on YouTube is great and entertaining. If you need videos, look here:
    US History
    World History I
    World History II

    I empathize with your literacy struggles. My students are not illiterate, but I have numerous 16-year-olds who read at an early elementary level. We're in a very low-SES district. Does your school have a literacy coach? That person may have advice. Alternatively, look into some books that have literacy strategies.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Just like someone else posted, I'm also curious: what do you mean they're illiterate? Are they English learners with first languages using a different alphabet? Are they very low readers? I can't imagine students with English as a first language, in 11th grade to be illiterate.
    I have high schoolers how read at a 4th grade level (they're special ed students, but are mainstreamed in some classes). even they can read basic things, it's just that their reading comprehension is very low. But illiterate?
     

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