ACTE Techniques February 2012 : Page 8

C LASSROOM C ONNEC t ION Academic Integration— An Approach That Works promote self-discovery and awareness. The need to change our teaching methods reminds me of a time when my husband and father went fishing. Although my father spent 35 years in education, he now enjoys his retirement by sitting in his bass boat on a peaceful lake. As the sun begins to rise, the calmness of the water is gently broken by his skillful use of his lure. Although this particular lure may not produce the lunker he is after, he is determined to fully understand what makes a fish want to bite the bait. I believe he is a master, since he always catches the most fish regardless of who is fishing by his side. This strikes a chord in me as I do my best to figure out what makes the stu -dents in my classroom want to learn. The revelation hit me one afternoon when my husband was looking for some new fishing bait to embark on a fishing trip with my dad last year. I was convinced that the fish would bite this shiny, neon, speckled, spiral, man-made snare that swiveled and jiggled while trolling the water. I was sure he would catch more fish than my dad. Much to my disappointment, my husband didn’t even get a nibble on that lure, while my dad reeled in fish after fish. The moral of the story: Bait the hook with what the fish likes, not with what the fish -erman likes. So too with education. We must seek teaching and learning strategies that appeal to our students. Ultimately, the way we teach must extend beyond our own preferences, and beyond the way we remember being taught. PHOTO By ISTOCK.COM By Linda Moyer tHE SCHOOL YEAR IS NOW IN FULL SWING, teachers are excited about a Need to Change Teaching Methods Literacy strategies blended into content curriculum does not mean the educa-tor must teach a student how to read and write. Nor does it mean just giving students graphic organizers to complete. Embedding literacy strategies into one’s curriculum for the purpose of student engagement and achievement can only be successful when teachers are willing to al -ter their mindset about education, identify and teach students the strategies that work within their content area, and persevere through challenges while modifying the strategies for differentiated learning. This concept requires the educator to change his or her teaching methods, and to have the determination and commitment to provide opportunities for students that the content they are teaching, but the challenge remains: How can we get our students excited about learning? What needs to be done to move them in the direction where we begin to see increased achievement? At this point in education, it is no secret that literacy is the key to success in school, the workforce and throughout life. It has long been accepted that reading and writing are crucial to learning. But as edu-cators, we have to alter our thinking and recognize that listening, speaking and ob -serving are just as important. Therefore, all teachers should be using strategies that allow students to engage in all literacy processes, regardless of the content. Strategies to engage the Students So the question remains: What can I do as an instructor to make adolescents www.acteonline.org 8 Techniques Februar y 2012

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