Guided Response: In addition to responding to your instructor’s comments and questions, respond to at least two of your peers. Analyze how your peers described the use of constructivism. How would you further push constructivist principles in your teaching?
Making words can be defined as, “the letters given, are not initially provided in the context of any one word—they are simply listed for the children; the teacher predetermines words to be made from the letters and guides students in making the words. Also, the Making Words activity moves on to making new words that are not fully represented by the original set of letters, and students sort the words they make into various categorical schemes” (Rasinski, 2013, Sec. 10).
Constructivism can be defined as, “describing how children learn by actively engaging in and manipulating their environment” (Rasinski, 2013, Sec. 10).
Making words and constructivism can be correlated with one another in the classroom because students are given a handful of letters and taking those letters and making them into words. Each word they make does not have to be the same as other students. Some students may see the word ball in a bunch of letters, and he or she may play baseball which is a factor from his or her environment. Another student may see cat which can correlate with his or her home life if he or she has a cat. It just depends on the life they lead and the environments they are exposed to.
One way I would incorporate constructivism is to have the students write in a journal about their own experiences and let them share with the group or with a partner or with myself and compare notes with each other. They will learn that neither one is wrong, and that different lives and cultures do exist.
Another way I would incorporate constructivism is to have the students read a chapter together and have them answer a hand full of questions given by me. Each student will answer the questions but in his or her own way and the questions will be based off of experiences so they have to answer by using their own experiences and the chapter from the book. So no answer will be wrong; instead each student will have an opportunity to gain an understanding of how their other classmates understand from their own environments.
Always utilizing a student’s environment will help them succeed. A student can relate to the environment they are used to when they are introduced to it in the classroom. If a student loves to play soccer, pick out a book about soccer and see them thrive in reading. If a student loves the theater, pick a book about a play he or she may like and have them read about it. Taking a student’s environment can only help the students thrive in the classroom.
Rasinski, T. (1999, February). Making and writing words. Retrieved from http://www.timrasinski.com/presentations/article_making_and_writing_words.pdf
Rasinski, T. & Padak, N.D. (2013). From phonics to fluency: Effective teaching of decoding and reading fluency in the elementary school. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.