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Each set of 2 responses has its own instructions:

READER RESPONSE- comment on the posts of two classmates


In listening to the lectures and reading over Writing Contexts in The Little Seagull Handbook, one of the things that struck me is the idea of critical thinking and how it relates to critical reading.  I've always thought of myself as a critical thinker.  I enjoying trying to understand why people do the things they do or why things happen the way they do, but I realize now that I can apply critical thinking to the things I read as well as what I write.  I have been out of school for over 20 years and training myself to be a student again is going to be a struggle, but hopefully I can apply my own critical thinking skills to other areas like writing and reading as well.  I want to be able to ask myself if there is a deeper meaning in what an author wrote or how a character reacts?  I also want to try and write in a way that is more than just superficial and at-face-value.  


Module 1 has covered the basics of effectively writing and organizing parts of what you read and also covering the basics of plagiarism. I feel that critical reading is a very important stepping stone to apply what you have learned onto paper. It should involve you getting a deep understanding of what the writers main purpose is. You should do so by taking notes, highlighting important topics, thoroughly analyzing the writers thoughts, and considering reference works.

Ive also learned that is is important to prepare for what you are going to write. It should start with brainstorming and getting an abundance of important ideas that fit the target topic. After getting ideas you should break down these ideas into different sections to effectively apply them into well worded paragraphs. I find it is also important to go over what you have wrote multiple times by proof reading and fixing any spelling or grammatical errors that you can find.

Although I have learned much in this module, I have a very long way to go to become a good writer. This subject is something I have always struggled with, but I hope this course will better my knowledge and capabilities.  

LIFE & LITERACY – comment on the posts of two classmates


Literacy holds a special place in everyone’s life, whether they believe it or not. From the fairytales and bed-time stories, my father would read to me every night to the poetry we write and share now. For me, writing is a way of facing my fears as well as expressing the emotions I could not say aloud while being able to accept the grievances and losses I have overcome. In school, we explored many different genres and time periods in which we compared authors, poets, and even playwrights with one another, seeking their true meanings behind each line or phrase. We would analyze the author’s every thought from sentence to sentence, sometimes even word to word within a sentence. When it comes to my job, I am often faced with the need to be a detective with critical reading and thinking skills. I must determine who checks are being made to from different companies and if they are meant to be sent to companies or personal clients. Even when given a recipe to make, I must carefully read over all the instructions before beginning, or else I might mix the ingredients out of order which can cause the entire recipe to come out wrong. In conclusion, literacy is as important as food in everyday life- without it, you will be hungry for the experiences you missed.   


Literacy can best be described as a person's capability to read and write. The importance of this is to be able to have the freedom to speak clearly on what you believe in as well as understand what's going on around you. People who tend to lack literacy have poor education skills which lead to them failing in life. Personally, being able to have the ability to read and write gives me the opportunity to do well with school assignments and achieving job opportunities. Being able to read and write for fun leads me to express my feelings towards certain things and communicating with family that does not live close. When it comes down to school, it makes it easier to pass certain classes that I attend to graduate. When working, literacy becomes handy when communicating certain ideas or scheduling days to meet with business partners. With all this being said literacy is a way to success in life, without it many will struggle. 

WRITING WELL – comment on the posts of two classmates


When figuring out what abilities contribute to writing well, three things come to mind. The use of proper grammar, organized paragraphs with good sentence structure, and strong language when it is appropriate. Using proper grammar may include the use of commas, semicolons, and where other punctuation is used, as well as the spelling of words in their proper forms (for example, their, they’re, and there). Organized paragraphs usually have a read and response structure. The author is given a quote or concrete detail and in turn, responds to it in their opinion or what they may analyze it to mean. Sentence structure is determining when to combine two independent clauses to make a complex sentence or when to omit parts of the sentence or phrase to make it more precise when needing to show emphasis. Strong language is knowing when to use a figure of speech such as a metaphor or hyperbole. This carries over when determining whether to use a dictionary or a thesaurus. A dictionary will show the detailed definition of the word being used and its part of speech with a shortlist of synonyms and antonyms. A thesaurus, however, will show a much longer list of synonyms and antonyms of the word that is searched for giving different words to substitute in place of the word used in the search or original context. A thesaurus cannot be used as a dictionary, it has examples of new words to use that each has a similar meaning or the opposite meaning of the word in the original context, but each word has its own details in its definition to make it unique.


The ability to write well can be very important for many different reasons. It allows the reader to acknowledge and stay interested in the topic your are discussing. Communication in this day and age consists of many different forms including email, texting, speaking, and phone calls. Doing any of these well requires good writing skills. Good writing is being able to think about something and express it for an audience to follow. Writing out these thoughts can make it easier for you to organize your ideas for better results. Your writing may also benefit your listeners if you reach them in an emotional way.

I feel that a dictionary can benefit you in writing by allowing you to look up spelling and pronunciation errors and better your understanding in the meanings of different words. A thesaurus is basically a dictionary of synonyms. For example, when you feel you have used the same words too much, it allows you to have other options. You have to be careful too though, using words that aren't commonly used can possibly stray the reader away from your writing.    

Respond to at least two classmates’ postings.

Rosemary post:

Which do you feel is more relevant to today’s classroom, why?

I feel that Marzano’s “9 best practices” are more relevant in classrooms today. It is because they focus more on giving learning choices for students and teachers. According to our book, Bizar and Daniels have given seven best methods that educators can use to provide instructions or directions in their classrooms. In today’s classrooms, there is a need to define the educational goals for the pupils. However, it helps make teaching more beneficial because educators already know what they need to teach before teaching. Plus, they already know what their students need to learn and are supposed to learn before teaching the subjects or the lessons. Marzano’s best practices are likewise more suitable because they concentrate on providing responses and exercising collaborative education. In a global world, pupils must know how to communicate with other human beings. Collective learning guarantees that pupils understand how to come together or collaborate with other pupils from various backgrounds.

Choose a researcher whose best practices will work best in the classroom you plan on teaching; why?

A researcher whose best practices will work best in the classroom that I plan on teaching would Marzano. I like setting goals and give back meaningful feedback to my students because I would love to see my students succeed and learn something new every day because even outside of the classroom, we are always learning something new. This makes it much easier to set goals and choose what materials I can use to help them learn or create a lesson plan for the day. I also like the idea of having them do group work together so that they can learn how to work with others. However, I would frequently assess them and give them meaningful feedback. Also, homework may be given to the students to refresh their memory when they have learned while in class.

Which of Marzano’s best practices do you feel will enhance instruction in your classroom, based on your own style and personality?

One of Marzano’s best practices is that enhancing instruction in my classroom would require nonlinguistic representations because I am a visual learner. I love being able to show people instead of telling people sometimes because if I can learn in this way, so can some of my students. According to our book, it states that “knowledge is stored in forms: linguistic and visual – with the visual accounting for the majority of learning for humans” (Hansen, Buczynski, & Puckett, 2015). Therefore, I can have my students represent what they are learning with graphic organizers, pictures, drawings, etc.


Hansen, C.B., Buczynski, S., & Puckett, K.S.  (2015). Curriculum and instruction for the 21st century [Electronic Version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/


· Which do you feel is more relevant to today’s classroom, why?

Bizar and Daniels " Small Group Activities." I see more and more classroom resulting to the use of small groups. With technology and the use of a online teacher assistant for lack of better words; the teachers have been able to group students together who are at the same level intellectually to offer more specified help.

· Choose a researcher, whose best practices will work best in the classroom you plan on teaching, why?

Bizar and Daniels Strategies of using small groups because the classroom that I will be working in has a mixture of different grade levels. the reason being is because this is a small private school.

· Which of Marzano’s best practices do you feel will enhance instruction in your classroom, based on your own style and personality.

Identifying similarities and differences, because I like to help students to ponder and develop critical thinking. I want the students to ask more questions and not just accepting information given to them without examination, asking questions and searching out the facts.

Respond to at least two classmates’ postings.


Hello Everyone,

Identify those two main components and describe the elements of each of them.

1. Expository 

Expository teaching can be done in many different forms. Teachers can us a lecture style accompanied by a PowerPoint notes to breakdown what is important. According to Hansen, Buczynski & Puckett, 2015 the lecture method is not the most effective expository teaching instruction. Lecture does have advantages and disadvantages. 

2. Questioning 

Questioning is a great way to promote class discussion. Asking questions is good and can help with learning but Hansen, Buczynski & Puckett, 2015 put it into a great perspective when using questioning it should allow the students to think deep ad critically. The teacher must be using the questions effectively (section 6.3).

After reading the advantages and disadvantages of lecturing, take a stance on lecturing and defend whether you feel it is an effective strategy.

Lecturing to me is a great tool when teaching students grades 7 and above. Meaning these students can benefit from getting the material quickly to help guide them through a lesson or assignment. Lecture allows the teacher to present the important information to all students then if they still are not sure can ask questions to gain a better understanding.

Questioning is complex, summarize what the author is stating about questioning as an instructional tool.

What the author is saying about questioning is that it needs to be effective and guided toward the outcome desired for a lesson. Most educators use literal questioning which is good when looking for a basic answer with not in depth thought process. When using this method the educator needs to allow a wait time to allow students to process the question and come up with an answer before they just answer the question themselves. The best type of questions to ask are open-ended questions which allow for more than just one specific answer. 

Explain why educators need to ask questions that require students to use higher order thinking skills. 

As an educator who does use the questioning method daily with my students it is important to allow the students to think about what is being asked and promote curiosity or critical thinking to figure out the answer that would not be a typical answer. Promoting higher order thinking helps students understand material and the world around them in a different light.


Desiree Beck 


Hansen, C.B., Buczynski, S., & Puckett, K.S. (2015). Curriculum and instruction for the 21st century. Bridgepoint Education


Good afternoon everyone

Identify those two main components and describe the elements of each of them.  

The two main components of direct instruction are expository teaching and questioning? Expository teaching is in the form of lectures, where teachers explain the concept/learning objectives. Lectures usually get students in the mindset that learning is about to occur. Questioning is what teachers spend most of their day doing. They are asking questions to check for understanding and get students thinking.   

After reading the advantages and disadvantages of lecturing, take a stance on lecturing and defend whether you feel it is an effective strategy.  

Lecturing is an effective strategy because I think the disadvantages can be turned into advantages for students. For example, if lectures are too rapid-paced and become overwhelming for students, the teacher can chunk the lesson into smaller concepts. The teacher can take a break from talking and have students think, pair, and share what they have learned so far. In a lecture, the teacher can add technology and visuals to have another way of experiencing the content presented.   

Questioning is complex, summarize what the author is stating about questioning as an instructional tool.  

When teachers use questioning as an instructional tool, the questions need to be stated so students can think deeply about the question and provide a well thought out answer. It is best to avoid literal one answer questions so children can think about an answer before responding and then ask other students if they agree or not and explain reasonings. The questioning section also suggests using Bloom's Taxonomy, Depth of Knowledge (DOK), and questioning methods to create better questions and increase participation. Blooms taxonomies can be used as a guideline for asking questions based on the verb's cognitive thinking level. DOK is making sure students understand the concept from beginning to end, including necessary steps. The questioning methods include giving students enough time to answer a question, asking open-ended questions, and questions where students must explain their reasoning (Hansen et al., 2015).  

Explain why educators need to ask questions that require students to use higher-order thinking skills.  

Educators need to ask questions that encourage students to think deeper and explain why they gave that answer. Questions are a part of the learning process. If a student can answer a question and explain the reason, they have fully understood the material. Communication is one of the four skills that the CCSS wants students to be college and career ready. Through open discussions, students get plenty of practice with their communication skills. 


Hansen, C.B., Buczynski, S., & Puckett, K.S. (2015). Curriculum and instruction for the 21st century. EDU 381: Curriculum and Instruction for the 21st Century – 6.3 Teacher-Directed Models of Teaching (ashford.edu) (Links to an external site.) 

Respond substantively to a minimum of two peers


Week 3 Discussion: Phase Models in Group Development

As a Head Start Family Advocate a few years ago, the Advocates had to introduce themselves to the classroom and acquaint themselves to teaching after the part-time afternoon teacher suffered a life-threatening emergency. Her assistant filled her place while the Advocacy team was appointed to fill the teacher assistant’s place. Creating teams for any reason is beneficial and should meet or exceed expectations of the task or tasks at hand; however, when a team does not cooperate, no cohesion occurs, and tasks are left unfulfilled.

Phase one of forming was scheduling the teaching team to one hour in the classroom daily. One hour was insufficient to the classroom’s needs since this particular class had behavioral challenges. The time frame was increased to two hours daily, added a floating teacher and ‘Grandma’ for occasional check-ins from the full-time classroom. The impact of being overextended began to take its toll. Adding to the stressors was the holiday and cold & flu season absences. The schedule was unmet and led to contention among the staff.

Stepping onto phase two, storming came when several advocates deviated from their obligations to meet other desires. For instance, one Advocate blatantly refused to assist the team feeling the request was out of her job description. Another advocate would leave with an excuse. A third advocate would leave early for her children but not return as advised. The fourth would attend her children’s extracurricular activities. Teachers and teachers assistants from other classrooms adamantly adhered to their set schedule.

In phase three of norming, instead of balance and harmony, venting became ammunition to attack another. No one was doing their part yet complained and instigated drama when confronted. Worse, the supervisor consistently hesitated to address the issues. Reporting the circumstances to superiors above the Advocacy supervisor also failed to resolve the issues at hand.

In the fourth phase of performing, the facility and faculty deteriorated. The turmoil between the teachers and advocates grew due to a lack of relief. The parties refusing to contribute began to lash out as a means of defense. Unfortunately, the environment became hostile with clashing of emotional chaos. The bare minimum of tasks was achieved.

No fifth phase of adjourning occurred due to a refusal to collaborate efforts. The teacher who was initially out due to trauma resigned after a brief return. The teacher assistant and four of the advocates later resigned (myself included). Two other teacher assistants were terminated. This ordeal later led to a generous grant that now funds an abundant staff. 

According to Lindred Greer (2014), the dilemmas could have been remedied instead of ending in destruction. Instead of becoming cohesive for child education and welfare, the team launched an emotional warzone. At no point did leadership effectively address or resolve the underlying issues; the team destructed. Greer (2014) states that the conflict that occurred within the Head Start was the worst type of conflict because it is interpersonal, ‘sucks’ others into the feud, which led to a viral escalation. 


Greer, L. (2014). Managing conflict in teams [Video file]. Retrieved from Lindred Greer: Managing Conflict in Teams

Jones, D. (2019). The Tuckman’s Model Implementation, Effect, and Analysis & the New Development of Jones LSI Model on a Small Group. Journal of Management, 6(4).


In order for a group to maintain effectiveness, healthy collaboration, and productivity it is necessary that the group monitors concerns while simultaneously addressing challenges that occur amongst group members. Tuckman developed the Model of Group Development to outline each stage a group undergoes as it develops. As an educator I have been placed on a grade level team in which I am required to collaborate with six varying educators on a daily basis to plan and execute lesson plans and make grade level decisions based on implementing procedures that are in the best interest of the students that attend our school. The team that I was placed on this year consist of two teachers I have previously worked with, three teachers I became acquainted with through trainings, and one teacher who I did not previously know. When I juxtapose what has taken place in my team to Tuckman’s model of group development I realize that my group has only successfully moved through the forming stage. The forming stage focuses on the group’s ability to initiate relationships with each other by engaging in opportunities for each member to get to know each other on a deeper level  (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p.91). When evaluating the forming stage I realize that the members on my team successfully established commonalities and overall group goals we wished to achieve. This allowed my group to successfully transition to the subsequent stage.

The second stage outlined by Tuckman is the storming stage. During this stage, individuals in the group assume the responsibility to address serious matters (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p. 91) . When this stage is applied to my group, I realize that at this stage my group began to experience difficulty. Although several group members established initial relationships with ease, these connections were challenged as differing opinions surfaced. In addition to this, the group began to disunity as some group members began to work to destroy relationships between group members and assumed an attitude of utter disregard for other members. The norming stage refers to the group’s ability to establish specific normality’s (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p. 92). For the reasons listed above, the group that I am in did not transition to the norming stage. Therefore, group members did not experience conflict resolution amongst group members.

Moreover, the performing stage marks the group’s ability to collaborate within the group in an organized and effective manner (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p. 92).   Because the group struggled in the previous stages, the group did not transition to the performing stage. Therefore, group members did not successfully collaborate with one another, as meetings are often met with awkward silences or disagreements that are unable to be resolved. Finally, the adjourning stage identifies the relationships that maintained when the group is no longer necessary to operate or when the group’s interaction diminishes (Adams, K., & Galanes, G, 2017, p. 92). At this time, the group that I am is still operating, however this is likely to change at the end of this school year.

Adams, K., & Galanes, G. (2017). Communicating in groups: application and skills (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill