Unorthodox View of Research
Energize Research Reading and Writing: Fresh Strategies to Spark Interest, Develop Independence, and Meet Key Common Core Standards
by Christopher Lehman
(Heinemann, 2012 – Learn more)
In Energize Research Reading and Writing, Christopher Lehman aims to challenge our learners (and our teachers) to think with higher levels of complexity and avoid being “spoon fed” through the research process. Lehman provides teachers working with students in grades 4 through 8 with tips and strategies for making research reading and writing applicable and motivating to our students. He also offers ideas on how to implement the Common Core Standards within classrooms, from a research perspective.
1. Research the Way It Was Meant to Be: A Re-Introduction
2. No More Handouts: Teach Students to Narrow Down Topics and Evaluate Sources Independently
3. Stop the Random Numbers and Recopied Paragraphs: Teach Students to Note-Take with Purpose, Not Indifference
4. Beyond “Put It into Your Own Words”: Teach Students to Write to Teach Ideas, Not Just Regurgitate Facts
5. Free From Graphic Organizers: Teach Students to Craft Organizing Structures with Their Readers in Mind
6. Without Agonizing Memorization: Teach Students to Cite Sources on Their Own
7. English or Content Areas, Long Studies or Short Projects: Turn Strategies into a Study That Matches the Needs in Your Classroom
Each chapter included student work samples, leveled strategies for differentiation, and a reflection piece at the end. This book is intended both for teachers of writing/reading courses and for content area teachers.
Too much for middle schoolers
As a 6th grade reading teacher, I have been searching for books to help me implement the Common Core Standards, particularly the standards related to writing. As I started reading this book, I was immediately let down. The ideas, tips, and strategies seem almost impossible to implement at my grade level. Furthermore, Lehman discourages the use of effective research-based writing strategies such as outlines and graphic organizers. Even in college composition classes, professors require outlines.
I believe few middle school students would be able to structure research in a coherent way by designing their own outline or graphic organizer. The strategies presented in this book may be more beneficial for high school English and content classes, when students have been exposed to many different types of writing and research in the past. At that point, our students should be ready for the writing and research demands of college. I will continue to search for a book to help me implement the research and writing standards.
Brooke Schultz teaches 6th grade reading at Blue Earth Area Middle School. She has taught 8th grade English, special education at a care and treatment facility, and 5th and 6th grade. She earned a master’s degree in differentiated instruction. Brooke is a Professional Learning Community Leader, new teacher mentor, and peer coach. In addition, she’s been trained in the AFT Educational Research and Dissemination Program in the School, Family, and Community Partnerships Strand.