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Teacher Tales

8:04 PM  Nov 11th, 2010
by Sara Dorn '12

Engineering majors glare enviously at Anne Sharp’s playful “textbooks.” She isn’t quite as jealous of them.

“I know I look kind of silly reading these,” the junior early childhood education major said from her library study table.

Sharp is reading the Candace Fleming children’s picture books for her Foundations of Literacy through Literature class, a mentor-author study course.

“I have to find good writing in these books and apply them to the classroom,” she said. “Kids tend to learn better when there’s rhyming and it’s easier for them to read.”

This aspiring first-grade teacher searches for catchy vocabulary and attention-grabbing leads. While children may ooh and ahh at the illustrations in “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!” there is subconscious learning going on. Every rhyme, catchy lead or historical incorporation is educational.

“It’s so important to read to them at least once every day and expose them to books because that helps develop vocabulary and language skills,” she said.

Lucky for Sharp, exams aren’t on the syllabus for this EDT350 course. Instead students are graded on things like voice enthusiasm in their “read-a-louds.” Her roommates play mock classroom while Sharp perfects her reading zest. Less embarrassing assignments include group work and critiquing one another’s classroom libraries.

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