The ABC Quick Check

NHTSA

Bibliography:
ABC Quick Check. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from http://search.usa.gov/search?utf8=✓&affiliate=dot-nhtsa&query=ABC quick check&searchCommit=Search

Flesch–Kincaid

3.9

Description

The text is a page in length (Which could be turned into a poster for class) guide describing how to check a bike to assure it is in working order before use.  It goes over the basics, and is not a in depth overview on bike maintenance. The audience is geared towards new or returning riders. This guide was created be the league of American Bicyclists and used with permission from NHTSA. This is a very important safety check before anyone uses a bike. Which is why it needs to be reviewed during a bike maintenance lesson. Students will enjoy reviewing this because it is a easy read for struggling readers. The absence of difficult vocabulary and the pictures that are provided will make a struggling reader feel more confident that they can read the text.

Readability

Most middle school students will feel very comfortable with the vocabulary within the text. The heading of each section is the color purple with a bold font. There are basic pictures of the different parts of the bike that correspond to the part of the bike being checked. Students who have background knowledge in the “anatomy” of a bike will have a better understanding of the text than those who do not, due to the provided pictures not having any labeling. However, some words are decodeable because of the in-depth explanation of the text.  The general vocabulary is well controlled with few terms that students might have questions on. Unfortunately, there is no glossary for the bike “anatomy” terms such as derailleur in the text. Sexual, racial economic, cultural and political biases are absent in this text. The concept of the ABC quick check is appropriate for the grade level due to the importance of safety.

Use in Class

In the classroom setting I would have the text enlarged into a poster size picture. I would use this in the class before their first bike ride. All students will each have their own bike. I will read over the poster step by step explaining what each part of the ABC Quick Check means. Another option available is to have the students volunteer to read the poster. After the description is read I will demonstrate how to check the different components. For example, I will explain what “A” means and demonstrate how to check the air pressure in the tire. Students will then have a chance to check their tires. Next, I would explain how to fix the problem, in this case, on how to put air into the tires. For those students who have flat tires they may practice adding air into their tires. This gives students an opportunity for hands on learning.

Unit Focus

Health

Submitted by Christine Curtis

One Hundred Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know: Math Explains Your World

Barrow, John D.

Barrow, J. (2009). 100 essential things you didn’t know you didn’t know: Math explains your world. New York: W.W. Norton &.

Flesch–Kincaid

7.8

Description

John D. Barrow begins the book by emphasizing the presence of math all around us and encouraging the reader to use the book to become more aware of it. Then he discusses the cliché, “two’s company, three’s a crowd” and the hidden math implications behind the saying. The text continues to discuss the relationship of math in rugby, wagon wheels, the weight of boxers, the balance of a tightrope walker, the St. Louis Gateway Arch, collecting cards, and high jumping. Over 100 chapters, Barrow covers a wide range of topics from the refracted light rays that make a diamond shine to the pattern of leopard spots. Each chapter lasts only three or four pages, giving the reader a glimpse of the impact of math on the topic. Beneath each chapter title, Barrow inserts a quote from a famous musician, composer, author, poet, or book. The quotes spark the reader’s interest, particularly if he/she is a fan of the quoted celebrity. As a whole, the book succeeds in showing the reader the vast presence of math in many aspects of life. The author does not directly reference algebraic or trigonometric equations but rather ties numbers in to explain every day phenomenon. For example, in the card collecting chapter, Barrow reminisces about his own childhood when he collected motor cards. He asks how many cards should be bought in order to compete the set. Then, he considers the impact if friends pooled together in the card collecting endeavor. In the 100th chapter, the text concludes with the global village, a place with 100 people representing the scaled down population of the world.

Readability

Barrow uses short concise sentences without overly complex vocabulary, resulting in a Flesch-Kincaid score of 7.8. However, the ties to math concepts are suitable for an upper high school student. Topics such as the harmonic series, usually discussed in calc 2, and the confidence level calculated when making a prediction are thrown around without much explanation. Barrow’s goal is to make the advanced math student more aware of the use of his/her math knowledge. 7th or 8th grade students would not be able to understand the text because of their limited math exposure. For this reason, a high school Junior or Senior would have a much easier time reading the book. Even at this level, the student may need some help with the advanced calculus and statistics topics that may not be covered in school until the college level.

Use in Class

The vast array of topics covered in the text make it ideal for a project where students are able to explore a chapter that interests them. I would select the following chapters: Collecting Cards, High Jumping, and How to Rig an Election. Pairs of students would be able to select one of the chapters and would individually read the chapter then discuss. After each student has a full understanding of his/her chapter, the pairs will construct a project related to the chapter. For the collecting cards project, the pair would select a collectable card set and determine the number of decks needed to purchase that particular set depending on how many people are collecting. For the high jumping project, the pair would each try the two different high jumping techniques discussed in the chapter and calculate their center of mass height for each method. For the election rig project, the pair would come up with a fictional election with real or fictional candidates, select a candidate they would like to win, and come up with a math strategy for the candidate. Additionally, I would allow the students to look through the other chapters and come up with their own project relating to the chapter with my approval.

Unit Focus

Math

Submitted by Courtney Trost

The Math Instinct

Devlin, Keith

Devlin, K. (2005). The math instinct: Why you’re a mathematical genius (along with lobsters, birds, cats and dogs). New York, N.Y.: Thunder’s Mouth Press.

Flesch–Kincaid

9.1

Description

Keith Delvin begins the book by referencing studies showing that babies as young as four months old understand the basics of addition and subtraction. From these findings, he concludes that every human has a math instinct. Through this idea, the author gives the reader more confidence towards the subject of math. The text then discusses how animals exhibit the ability to understand math concepts such as when Elvis the Welsh Corgi choses to run an arc when fetching a ball, causing the ball’s trajectory to look like a straight line. Next the author reviews what the study of mathematics entails, assuming that the reader has very little knowledge of the subject. A brief history of major contributions from mathematicians including Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz emphasizes the capability of the human brain. Delvin ties the mathematical legends back to the natural math instinct found in every human and animal. Specifically, he covers the math behind patterns of migration. His connection between the two emphasizes his main argument that the reader, like every living being, is a math genius. In the subsequent section, the text presents an overview on nature’s architects: plants and animals that create structures reflecting geometric concepts. Then the author outlines the math of motion and vision. Finally, Delvin instructs the reader on how to tap into his/her mathematical instinct. His recommendations include gaining an awareness of math in nature, approaching abstract math as a formalized version of the reader’s innate math ability, and recognizing the advantages to school methods.

Readability

Delvin breaks down complex math topics into relatable situations for the math hesitant reader. He shies away from overwhelming math vocabulary and instead explains each concept in layman’s terms. An upper middle or early high school student could easily pick up the book and read through without too much help, as indicated by the Flesch-Kincaid score of 9.1. Some of the math concepts, while broken down well, may be difficult or uninteresting for an early high schooler. With help, a freshman or sophomore with an interest in math would learn from and enjoy the book. An upper level math student who struggles with math would have the previous exposure to the topics and could therefore strengthen his/her math knowledge through reading the text. While Delvin tries to address an audience with little experience in the topics, a reader who has studied geometry, trigonometry, and algebra previously would more easily grasp the concepts and the connection to the real world. Therefore, the book would be most appropriate for an ambitious middle or early high school child or for an upper high schooler who needs a confidence builder.

Use in Class

The text spends a great deal of time discussing the math instinct in animals. Delvin references studies involving lobsters, birds, cats, and dogs. From my experience, there are a number of high school students with a great interest in animals. In a Junior or Senior IB Studies class, I would expect many students to have an idea of what they would like to study in college. I would identify those students who have an interested in animal sciences or biology and allow class time for group reading where the groups read different books aloud to each other. The animal enthusiasts would be put into one group with this book while the other groups read alternative texts based on their own interests. The reading would relate to the textbook chapter we are studying at the time.

Unit Focus

Math

Submitted by Courtney Trost

A Perfectly Fitted Bicycle Helmet

Virginia Department of Health

Bibliography:
Virginia Department of Health. (n.d). A Perfectly Fitted Bicycle Helmet [Brochure].  Publisher: Reprographic and Design.

www.vdh.virginia.gov/ofhs/prevention/

 

Flesch–Kincaid

4.1

Description

This text is a informational pamphlet that was created by the Virginia Department of Health specifically for helmet safety. I received it when I was learning how to teach bicycling in the classroom. It is very inviting due to it’s colorfulness. The pamphlet describes the parts of a helmet, provides safety tips for bicycles, scooters and skates, and also describes how to properly fit a helmet. This is important for the content area because it is one of the first and basic safety considerations that needs to be reviewed. The audience of the pamphlet is directed toward first time helmet users who are in the middle school age range (potentially geared towards elementary students as well), due to the young children who are modeling the helmets throughout the pamphlet. This pamphlet was made for the state of Virginia, so if you are located in a different state please refer to your state’s department of health to see if they have a similar guide. This text will engage students who are more visual learners due to the step-by-step instructions on how to properly fit a helmet. This will also help those students who have a reading ability that is lower than the seventh grade.

Readability

The text has some bold words for easy reading. Some facts are in a bullet point form to identify key information. Certain words are decodeable due to the provided pictures. The section that provides the steps on how to fit a helmet is labeled step by step; which includes a picture of a child performing the step and a written description of the picture for every step. Most middle school students will feel very comfortable with reading this text, especially those who have a lower reading ability. The concepts of the pamphlet are appropriate for the grade level due to the children’s demonstration of proper helmet fit. The writer has assumed that it will be the reader’s first time learning how to proper fit a bike helmet because of the step-by-step demonstration. There is both a boy and a girl on the pamphlet, so gender bias is absent. The boy looks to be of Caucasian decent and the girl of Asian decent, so that includes cultural diversity by not having just one dominant minority group.

Use in Class

I would use this pamphlet in a class where most students have had no knowledge of how to properly fit a helmet. Helmet safety will be taught before the bikes are introduced to the students. Each student will have their own copy to keep and refer back to when necessary. The students will be paired up with a partner. They will read the pamphlet together and then attempt to fit a helmet to their heads. Students will go one at a time in their pairs. This will allow for their partner to check and reassure that they have followed each step correctly while giving positive feedback. Students will have a check off list as a form of assessment. As the teacher, I will be walking around observing the students to assure that everyone is on the right track. When they are finished I will review the steps with them again, along with additional safety tips that are included with the pamphlet.

Unit Focus

Health

Submitted by Christine Curtis

Vulnerability to Drug Abuse

Glantz, Meyer

Publication date:
Publisher:

Flesch–Kincaid

10.7

Description

 

This text provides a plethora of articles and documents all relating drug use and abuse. Most likely if used in class it would be parted out to provide information on the drug of the class period or readings assigned. The text as a whole is a lot of information and students would lose interest in a 500 page book very quickly so breaking it up and cover certain aspects covered would be much more beneficial to the production of the class. This text also cover mostly everything about drug abuse from risk factors to prevention techniques and use a lot of scholarly data that would be useful.

 

Readability

10.7. Students will be reading on or slightly above grade level. In total the book is approximately 500 pages and contains 16 related but separate articles. A 28-sentence sample from the text showed an average of 4.7 characters per word, 1.7 syllables per word, and 14.7 words per sentence.

Use in classroom

It will be used outside of the classroom as a compliment to the traditional text, utilized with a guided copy of notes to make sure the correct data is retained. A copy could be available in the classroom for check-out, or for in-class referencing while covering units or lessons as needed

 

Health

Submitted by Christian Kelley

Drug Abuse and prevention

Drug Abuse and prevention

Overview

This text-set is composed of ten items related to the topic of drug abuse and its associated negative effects. Its intended use is to expand learning and differentiate instruction by complementing the traditional textbook with further reading selections related to the topic of drug abuse. This set of texts encompasses a wide variety of material related to the negative effects of drug abuse.

Description of Students

10th grade

Targeted SOLs

Knowledge and Skills 10.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of health concepts, behaviors, and skills that reduce health risks and enhance the health and wellness of self and others throughout life. Key concepts/skills include c) The effects of tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, and other drug use. Community Health and Wellness 10.5 The student will evaluate how different types of behaviors impact the family and community. Key concepts/skills include b) The outcome of drinking and driving; g) The negative influence of teenage drug and alcohol use on younger members of the community.

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Drug abuse

Drug abuse

Overview

This text set will be composed of ten items related to drug abuse and the prevention methods associated with the negative long and short term effects along with the strain it puts on is community. The intention of this set will be to expand the knowledge of the students on this information along with interesting them to make a personal agenda on the issue at hand. There is some first hand experiences included in this sets along with a plethora of information on the subject at hand and how it will negatively impact a young person as well as a lifetime.

Description of Students

10th graders on a general track

Targeted SOLs

Knowledge and Skills 10.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of health concepts, behaviors, and skills that reduce health risks and enhance the health and wellness of self and others throughout life. Key concepts/skills include c) The effects of tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, and other drug use. Community Health and Wellness 10.5 The student will evaluate how different types of behaviors impact the family and community. Key concepts/skills include b) The outcome of drinking and driving; g) The negative influence of teenage drug and alcohol use on younger members of the community.

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Two-Wheeled Steed

Two-Wheeled Steed

Overview

A seventh grade physical education class is the target audience for this text set.The text set of the Two-Wheeled Steed is focused on bicycle safety. The information includes how to properly fit a helmet, checking main bike components before a ride, road rules, bunny hop, quick stop, bike parts, and mechanical adjustments for brakes and tires. These text sets have been chosen to teach safety requirements and techniques to keep students safe while riding a bicycle. These texts are to be used throughout the unit of bicycling. Vocabulary and terms should be introduced first to assure understanding of more complex topics.

I chose this topic because physical education is starting to incorporate more life long activities into the curriculum. Introduction to bicycling in the school setting is a great way for students to learn how ride a bicycle or to advance their skills. Bicycling is a life long knowledge that can be used for the rest of a student’s life to maintain physical activity.

Description of Students

The target students are seventh graders ranging from struggling to more advanced readers. A majority of the texts will benefit students who need assistance with reading while also having texts that will meet the needs of those who need a challenge. There are also a few texts that will make a large majority of the students feel comfortable reading; while also being engaged and having the capability of making personal connections in some way.

Bicycling is more of a physical education unit than a health unit. However, these items can be accompanied with the in depth unit of a physical education class with modifications.

Targeted SOLs

These are just some of the SOLs that are represented by the text sets.

7.1a) Demonstrate and apply mature movement forms and skill combinations competently in a variety of cooperative and tactical activities that include dynamic and unpredictable situations

7.1c) Demonstrate basic abilities and safety precautions in recreational pursuits (e.g., in-line skating, orienteering, hiking, cycling, ropes courses, backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing).

7.3a) Identify safe practices for improving physical fitness

7.4h) Identify specific safety concerns associated with at least one activity that includes rules, equipment, and etiquette.

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Dancing Home

Ada, Alma Flor

Publication date: 2011
Publisher: Atheneum Book, New York

Flesch–Kincaid

5.7

Description

This is a fiction book about Margie and Lupe are two cousins living in different countries. Both have Mexican parents but Margie being born in the United States is proud to be American and always tries to fit at school. When Lupe leaves Mexico and comes to live with Margie’s family things change. Lupe only speaks Spanish and when she enters school in Margie’s classroom starts to draw the attention she has always tried to avoid. Margie is asked by her teacher to move back in the classroom, and be sitting beside Lupe translating for her what she says. Two boys in the classroom started to be mean on her when they realized that Lupe does not speak English and Margie could not translated to Spanish to her. At home, Margie feels jealous, as her parents seem to enjoy conversing with Lupe. When Camille invited Margie and Lupe to visit her home they meet Camille’s father, an American who speaks Spanish. She realizes that people should not be judged by its appearance or nationality. Margie comes to love Lupe as a sister and with her help to appreciate the Mexican part of their shared Hispanic heritage. Margie even realizes the beauty of her name in Spanish, Margarita, which is the name of her mother’s favorite flower, the daisy.

Readability

This book was given a 5.7 grade in the Flesch-Kincaid Grade analysis. I think this is accurate and 5th grades will be able to read and understand the story. The book has twenty-one chapters and being not to long can be assigned as a weekend reading. It has an interesting narrative that easily captures the students’ attention to make them keep reading until the end.

The book contains Spanish phrases and symbols followed by its English translation. This will reinforce my Spanish classes as the students will practice what I teach them in class, like being able to distinguish between the way English and Spanish questions are structured.

Use in Class

This book will be very useful for my Hispanic students to promote the acceptance of the student’s own language and traditions. I will use this book for those students who have been forgetting their mother tongue. I will ask them to read this book and to write an essay about the moment in which they stopped speaking Spanish at home, sharing their feelings when they are in Hispanic celebrations in which everybody speaks Spanish. Asking them if they feel connected with their family.

I know many students that speak in English to their parents and the parents speak back in Spanish to them. I think that this book will motivate my students to speak again in Spanish to their parents and to make them feel proud of being bilinguals. I think this story will help them to develop an appreciation for their own culture and background.

I will incorporate this book on the third week of November because I plan to make a performance of our Lady of Guadalupe. First, the students will learn the tradition of the folk dances by reading the book independently as the readability of the book is 5.7. Then, they will learn a practice a folk dance themselves and will perform during the celebration.

Unit Focus

Language Arts

Submitted by Yenni Leon

The shining

King, Steven

Publication date:June 26, 2012
Publisher: Mass Market Paperback

Flesch–Kincaid

9.2

Description

The Shining is a Steven King novel about a young boy, his mother, and his father. They are watching a ski lodge up on a mountain all by themselves. As time passes the father possessed either by ghost or by madness attempts to murder the family like the previous care taker. This is one of the best American gothic novels on my list because it has a movie adaptation. The movie adaptation allows for me as a teacher to have visual representations of the tropes I want to teach. The Shining lends itself to being a both an American novel, and just a plain good horror story. This gothic story should be fun for any student because it’s easy to read, filled with interesting ideas, and is well written. This story is valuable to the gothic because The Shining is a story about mazes, madness, locked rooms, damsels, and just about every other trope the gothic has to offer. The Shining is going to be one of the easiest books to talk about content wise in this text set. This book will be for any of my students, because I believe it to be suited to any level of reader. Though due to the length of The Shining I would not be expecting students to read the entire book. I would expect my students to be able to pick chapters they want to read, and if they were not able to pick any I would have no problem pointing them to chapters that could be class specific.

Readability

The Shining is generally appropriate to 9th graders according to a grade of 9.2 on the Flesh-Kincaid score. Conceptually, the content of this book is appropriate for that of an 11th grade class due to its horror driven themes which may prove to be too much for younger readers. This is one of the less challenging books in the text set, and I would allow access to it for any of my 11th grade students. The Shining exposes readers to a writing style which can help them to advance their literary careers by interpreting character design. Students will be able to identify with the three dimensional dynamic characters of this story, and through this process it should provide the hook for weaker readers to help them digest its content.

Use in Class

The Shining will be used as a secondary text to go along with the core text. I will be expecting my students to compare the story to their core text in a paper. I want them to explain the elements of the gothic in The Shining and where they take place. I will also be expecting my students to be able to talk about The Shining in group discussion. I feel that The Shining is a strong text for this assignment because it is the American understanding of horror while still being a classic gothic story. I don’t see students being able to come up with any really difficult or new ideas about horror with this text, but I do expect a basic comparison of the class material which should prepare them for comparing and contrasting in the SOLs. For a majority of my students I expect them to be able to read this book independently, but for my students with lower literary efficiency I would make an exception and read this book in class. I believe this book should be shared with all my students because of how important of a gothic novel it is.

Unit Focus

English

Submitted by Nicholas Earley