Coping with Chaos

Front Cover
Primary English Teaching Association, 1987 - Children - 70 pages
Exploring questions about how the classroom environment affects young learners, this book describes how young children from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds have coped with the conditions surrounding them in process oriented writing classrooms. Chapter 1 describes the kinds of activities in which children engage in seemingly chaotic process oriented classrooms and stresses the importance of classroom-level research. Chapter 2 discusses in detail Australian 'process-writing' classrooms, describing what they look like and what they have in common. The chapter reveals what children do in these classes, and the classroom role of related activities, environmental print, repetition, assistance from and interaction with peers and the teacher, and the use of temporary or invented spelling. Using insights from linguistics and psychology, chapter 3 reveals how researchers feel the relationship between social setting and coping behaviors of the children combine for effective rapid learning. Chapter 4 details how the theory applies to the writing of two children, one of English speaking background and one whose family spoke Vietnamese. Eight samples of each child's writing are provided to show their progress and reveal the writing strategies used by each. The final chapter reiterates the important elements of the process-oriented classroom: (1) immersion, (2) demonstrations, (3) responsibility, (4) expectations, (5) approximations, (6) practice, and (7) response. It also stresses that teachers should understand children's learning and the nature of language. References are appended and the text is illustrated with photographs and actual writing samples. (SKC)

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Setting the Scene
Gathering the Threads
How the Theory Looks in Practice

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