Accelerating too quickly ?

+At+all+levels+of+language+arts+classes%2C+students+are+expected+to+annotate%2C+and+the+amount+of+annotations+increases+by+level.+Students+are+finding+it+hard+to+write+thoughtful+and+plentiful+annotations+in+such+a+time+constraint%2C+so+they+associate+annotating+with+stress.+An+extra+day+or+two+to+read+each+chapter+would+minimize+stress+and+make+annotating+a+little+more+enjoyable.+

Emily Tyler

At all levels of language arts classes, students are expected to annotate, and the amount of annotations increases by level. Students are finding it hard to write thoughtful and plentiful annotations in such a time constraint, so they associate annotating with stress. An extra day or two to read each chapter would minimize stress and make annotating a little more enjoyable.

Emily Tyler, Staff Writer

A fast-paced read is a common characteristic of Advanced Placement and accelerated classes. Reading a book slowly is considered an academic learning environment by the upper level teachers and students.

However, as the students learn to look for more things in literature such as symbolism, figurative language and themes and analyze sentence structure and tone, maybe taking the process of reading the book more slowly would be beneficial.

I am a huge believer that reading is about the story and not the plot, meaning that the author has more to share than an interesting plot, and I hoped that teachers agreed with me.

Truly appreciating a story to me means taking maybe more time than would be considered an ‘accelerated’ level.

All sophomore language arts classes are currently reading “Of Mice and Men,” which is a very short book, but it is also a social commentary. We read one chapter a night, then discuss the chapter for one day.

Most chapters in “Of Mice and Men” are more than twenty, sometimes thirty pages, and because the class discussions go very in-depth, I feel like we only have time to discuss the big points and not so much the minor details that set the story apart.

Aside from reading, students are required to annotate for important details. However, I have noticed that many of my classmates don’t always know what to look for while annotating.

It would be beneficial to all students if teachers dedicated one day or even half of a day to a crash course in annotating so that a student’s annotations are more effective.

A review of how to annotate could be one of the many things language arts teachers could teach if there was an off day from discussion or if students had two days to read a chapter rather than one.

The sophomore accelerated classes have taken one week to read “Of Mice and Men.” For such an influential book written by such an insightful man, this doesn’t seem long enough.

I think teachers should utilize two to three class days for class reads, and the other days to teach the state-required skills so that students have enough time to truly enjoy and understand the books that have changed literature forever.