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Book Review
September 2000

On The Write Track (Student Text)

Author: Deborah Becker Cotto
Publisher:  Alta Book Center, copyright 1997

Intended skill area:  A beginning literacy book for Junior High and High School students.  It is designed for students who have had limited or interrupted exposure to formal schooling and need to build basic literacy and English language skills for functioning in an academic setting, it is particularly for multilevel classrooms.

The text is organized into ten chapters that introduce basic vocabulary and concepts through everyday themes, such as:  Numbers, Letters, Who Are You?, Where Are You From?, In The Classroom, In School, The Calendar, The Weather, Families, and Communities.  Academic content and skills, such as mapping, graphing, and measurement, are taught in connection with the themes presented in each chapter.  Each chapter also introduces math and problem-solving activities to build numeracy and critical thinking skills. Simple group and pair activities enable students to build cooperative learning skills.  The text also contains a unique reference section that students can use to locate commonly used vocabulary and academic content. A teacher's guide is also available to accompany the student's text; however, I did not have it available for review.

I purposely chose this workbook to review because the non-English speaker is the most difficult to find quality materials for outside of TPR.  Since I only received this book in April, I did not have time to try many of the activities, but the ones I did use with my students worked well.

Joan Sutton - USD#475
Junction City High School

Title:  Tapestry - Writing 1
Authors: Virginia Guleff,  M.E. Sokolik and
Carolyn Lowther
Publisher: Heinle & Heinle

Tapestry uses a framework of concepts that helps students become proficient in English and prepared for the academic and social challenges in college and beyond.  Following are principles that help with instruction.

Empowering students to be responsible for their learning.

Using Language Learning and Academic Power Strategies to help learning.

Offering motivating activities that recognize a variety of learning styles.

Providing authentic and meaningful ways to increase learning and communication.

Learning to understand and value different cultures.

Integrating language skills to increase communicative competence.

Providing goals and ongoing self-assessment to monitor progress.

Topics used to help students learn about America:

1) Never Too Old
2) New York in Las Vegas
3) Teenagers
4) Unintentional Inventions
5) Mamas and Papas
6) Recipe for Friendship
7) That's My Type!
8) Finding Your Way
9) Stories of Success
10) Spaces That Work

Title:  Tapestry - Reading I

Authors, Publisher (above)

Topics used to help students learn about America:

1) A World of Fast Food
2) Love and Marriage
3) Telling Stories
4) Buyer Beware
5) Space is the Place
6) College Life: Difficult Dreams
7) Water: Our Most Important Resource
8) Healthy Habits
9) Only One Earth
10) Trains, Planes and Automobiles

Janet Coulter - ESL Instructor
GCC/Finney County Community Learning Center