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Martha, what a disturbing but necessary discussion you've started!  I
heartily agree with you and Dave Caverly that workbooks and workbook-type
exercises are NOT going to help developmental students learn.  Knowing as
we do, that these students don't feel great about having to take a
developmental course (some are humiliated, some don't even tell their
friends they're taking the course), we need to "upgrade" the course by
conducting challenging, meaningful activities and by assigning
challenging, meaningful work.  When they feel they are really using their
brains, they will begin to feel better about themselves... a prerequisite
to learning.

Also, to be a Reader or a Writer (notice the capital letters), we must be
members of what Frank Smith calls the Literacy Club.  As teachers, we
need to entice our students to want to be members of the Club by giving
them a variety of reading (or writing) assignments that will be
interesting to them.  Personally, I am committed to giving my students a
variety of genres to read, not only expository text.  It's wonderful to
see them get excited about what they are reading.

Finally, in order to learn, they must be engaged in the task.  Cooperative
learning, discussion groups, student centered activities all engage the
mind, empower students and facilitate learning.

And that's my two cents worth!

Lonna Smith
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