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Advice for Teachers From Diverse Learners in 4th through 9th Grade
Quotes from an insightful group of students who participated in a reading and writing intervention program
during the 2014-2015 school year. Many of these students had significant reading and writing challenges.
These are a selection of quotes that they wrote by hand in response to a variety of questions we provided
each week once they had completed the intervention activities.
Questions/Dates & Student Hand-Written Responses
When is homework helpful for you, and when is it less useful? (1/7/2015)
home work is compleately useless on Saterday/Sunday and Monday night espelshelly beclause of the
Seahawks. I realy dont think it is ever the rite time to do homework.
Helpful: When I have nothing to do and when Im in a good mood. When I need my grades to go up.
Less useful: When you older and have a job. When your planning a sport. When I want to have fun its not
fun or useful.
Homework is a pain in the butt. It is helpful if you need it
Its useful bucuse you lern more. I dont like it Bucuse its more work
Homwork is helpful for me when it is short and stright to the point, so that I wont be writing or
answering questins that I dont need later in life. So its less useful for me if there is too much to rember or
mixed with things that I dont need to answer. I dont want to be up all night trying to learn things that I
dont need
Homework is helpful when a new concept is introduced or there is a test comming up. Its not useful
when I have a busy night with other activities and weve been going over the same concept for a while.
Just befor a test and not for no a perent reson.
I think homework is helpful because we get to see what we know and got out of the class. But its how
much the teachers give us. We just need a few questions about what we just learned in class and not 100
hundred Questions. I know school comes before sports but when kids come back from sports they are
tired and just dont want to do anything, but instead they have hours of homework. By having homework
you get to see if you know the material but having to much homework is where there is a problem. If
there is to much homework there is less time to spend time with family and friends.
Teachers should assing home work when it is nessisary. You dont need to assing a ton just a little.
Besides half the kids either dont do it or cheat on it. home work acualy dosent help because students hve
other things to do. The when they dont do it it lower its grade!! Thats why there shoudnt be home
OK you probebly expect me to say I hate homework or I never liked homework exadra exa but I think
its the balance so if my math teacher gives me homework and my core teacher gives me homework and I
have basket ball than I get grumpy because I have nuthing to look forward to so my point is to much
homework can be bad but just the right amount can help.
i think you shod just do the homework in clas so you have more time to play at home
Homewere is yose fele wene I dont under stand it is not yos fule wen iy Under stand it and its Just dowig
math that I dowat need to now.
Homework is help ful on all days in small amounts. spread out the homework so everyone has less
homework and more time to get stuff done like sports, tutors, ect.
Home work is helpful to me when I dont understand something or I need lots of practice to get good at
it. I dont think it is nessisary to have homework if you dont need to work hard to remember what you
need to know. It is less helpful when you work a lot in class with it. That is what I think about
I kind of like Home Work. Sometimes it is a little hard (thats the point.) I just dont like it when you give
us bisy work.
I believe home work is necessary if a child want to understand a concept. I dont enjoy it, but it helps one

grow in a subject when they practice. But busy work is not helpful. Mindless problems will get a child no
When I thank home work is helpful is so I learn! I thank home-work is fun!
I thank home work is not helpful is when you are in a rush and dont have time.
I think that homework is helpfull for me when I dont get it I class and I am to afraid to ask my teacher.
I think that homework is less usefull when you have a lot going on someday or you totally get in class and
dont need more time on it than you already had.
What kinds of assignments or activities do you prefer to write by hand? Why? (1/14/2015)
I would Like to wite adut Foot ball and socoor.
I dont like to wright by hand so I prefer to wright short assignments or activities, my hand will get tired
really easiley so if my class has little worksheets I like to wright them.
I like to wirte about mincraft and outher vidio games.
I prefer to write stories of why I do not like to write by hand. I like this because I can show that I do not
like writing. (so cheeky!)
The kind of assignments I like to write about are mostly non fictions because I think its easy and easyer
to get ideas from. I also think its funner to write about something when your teacher gives you a picture
of something and you have to get an idea from that picture and write about it.
I prefor to write my esay or storys by hand because I feel like I dont half to rush trou and not care or
write my best. I prefir to because I can think about what my writing is so I can come up with a good story
insted of rushing.
I like to right books! I like riding books mor then tiping them becase it is a lot mor faster. and you can
stop and think about it for a willow.
I like to rite storys with pensul decus I can dow it faster with long storys that I have to dow qwic.
I like taking notes on the computer because I can bring the document up any time I want. I can change
some thing with out having to get a new peace of paper.
How can teachers help you to feel more confident? Can you give a specific example of when a
teacher made you feel really great? (1/21/2015)
I have had a lot of teaches that have suported me. One thing I think teaches can work on is when
someone (student) askes for help try to not get in there space. Or keep asking if they need help.
Use all eclectronics to teach us because it is more intresting because I used to smart board once and it as
asume at our school only 3 rooms have smart boards
Teachers can make you feel more confident by not putting you on the spot. No one likes to be under
pressure and they shouldnt call on us unless we raise our hand. I always like the compliments teachers
give me because it encourages me and then I can keep going. Also when the teachers talk to me and love
me like Im there child and dont treat me like Im one of there students.
tale abuot foot ball
Teachers help me feel more confident when they explane the work more then once and when they give
extra credit work so you can get your grades up. I like it when my teacher somtimes sites with me and
explans my things im doing wrong and right.
When my teacher gave me extra credit a (?) she makes me feel like a great student.
My teacher can help me feel mor comfidint dy teling me im dowing god
One time I was dowing test and my techer sed i cowd do it and I did
a teacher has made me feel more confident when I get a hard quetin right and none else did. I thrid grade
I answerd a quetin on the river stynx (I am not quite sure if that is the right spelling) Not one of the other
kids knew the answer not even the smartest kid in the grade! (who was in my class)
Teachers can make me more confident if I got rewards for doing bad so when I did bad I feel like I did
good like I got a F and a piece of candy
One way a teacher can make me to feel more confident is to give me a compliment and then critise my
work. That would help me feel like I did something right, but not just mess up. Another way a teacher can
make me feel more confident is by giving us some practice work befer a test and letting us know if we

have one. One teacher that made me feel confident is my math teacher. He said that we should not worry
about making mistake, but learn from them. Overall I think teachers should not critise our work too
When sHe seaD No Homework to Day
Teacher can tell you what you do really good at and help you what your bad at. Last year a teacher said
that I was one of the smartest kids in class and that made me fell confident.
I think that teachers could make me feel more comfudent by having some kind of reaword or out of the
ordnary school day if I work hard.
Once there was a time when I was felling sad becase I cold not figer out som words rong. and then she
helpt me figer tham out the I felt better!
Give all students a certifecot or nice Letter every term telling a wonderful job they did.
When I did a reading out loud test and she really said some nice things about my reading. That made me
feel good.
Writing is an act of teaching. What is a topic that you would like to explore and research more so
that you could write about it and teach your classmates/teachers? It can be related to any of your
classes or personal interests. Explain why and how you would do this. (2/18/2015)
I would like to reasurch music because it has great melody and reythem even a great beat. I want to
know how the people who sing on the radio today came up with there backgrond music.
The reason is because I am always cerous as to how the artist came up with the lyrics but with the perfect
background song as well. How do they do what they do?
I like to learn about Easter Island Chile it is a cool topic to learn about, I could gogle the name on the
computer and get some facts then type up a report. it might not intrest every one but it could make some
peope happy.
I want to lern about scooters.
I would like to learn more about theoretical physics, as well as the human brain. This is because these
subjects are needed in order to create a better society, understand others better, and wipe out ignorance. I
would assign 3-4 books of homework a night in order for them to fully understand what I ask of them. We
can more fully understand things if we think.
teachers should let us choose a topic or do a topic that comes from a book. I is important for us to have
good topics that know abort and or intrest us.
I would want to be an expert at dancing. I would want to travle all over the world and iterview people
that dance and share everything. I would also give every body an excclusive dance class of course and
mabye a little history of dance ir the diffrent cultures and here in omaraca.
I would want to do this topic because I love love love to dance and I realy do want to get better at it I
know this probably wont help me get better at it but it would be a fun expierence
P.S this probably isnt the topic you were thinking of.
I would like to learn more about dinosors and the ice age. Why? I dont know a whole lot about dinosors
and the ice age. I dont know all the name of the dinosors, only a few. I would like to know more about
how the earth got so cold.
How? I will do research and go to the library. Gather trusted sources from the enternet and books. Write
down facts.
Whats your favorite way to express your creativity? When do you get a chance to do this? How
could teachers help you do this more often? (2/25/2015)
My favorit way to express my creativity is to draw or say.
I get a chance to draw or talk at school or home.
answer queshtons when I need.
My favrout is to disine things like cars. My favrout to disine is houses. I want to be an arktect when Im
older. My mom says I have a very creative mind and I would be a good arctect. When I get a chance is
whene I am bourd or in my free time. Like when I get home frome school, or on the weekends. give us
more free time in class.

One way I can express my creativity is by sharing it with others. My creativity is probably helping others
get things or read or draw sometimes. This can help people because it may improve them or make them
happy if they are having a sad day.
I love to express my creativity by making things and seeing how things work and taking apart and put it
back together either the same way it was made or a different way but still have it work the same way it
did before I took it apart. I do this every time I can get my hands on anything thats able to be taken apart.
Maybe teachers could have more hands on activities because I learn better and like to stay creative and try
to learn it a different way so I can remember it.
I love to make art
I dont draw but I do do sculpture.
I am a very active person so I dont like sitting in a class room all day. I can also do what ever I feel like
doing when I do art. there is not one set of rules I have to follow in art.
*student then drew her hand outline with a yin-yang on it*
By comic A week Ago i doNt kNow
I like to show my creativity by building things like wood carvings
1. My favorit way to express creativity is throu art.
2. Ushuly I get a chance at school art class.
3. teachers could expand and get more art suplize so I have beder materyels.
There are many ways to exspress your creativity. My favortie way I by doing art. You can use diferent
colors, shapes, sizes, and many, many more. get a chance to do this on a art day at hme, if possible, and
school (art closens) and other out side of school and home places, some times. Teachers could help me do
this more often by seguling and finding more time to o art closens. Also they could combined art with
other conncepts.
My favorit way to express my creativity is in big projects and presentations. I mostly get to do that in
social studys when we get projects and sometimes in language arts. My teacher are already helping me do
this more often (in a way) but it would be cool to have big projects in science.
My favorite way to express creativity is in doing art and chosing what I do. I do this at school and
occasionally at home when I can. Having more time at school to do what I want and having less school
assignments so I have more free time at home.
We can all be educators in different ways. To you, what makes a great teacher/educator? If you
decide to become a great educator, what subject would you like to teach about? (3/4/2015)
A great teacher tells from personal experience and telling people what to do to help improve your/the
students life.
If I wore a teacher I would be a P.E. teacher because it is easy to be and also fun
I would like to teach SS because people need to know what is going on in the world. also people need to
understand why the world is the way it is. If something happens to another country you would have to
know what it is and understand what happend.
What make a teacher/educator is that he or she is kind of strict but also makes learning fun. If the teacher
is not strict enough you dont acually learn so it would just be a big waste of time. If the teacher was to
strict and not fun then you would not want to come and learn and you would not pay attention.
If I was a educator I would like to teach I would like to teach sports because I really like to play them
myself. Another reason I would like to teach sports is because you can diffenlty see the progress in the
person. If I had to teach something I would teach sport.
what macs a grat techor you wode hav tow mack yor lesins fun. have a few grads sow you can rest yor
drann (brain?) ade tech well.
If I cude de a techer I wode de a siing techer. decus sing is fun
I think when a teacher is good the way that makes it good is if they are patshuint or make things fun like
use movies or videws or even photos. I would want to teach world history because it seems like
something that is fun but you can also learn alout from it.
What makes a great educator/teacher is knowing and being an expert about what you are teaching about
or a subject. Also, you cant hate or dislike the subject you are teaching about. You have to be interested

your self in that topic to be a great teacher or educator. You have to be willing to teach and teach on that
If I decided to become a great educator the subject or area I would like to inform someone about would be
math, science, math or social studys. If I teach, Ill make my teaching fun and not just talking. I, myself,
likes to do hands on.
a good teacher is someone who can explan what they are teaching in may different ways. People think
there is only one way to do learn some thing but there are many different ways.
A great teacher teaches but is funny and silly wile doing it also they dont have to give out home and if
they do dont give out much! Also let us corect are homework and we get to corect are own papers!
If I was a teacher I would teach math, because I am good at it and know a lot about it. Also I know how to
tell kids how to do the subject.
What I think makes a great teacher is somone who is funny caring and loves kids. It is good for them to
be organized and know what they are doing.
If I decide to become a teacher I would want to teach languge arts because I love to read and I enjoy
writing but not as much as reading. I also would like to teach special ED kids.
A great educator encourages students to learn outside of the classroom. They thrive on students who are
willing to put in work, time, and effort. Great educators like to teach, and love to see others learn.
If I were an educator, I would love to teach biology, preferably bones, ligaments, and joints, as well as
cartilage. Ive always had a interest in sports related injuries.
A good techer would be nice and give good grades lie my scince teacher.
If i was a teacher I would teach scieance
Great teaching is about being supportive. What is something challenging for you with which a
teacher could support or help out? What could they do? (3/11/2015)
Some stuff I need help on in school is that I dont know how to exactly come up with a theisis. The way
they can help me is by explaining to me how to make a theisis and what it is. This is because when I go
essays I get to involved in my writing that I go to fast and miss the point of my story.
Something that is challenging for me is spelling. Both in English and in French. The reason why spelling
in English is hard for me is because English is my second language and Im still learning new words and
well as grammar rules.
French is hard because French is my 3rd language that Im learning and I get everything mixed up with
Russian. The teachers coul support me by not being as strict with grammar and spelling with me but also I
dont want them not to catch them because then I wont learn. In my school you get a whole point off if
you misspell something but I wish they would take off at least half a point.
not make us start over or just dont hover over us.
pay attention to students
Sometimes I mess up the words badly and I wish teachers could give a little more help to me.
I think something I could be supported in more is my writing. This could help me have better hand
writing and help generate Ideas.
They could help me with writing.
I am not very good at Spanish & my Spansh teach is not really helping me. I want her to go one on one
with me & teach me not just tell me what Im doing badly. I also dont like when she gives me a lot of test
because I get really nerves & I do really badly
Great teachers, at least for me, want a student to learn. It isnt about a paycheck or even spreading ones
personal views, but educating not only oneself by learning to teach, but educating others so that they can
have their own opinion. Finally, teachers have to not worry what students think of them, they must have a
goal of teaching and educating, first and foremost!
mAke tHe class Quiet
teachers could walk around to indivuals or a small group of students that arent as good in a subject and
help the group. This helps because the kids in a small group arent going to be embaressed if the do some
thing wrong.
If the problime is realy hard the ticher could help me if I dont unterstand the promblame

Something that I think is verry helpfull in teaching wich most of my teachers do is when the class has a
question and the teacher answersers all of them instead of only 2 or 3. It helps people know someone
cares and usally you want your question to be anwnswerd.
What are some things that youre really good at and proud of? Are they things that came easily to
you, or did they require a lot of learning? (3/18/2015)
I am good at the cross code matrix even though I do Not like it vary much. I had too work hard to get
good at it. (**that was referencing one of the intervention exercises**)
I am good at dising and arctecher
Im good at sports. Im good at reading. I love reading it took a while to get used to it but once I did I
loved it so much that now a days I cant stop reading. sports are hard but you learn to like them when you
try them. All that sports take is practice. practice and youll do great.
math, it requierted lerning. Now Im good at it.
I am really good and proud of being able to walk. It took me months to stand and walk but now I can
run, jump, crawl, moonwalk (still working on it) and stumble on my feet.
One thing I am pretty good at in school in writting. Some of it was nature, but I mostly had to work a lot.
My 4th grade teacher was a big help by showing me ways to plan my writting. I also did have a writting
tutor who taught me lots of ways to think of something to write about. I think to be good at something you
need to be a little lucky and practice a lot.
I am really good at sports. It has always come really easly to me. My mom saids when I was a baby I
was in her stomick having miny soccer game, skiing & playing baskitball.
There are two things that I am most proud of. My vertical and tennis. Both took a very extended amount
of time to do well in. In 6th grade, we measured my vertical and it was 17 inches. I worked (and still work)
every day to improve it, and results came...
After losing weight and gaining muscles my vertical became 33 inches. It nearly doubled because of pure,
unadulterated, hard work. Tennis also took work. I wake up at 5 twice a week to practice. That is where
work will get you.
One thing I am realy good at is soccer. I like soccer because it envoles lots of running and tecnque.
Although I like it, it didnt come easy. It took many practices and free time to get better today. I am the
captain of my soccer team. I play on crossfire select. I play center defance.
I am really good at mrean biyoligica! playing out said!
learning about mearning life!
when ever I learn abot somthing knew it stikes in kid of the Limbra!
did you know that limbra are a mreanbry annil the live in laks rivers and pones
**this student LOVED marine biology**
I am really good at math, but it required a lot of work.
I am good at running. I think its in the family, in the 50m dash I got 1st plae and the 75m sash I got 2nd. I
am very proud of that and it was my 1st year do track
What kinds of writing are the most interesting to you?
What style do you like to use the most when you write? Why? (3/25/2015)
I like essays and stories when I get something to write about. The style of writing that I like depends I
like fiction when Im given something to write about and I like joural entrys about other people.
Abvencher beause it is fun to right. My favret righting is advencher because its exiting and you can
make the caricter do enything like go throw the fucher or space
I like free writing. The free writing that I do is for fun I like to write about things that Ive done or seen
or heard of. I also like to write songs. Rhyming really caches on to me. writing a song you have to be
creative and let the words come from the bottom of your heart. They have to truely mean somthing to you
or someone else or else you dont understand what your writing.
I really enjoy fiction, no fiction, poems and etc. When Im writing I like to write the way poems are
written but free verse. I dont really like to rhyme I rather just write my feelings out and not think about
what Im writing or what word rhymes with what. I mostly write about how I feel, sports or just like the

foot ball writing. Staf I like. like foot ball.
I guess creative writing but I love to use dialog. I love it! Mostly because if you ask anyone that is close
to me they will say, I like to talk. I think it is super fun to skript out what someone will say. Because
sometimes life will be unpredictable so its cool to know what they are going to say before they say it.
I like narrative writing because I can write about whatever I want to write about and have control on how
it ends. But I only like it if I can choose what I want to write about.
cursive Beacuse it looks cool. its not reaalistic. cusive is not reaalitic, thats why I like it
I love to write poems. I dont know why but I do. Actully I do know why. I love poems because you
dont have to write in full centenses. I really dont like expressing my self in langhes people understand so
I feel free when I write poetry
I like writing most about somthing interesting like a book we read in class or a passage. I like writing
inforamational writing the most because it is easiest for me.
I am most instriced in mreanbyology. I like riting facts about it that are true! because it is verry fun!
The kind of writing that is most interesting to me is relalistic Fiction or Fiction. a type of writing I can
make anything I want happen in the book or story.
The style of writing I like to use is mostly made op writing. But when I have to do an essay for scholl I do
something that happened to me but otherwise I mostly make storys up.
Fiction and naritive writing is more interesting to me.
I like it when I can write little childrens books and storys.
Why? I can let my ideas flow.
Would you rather get feedback on class work, presentations, etc. from classmates, your teacher, or
both? Why? (4/8/2015)
Rather get feedback from
both my teacher and classwork (classmates?) because it gives me more things to improve
Rather get feedback from
Teachers. Because they have more of an outer pespecteve of it so the can explane in moor detail.
I want feedback from my teacher to konw I was right.
I would rather get feedback from classmates on that kind of stuff, because they will be able to tell me
honestly if it is boring or not.
I would any want feed back from my teacher because I know they now what they are doing & this is
there Job. I hate when people tell me what to do so I hate when my classmates tell me what to do
I feel that feedback is needed from everyone who will provide it. It allows us to learn from ourselves.
When this is accomplished, we can do better.
teacher Becus tHe teacher kNoW it BeDeR.
Rather get feedback from
I would rather feedback from a friend. because it feels better.
Standardized tests are very debated and are receiving a lot of attention in the news. What do you
think about them? Can you think of something to support both sides of the debate? Speak your
mind and let teachers know where you stand! (4/22/2015)
I dont like standardized testing because it doesnt do much for me and teachers and the school are
judged by it on how well they teach. They should have them so that they know approximatly what
students know.
I like tham thay Halp me feel good adout myself.
Standardized tests are an extremell useful way of gauging a students readiness in subjects. But they can
also cause a great amount of stress on the students participating. I believe they should be used.
We are hoping to connect with a lot of local teachers over the coming months to share the input you
gave us this year, thank you! So, what final advice do you have for your teachers next year to help

you to continue your progress and general enjoyment of learning? (Spring/Summer 2015)
I need help when it comes to directions because I dont read them correctly or I dont understand what
Im doing. When a teacher gives me somthing with directions she or he need to explaine to me alone what
it is im going to do.
-Review grammar for ex: the difference between their, there, theyre, lets, lets etc. and how and when
they are used in a sentence.
-I like going at a fast pace but not to fast and like to have like a review day in the middle of the week to
make sure I know and dont forget the material.
-For writing if we have to have something specific to write about have multiple prompts and not just one
thing that we have to be forced to write about.
I like *** because he is very funny and gives us math problems in a good way and is very incuruging
when mr **** said we are going to bilud robts.
they set up a speling program for me and it helpt henw I speld and rit.
I will say something about my teacher this year. Eairlier this year we were learning about the native
people of our contry, and he would show us videos about them so that was a really fun way to teach us.
Also when we were learning about the setterles we were given a fake person that was either a patriot,
british, and netrlists, we all had to face the hard thing the colonists had to which was super cool to be able
to act out.
I think that it is helpful to be taught in a hands on enviorment of learning with videos and movies.
Some finall advice is to always have act like you are having a really good day. It makes me more happy
to be in class and want to learn more. So in conclusion my advice is to be happy when you teach.
(narrated to tester): Make things to work to. Like my math teacher. She had math games and we worked
towards playing them.
I really love when teachers help me with school work but I dont like it when they treat me differently
then other kids. Just because I have dyslexia dose not mean I am different.
The teachers should teach you a lesson by not giving you work but to tell you how to do it. Like in math
giving work wont make us get better showing us how to do it and telling us would make it better.
My advice for teachers who are asking questions is if there is some one who rases their hand right after
the question is done dont call on them because if you do they just raised there hand because they want to
speak first they dont actualy know the answer of the question 70% of the time. So pleas call on a student
who takes a minut or two.
I like how *** kind of sits beacid me and helps me if I need help or dont under stand it. When I need
some help with math that I didnt do befor she will sit next to me and get the mortearls hout and help me
fig your it out!
(written to TAs): You were always there for me when I needed help. Sometimes you would pull me
aside and give me a mini lecture on one of the activitys. You made the reading and writing lessons exiting
and I had to work my mind.