A Quote to live/study/learn by…

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should each the way they learn.” – Ignacio Estrada

As I posted this on my facebook, I realized it is one thing to post something you feel relative, but then what? Let it lie there, and do nothing?  Take it to the next level.  So here is an example I thought of for students to use magazines in the classroom. (Don’t groan, YET).  Get a scholarly magazine, one students would normally not check out on their own, so students begin to understand the difference early in the year.  Then have students prepare a electronic of physical list of connections of all the articles they see in the magazine, or as far as they can get, for 30 minutes.  Here is an example:

English Journal – Volume 102, Np. 1 September 2012

“Literacy is More Than Books and Pens – Anna J. Small Roseboro (page 16)

Dro. Robert Probst – I remember from presenting at NCTE Las Vegas, is referenced in this article about preparing students to do without us, not rely merely on the teacher for everything, which seems to emphasize the role of guide rather than authoritarian.  Media Literacy and multiple intelligences are the two main areas that are pertinent that can insure this.  Emphasis on insuring parents can help students read, discern, evaluate, and critique all can help reinforce creative approaches to education in the classroom. “We must admit that current society is less likely to turn to books for information and less likely to use a pen and paper to communicate ideas.”

I like the ideas that the use of pen and paper was a different modality, and acknowledging the existence of different modalities in fact, dictates the teaching style of teachers (not taking students to the library/Media Center to fill time but taking students outside with an educational journal and asking them to connect three articles with three items they see on campus) for crying out loud, not WASTING the educational opportunity but enhancing it!

Page 21 – Review of the book Dead End in Norvelt, interesting take on Norvelt, PA, a town named after Eleanor Roosevelt, which one the Newberry Award and Scott O;Dell Award for historical fiction. Must be good!

page 27 – Noticed a picture of Superman, a statue, in front of the courthouse in Metropolis, Illinois that represents the article by Barry Gilmore about how enhancing literary characters through graphic novels, different approaches to characters in fiction, and three questions: Why do we care about literary characters, How do we care about literary characters, and How do we express our understanding of characters?  Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Sherlock Holmes, Sandra Cisnero’s Eleven, Harry Potter, and DC comics all referenced to help enhance the depth of characters.

Page 34 – “Making Characters Come Alive: Using Characters for Identification and Engagement” – Jocelyn A Chadwick

Question of the article – “How do we as English teachers, with our amazing gift, empower students to see and experience literature not as a burden that must be endured and memorized for the test and then mercifully forgotten, but as a vehicle for self-discovery and reflection?”

Kenneth Burke’s A Rhetoric of Motives, The Joy Luck Club, Heart of Darkness, The Great Gatsby, and use of blogs, wikis, video sharing are just some of the social media references to bring characters alive.Actual lesson plans, organizers, and projects are presented for a developing unit on this.

Cormac MacCarthy’s The Road referenced on page 40 with the quest of father and son motivation, conflict, and identity.  The theme of travel logs and this relationship between characters is discussed as an analysis strategy.  Also how to teach the Illiad to 10th graders!

page 48 – “Challenging Characters: Learning to Reach Inward and Outward from Characters Who Face Oppression”- Betina Hsieh

Texts such as The Diary of Anne Franke, The Godfather, A Child Called “It”, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Hunger Games,  just some of the possible texts for this unit  Literature circles as one strategy to this approach and focus.

Ivan Ilych article on page 52? Who was he?

I finished reading a book called The Glass Castle” and there is an article titled “Mind and Hearts: Using Jeanette Walls’s Memoir, The Glass Castle, to Teach Emotional Intelligence.” – Andrea Irvin     This article addresses the area of Emotional Intelligence to reach students, flat versus round characters, and class activities surrounding this text.  Also, lifelong discovery based on the analysis of the text is a long term goal.  Again, Sherman Alexie is referenced and John Steinbeck to name a few.

Page 100 – “A Billable Services List: Paying TeachersMore Like Doctors” by Beth Aviv was a great article, it was funny as well.  If teachers were to charge for their services she suggests it would look like this:

$1420.00 – teaching that you can indeed judge creative work based on technique, composition, and meaning.

$400.00 Teaching Eliot’s The Hollow Men and discussing alienation

$761.00  Photocopying materials

$1586.00 – Fixing a jammed copy machine

$9780.00 Posting daily assignments using Blackboard or a blog

$320.00 – Scribbling hall and bathroom passes; not caring if writing is legible.

$188.00 Tripping over overstuffed backpacks lying among student desks

$182.00 Trying to convince a parent whose child got a 63 to care more

$182.00 Trying to convince a parent whose child got an 89 and not a 90 to care less

Overall, the above took me longer to type than make connections in that half hour I sat in the park, and surely this type of “discussion” and exercise demonstrates the following:

How to use an apostrophe on a name that ends in s, why giving credit matters os much when you need to go searching for a specific article and who write it, literary creativity when it comes to analysis, tying current events to literary content, JUST to name a few connections.  I like this exercise than receiving the standard issue ditto coming back at me in waves of boredom in the class 🙂


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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