Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 13-1 Designing Virtual Author Studies

I have chosen to read "Saving Francesca" for my second Melina Marchetta book.

Malina's Wall-Wisher

  • Does mental illness affects a family differently than a physical illness? Do ppl deny the existence of the mental illness?

  • Does mental illness have a significance in Marchetta's personal experiences?

In recent years, mental illness has become more recognized. Does this act as a crutch to those who in the past would have gone through life undiagnosed or does it allow them to get needed treatment even though nothing is guaranteed to work for any one individual?

Charlotte's Library

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week 12-1 Making the Bold Choice

"Essential Question: What is our responsibility to our students, our profession, and our world when it comes to students' right to read and the intellectual freedom to both consume and create media? It's time to deal with all of those questions about the controversy often caused or threatened by cutting-edge Young Adult literature. In this session, we will engage in a Collaborative Critical Inquiry to learn about the student's right to read and intellectual freedom. We'll also learn about book challenges and censorship. In this session, we'll focus on "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship in a Participatory Culture.” Our guest speaker will be Frances Bradburn, Project Director of NC's New Schools Project, a long-time champion for Young Adult literature and the chairman of the first Printz Award Committee." Censorship walks a fine line between protecting a vulnerable population (usually children) and cutting out essential parts of the human experience just because the current dominant culture considers them offensive, politically incorrect, or extreme in some other way . "...For some people the purpose of education is not the investigation of ideas but rather the indoctrination of certain set beliefs and standards." (from NCTE website) I believe that the importance of the community in the battle of intellectual freedom vs. censorship is understated in the NCTE article. The community has the power to support or discredit acts of censorship. Individuals and special interest groups can campaign for their viewpoints but ultimately it is the community (whose limits are defined by the battle lines drawn between the two sets of advocates). Advocates for intellectual freedom need to be aware of both the forum and their audience in order to effectively make their case. I belive that different communities are entitled to differenct censorship choices but overall an American standard for acceptable amounts of censorship should be apparent. One that supports our values and experiences as a nation. As teachers we should be defining and adhering to this standard including defending controversial choices that will benefits and enrich our students and our community.

Blog conversations...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week 11-1 Graphica, A Sign of Radical Change?

"Part 1: So how open to Radical Change in poetry are you? What was your response to "Skeleton Sky"? Part 2: Learn about Dresang’s Radical Change theory and then reflect on the books you personally have read as well as those you’ve “met” in class discussions and bookcasts to determine what books we've read this semester represent Radical Change and why. Part 3:Consider graphic novels as examples of Radical Change and how they might be integrated into the English curriculum. See Angela Trythall’s article for one teacher’s story. Readings: Dresang's Radical Change Theory Read the two chapters from Dresang's book in our eReserves. Radical Change Revisited: Dynamic Digital Age Books for Youth First take a look at: and then read her article -- by Angela Trythall (ECI 2008 alumnae). Submitted to the English Teacher for publication." Graphic Novels have been a part of my life since I was six years old. I had a set of illustrated classics, including "Gulliver's Travels" and "Treasure Island". My first enjoyable experience reading on my own was the comic book series "ElfQuest" by Wendy and Richard Pini who are giants in the graphic/comic world. I have dabbled in graphic novels and comic books since but didn't find anything that really grabbed me that way again. I really felt that "Persepolis" was a triumph of communication. The simple, rough picutures grounded and really brought home all the emotion of the narrator's experiences.

Week 10-1 Nonfiction, the Neglected Stepchild

"Our essential questions are: 1. Why does Aronson refer to nonfiction as a "neglected stepchild" and is this an accurate description? 2. What's the connection between boys and nonfiction? 3. Why should we and how can we include more nonfiction reading in our middle and high school curricula? Readings are all from our textbook include: -- "The Pursuit of Happiness: Does American History Matter?" Aronson, Section 4, Chapter 10 -- "Woke Up, Got Out of Bed, Dragged a Comb Across My Head: Is the Past Knowable?" Aronson, Secion 4: Chapter 14 -- "Why Adults Can't Read Boy Readers?" -- Aronson, Secion 5: Chapter 13 -- "Biography and Its Perils" -- Aronson, Section 3: Chapter 9" I really enjoyed reading "Girl Interrupted". It had a very unique voice until the narrator decided that she was "cured" and the voice went flat. But that is an illustration of the writer's experience and is important for us the reader to experience as well. Non-fiction books and especially biographies play an important role in the modern information society. They give us a category that says here is how someone experienced and interpreted this event. It gives us a change to have a new perspective or explore a completely unknown but relevant experience. It is not just something made up that touches on the human experience in general, but something based on reality. (Note the popularity of "reality shows" on TV. If only non-fiction books were as well received.)

Week 9-1 So are we post-multicultural?

"For this seminar preparation, you will read one of Aronson's most famous and controversial essays from Horn Book (May/June 2001) on identity-based book awards (Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpre‚, etc.), Andrea Davis Pinkney's response, also from Horn Book (September/October 2001), and Aronson's response to his critics. All of these reading are from Section 1, pp. 3 - 23 in our textbook, Beyond the Pale." I really saw eye to eye with Frederick on this subject.

Week 8 and Spring Break: What I was up to...Welcome Baby Miranda!

Check out this video! As a first-time mom with a three-week old, I find this really adorable!

Mommy spends quality time with baby!