WEB> ConnectEng, February 23

  • From: Gleason Sackmann <gleason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12Newsletters <k12newsletters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 02:51:21 -0600

K12NewsLetters - From Educational CyberPlayGround

From: "editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <gleason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 08:17:29 -0500
Subject: ConnectEng, February 23
February 23, 2004
Inside this issue:
   1. New pages at Web English Teacher
   2. Sites to check out
   3. In praise of "Miscellaneous"
   4. Links for AOL users
1. New Pages at Web English Teacher
   Caroline Cooney
   Ideas for working with The Face on the Milk Carton
   and other books.
   Ideas for using debate as a teaching/learning tool
   and for working with the National High School
   debate topic.
2. Sites to Check Out
   Active Shakespeare
   In "SonnetQuiz," add the final word to the heroic couplet. In
   "Shakespeare Matchmaker," choose the two characters from the same
   play. Students are encouraged to keep trying with the promise of
   a listing in the Hall of Fame.
   Cinderella: All the News that's Fit to Print
   After reading different versions of the "Cinderella" story,
   students create a newspaper about the events of the story.
   Reading: Instructional Philosophy and Teaching Suggestions
   Looking for some new ideas to approach student reading?
   This extensive page has to have one or two you haven't tried
   yet! This list was compiled for grades 6-9 but has ideas that
   can be adapted to many levels.
   Speaking & Listening
   Guidelines and activities for group discussions, storytelling,
   oral reading, puppetry, role play, drama, readers theater,
   interviews, informal debates, and more: this page is rich with
   ideas for grades 6-9.
   Writing to Learn/Writing to Think Activities
   that Don't Drown the Teacher in Paper
   The goal of these activities is to use writing across the
   curriculum to help students process their learning.
3. In praise of "Miscellaneous"
When I want a spoon to stir my morning tea, I know exactly
which drawer in the kitchen to go to. I know which drawer
in the bathroom has my makeup, which drawer in the bedroom has
socks. Organization saves time in the morning, when I'm not
entirely awake.
In my classroom I keep the stapler in the left-hand drawer
with the tape. Move that stapler to another drawer, and I'll
never find it. In the drawer underneath it I keep markers,
construction paper, a ball of yarn for a poetry lesson, and a
box of colored sidewalk chalk I found on sale. Organization
saves sanity when time is short and you're dealing with groups
of adolescents.
But in every room there is also another drawer for miscellaneous
things. I'm never sure what I'll find there. In the kitchen I
found an old picture of my nephew, a charger from an old cell
phone, and a postcard from Japan too pretty to throw away. At
school I might find a photo of a student from 3 years ago, an
unopened packet of #2 pencils, or a shiny coin a student brought
back from a summer trip to Belize. Each drawer holds little
treasures that don't fit anywhere in particular. Organization has
no value here -- this is the realm of serendipity.
Steve was one of my "miscellaneous" students. He arrived in
denim, boots, and a chain, his long blond hair combed carefully
over his eyes, looking as though he were hiding. He never spoke
unless called on. I never saw him smile. When he chose a seat in
the front row, I assumed it was because it was also close to
the door.
But his first paper told me how wrong I was: careful writing,
mature insights, connections with other reading. We'd chat for
just a moment after class. He finished the book in half the time
the rest of the class needed and spent the extra time reading
other stories by the same author. Steve didn't fit into the
category I had initially assigned him. In fact, he didn't fit
into any category I could think of. Steve was a serendpity.
LeeAnn was another. According to her grade point average, she
was eligible for National Honor Society. But when the Faculty
Council examined her transcript, they found that she had taken
special classes for LD students. Was an A in LD English the
equivalent of an A in Honors English? Was Vocational School an
acceptable alternative to a foreign language? The Council was
about to say "no" to her application when they read her list
of community service activities.
LeeAnn was the youngest volunteer fire fighter in her small
rural town. She was in training to become a volunteer EMT,
and she babysat for another fire fighter whose child required
special medical attention. She refused any payment, saying that
people should help one another. She was active in 4-H and her
church. The Faculty Council reconsidered, and LeeAnn became the
first student diagnosed with a learning disability ever inducted
into our chapter of National Honor Society.
Organization has its place, but not everything fits in the
left-hand drawer with the tape. Here's to the miscellaneous
kids and their teachers, unexpected surprises that challenge
us to reconsider.
4. Links for AOL users
<a href="http://www.webenglishteacher.com/cooney.html";>
Caroline Cooney</a>
<a href="http://www.webenglishteacher.com/debate.html";>
<a href="http://www.shax.net";>Active Shakespeare</a>
<a href="http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/2337/";>
Cinderella: All the News that's Fit to Print</a>
<a href="http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/mla/listen.html";>
Speaking and Listening</a>
<a href="http://fayette.k12.in.us/~cbeard/mysteries/index.html";>
Unsolved Mysteries</a>
<a href="http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/writing/WTL-WTTideas.htm";>
Writing to Learn/Writing to Think</a>
Pray for peace.
Carla Beard
Web English Teacher
This newsletter is copyright 2004, Web English Teacher.  Permission
is granted to forward it as long as this copyright notice is included.





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