WEB> Web English Teacher newsletter, April 22

  • From: Gleason Sackmann <gleason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12Newsletters <k12newsletters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 08:17:19 -0500

K12NewsLetters - From Educational CyberPlayGround

From: "Carla Beard"  <carla@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 07:46:34 -0500
Subject: Web English Teacher newsletter, April 22
What's new at Web English Teacher?
April 22, 2003

Inside this issue:
 1. New pages at Web English Teacher
 2. Sites to check out
 3. Primal Forces
New Pages at Web English Teacher
*  William Blake
  "The Lamb," "The Tyger," and other poems.

*  Karen Cushman
  "Catherine, Called Birdie" and "The Midwife's Apprentice"

*  Paul Laurence Dunbar
  Biography, online texts, and lesson plans.

*  Virginia Hamilton
  Lesson plans and ideas for teaching The House of Dies Drear

*  Patricia Maclachlan
  Lesson plans and ideas for teaching Sarah, Plain and Tall

*  Shel Silverstein
  Lesson plans and ideas for teaching The Giving Tree and

*  Jerry Spinelli
  Suggestions for teaching Maniac Magee and The Wringer

Sites to check out:
*  Holes
  Disney released this site to support its movie. It includes
  a nice variety of lesson plans, available for free download.
  Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader for access.

*  Nonprofit Prophets
  A community action project that challenges groups of students to
  investigate a problem that they see in the world and then create
  a World Wide Web Resource page on the Internet that teaches the world
  about the problem.

*  Our TimeLines
  This site has three main links: Timeline, My Peers, and Birthday.
  Click on "Timeline," type in a birth and death date (anything since
  A.D. 1000), and the site constructs a timeline of significant
  events during that person's lifetime. Click on "My Peers" to find
  a list of famous people born in a given year. Click on "Birthday"
  to find famous people born on a given day. A wonderful tool for
  historical research. I was surprised at what came up for
  Shakespeare's Timeline, Peers, and Birthday. This would be a very
  useful site for a WebQuest or author study.

*  Sandlot Science
  This site has lots of optical illusions and other funky visuals.
  I like the way it explains the causes of the illusions. Don't miss
  the musical illusion, the ambiguities, and the typographics.

*  Shakespeare: Subject to Change  **Don't miss this!**
  Cable in the Classroom has just created a unique and powerful
  example of the potential of cable's broadband to deliver engaging
  learning experiences unavailable through any other medium.
  "Shakespeare:  Subject to Change" takes you on a multimedia online
  exploration of variations in Shakespeare. To truly take advantage
  of this experience, you'll need a high-speed connection to the
  Internet and the sound turned up on your computer.

 A teacher's survival guide by renowned author/educator
 Mike Moore. Teachers! Learn how to be assertive when
 confronted by toxic parents, principals, and fellow staff
 members. Remember you only receive the treatment
 you are prepared to tolerate. Buy the audio tape/CD now.
3. Primal Forces

  One of my favorite passages from the essay "Farewell, My Lovely!"
  involves the lore that developed about fixing the Model T's timer
  when the car wasn't running quite right. Some drivers hit the
  timer with a wrench, some blew on it, some lubricated it, some
  wiped it dry. Drivers could never be sure that whatever technique
  they used actually solved the problem: many drivers reported that
  their malfunctioning cars just started working again after resting
  for a while.

  "I remember once spitting into a timer," the author wrote, "not
  in anger, but in a spirit of research. You see, the Model T driver
  moved in the realm of metaphysics. He believed his car could be

  This passage comes to mind frequently as I work with
  uncooperative computers. While I haven't tried spitting on a
  computer, I have to admit that they sometimes seem to be
  hexed. One time I was asked to look at a system that wouldn't
  let the user click on any icons. As it rebooted, I laid my hands
  on the tower in the manner of an old-time evangelical preacher and
  proclaimed in an over-the-top dramatic voice, "Be healed!" The
  computer worked just fine.

  Another time someone hadn't been able to print all day and had
  given up in despair. I asked her to show me what she was doing and
  what wasn't working. She clicked, and the document printed perfectly.

  I subscribe to an online service which will let me access chat
  rooms and message boards but--every now and then--not the
  Internet beyond its server. If I use a browser other than the one
  they provide, or if I log off and log back on, the problem disappears.

  We've all had these experiences, the kind of thing that leaves us
  all a little closer to understanding the origins of ancient myth as
  we try to make sense of something baffling. Our high priests are
  those who can click five menus deep with confidence. They can tell
  what's wrong by listening to the computer beep when it reboots. When
  they explain the problem, we don't really know what they just said--we
  just know we want them to look upon us with favor.

  Computers, Model Ts, primal forces of nature. We don't know what makes
  them work. We just know we need them to, and we'll try almost
  anything, believe almost anything, in moments of frustration.

  (Quotation from "Farewell, My Lovely!" by E. B. White and Richard
  L. Strout in _The Second Tree from the Corner_, ed. E. B White.
  New York: Harper, 1978. p. 37.)
Pray for peace.

Carla Beard
Web English Teacher
This newsletter is copyright 2003, Web English Teacher.  Permission is
granted to forward it as long as this copyright notice is included.



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