Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Read, Therefore I'll Get Hired

My summer reading goal (besides the 1000+ pages of Infinite Jest) is go through these stacks of text and Education books surrounding my desk, brush up terms and techniques for (cross fingers, knock on wood) interviews, and see what is useful... Starting with a few I picked up at the Library but prob will end up purchasing due the overwhelming urge to highlight and dog ear:
  1. Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire by Rafe Esquith
  2. Conscious Classroom Management by Rick Smith
  3. The Reading Teacher's Book of Lists -- this one almost doesn't count, it's too fun to read!
As always, suggestions are appreciated -- what else should I take poolside?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Superheroes = Super Readers

Comic Book Literacy *

I like comic books, my kids like comic books, and I want my students to read/like/appreciate/create/etc. comic books.  Oops, I forgot I'm supposed to call them "graphic novels" or "illustrated classics" now, especially if trying to use them in a classroom.  Reading is about enjoying to read, wanting to read, cooperating eagerly with reading time instead of grudgingly flipping through whatever book happens to be nearby.  I've seen middle school classes turn the pages of tired, over-perused National Geographics without so much as a courtesy glance at the text (and barely allowing the images to register in their turned-off minds) during "Independent Reading" -- and I'd much rather they were reading a comic book!

On the other hand, I also see (mostly boys, mostly struggling readers) the "reading" of comics as simply a picture walk.  I'll allow comics, even strip collections like the inimitable Calvin and Hobbes , but I want to verify comprehension, I want vocabulary, questions, and predictions -- proof you actually read the words inside those balloons!  Would this work to check comprehension: white out some of the text, entire balloons or panels, and have the student fill in his/her own words, phrases, descriptions of action. Comics could also be used as a voice-over type of Reader's Theater, almost like classic radio shows or silent movies with the images up on the screen?

* Probably going to miss ComicCon this year, but checking out this site now...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Learn Me Good, Gooder, Best!

Another great list of resources from Learn Me Good , free educational games from Elementary up to HS, and they're usable with the interactive whiteboards -- I haven't checked them all out, 'cause I got sidetracked for several hours on the Professor Garfield site, playing games and listening to Mrs. P read to me...

 Speaking of reading, that is definitely one of the things I look forward to  if when I have my own class: reading a book to them, a long book that takes several weeks, a book with several voices and maybe a slightly scary and/or dangerous scene.  No matter what grade I get, they're getting story time!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mrs. P's Magic Library

Classic stories, Masterpiece Theater style? Right now she's reading me Alice in Wonderland -- the intro was a little long, and I wish it showed more text and less actor, but otherwise a very interesting read-along option.

Anyone know of something like this in Spanish?

Mrs. P's The Magic Library

I found this link, believe it or not, on "Professor Garfield" -- as in the fat orange cat -- and initially thought it would be the usual silly games and cartoons that kids love to play on but don't really do anything educational. From scooting around a few activities though, I'd say they got this one right.  Great graphics, clear instructions, standards-based activities... the lasagna's on me, Professor Garfield, great job!