8.22.2008

Teaching

So, this coming semester (fall of '08) I'm teaching another section of Developing Language Arts Programs (5350) and have am excited about how the regular-length semester will go. I'm doing much of what we did in the summer session, including a lot of work online. I'm so excited because we had two authors, Ada and Roberts, contact students via their blogs and email, and we want to continue in that vein. I loved the Video Booktalks, too, and will expect maybe a few more than just the one. Bookwink.com sets a high bar, and that's what I want my students to shoot for.

The other class I'm teaching is 6349, a graduate level Adolescent Lit class: here's the reading list (in no particular order):

Red Hot Salsa, edited by Lori Carlson
Getting Away with Murder by Chris Crowe
The Poet Slave of Cuba by Margarita Engle
Up Before Daybreak by Deborah Hopkinson
Standing Against the Wind by Traci L. Jones
Daisy Kutter by Kazu Kibuishi
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
A Step from Heaven by An Na
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Acceleration by Graham McNamee
Miracle's Boys by Jaqueline Woodson
and Naked Reading by the fantastic! Teri Lesesne.

Keep reading for my students' blogs!

8.11.2008

Diane Roberts, Alma Flor Ada, and My Students

This summer I had the distinct pleasure of teaching two classes: Developing Language Arts Classes (EDLL 5350) and Studies in Langauge Arts (EDLL 6350), the subtitle of this second class was Creative Writing for the Classroom Teachers. I've written about the latter earlier in the summer, and now I want to mention the former: some highlights anyway. Among the authors we studied this summer were Alma Flor Ada (I Love Saturdays y domingos and My Name Is Maria Isabel) and Diane Roberts (a fellow Texan whose Made You Look was a hit in class). And among the different projects I assigned were blog reading responses and craft lessons in the manner of Fletcher. The end products are very good; you should take a look at some via the links below under the heading "summer ii '08 (5350). Besides the responses and craft lessons, students also put together digital literacy narratives and video book reviews. Like I said, all very exciting, but then came one of those moments in a class that a teacher just can't get over. Molly Long, one of the students, finished reading Diane's book super quick and blogged about it. Saying she had enjoyed the book for various reasons, one having to do with her family also being into traveling on vacations together. I got the idea to give Molly Diane's email and to get in touch with a living, breathing author. Molly took me up on the offer and Diane emailed back within a day or two. Then came a second email from the writer. Molly was so excited by this development that I asked her to share her experience with the class. So far as I know, they're still emailing back and forth. Then there's Carmen Ontiveros. She put together a craft lesson on Ada's Saturdays y domingos. Earlier this evening I was checking to see if there'd been any movement in terms of blog updates now that the summer term is over (in the hopes that the students would actually keep these up as a sort of techno-intro to potential employers and future students). And so you can imagine how excited I got when I opened up Carmen's blog and saw two comments under the Ada craft lesson and saw that Ada herself had found Carmen's blog and thought enough of it to do more than just pass through. She gives a really cool description of how the story in the picture book came about. It's a must read. So are my students' blogs.

8.04.2008

They're Home, Have Been, and Look To Be...

Hey, I'm working on a blog entry detailing the travails of the trip from Sweden back for Tina and the boy, mine to Dallas to pick them up, and from Dallas to Lubbock. Sounds boring, but it ain't. There was craziness aplenty. But with finals coming up this second summer session (which I've enjoyed immensely: teaching two classes can get busy, but man, both classes have done some great work and I've had the pleasure of being witness to it), I've not had too much time. The Welcome Home post will be a long one, longer than this one. Much longer. So look out for it. And a few more Sweden pics from when I wasn't there.

I'm super happy the family's back together in Lubbock, where 100 degree weather is the norm right about now.