Sunday Salon: Weekly Links

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YA author James Preller shares some brilliant thoughts about why we need stories and why it is so important to be yourself.

Maybe Cathy Davidson’s MOOC will finally break my streak of not finishing MOOCS. I’m definitely signing up for History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Ed.

This post on teaching the Common Core makes a strong and thoughtful case for why these standards are an improvement and should actually lead to more engaged and engaging learning.

I have to agree: this might be the world’s cutest kitten.

Fascinating article on the science behind taking a break: Why Your Brain Needs More Down Time.

I had to try Written? Kitten! and it’s pretty awesome. Just in time for NaNoWriMo, for every 100 words you write, a photo of adorable kitten pops up.

YA author Malindo Lo (whose novel, Ash, is on the syllabus for Adolescent Lit next semester) shares a terrific list of YA Novels about Lesbian and Bisexual Girls. I’ve added several to my TBR list.

There are some great ideas here for developing your teaching vision.

Unlike me, novelist Richard Powers doesn’t like book lists. His post about the impossibility of choosing a favorite NBCC winner makes me want to delve into those lists and start reading.

Matt Renwick’s teaching post, “Are You a Thought-Provider or a Thought-Provoker?”, is worth a read.

I love to see AP teachers embracing independent reading, though I take issue with Amy’s claim that YA lit doesn’t contain higher-level vocabulary or sophisticated syntax. Are your students reading M.T. Anderson? Steve Sheinkin? Markus Zusak? Elizabeth Wein? Then they’re definitely reading “higher-level” and “sophisticated” literature.

I know my Methods students will be interested in 8 Ways to Make Lasting Change in the Way You Teach.

David Sedaris’s piece in The New Yorker on his sister’s suicide is really devastating.

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3 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Weekly Links

  1. Point taken. I should have said some of the YA Literature my students will read does not have higher level syntax and sophisticated vocabulary. I agree there are many many YA books that do, and I need to stock my classroom shelves with more of those. What it comes down to is my students’ lack of skills. Many struggle with anything too complex, so they want to stay comfortable in the easy-to-read zone. Thank you for the correction.

    • Thanks for commenting! And I do know what you mean. When students haven’t been readers, giving them an M.T. Anderson novel or Code Name Verity probably isn’t going to help them develop a strong identity as a reader. They need to be encouraged to read A Child Called It, the entire oeuvre of Lurlene McDaniels, every dystopian novel ever written, Ellen Hopkins, the Bluford High books, to name a few books that got my non-readers reading. Our students need to have many experiences of being absorbed in a story, of being unable to put a book down, in order to develop stamina and fluency, in order to become committed to reading and to begin seeing themselves as readers. It’s unfortunate that your students haven’t had that experience in school before coming to your class, but at least they’re getting it now. I felt very encouraged to read your post!

  2. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/28/13 | the dirigible plum

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