Student Voices: A Senior’s Perspective on a Unfamiliar Text, Using the Reading Process Paper

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In today’s post I bring you another student’s, Ali (name is changed to protect identity), reading process paper. What is unique about Ali’s paper is he is a senior at my school who has never done this sort of writing exercise. What I particularly enjoyed about reading Ali’s final draft was the honesty he appeared to put forth as he processed what he was reading and reflecting on the process over all. Ali would be considered ‘high-flyer,’ so I know it might be easy for teachers to dismiss this post as simply showing off a great student’s work. But I would argue, while Ali had the tools to do this work already, we should not discount the metacognitive work he was asked to do. This is the sort of mental work Ali has not had to do much. He’s good at school. Some information comes easily to him; he meets deadlines, and he is willing to study for subjects he finds troublesome. Still, the reflective process the reading process paper demands was foreign to Ali, which he comments on briefly in his composition. Before you proceed ahead, if you need a reminder of what the process paper is all about and my commentary on Sheridan Blau’s work, go here and here. Continue reading

Student Voices: Revisiting the Reading Process Paper and Student Reading Identity

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Today’s post is long, but I would go so far as to say it is also very interesting. Aida (name changed to protect her identity) is a student who was in my 9th grade English class two years ago and is in my directed studies class this year as an 11th grader. In both contexts, I asked her and her peers to experience what Sheridan Blau calls the reading process paper. I have posted about Blau’s work and the reading process paper in years past here and here. The reading process paper is a metacognitive exercise and encourages students who take it up to venture into reading an unfamiliar poem or short story and develop an interpretation of what they’ve read over several readings over time and space. The added impact of the paper is embedded in the reflective aspects of the assignment where a student will tie their interpretations to their experiences as reader in the past, in the process of reading a cold text, and after the interpretive work is done. I won’t detail how I set up the assignment here, but I will gladly share for anyone who reaches out for it. Rather, inside today’s post you’ll see Aida’s 9th grade reading process paper and her 11th grade reading process paper. I’ll add some commentary along the way. I highly recommend taking the time to read both of her papers and witness Aida’s growth as a writer, but maybe more importantly as a metacognitive thinker and the ways she explicitly and implicitly identifies herself as a reader. Continue reading

Zines, Black History, & Lived Experiences

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While many of the upcoming posts will chronicle Ms. S and Ms. C’s adventure into project-based learning, I am also working alongside my colleague Mr. Chance, who has written a post here before, as he uses zines as tool enrich his students’ experience with Black literature and connecting that literature to their own lives. Continue reading

Guest Post: Reading the World through the (Epic, Tragic, & Anit-) Heroes’ Eyes

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While I am personally on a posting hiatus, I have asked for colleagues and friends to help with guest posts. The first of which comes from Glenn, who I introduced you all to in my last full post. Inside today’s post, Glenn will take us through the hero’s journey through the eyes of his students. Glenn documents his students’ epiphanies, and his own attempt to bring the journey we all endure to life, all the while preparing students to notice the epic, tragic, and anti-hero in themselves. I hope you enjoy reading through Glenn’s reflection as much as I did!
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Zine Booth @ Sugar Hill Maker Fest Reflection

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Saturday was a beautiful day. It was also quite windy. While I had to find some creative ways to keep zines from flying off my booth’s table, the experience of being out among the community with my students zines made for an excellent afternoon of conversation and possibly some really positive impact in the community.  Continue reading