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

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Zines and Identities Emerge: An Anecdotal Look at When Participation and Rhetoric Collide

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Students began turning in their mini-zines on Friday with more to come today. As mentioned in a previous post, I pointed my students in the direction of using their zines as a mode to express their knowledge of and use of rhetorical strategies. The early results are promising. While I do love using zines as a tool, they are ultimately merely a tool. What has been fun and exciting to watch unfold in the classroom is the overall enjoyment students have shown in the process, and specifically watching them show aspects of who they are that are so easy to hide or reserve for only a few. Identity is fluid and social as well as a part of a person that is multiplicitous and is in-process as well as embedded over time. Adolescence is an important moment in our lives when we explore our identity. My current research is in part looking for where the ELA classroom may serve as an important space in school for students to do this exploration while also a space that empowers them to act. What that action is cannot really be predicted with certainty, but I will venture to state that a student acting with a belief they are welcome to and encouraged to act is inspirational. I will also venture to state that a student choosing openly to not act, to resist or push against, is just as inspirational. Sounds complex, right? Inside today’s post, I share what my students have been up to so far with some anecdotal understandings I have of their process. Continue reading

The Zine Challenge: Early Reflections

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One student expresses her concern with how girl’s lacrosse is played and is arguing for the sport to be more physical with the addition of more protection like boy’s lacrosse has.

I have now been collecting data for a month, which also means my students are in the thick of zine making. The ride thus far has been relatively smooth and entirely fascinating. I did lose an entire day’s audio recordings due to my computer falling asleep and refusing to wake back up, BUT I have my reflections of the day, photos, and video recordings still. I was a little devastated at first, but quickly reasoned that I cannot possibly be the only one who has had this happen. The fascinating part of the study and the class in general right now is how I’m seeing everything they do through my researcher’s lens. While simply anecdotal right now before analysis, my students’ actions in the classroom and the discussions they are having appear rich in both identity exploration and relationship building. Continue reading

Guest Post: A First Year Teacher Reflects on Using Zines in His ELA Classroom

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Today’s post is special! I always love having guests write on the blog, and it simply does not happen enough. Today’s guest is Jason Smith. Jason is a first year language arts teacher, instructing 10th and 12th grade language arts in Cherokee County. I met Jason during his time in his MAT cohort, and this past semester he asked how I did zine work with my students. After giving him some guidance, Jason took off and did something very special with his students. See his reflection on zine making in his classroom inside! Continue reading

See You @ NCTE 2015

For the third year in a row, I am presenting at and attending NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) National Convention. This year we’re in Minneapolis.

I am actually getting to present twice this year. Once for the round table I have been a part of for the last two years, and again for panel presentation on authentic student media and participatory culture. Check out the flyer below:

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Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting some new people along the way.

Coming up in my next full post: Student memoir observations and the trials of writing my comprehensive exam responses.