Character Trading Cards: ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All!’

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Okay, okay–I can’t take any credit for this idea, but it was so awesome when I saw it and it’s been so awesome in my classroom that I have no choice but to share it with the world! I originally saw this great website and activity while visiting a professor of mine’s master’s course. I was there to present a little bit on my zine exploration this past year, but I was lucky enough to participate in the activity they were engaged in, which centered around making trading cards of various characters from three texts they had read. What ensued were fun, engaging, and difficult small group discussions about each major character from the stories in an effort to be ready to participate in some friendly competition using their self-generated trading cards. Continue reading

A Call for Change

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Inside this post you’ll find a plea from a few students who are currently in the project-based learning program I helped to start at my school. With the transition I’m making next year and having difficulty finding teachers who are willing to go the PBL route, the program will change drastically, including the continued moratorium of the junior level of the offered course. (You may recall that we didn’t have the junior level this year either in hopes of revamping it; well, that hasn’t quite happened.) The plea inside was sent to me in an email last night; the students intend to send it to anyone who is willing to listen. I thought I might try and amplify their voices. I share this also because it so well captures why I know what I’ve done for the last four years is right. Names and places have been removed for the protection of everyone. Continue reading

Rebels With a Cause

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The reason I’m going to NTCE next week is to present my initial findings as well as obtain advice on a pilot study I designed this summer and implemented starting last month in October.

The study centers around paying attention to the literacies (writing, communicating, media development) students naturally bring to the classroom but are not typically sanctioned by school practices. Continue reading