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Archive for the 'ela' Category

What Was Meant For Evil

Dina Strasser attempts to turn Rebecca Black's nightmarish debut music video into a learning experience for her ELA students:

Since the layers of ridiculousness in this tune are near impenetrable, you have to be exceptionally focused and intentional in how this song is presented, or you’ll be at it for the whole period or longer. [...] Our purpose, I tell them, is to use figurative language to determine why this is the worst song on the planet.

The documentary was filmed over three years. Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.

[via Jeff Weintraub]

2011 Sep 18: "We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin."

I couldn't sneak this clip past YouTube or Vimeo's copyright Cylons. Consequently, y'all will have to click a hyperlink to play along.

Download high quality here. See the pilot for instructions.

BTW: Cool stuff in the comments, but I like Mr. H's suggestions the best, spanning passive voice and inference. (Not that I teach this stuff, of course, so help yourself to that salt lick in the corner.)

Peer Editing In Math

Todd Seal, elite member on my list of Bloggers Who Don't Blog Enough, makes the wait worth our while with some great peer review strategies, which I'll co-opt for math as soon as possible:

"Create two piles," I said. "Which ones passed and which ones did not? There will be three paragraphs in each pile."

Great conversations ensued, both in the small groups and as a class. Some shocking revelations occurred ("That one didn’t pass!?"). This was worth my time.

Once again, great teaching and free weekends prove mutually exclusive.

Be The Molotov Cocktail

TMAO loosens the knot on his bag of tricks, detailing some strategies for turning not-readers into readers. He inspires commenter, math teacher, and dy/dan blogroller, H., to turn in her math credential:

Glorious. Makes you want to convert to teaching English so you can read the Onion in class. I'll pass it on.

At the end of a strong list he writes:

These things take time — time to plan, time to gather realia, time out of lessons and periods that we sometimes feel is slipping away, time when either folks who don't get it or our own internal clocks yell at us to get on with it already. This time is more than paid back in increased student interest and understanding, more than paid back when kids start getting far more out of text than before.

Which is absolutely true. There is no substitute for imaginative, thoughtful planning — no manipulative, no incentive, and no web app that will work as well as when someone sits, agonizes, and finally devises engaging activities for it.

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