thinking about narrator, humor, and reading group

Reading Bird By Bird. The narrator in my book. Friendly. Guide. Get to know me will open the text to them. Need for humor. One of Lamont’s great skills is her use of humor as she writes. It constantly brings me up short, amuses me, and always gets me thinking. CI could sure use a little humor, all serving the end point of disconnected kids learning more. My students get to see the humor in it all after they’ve reached the point in their teaching where they are more or less at ease. The kids whose outrageousness is just so predictable that they smile at its approach. Or the nose pickers. Or the hands on hips tell ’em off style. Or the boys who just can’t sit still or look you in the eye but still wants so bad to be in the thick of it that he couldn’t help he wet his pants. And on and on. Humor. Not quite PC humor. Poking fun and that which needs to be made human by a little chuckle now and then. That kind of humor.

Now here I am, in these last several entries, claiming to want to write in a way that captures young adults. Using the voices of my students as one way to do that. Well, duhhhh. Why not have them read some of what I’ve written and comment on it. Give me some more real stories, the ones they shake their heads at, the funny stuff. They way they really see it as opposed to worrying about how they show it because I AM TEACHER and you can only show certain things to the one who’s going to grade you.

lots going on here.

Thinking about visual diagrams…

Today i spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to perfect a really simple photoshop venn diagram. The point was I wanted the background for the diagram to be a shot of kids learning so the sparceness of the diagram was backgrounded by a visual of what the diagram was all about. Finally worked my way throught the program and got it. I liked how it came out, for a change. I’ll see if I can upload it here. Probably not tonight.

I think part of what might really help communicate this book is this additional use of multiple voices. In previous entries I’ve thought about multiple voices as being just that; words written or spoken by different people about a point of text. But multiple voices can also take the form of different kinds of representations, all trying to unpack a given idea. That’s the way I’m looking at making this book communicate.

spiraling thoughts on new course work

finished cover letter and prospectus. courtney got my resume ready. a few things to add on Monday and bingo, off to mr. dragin. I’m feeling happy to get this out and a bit afraid they are going to buy it! then what? I’ll have to write a book???

reviewed more of the competition and this process has really got me psyched for doing a more general course on collaborative strategies in the classroom. group investigations, jigsaws, tournaments, group work, cooperative work groups…they all sound pretty interesting and I could use all the small group theory I know to support this work as well as the differentiation strategies.

key to this book is the idea of student voice. using those student papers. now whether that will be a strength (targetting successfully an audience that teachers like myself really want to be spoken to) or a weakness (limits the potential audience) remains to be seen

key also is the heart that I think this book will put back into the dialogue. what it means to an undergraduate to be successful. what it means to a kid in a classroom to be seen as competent (both + and – … the moses honor story). interesting stuff.