Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Raisin in the Sun Graphic Novel Lit. Analysis

As a form of literature analysis, my American Literature class created graphic novels using Make Belief Comix and Issuu. In the project they included thoughts from the characters that were not represented in the play itself as well as a prediction of where the characters would end up ten years later--after the civil right movement and the reactionary rise in incarceration.

This worked, but was not perfect. I think the project was confusing as students were unclear about how to represent what the characters would be thinking about outside of the scenes that were happening in the play itself.

If I were to do it again, I would have students jump into the site early on to get used to how it works. Maybe I would have them simply represent what was happening in a scene they enjoyed and then send the slides they create to my evernote account just as a way to monitor comprehension while we are reading.

Then, the final project could be more focused on creating a well developed graphic novel scene to represent their character analysis. I would probably leave it more open as to where they place the scene. Could be a deleted scene from the book, or it could be a scene set in the future. Regardless, they would need to reflect on one character, and then show how the events in the book shaped their life in some way. This is where the real analysis could shine through.

Gender Studies Magazine Covers

For this project, my Freshmen English students created a magazine cover that incorporated their understanding and research of gender studies. We used Glogster to create and display them. You can see the full sized versions with the drop down menu from the Glogster Logo. The top one incorporated research on Disney's use of gender bias, and the bottom one reflects research on the issues surrounding women fighting on the front lines.

Technology Integration Prezi

Here is a prezi I put together for a professional development day presentation on why it is important to integrate technology into your educational practice. Click the forward button once to get it to load. You should be able to pan and zoom freely afterwards on the parts too small to see.

Friday, February 24, 2012

One aspect of teaching that is not understood enough is motivation. Many have studied the effects of motivation in the work force, but I wonder if these same concepts hold true in a classroom?

Randall Robinson on Incarceration in the US

I have been doing a unit on social justice with my freshmen. One fascinating aspect of the conversation that I wasn't expecting relates to incarceration in the United States. This is a growing phenomenon, from 250,000 to 2.5 million over the last 40 years, grown from implicit bias which we can no longer ignore.

The statistics are mind boggling.

Michelle Alexander & Randall Robinson on the Mass Incarceration of Black America Part 1 of 2 from Democracy Now! on Vimeo.

Michelle Alexander & Randall Robinson on the Mass Incarceration of Black America Part 2 of 2 from Democracy Now! on Vimeo.

Clay Shirky: How social media can make history

This sums up what I am trying to do in my Media Studies classes. I also like his talks on collaboration and SOPA. He was talking about this back in 2005.

Patrick Awuah on Educating Leaders

Friday, February 17, 2012

Social Justice Unit Graphic Novel Research Project

For this unit on Social Justice, groups of students in my Freshmen English classes hand drew graphic novels in which they presented thier research by creating a story of a person who has suffered some form of prejudice or stereotyping in their lives. In each story they focused on how these characters could be rebranded as heroes.

We then scanned the drawings, inserted them in a powerpoint, published as a pdf, and uploaded to issuu.com for the final presentation.

Research News Article via Blog

I was invited to participate on Youth Voices, a student blogging site created by the National Writing Project in New York, and excitedly created a project for my Media Studies classes.

Students created a list of questions they were interested in, researched this topic from two sources from the internet, and created a News Article to present their information. Then, they uploaded their work as a blog discussion.

Paul Allison, the director for the site, liked the project, and allowed me to created a Mission from it for other teachers to use. All student's work from the project is featured and linked on the left side of the page.

Classics Academy

Wow, this is what I call learning.

Monday, February 6, 2012


This is a way to text message students and parents.