Bracketology

It’s all about the final four – While we were in the midst of March Madness we captured these literature brackets from my students. Characters The Bracket Maker Would Like to Marry – out of a varied field of potential mates, four emerge in the finals – Odysseus (the ultimate hero), Rorschach, Jay Gatsby, and…

If I had a theme song

I have a little music supervisor in my head that plays music while I read books.  The first book I really remember this happening for was The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the album Teaser and the Firecat by Cat Stevens played in my room and my head, and to this day I hear…

My Super Self

We are reading WATCHMEN by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and after reading about how the characters constructed their masked persona, I asked the class to create their own Super Self.  We allowed them to give themselves a super power (unlike MOST of the characters in Watchmen), and we created our super selves.  Here is…

Neverwhere

I’m teaching a class on the Science Fiction/Fantasy novel.  I’m really just acting as placeholder teacher this year.  Even though this is a genre I love, I won’t ever teach it again because it is not a class I created and because I am returning to the middle school next year to teach 7th grade….

Something About Daisy

Yesterday I had the very best discussion of Daisy Miller, the novella by Henry James, that I have ever had with a class of juniors.   I have had this book on my reading list six times, and it was this year that the discussion was lively, honest, funny, and unlimited. Why? I can think of…

The Wordle Challenge

Paul at quoteflections tagged me on this one, and it has taken me a bit of time to get to it. I created the wordle last week hoping I would get to it – here it is: I use Wordle in my classroom to help make abstractions more concrete.  My favorite way to do this…

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

Clay Burell writes a blog that is engaging and literate and that on occasion terrifies me. His recent series of posts raises real questions about the Bush administration and the current election, but also about what we, as teachers, are doing in the face of Rome burning. (Sorry Clay, I will spell your last name…

Little Moments Matter

When I got to school today, this photograph had been sent to the all school list-serv. It made my day: first, because the sentiment matched the act of creation itself, and if course, because of how it got there. My Autobiography and Memoir class read the narratives of Ben Franklin and Frederick Douglass. Both of…

Itchy Friday…

It’s Friday and I see my American Lit kids at 2:00 – for most of them it’s their last class of the week, and they admitted to thinking the day was already over (much to their chagrin “but it’s not that I don’t like your class Mrs. Tabor, it’s just been a really long week”). …

“All that is not my soul…”

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul. — Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, section 3 End of day two of the 2008-2009 academic year. Yesterday almost proved too much for me. The Thursday schedule is brutal in the morning, and there was the added layer…

The Bluest Eye or Beloved?

My class is reading Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye (TBE) and two of my colleagues are reading/have read with their classes Beloved. My students, as heterogeneous a bunch as you are going to find here, are enjoying the TBE and we are looking at the book through (as she suggests in the afterward) Morrison’s…