Use this space to post questions and concerns you have about this weeks work or upcoming work. I'll do my best to respond promptly.
One question that I got an email about: What are we writing about in the reading journal/book club this week--or any week we aren't reading a novel.
Answer: You should write about whatever the assigned text is for the week. So, for this week, you are writing about Girl by Jamaica Kincaid, 7th Grade by Gary Soto (links are live). Last week, someone asked what I meant by "respond as you would for a 300 level English class. I repeat my response to that question here:
When you read Shakespeare you analyze it. When you read Poe you analyze it. When you read Joyce you analyze it. When you read Morrison you analyze it. What I don't want is people just reviewing the YA novels we read (I liked it or I didn't like it). And I don't want folks saying things like, well, it's for kids so what is there to analyze, it's too simplistic. I want you to analyze it like you've been asked to do in other classes--as a piece of literature.
For complete details on what to do in this space and how you will be evaluated, please see the complete details for this assignment located on Teaching Discussion page for our class (link is live).
In Brief: Post your initial response, about 300 words. Post a response to your colleagues, 100-200 words. No worries about respondents this week. I will serve as respondent and model what I'm looking for.
THIS WEEK’S SCENARIO: The two short stories included in this weeks reading come from a list of short-stories for middle-schoolers. I have used these two stories with rising 8th and 9th graders.
You are teaching a class of 30 8th graders at Whitman Middle School. Here is a class picture. The class you are teaching is majority white. There are two students who identify as African-American. Just over ½ of the class are young women. None of the students are first generation American, but a few students have grandparents who immigrated, mostly from Ireland. More likely, the majority of students have great-grandparents or great-great grandparents that came from to the US during the great migration in the late 1800s—Italy and Ireland mainly. Your classroom is well-equipped. Students have ipads for use in the classroom and all of the students have internet access at home as well as at school. You maintain a teaching website where parents can check assignments. The parents at Whitman are, more or less, invested in their children’s education and pay attention to what is going on in the classroom. You have 7 students on IEPs ranging from high-functioning spectrum to ADHD mix. Two student are on IEP for cognitive processing problems.
Please read the following (short, popular, not hard to read) articles about current trends in Young Adult Literature: this critic-at-large piece in The New Yorker about the The Hunger Games (from when it was first published), and, this (non-scholarly and totally approachable) article about the history of YA lit, this New York Times article on the perisl of publishing in YA, this one on topics in YA lit, and this one, very recent, about some great new YA reads (some of these books are on our list this year and have been on my list in previous years). NOTE: All links are live.
Please post a 300 word response to the following prompt: Given what you have read in the four assigned articles this week, given what you know as a reader of YA (or as someone who is NOT a reader of YA), make a brief argument for what you would say are the defining characteristics of YA as a literary genre.
NOTE: This post will count as one “A” for acceptable reading journal as long as you post no later than noon on Sunday (26 January 2020). I’ll cover the formal requirements for reading journals next week, but you don’t need to worry about that just yet. We just need to get started on conversation. So let’s just dig in, don’t worry, and post. As long as you post by the deadline it will count.
Because this is an online class, I am not able to insure that you will read and understand the syllabus and policies for this class. The first part is an email, described in this week's class update (check your email), that you need to send me.
The second part requires that you post a response to this prompt:
6. POST ON THE CLASS DISCUSSION BOARD.Ask me two questions about any thing on my website for our class: policies, due dates, classroom expectations, assignments. You can't tell me you have no questions. You have to ask me two. BUT, they shouldn’t be questions that could be answered if you read the syllabus and policies for the class.
7. POST ON THE CLASS DISCUSSION BOARD. Include with your questions a meme of your choosing or design that sums up how you are feeling about your semester so far.
HOW TO POST
TO POST: when you are ready to post your two questions, simply click on the "comments" button in the top right or bottom left of this screen. A dialogue box will pop up. Enter the identification information (your name, email) and then enter your 300 words in comment section. Click "submit" and you are done.
TO REPLY: Simply click the "reply" button at the bottom of any post or scroll all the way down to the last post to the "Leave a Reply" section. Fill out the dialogue boxes like you did for posting and click "submit."