Girl, 7th Grade, "Is Your Father Single," "Maybe" and "The Secret Letter" & Louise Rosenblatt: First All-Class Discussion Board
Whole class discussion boards will work this way:
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. Long before the 80s, when Reader Response theory was all the rage, Louise Rosenblatt was training teachers to think about the role reading played in the lives of students. She wrote Literature as Exploration in the 1930s, but it still resonates today—in some ways because we don’t think enough about what she is saying when we pick and teach texts. In addition to these two texts, you can consider any or all of the four Moth Story hour stories ("Is Your Dad Single," "Maybe," and "The Secret Letter").
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.
You may elect to focus on one text over another, as long as you think about what Rosenblatt says about reading in your post.