I would like for us to get into the habit as functioning as a community of practice. One way to do that is to post questions about the course--any kind of question--to a common space so that we can all benefit from the ask and from the answer.
If one person has a question, most likely others have it. And, admittedly, I'd rather answer the same question once rather than 13 times.
You may have weeks where you don't have any questions, and that's fine, but this space will be available to you every week just in case. I will check it as frequently as I can and answer as promptly as I can. Of course, if you have a question that you would prefer not to ask in this shared space, you should still email me privately to fill me in on your situation. This is a space for more general and less personal issues.
FOR THIS FIRST WEEK: Once you've done a read of the policies and syllabus for this course, post a question that you have about what you saw there or other questions related to our five weeks together that you don't feel like you have the answer to just yet.
If the other First Discussion Board I've asked you to post to this week is about your experience as a student (because we are all students before we are teachers), this post comes at the discussion of what it means to teach and learn today from a different angle--as it is reported on by those folks outside of education looking in.
LOCATE, READ & POST: ANY ARTICLE written in the past year on any aspect of teaching or learning. It doesn't have to be some fancy scholarly article--it could be from Time or the Globe or wherever. I will include a sample post. Bonus points if it is an article about teaching reading and writing. Post a summary of the article, roughly 200 words. Read through your classmate’s posts.
RESPOND: Read your classmates summaries. In roughly 100 words, respond with what you see as what the state of teaching and learning--both the joy of it and the difficulty of it is--based on what you are seeing in yours and your fellow classmates articles. I will provide some summative comments on what I see in an upcoming Class Update.
It is in these two introductory posts that we start to lay the groundwork for our discussion and learning this summer: we all have ideas about what classrooms should be like versus what we have actually experienced in classrooms. We want to enter into a discussion of practice wide-eyed--the good, the bad, the ugly, the real and the imagined. This is a first effort at trying to understand what a real literacy classroom looks like.
POST: For our first post for the summer, I would like for you to think about and write roughly 200 words about your best/and or worst experiences as a student in a classroom. You can post about one or the other (best or worst) or you can post about both. Besides telling each other about the experience, try to put into words what made is a great experience or such a bad one. You can write about any kind of student experience, doesn't have to be an ELA experience, though it can be, and you can write from any class you've been a student in from K-12 through college. I will start us off with my own story.
RESPOND: Once you've posted, read through your classmates posts. In roughly 100 words, try to respond to what you see here in terms of what the experiences have in common? What seems to make a good classroom experience good across all of our collective experiences? What seems to make a bad experience bad? I'll read through these posts and put together some summative comments together as part of an upcoming Class Update.
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."