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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: Re: Question

From: Andrea Martine (martinea@basd.k12.pa.us)
Date: Thu Mar 30 2000 - 17:36:17 EST


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Betsy,
     That is why the state of PA has initiated the 25 Independent Reading
Books requirement per year for students, for enjoyment. The students may
make their own choices of what to read, and then, just read for pleasure.
Many read far more than the 25 required books, while others just miss the
mark, but the idea is that everyone is trying!!!
     Don't forget that in an English class, text analysis is the part of our
job that we were educated to do (Secretly, most of us live for this teaching
moment!). English teachers love/enjoy doing this, but today,we have to find
more unique and better ways to do this, because every student sitting before
us is not also an English Major! (That point is difficult for some of us to
grasp!) Our students live in the fast paced world of technology. They have
all of the information that they need sometimes in an instant. All teachers
are competing in the year 2000 with the way technology (media) has changed
everyone's life.
     One of the teachers, who responded here in this forum, said that when
she was fresh from college, she loved to analyze texts with her students.
Today, after 22 years, she does the lesson quite differently. Who is to
decide which way is better?
     It's not that we are robbing the students of information, it is that
they are the focus of our lessons, not us, as we were in the past. Then,
the teacher had to produce, and most days the students were quite passive as
learners. Today, the excitement of teaching comes from the students passion
for inquiry, solving problems, relating the lessons of the past to the
problems of the day; etc. Teaching is so much more alive and valuable to
our students because of this shift. Students are creating learning
communities for their classes in every subject. There are many examples of
this practice shown in the VCR tapes we are watching. It is thrilling for
me to have the students "take off" when they are finally "hooked" on a
reading and make their own meanings of the messages of the text with
adequate support from the text, of course. (A part of that "old" English
teacher Philosophy just won't disappear!!)
     Hope this gives you some "food for thought" on our teaching lives.
Most of us are similar in procedures. Your boys might also enjoy a
wonderful book entitled, Toad by Ruth Brown, since you are a science
teacher. The illustrations are breathtaking and full of some playful
mystery.

Andrea Martine
----------
> From: "Betsy Scheidemantel" <scheidemantelb@basd.k12.pa.us>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <Teacher-TalkNovel@learner.org>
> Subject: Re: Question
> Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 17:08:18 -0500 (EST)
>
> Jody, I feel the same way you do, that feeding the elementary students
bits
> of the classics is a good way to get them hooked. Do we always have to
> analyze these novels? Can't we sometimes just enjoy them for the
> entertainment they bring?
> Betsy Scheidemantel
> ----------
> >From: "Swann, Peggy" <Swann_P@nsti.tec.tn.us>
> >To: Multiple recipients of list <Teacher-TalkNovel@learner.org>
> >Subject: RE: Question
> >Date: Thu, Mar 23, 2000, 3:16 PM
> >
>
> >Yes, I feel caught between wanting my students to delve deeper via
> >rhetorical devices, yet as they struggle to apply these strategies, they
> >miss out on the mere pleasure of responding to phrases, words, events,
etc.
> >They need better questioning, examining, analyzing and synthesizing
skills
> >as future academics, professionals, technicians, consumers, and family
> >members, yet they need to experience the sheer pleasure ot reading
elegant,
> >graceful language that gives voice to their own experience.
> >Its the blending of the heart that sparks conviction and logic that
protects
> >them from predators.
> >
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Julia Shugert [SMTP:shugert@basd.k12.pa.us]
> >> Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2000 1:20 PM
> >> To: Multiple recipients of list
> >> Subject: Re: Question
> >>
> >> Andrea,
> >>
> >> I think it would be wonderful to get students hooked on classics
> >> from an early age. I know that Douglas was hooked on TOM SAWYER
> >> because his third grade teacher read excerpts to him. Elementary
> >> teachers can lay a solid foundation for their children with excerpts
> >> from the classics.
> >>
> >> There are times when I feel as though I am helping my students dissect
> >> wonderful pieces of literature when we really should be enjoying them
> >> for the sake of their beauty. I try to have them analyze the
vocabulary,
> >> characters, etc. Does anyone else ever feel like that?
> >>
> >> thanks,
> >> Jody

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Betsy,<BR>
     That is why the state of PA has initiated the 25 <B>Independent Reading Books requirement</B> per year for students, for<B> enjoyment</B>. The students may make their own choices of what to read, and then, just read for pleasure. Many read far more than the 25 required books, while others just miss the mark, but the idea is that everyone is trying!!! <BR>
     Don't forget that in an English class, text analysis is the part of our job that we were educated to do (Secretly, most of us live for this teaching moment!). English teachers <B>love/enjoy</B> doing this, but today,we have to find more unique and better ways to do this, because every student sitting before us is <B>not </B>also an English Major! (That point is difficult for some of us to grasp!) Our students live in the fast paced world of technology. They have all of the information that they need sometimes in an instant. All teachers are competing in the year 2000 with the way technology (media) has changed everyone's life.<BR>
     One of the teachers, who responded here in this forum, said that when she was fresh from college, she loved to analyze texts with her students. Today, after 22 years, she does the lesson quite differently. Who is to decide which way is better?<BR>
     It's not that we are robbing the students of information, it is that they are the focus of our lessons, not us, <B>as we were in the past.</B> Then, the teacher had to produce, and most days the students were quite passive as learners. Today, the excitement of teaching comes from the students passion for inquiry, solving problems, relating the lessons of the past to the problems of the day; etc. Teaching is so much more alive and valuable to our students because of this shift. Students are creating learning communities for their classes in every subject. There are many examples of this practice shown in the VCR tapes we are watching. It is thrilling for me to have the students "take off" when they are finally "hooked" on a reading and make their own meanings of the messages of the text with adequate support from the text, of course. (A part of that "old" English teacher Philosophy just won't disappear!!)<BR>
     Hope this gives you some "food for thought" on our teaching lives. Most of us are similar in procedures. Your boys might also enjoy a wonderful book entitled, <I>Toad</I> by Ruth Brown, since you are a science teacher. The illustrations are breathtaking and full of some playful mystery.<BR>
<BR>
Andrea Martine <BR>
----------<BR>
> From: "Betsy Scheidemantel" <scheidemantelb@basd.k12.pa.us><BR>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <Teacher-TalkNovel@learner.org> <BR>
> Subject: Re: Question <BR>
> Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 17:08:18 -0500 (EST)<BR>
> <BR>
> Jody, I feel the same way you do, that feeding the elementary students bits<BR>
> of the classics is a good way to get them hooked. Do we always have to<BR>
> analyze these novels? Can't we sometimes just enjoy them for the<BR>
> entertainment they bring?<BR>
> Betsy Scheidemantel<BR>
> ----------<BR>
> >From: "Swann, Peggy" <Swann_P@nsti.tec.tn.us><BR>
> >To: Multiple recipients of list <Teacher-TalkNovel@learner.org><BR>
> >Subject: RE: Question<BR>
> >Date: Thu, Mar 23, 2000, 3:16 PM<BR>
> ><BR>
> <BR>
> >Yes, I feel caught between wanting my students to delve deeper via<BR>
> >rhetorical devices, yet as they struggle to apply these strategies, they<BR>
> >miss out on the mere pleasure of responding to phrases, words, events, etc.<BR>
> >They need better questioning, examining, analyzing and synthesizing skills<BR>
> >as future academics, professionals, technicians, consumers, and family<BR>
> >members, yet they need to experience the sheer pleasure ot reading elegant,<BR>
> >graceful language that gives voice to their own experience.<BR>
> >Its the blending of the heart that sparks conviction and logic that protects<BR>
> >them from predators.<BR>
> ><BR>
> ><BR>
> >> -----Original Message-----<BR>
> >> From: Julia Shugert [SMTP:shugert@basd.k12.pa.us]<BR>
> >> Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2000 1:20 PM<BR>
> >> To: Multiple recipients of list<BR>
> >> Subject: Re: Question<BR>
> >> <BR>
> >> Andrea,<BR>
> >> <BR>
> >> I think it would be wonderful to get students hooked on classics<BR>
> >> from an early age. I know that Douglas was hooked on TOM SAWYER<BR>
> >> because his third grade teacher read excerpts to him. Elementary<BR>
> >> teachers can lay a solid foundation for their children with excerpts<BR>
> >> from the classics.<BR>
> >> <BR>
> >> There are times when I feel as though I am helping my students dissect<BR>
> >> wonderful pieces of literature when we really should be enjoying them<BR>
> >> for the sake of their beauty. I try to have them analyze the vocabulary,<BR>
> >> characters, etc. Does anyone else ever feel like that?<BR>
> >> <BR>
> >> thanks,<BR>
> >> Jody<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
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