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In Search of the Novel
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eight workshops

ten novels
ten novelists
the teachers
about the project



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[Teacher-talknovel] Fwd: Workshop #8

From: Randi K <>
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2012 19:07:55 -0500

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Randi K <>
Date: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 7:28 PM
Subject: Workshop #8

*Workshop 8: Am I getting through?*

* *

To me, this was THE key workshop within this series, at least as far
professional development goes. On the most basic level, I am always
encouraged by watching teachers discuss their craft; I consider the
challenges inherent in the systems within which we all work, and I realize
that there is probably far too little of it in most situations. Certainly
that is true of my own experience at my high school. Listening to teachers
lend ideas about how to create interdisciplinary lessons, weaving
significant historical events into novels such as, *To Kill a Mockingbird,
Angela's Ashes, The Last of the Mohicans,* it is difficult to imagine how
those novels would be taught in isolation from the historical
events surrounding them.

What is the role of the grade in the learning process? One of the major
challenges I face on a daily basis is buy-in on the part of administration,
students, and teaching staff. If the purpose of the grade is to hand the
student something he or she can use to get to the next stage of life (i.e.
college, career, graduation, etc.), we may approach that grade
instructionally far differently than if we all agree that the grade is
meant primarily to inform instruction. A student may well earn an A in a
course and still not possess mastery of key concepts. This enters into the
realm of discussing authentic assessment, which does not necessarily equate
1:1 with grades. However, the idea is still important, especially in these
times of increasing accountability and mandates calling for early
interventions for struggling learners. If we trust grades as authentic
representations of what students know and still need to know, then early
assessments and frequent interventions and instructional adjustments should
follow naturally and help to ensure that students do not get left behind as
the class progresses.

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants
happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do
other creatures.
Dalai Lama*
Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants
happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do
other creatures.
Dalai Lama*

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Received on Sat Apr 07 2012 - 20:33:09 EDT

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