The Life of Bon: What we did in class this week + Some ugly fish

Sunday, December 09, 2012

What we did in class this week + Some ugly fish

Warning:  Picture and blog post have no correlation.  Unless you consider the fact that sometimes I feel like I am getting eaten alive by my students.  There you go.  There's your link.

Welcome to another round of class!  Here's what we've been up to the past couple of weeks.  If you think this post is boring then count your lucky stars that you don't have to sit in my class for ninety minutes every day!

Seniors:  We finished Catcher in the Rye last week and I digged reading their essays about whether or not the book is "moral."  Of course some students see the profanity and Holden's awful attitude about life and his constant smoking and drinking as immoral as it gets.  Others were able to see past that, though, and see Holden as a confused teenager who wants to protect the innocence of children, who cares about other's feelings, and who deeply loves his family.  I love this book more each time I read it.  Embarrassingly, I've read this book more times than any other secular book.  If there was one thing my first boyfriend was good for, it was introducing me to Catcher in the Rye.  Thanks, Josh!

We've now moved on to Les Miserables.  I decided last minute to teach this book, mostly because the movie is coming out over Christmas and I thought it would be awesome to take 100 seniors to the movie as a reward for having finished the book.  This is the first time I have ever taught a book to the students that I haven't read in its entirety before starting the unit.  It makes me a bit nervous, but I like that I am discovering so much about the book alongside with them.  I showed them the movie trailer to get them excited and we're even going to study and sing some of the music from the musical!  Think I can get 18 year old boys to sing for English class?  

We are reading an abridgment  400 pages- but it is still long for the young pups.  They've got 40 pages of reading for every class period (we're on a block schedule so they have my class every other day) but I'm worried we're going to lose a lot of readers on our journey.  I am encouraging them to learn to skim.  It's interesting though, 17 year olds are absolutely shocked when I tell them they don't have to read every single word of the book.  "Skip the long boring descriptions, you're just trying to pull out the plot points, find the most important information and skip the rest if you're short on time."  They can't handle it.  I'm trying to prepare them for college and I firmly believe that everybody's college experience will be greatly enhanced by a few skimming lessons.



Problem:  A fellow teacher who I admire and respect asked me if I would give an alternate assignment to a student we both have.  She is a senior who is on track to graduate early in January, but because of my class and having to read Les Mis, she said she won't be able to.  She thinks the book is boring and it has no relevance to her life.  Therefore, she says she won't read the book and because of that, I am going to "fail her".  She will be the first in her family to graduate.  The teacher asked me if the student could have an alternate reading assignment and the teacher even said he would be willing to grade the paper at the end and provide the book for the alternate assignment.  I don't feel like I can set a precedent for allowing students an alternate assignment just because they don't want to read a book or they think it's boring.  But I certainly want to encourage her and help her to graduate.  What would you do?

Juniors:  We have immersed ourselves fully in a research paper.  Students are to take a controversial issue in our society, take a stand on that issue, and present a solution.  What are we going to do about the failing economy, legalizing marijuana, illegal immigrants, gay marriage, bullying in high schools, teenage pregnancy, etc?!?  I have students write their paper in google drive and add me as a collaborator on their paper.  That way I can monitor the progress they are making and help them every step of the way.

The topic they choose to write on is wide open as long as it clearly has two sides and is relevant in our society.  I always have a few who don't quite understand the assignment and don't pass the "topic check".  This year's topics that didn't make the cut: "Why pit bulls are not bad dogs," "Which Spiderman is the best movie" and "Why robots would make our world a better place."  Bless their hearts, they try.  Teaching MLA format and Works Cited pages and how to do proper citing is a pain in the butt, especially because for most of these kids it is the first time they have ever done a real research paper.  But the real pain comes in a week when the papers are due.  Then it is grading time.  Any volunteers to help me grade those bad boys?

Question:  Would you allow wikipedia to be considered a reliable source?
Question 2:  What would you guess the majority of my students are writing on?  Legalizing pot.  Naturally.

Sophomores:  Poetry time!  I always love poetry- especially explaining different poetry terms.  (Self check:  How many of the following terms do you know?  Hyperbole, Alliteration, Onomatopoeia, Metaphor, Simile, Connotation,  Denotation, Imagery, Slant Rhyme, and Rhythm.  When we talk about the difference in literal and figurative language I love to show them this short clip from 500 Days of Summer to help them understand the common misuse of the word literal.  They love it.  They write all sorts of fun poetry, like limericks, haikus, and even a confession poem!  I get a kick out of watching their group presentations on a poet of their choice mostly because they are so uncomfortable with public speaking and it gives them a chance to understand the hell I go through every day!  Also, poets are just awesome.  I try to give them super interesting poets like Sylvia Plath who killed herself by putting her head in the oven, Edgar Allan Poe who married his 13 year old cousin, and Percy Shelley who drowned in the depths of the sea.  My goal with the poetry unit is to get rid of the "Oh, poetry sucks!" idea that so many of the kids have.  Pointing out psycho poets has got to help, right?

Banned Book Clubs:  We finished Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  I wasn't a big fan.  Admittedly, I don't think I gave it enough focus as I needed to.  I just couldn't feel any kind of love/respect/ admiration/relation to the main character.  And that always makes me dislike a book (Twilight, anyone?)  For this month's read we are doing Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I first read this in an Adolescent literature class in college, but I'm excited to re read it over Christmas break.  I am also looking forward to reading the short story, For Esme with Love and Squalor by J.D. Salinger (Same dude who wrote Catcher in the Rye) over the break.  My brother in law, who is a Salinger fanatic like I am, suggested it to me on our family cruise and I have been dying to read it, just haven't had time.  Oh, Christmas break, where are you?!?

P.S.  I saw Life of Pi with my mama this weekend and was shocked by how much I enjoyed it.  I am now making it a priority to read that book A.S.A.P.  Such a beautiful story.


Does all of this make you as exhausted as me?  Teaching is hard work!  Can't wait to read your comments on this one- have you read any of the books that we studied?  Did you hate poetry in high school?  And tell me please, what are you currently reading that the rest of us can't miss?

P.P.S  I sometimes do want to post pictures of what I wear to school but I find the actual taking the picture of the outfit so incredibly awkward.  You fashion bloggers out there, who takes the pictures of your outfits?  Do you do it yourself?  Or stand there like a moron while your husband snaps it for you?  HELP!

45 comments:

  1. I always wonder how fashion bloggers do it. My husband is at work rom sun up until sun down and pictures in our orange basement apartment at night wouldn't be the most flattering thing!

    I'm pretty sure my husband wouldn't be able to stop laughing at me if I tried to pose and do glamour shots in front of the camera. :)

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  2. I wouldn't give that student an alternate assignment. I'd talk to her and tell her how exciting it is that she will be the first to graduate and that she is so close and has this left to do. I even tell my third graders that you often have to do things you don't want to do or may not be interested in! Part of life and jobs! My husband keeps telling me to read that book! I take my pictures with a tripod and timer camera. My husband took them once and I was beyond embarrassed and he was mad that I was embarrassed. So it hasn't happened again!

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  3. I'm a semi-fashion blogger of tiny acclaim. Okay....honestly, 83 follower acclaim. Whoever is available takes my pictures. Husband. Mom. Best friend. Teaching buddy. Seriously. And all of those questions you asked truly wear me out and make me thankful I teach little kids instead of high school. I'm such a freaking softy I'd be tempted to give the girl an alternate assignment. Then I'd ask one of my colleagues who is more thick-skinned than me for advice.

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  4. I'm a semi-fashion blogger of tiny acclaim. Okay....honestly, 83 follower acclaim. Whoever is available takes my pictures. Husband. Mom. Best friend. Teaching buddy. Seriously. And all of those questions you asked truly wear me out and make me thankful I teach little kids instead of high school. I'm such a freaking softy I'd be tempted to give the girl an alternate assignment. Then I'd ask one of my colleagues who is more thick-skinned than me for advice.

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  5. I take all my outfit pictures myself! I use a tripod and remote timer, with whatever spare time I have in the afternoon. Even though it takes a million times longer to do it myself, it's easier than telling someone else how and what I want them to take pictures of.

    PS. I agree with Katie. Your student clearly has the drive to push herself to graduate early, so one book assignment shouldn't be a problem. Not to mention that reading 'boring' books and reporting on them is a part of life, not to mention the majority of college, unfortunately.

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  6. You're making me cry from missing high school!! lol!! anyways I always wanted to teach Catcher..., but I chose The Great gatsby instead and am obsessed witht hat book. When the Leo Dicaprio movie comes out, some former students (who I vored witht he book) are meeting up to go watch with me :) Go for it with Les Mis. That is awesome you are trying it...you learn with the students as you teach. I have had students ask for alternative assignments and it's really your call. I wouldn't blame the other teacher for asking, but I would think twice because he asked and it's not really fair for him to have done so...anyways personally I would stick to my guns becasue in the real world you do what you have to do because no one is going to say aww, it's ok you can have an alternative job. At the same time, you could assign an even more boring book...I'm thinking 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Farewell to Arms by Hemingway or The Sun Also Rises by Faulkner as reading...I did research papers once and OMG takes way too long!! So congratsand kudos for doing the hard job of guiding them thru it. I do not like poetry myself, but I definitely try to make it interesting and fun and use "easy poems" (because i have to explain them and if I don't get it then they won't hahah) I do song lyrics like this one http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/creative-state-of-mind-focusing-on-the-writing-process/ or use Rascal Flatts or Any other song...but then students need to "analyze" a song lyric and present to class what they found.
    Sorry this is long, but hope it helps!!

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  7. I read Life of Pi right when it came out - my mom got it for me for Christmas that year I think, but I haven't made time to see the movie yet! Definitely read the book though!

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  8. I think it's completely ridiculous, especially of fellow teacher, to ask for an alternate assignment because she thinks the book is boring. Tough luck, you want to graduate early you do the work. Yes, I want her to graduate. No, I don't want her to think(or others) she gets special treatment for things that she finds boring. Yes, asking doesn't hurt, and if she had come to you, I'd been much quicker to consider it. I feel like the other teacher should be encouraging her, telling her she CAN do it despite not being incredibly interested in it, that she DOES have the ability. I guess my issues are mostly with the teacher thinking this was reasonable, not the student.

    And as far as wikipedia goes, I used it for information, but more for general knowledge not quotable information. Show them that they can change the information in wikipedia and they'll get a kick out of turning "factual" information into funny facts about inappropriate nonsense.

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  9. One day she is going to have a boss ask her to do a job that she doesn't want to do. She's going to have to do it if she wants to keep her job. My son has the most rank smelling diapers sometimes but if I don't change him...well that's just not good, lol!

    If that girl wants to graduate, she can do her assignment. I didn't like all my of assignments in school but I never would have thought to ask a teacher for an alternate one. Geez. Make her do it.

    Would I consider Wikipedia a reliable source? No. Anyone can edit it. Perhaps they could use it to "start" but I would require all their information to be verified and citied with other sources.

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  10. I loveeee Perks of being a Wallflower. You'll have to do a post once you all finish to let me know how it goes. :)

    xoxo,
    Cai

    www.caidailyrant.blogspot.com

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  11. I wouldn't give her an alternate assignment. Maybe if she had a legitemate reason but not because she thinks the book is boring. Shoot. I thought all kinds of books were boring. I found Cliffnotes. Done.

    As far as Wiki goes... I would probably allow it for one source, since this is their first research assignment. If they are citing it correctly, it is a good learning tool. I would also preface it by saying they probably won't be allowed to use it in college. It kind of just depends on what your purpose is or what standard you are teaching.

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  12. I always think about if I would be helping or hurting my students when I have to make decisions. In the case you presented I feel like giving her an alternate assignment would be hurting her because there are always things we don't want to do or find boring in life but thems the breaks.

    For my students Wikipedia is a starting point but not able to be used as a reliable source. Although I do agree with what someone else mentioned about allowing them to use it as one source since it is their first foray into a research paper.

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  13. aaaand...I can't stop staring at the ugly fish. What the heck is in its mouth?

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    1. I think it's another fish?

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  14. Tough questions: I believe unless she has accommodations she should have to read your book... there is no disorder for boring... and I don't think they should be able to use wikipedia..it's not reliable! just my thoughts!

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  15. Hi Bonnie,

    Great teaching post! I want to address your questions and each one is solely my own opinion.

    a) I would not give the student an alternate assignment for many reasons. I am appalled that your colleague would put you in this compromising position by making his/ her offer to help with this accommodation. If you choose not to allow it, you are going to look like the bad guy. Also, if this student wants to achieve early graduation and be proud of her efforts, then she needs to do the work for the course. By giving an alternate task, I feel you would be compromising the integrity of your course.

    b) For your juniors, I love that they work on their assignments on Google drive. That's a great way to monitor plagiarism as well; a simple "copy and paste" is all it takes. I normally do not allow Wikipedia as a source because it's too easy for them. I usually tell my students to consult it to familiarize themselves with the topic, key words for searches, etc. However, I think learning the research process also means learning to judge creditable sources.

    c) I also love teaching poetry for simply the same motive you do. I teach my grade 9 students poetic devices with Taylor Swift songs at first. I've also used "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" by U2, "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay, and "Hero of War" by Rise Against. I find starting the unit makes poetry seem less intimidating. They even come in telling me how they picked out a device listening to a song on their own time. How awesome is that?!

    d) You sound like an awesome English teacher. Keep up the great work. Oh, and I'm jealous of your book club.

    From,

    a fellow English Teacher

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  16. I read Life of Pi last year, and I couldn't stop thinking about it! I made my husband read it so I could have someone to talk to about it! Ha ha! It has such a wonderful message. I just saw the movie this weekend, and I think they did a wonderful job.
    Also, I read the abridged version of Les Miserables my sophomore year, and my high school just happened to perform the musical that same year. It was so rewarding to see the musical after having read the book. Tell your kids it's totally worth it!
    Oh, and that early graduation student needs to suck it up and read the dang book. I may not be able to see the whole picture of her situation, but if her only excuse is that "It's boring," she can just deal. The end and amen.

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  17. I think that the student should have to read the book and complete the assignment. She's going to have to do a lot of things that she doesn't want to or that are "boring" in life and this is just one of them! I don't think it's fair for exceptions to be made unless there are extenuating circumstances. Just be upfront with her but also positive and encouraging! =)

    You sound like an awesome teacher by the way!

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  18. Life of Pi is a fantastic book! I also am a big fan of Catcher in the Rye. As for that girl I'm sorry I might be a bit tough but not liking a book or thinking its boring is not an excuse. If she wants to be the first one to graduate she will have to suck it up and do the work. If she has plans for college that attitude sure won't be useful there.

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  19. I understand the student is graduating early, but she needs to learn how to work for what she wants! Want to graduate early? Do all the work. You shouldn't be able to finish school early by not doing the same amount of work other students do. You can graduate early in college, but you have to have a certain number of hours to graduate. It should be the same in high school.

    As for wikipedia, it can be a great place to research things on a daily basis. However, when you're writing a research paper, your sources should be factual, academic sources written by professionals, not just any random person with internet access.

    Honestly, I think if it's not allowed in college, it should also not be allowed by junior year of high school. The transition from high school to college will be so much easier on the students. They'll be grateful for it eventually

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  20. I say make her read it. Life is full of things you don't want to do and she might as well get used to it.

    Have you read "Franny & Zooey" by Salinger yet? I adore that book. As in, I've been in some state of re-reading it for the better part of the last 25 years.

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  21. In not the right order....
    fashion bloggers?! I don't get it. I take pics of myself with my phone and its embarrassing.

    I want to see life of Pi Real bad!!

    I love that you tell them to skim. I think when you're in highschool you don't always READ the actual whole book. I know I didnt.

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  24. I think by encouraging your students to skim you're definitely teaching them a valuable lesson for college - good on you!

    As for the student who thinks Les Mis is "boring," I think you should still require her to read the book. In the real world - be it a job, or college, or what-have-you - she won't be able to skip an important assignment or project just because she isn't interested. We have to do what is asked of us by our teachers/professors/bosses because that's life, and I think letting her complete an alternate assignment will set her up with the idea that she can always get what she wants.

    And wikipedia - I think it's a great "jumping off" source to get background information from, but it's not necessarily reliable. I am currently in college and some professors encourage students to use it to get background information, but never to use it as an actual source. You could advise them to use the resources listed at the bottom the wiki entry though - those are helpful!

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  25. I don't think I would allow using Wiki as a reliable source. However, it's a good starting point because oftentimes there are links at the bottom with sources for the article, so the students could follow those.

    I loved Les Mis. We read it freshman year of High School. It's fantastic. I'm really looking forward to the movie. I do have to admit, I'm not a fan of the Perks of Being a Wallflower. And I started Life of Pi years ago when it was getting a ton of praise, and just couldn't get through the beginning. Maybe I'll have to give it another shot and perhaps it just starts off really slowly.

    I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It definitely held my attention. And I'm finishing up Gods of Gotham.

    Hope you have a great week!

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  26. I love love LOVE your posts on your students. I taught English in a French high school a few years ago, and I miss my students so much!

    Alternate assignment: I realize the reason she doesn't want to read the book is not acceptable, but I would need more info to decide whether or not to offer her another book. Since the book is so long, will your class be on track to finish it before Christmas break? Or is it so long that she'll need to finish it ahead of schedule to graduate in January? If she has to read it ahead of your class to graduate early, I would give the alternative assignment. If not, I would not give in. Make her read the book. It's part of life.

    Also I'm trying to track down a copy of Les Mis in French to read before I see the movie.

    The pit bull thing is a controversial issue. I wish I could find the blog post I read in the last few months, but pit bulls have been made illegal in some European country, and current pet owners are having to put down their pit bulls. It is a big question between dog lovers and those of us who think dogs are overrated on whether or not people should be allowed to breed pit bulls. Maybe it's not as prevalent as legalizing marijuana or preventing teen pregnancy, but those involved with the issue feel passionately.

    No, wikipedia is not a valid source! However, to ditto someone above, it's a great starting point to FIND reliable sources.

    I am familiar with all the terms. I can define all but onomatopoeia.

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  27. I never appreciated assigned reading the "classics" until after I graduated college. Now, I am trying to catch up on "Beautiful and Damned", "Pride and Prejudice" and all those other books that would "ruin my life" when I was in high school. Honestly, I am totally enjoying them now. I've always been a book nerd though.

    Perks of Being A Wallflower is one of my absolute most favorite books and my most enjoyed summer reading book during high school. I am dying for the movie to come to DVD so I can compare. But gosh, the book was so amazing.

    I wouldn't give the girl another assignment. Honestly, I can appreciate her trying to graduate but that kind of thing would never fly in college and shouldn't really ever fly.

    Xo-L

    simplylowcountry.blogspot.com

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  28. It's so great to see an English teacher who really cares about their students! I teach Chemistry at the college level right now and some of the writing I get is atrocious. It makes me wonder if all the English classes are going down hill. I don't let me students cite wikipedia as a source. It's a great first source, but anyone can edit it. I have a friend who played a joke on his roommate and convinced her she had colera by changing the wikipedia page... It was pretty bad.

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  29. Your classes sounds awesome! I love Catcher and Perks of Being a Wallflower.

    You should totally read Life of Pi, one of my all-time favorites.

    My high school english teacher taught poetry to us using song lyrics instead of modern poems (he said they were too emo for him). You should have your kids write song lyrics using poetry devices.

    -Shannon
    callmeshannon.com

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  30. It's not helping her at all to get a different assignment, in my opinion. You sometimes have to do what you don't want to do, and she has already proved that she CAN do it by qualifying to graduate early. There is nothing to feel guilty about by giving her the same assignment as everyone else.

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  31. Im a new reader! So inspired by your posts!! :) Loved Life of Pi ♥ Much respect to you too for being a passionate teacher!! :)

    I take my own photos with a tripod btw regarding photos! But sometimes, when my husband feels like it - hes the one who takes my photos!!

    Will be back for more!!♥

    ♥,
    Shari

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  32. I definitely would NOT give that student an alternate assignment. Will her BOSS in the REAL WORLD give her an alternate assignment because she doesn't like something? I THINK NOT!! I have a 13 year old girl and a 12 year old boy in middle school and I make sure to tell them every single day that going to school is their JOB and they do NOT have the option of not doing something just because they don't like it. I mean unless it is illegal or something that will harm them.

    I am ashamed to say that I have never read Catcher in the Rye but it is on my list. I enjoyed poetry in school. And I think it helps that you gave them some psycho poets to look up. LOL!

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  33. Hey there! I just happened to stumble across your blog and it was perfect because I teach high school English... Well I actually took this year off to be with my first born :) but I'm still a teacher for those who ask. :) I miss my students and coming up with creative assignments, so I enjoyed reading.

    Here are my thoughts, or what they are worth:
    1- I would probably give the girl an alternate assignment, but still have her watch movie (and have to write something about movie). Here is why: if I had a student that had the iniative to tell me they didn't like something an offer another suggestion, I may go for it. Sometimes it's not worth the fight, sometimes it is. If a student is just like ,"omg I hate this I'm so over it this is dumb.." Obviously they are going to be reading it! If they approach it in a more intelligent way, and can learn the same from something else? Is it worth the fight? I don't know. I had a student who had just had a father pass away and our book was dealing with death. Could he handle it? Probably. Was I going to make him? Nope. Your call- but I don't think your "giving in" if you do it, and I don't think you're wrong if you don't. :)

    2- nope to Wikipedia. And of course it's pot. Mine all wanted to write about that too. I steered a few away by telling them that our library didn't carry a ton of books

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  34. (I got cut off- as I should have, that was ridiculously long)

    Lastly- POETRY! My favorite thing I did with my sophomores. At the end I hosted a "coffee shop poetry reading". I turned on lamps, projected a coffee house background, pushed desks into tables with cookies and treats, and then served hot chocolate, coffee, and lemonade. Each had to read two poems at least and we snapped for everyone. Some were nervous but it turned out awesome! (A little pricey on my end, but they didn't know it was "great value" coffee ;)

    And

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  35. I wouldn't let her have an alternate book. Life is about juggling what you can and not taking shortcuts. She seems to have a sorry excuse for not wanting to read it.

    I want to see Life of Pi!

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  36. As a new high school teacher (about to complete my first semester) I would be torn. The sympathetic, pansie side of me says, "OMG what if I'm the reason she doesn't graduate", however the sensible side of me says, "Absolutely not! Regardless of her situation, the real world won't give her an alternate assignment just because she doesn't want to do it". I wouldn't give in.
    Btw, your blog rocks my socks off. Reading about your craptastic kids makes me so happy because I can now relate it to my own horribly awesome students!

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  37. Please don't allow Wikipedia to be used as a reference. Colleges don't allow it and it will be easier for the students if they are more prepared on what to expect in college. :-) I think it is brave that teacher is asking for you to give the student a different assignment. I think the girl will learn more if she is required to read the book and complete the assignment just like her classmates. In life, we are going to be required to do things we find boring or that we don't want to do, but we still do them because it is a part of life. :-) Good luck with that decision!

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  38. I wouldn't allow Wikipedia as a reference. Unless you're requiring like 40+ sources. I'd urge them to try harder, not just the first search that pops up on the internet.

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  39. Wikipedia is definitely NOT a reliable source and I wouldn't allow it! They don't allow it to be used in college so I wouldn't allow it in high school. I think that if they get used to doing the wrong stuff they will continue it and in the long run it will be of no good to them or their writing.

    Also, don't give the student another reading assignment just because they think the book is boring. Who cares. They can't always have what they want in life. It doesn't work that way. College professors will look at them absolutely crazy if they ask to have a different assignment because they don't like the one they were given. They deserve no special treatment!

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  40. At first, I was like, "that's a sticky situation you're in with that student!" However, when I went back and read it, I agreed with you. Why should she get an alternate assignment simply because she doesn't WANT to read the book?? I could understand if the timing was wrong for her to graduate in January, but her simply CHOOSING to not read the book is not an adequate excuse. Apparently, she doesn't want to graduate THAT bad if she's refusing to do the work asked of her. Life lessons, dear.

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  41. & no Wiki. It's not acceptable in college, and isn't that what you're preparing them for?

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  42. Don't allow wikipedia, because college won't, that's for sure! A wikipedia citatation on a paper for my college would have automatically received a failing grade!
    And I have my husband take my outfit pictures. He's happy to do it although he doesn't always catch my vision for having a picture that includes both feet AND head.

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  43. I definitely wouldn't let the student read an alternate book for her assignment. I would however, let her read ahead of her classmates and give her all the assignments and papers early so she can finish up in time to graduate. I think that if she can't read a book because it's too boring she'll probably fail out of college or at least not be successful in life. Sometimes we all have to do things we think are dreadfully boring. I think doing something boring is probably good for all of us.

    Also, I teach the computer class at my school and it makes me very excited that you're using Google Drive with your students. I've been exploring new options with technology lately, but haven't used Google Drive yet. Good job!

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  44. Alright. I've actually opened a notepad document so I can type and scroll through your post at the same time so I can write everything that I want to say.

    I really liked Catcher in the Rye, which says a lot from someone who doesn't like to read. I should probably read it again. I have to read The Great Gatsby before that because that movie comes out soon too.

    I don't think you're going to be able to get 18 year old boys to sing unfortunately - but I double dog dare you to try. Best of luck. I really hope you get it to happen.

    I wish my teachers had told me to skim. Also, I read the sparknotes of a lot of books written in Old English and really enjoyed them that way. I didn't have a plot problem, I just couldn't get past the language.

    I can't believe the teacher asked you to do that for another student. Tell her to get her shit together and read it - she's not going to be able to do that later on in life. Also, you're already telling her to skim - so she's not even reading the whole book anyway. This is being said from somebody who's pretty much a goody goody and I got mad when I knew people were finding ways to cheat around their work and I would do it all.

    I don't know how I would feel about sharing a google doc with my teacher - too much pressure. I feel like it takes the element of procrastination out. And procrastination makes everything better.

    I would have really liked to read the paper on why robots would make the world a better place
    Would I allow Wikipedia as a reliable source? No. Tell them to go look in the references and find the original source. It'll teach them more about how Wikipedia works.

    I wish I was in your poetry class. I also hated poetry. Too much visualization and imagery. Although if I liked it better, it would probably help me like some classic rock music better. I feel like classic rock is all about the lyrics - and the guitars.

    Yay for Perks of Being a Wallflower, just read it recently and I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, the movie didn't do it justice (of course) - especially with the intensity of "And in that moment, I swear we were infinite", but I'd go back just to watch Ezra Miller anyday. And Emma Watson dressed up in a Rocky Horror ensemble.

    PS. I know nothing about fashion, sorry.

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