Updating Fahrenheit 451: How do you turn it into a modern-day comic book?

Fahrenheit 451 is undoubtedly on the top of my lists of greatest books of all time.  The novel was probably one of the reason’s why I became an English teacher, due, in great part, to the way it was taught by my freshman-year English teacher, Kevin Brewner (now retired). Last year, I crafted a rather Read More …

Why do *I* have to facilitate discussion? Facilitating book talks that start with student inquiry #uiwp2012 #PBLchat

When I started the year, I had 56 students in one of my sections and 50-some in another.  (Want to try your hand at trying to manage that classroom on the first week?)  As the year goes on, my classes get smaller, due to our transient student body at my school — kids move, transfer Read More …

The coolest part about tomorrow: partnerships showing strength and growing @DNTHS

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Gangs and Violence Awareness project

After school today, students from both of my double-block periods came together to put together a plan to run the interview with Cobe Williams tomorrow.  Just like last year, they are in charge of facilitating.  Despite coming from different project groups and periods, we had a very productive discussion on the expectations, logistics and discussion Read More …

Tues @DNTHS: Violence Interrupter “Cobe” Williams joins us via Skype

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Gangs and Violence Awareness project

Last year spring, my students rocked the My Bloody Life / gangs awareness project we threw at them.  It was a testament to how a project can change its direction from the grassroots of the classroom — the student body — and how reading high-interest materials can promote deeper learning.  As the advocates who voiced interest in seeing The Read More …

Having something to be proud of: The power of demonstration-site status

The other night, I heard a rumor that a school in the county may have lost its demonstration-site status for a program they were very proud of.  To me, that’s devastating news.  Currently, I work in a school that is a New Tech Network Demonstration Site school, which means we get visitors.  We received this Read More …

The @DNTHS welcome video (and postcards!)

In the next week or so, my incoming sophomores will receive a short postcard from a colleague and I.  During the University of Illinois Writing Project (UIWP), I started a conversation about personal writing and the “You will write every day” attitude necessary to build a solid classroom writing community.  From that discussion, the idea for Read More …

#NTAC12 Ingite talks hit YouTube this morning… which means my presentation is up, too!

This morning, New Tech Network published the final versions of the 2012 New Tech Annual Conference Ignite talks. Wow, what a roller-coaster of a summer it has been.  It’s hard to think this was just a couple weeks ago!  That whole experience brought back a lot of the feelings that I remember when I was Read More …