In my current trends in literacy course for our MAT program, I have 7 students across several content areas. Our discussion yesterday confronted how too often teachers (notably ELA teachers) assign texts and reading that discourage students as readers.
One candidate in ELA shared a story of a teacher who declared that most of their students “can’t read Shakespeare” so that teacher has the class listen to an audio recording of the play Macbeth.
I noted that required reading lists often do more harm than good for students as readers and added if I had to choose between required texts…
As a teen I had two experiences that have shaped my entire life, being diagnosed with scoliosis (resulting in wearing a full-body brace throughout high school) and subsequently falling in love with comic books and science fiction.
As a comic book collector and fan of superhero comics, I was drawn to Spider-Man (of course), but I also developed an affinity for so-called second-tier characters and sidekicks.
I entered the classroom as a high school English teacher in Upstate South Carolina in the fall of 1984, coinciding with the start of the high-stakes accountability movement in my home state as well as across the U.S.
Many people identify the Nation at Risk report under Ronald Reagan as ground zero for the accountability movement that entrenched patterns of school reform lasting until today — ever-changing standards, ever-changing high-stakes tests, and a never-ending refrain that schools are failing.
While attacks on Critical Race Theory (CRT) by Republicans and conservatives have many different claims, one consistent element of these attacks is misinformation.
One of those false associations can be found at the persistently misleading Discovery Institute (infamous for stoking the evolution debate): Critical Race Theory — The Marxist Trojan Horse writes Walter Myers III for the “institute.”
Recently I gave a presentation for a learning in retirement session at my university — The 1619 Project: Should we “reframe” our country’s history to include the consequences of slavery?”
In the opening of the presentation I explain what CRT is, focusing…
Since publishing my book, How to End the Reading War and Serve the Literacy Needs of All Students, that examines the current “science of reading” (SoR) version of the Reading War, I have given several interviews and presentations on that work.
I have also continued to blog about the movement, and in all of these experiences, I am forced to rethink and think more complexly through what I know and understand about the SoR movement as well as how to teach reading and literacy.
More than 30 years ago, I ventured into road cycling as a hobby. I rode alone for a couple years before discovering a vibrant cycling community in my home town.
In the mid-/late 1980s, most of the organized group rides started at the local bike shop (just down the street from where I lived) or the downtown YMCA.
When I started joining these rides, most of the cyclists were veteran and highly skilled cyclists — and friends. …
Misattributed quotes can still be valid, and such is the case with the often repeated, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” typically associated with Mark Twain (possibly the first person to attribute the saying to the wrong person).
Statistics are a powerful kind of lie because data allow people to state factually true statistics that still mislead or distort the topic being addressed.
Republicans and conservatives have used the statistical lie often as a dog whistle for their racist base. Two of those issues are fatal police shootings and black-on-black crime.
Let’s look at how…
About a year ago, a friend and I introduced my grandchildren to gaming; soon after I bought them a Nintendo Switch.
My granddaughter, Skylar, was immediately drawn to Animal Crossing because she loved that the game allows players to visit each other’s world. But the game also requires a great deal of reading so her initial experiences meant she had to play with someone who could read with comprehension to help and guide her.
Today, Skylar is starting second grade.
Having come (very) late to Stranger Things, this was one of my first thoughts when Lucas sets off on his own to find the gate (S1E6).
Since Stranger Things is a pop culture referential series, my experience includes immediately thinking of WandaVision (also referential and driven by pastiche) and how Stranger Things includes more than a passing debt to superhero narratives, along with gaming culture as well as the broader 1980s TV and movie references.
I am a child of the 1960s and 1970s, but the love affair Stranger Things…
This coming Thanksgiving of 2021 will be the ten-year anniversary of me being ghosted.
The person was an important part of my life, but our connection made both our lives complicated. And we were never able (willing?) to address the problems in ways that would protect the relationship.
The ghosting was a dark cloud over my life for many years — although I never discussed it in any real way with anyone else. And if I am entirely honest with myself, the ghosting may have been about the only option for the other person.
Over the last few years, that…