Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Could a literacy goal be this simple?

So in my role as a Literacy Consultant, I am sometimes asked about school literacy goals...The other day I was (re)reading Penny Kittle’s book entitled Book Love. It’s a great read for anyone who is interested in promoting reading and a love of books.

Anyhow, in the book she writes,“…the reality is that [secondary] students will read 6.5 texts a year…we must aim higher. Let’s start with at least 25 books a year, grade 6-12, so that students reach the goal of 175-200 books in adolescence. Many will read more…”

It got me to wonder, could a literacy goal be that simple?  Could we simply say that every child will read 25 books a year?

It’s simple, measurable, rooted in encouraging good reading practice….hmmmm?

Anyhow, it made me think about literacy goals in a different way and I just wanted to share my little moment.

What texts do we teach in grade 7?

Hello Folks,

I'm interested in learning what texts (novels, poetry, short stories, etc), teachers are using in grade 7 ELA. If you teach (have taught) grade 7 ELA, please consider taking a moment to complete this brief survey. I'll publish the results (without people's names) on this blog. So stay tuned!

Thanks in advance for those of you find the time to help gather this info! Form

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Can I Show This Movie in my Class?...or Public Performance Rights in Schools

Over the course of the last few weeks, the issue of public performance rights has come up a few times...so I thought it might be a good blog post.

The three questions I received were:

  • Do I need to pay for public performance rights to show a movie to my class?
  • Can I show a movie from home to my class and/or to multiple classes at the same time?
  • Can I show YouTube videos in class?

Here is my take on these questions:

With regard to the movies, yes the teacher can show the movie to his/her class(es), providing the following conditions have been met:

  • the copy of the movie was obtained legally (bought, borrowed, NOT PIRATED).
  • the movie will be shown during school time, to (mainly) students, and be for “educational purposes.”
  • no admittance can be charged (fundraising, etc).
Please note that if all of the above conditions have been met, there is no need to purchase a license to show the movie(s).
YouTube video can be legally viewed in class. HOWEVER, you must follow the terms of service for YouTube, which states that the video must be streamed live (not downloaded to a server, etc.).
Showing Netflix in class is a violation of Netflix terms of use, so no Netflix in class.
If you are interested in learning more about the new copyright law (2012), here are some excellent links which provide solid information about copyright as it relates to education.

Interesting Resources:
  • Finally, The Council of Ministers of Education, the author of  Copyright Matters site provides information for educators on copyright. Copyright Matters!
  • Care to peruse the actual Copyright Act? If you like that kind of thing here is it is.   
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions...Please note that copyright on audio material (songs, radio, etc.) is different...and can be the subject of another post sometime...

p.s. Legal Mumbo Jumbo: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice.
p.p.s. Writing Mumbo Jumbo: Mostly Madman writing here,  folks.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Enter the Madman

I’ve been intending to start this blog “for real” for a long time now….but I keep thinking “I’ll wait and do it later...when I have time.” HA HA HA...as if there is ever enough time.

All this procrastinating about how to get the blog started right, titled right, worded right, kind of left me paralyzed….and consequently, with no blog posts and no blog.

Today, I’m running to meetings and school visits and I thought again to myself that I don't have time to write a proper “first blog post” the exact right way. As I struggled over writing (not writing) this blog post, I was reminded of an article I read at the beginning of my career entitled “Madman, Architect, Carpenter, Judge: Roles and the Writing Process.” It’s a great quick read.

It talks about the writing process...the Madman who has the ideas great  (that don’t necessarily  make sense), the Architect, who orders the ideas, the Carpenter who nails things into place, and THEN the Judge comes out to evaluate. In class I used this personification of the writing process to get students to keep the Judge out of the process until the very end. The point of writing, I would say to students, is to just write. JUST WRITE. The rest will come. And so, that’s what I’m saying to myself here.

Welcome to my blog. It is meant to be a vehicle to communicate thinking, learning and resources about secondary literacy and school libraries. Fair Warning: there’s probably gonna be a lot of madman stuff posted here...because the Judge sometimes doesn't have time to come out and play.