Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coraline By Neil Gaimen

There are four steps prior to answering this final blog that you will need to complete:

I. Please download the following two documents from our site:
(Note: This is the same site you will upload your graphic novel one-pager for the final class)

Document 1: The abridged version of "A Conversation with Neil Gaimen" the author of Coraline
Document 2: Coraline Discussion Questions

II. Read through the shortened interview with Neil Gaimen for background knowledge. Read through the list of discussion questions provided for the novel Coraline. This is a resource for you to use with Coraline in the classroom.

III. Browse through any of the four sites listed below to get a feel for some of the resources available to you regarding graphic novels in the classroom. The first two links are from the author and illustrator of Coraline. The final two links will get you to Will Eisner's site and another contemporary expert in the field of comics, Scott McCloud.

IV. Finally, apply the same set of questions we used in our last post (Will Eisner) to look at the graphic novel, Coraline:

(1) What surprised you?

(2) What challenged you?

(3) What frustrated you?

(4) What do you appreciate?

Bonus: What themes emerged for you in reading Coraline that would be applicable to using with students in the classroom?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Graphic Novel One-Pager Collection

We now have a convenient way of uploading our one-pagers to the website so that you don't have make copies for everyone.

Please follow the link below to our site and upload your document:

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Will Eisner Blog Response

Selected quotes from the Forward of Eisner's book:

This work (Eisner's book) is intended to consider and examine the unique aesthetics of sequential art as a means of creative expression, a distinct discipline, an art and literary form that deals with the arrangement of pictures or images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea. It is interesting to note that sequential art has only fairly recently emerged as a discernible discipline alongside filmmaking, to which it is truly a frontrunner. 

Comics have undoubtedly enjoyed wide popularity worldwide. However, for reasons having much to do with usage, subject matter and perceived audience, sequential art was for many decades generally ignored as a form worthy of scholarly discussion.  While each of the major integral elements, such as design, drawing and caricature and writing, have separately found academic consideration, this unique combination to a long time to find a place in the literary, art and comparative literature curriculums.  I believe that the reason for slow critical acceptance sat as much on the shoulders of the practitioners as the critics.  

Questions for Blog Response:
As a reader, engaging with Eisner's chapters:
(1) What surprises you?  

(2) What challenges you?

(3) What frustrates you?

(4) What do you appreciate?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Multiple Literacies Blog Response

Today, the NCTE definition of 21st century literacies makes it clear that further evolution of curriculum, assessment, and teaching practice itself is necessary.

Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities, and social trajectories of individuals and groups. 

Twenty-first century readers and writers need to:

• Develop proficiency with the tools of technology

• Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally

• Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes

• Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information

• Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts

• Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

Question for Blog Response:
Self-efficacy is the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals.  It is a belief that one has the capabilities to execute the courses of actions required to manage prospective situations in the future.  Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations.  One's sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges.  According to Bandura's theory (social cognitive), people with high self-efficacy- that is, those who believe they can perform well- are more likely to view difficult tasks as something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided.

Consider the list of skill sets generated above from NCTE that students will need to master before graduating to be considered productive and literate citizens in the 21st century.  In what way(s) has our course this semester shaped your own self-efficacy regarding multiple literacies and your approach to teaching these skills to your own students (current or future)?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Learning to Embed Videos Into Blogs

Over the weekend I spent some time learning how to embed videos and hyperlinks into our class blog from YouTube, Animoto, VoiceThread as well as posters from Glogster.

Thought this YouTube video I was sent over the weekend by a colleague resonates with this weeks readings and the themes that emerged from your initial reflections. Hope you had a beautiful weekend and looking forward to seeing our first round of presentations this Tuesday night.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Please read all the Ecoliteracy links and essays prior to responding this week and respond to BOTH questions:

1. In addition to environmental knowledge, education for sustainability includes the acquisition of particular skills, values, and vision needed to put that knowledge into practice.  Education for sustainable living cultivates competencies of head, heart, hands, and spirit to enable children to develop toward becoming citizens capable of designing and maintaining sustainable societies.  Which of the competencies listed at would you list as a strength in your current or ideal pedagogy? Why?

2. After reading David W. Orr's essay please respond to ONE of the quotes listed below.  What resonates with you as an educator?

A. Genuine leaders, including those in the media, must summon the people with all of their flaws to a level of extraordinary achievement appropriate to an extraordinarily dangerous time. They must ask people, otherwise highly knowledgeable about the latest foibles of celebrities, to be active citizens again, to know more, think more deeply, take responsibility, participate publicly, and, from time to time sacrifice.


B. Telling the truth requires leaders at all levels to speak clearly about the causes of our failures that have led us to the brink of disaster. If we fail to treat the underlying causes, no small remedies will save us for long. The problems can in one way or another be traced to the irresponsible exercise of power that has excluded the rights of the poor, the disenfranchised, and every generation after our own. 


C. Transformational leadership in the largest crisis humankind has ever faced means summoning people to a higher vision than that of the affluent consumer society. Consider the well-studied but little-noted gap between the stagnant or falling trend line of American happiness in the last half century and that of rising GNP. That gap ought to have reinforced the ancient message that, beyond some point, more is not better.