1. I woke from a dream the other night with this line running through my head. If we keep kids from the truth, we are consigning them to a life of believing lies. I think this has something to do with the latest rounds of challenges to books such as Ralph Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN and Tanya Lee Stone's A BAD BOY CAN BE GOOD FOR A GIRL and the dis-invitation of Rainbow Rowell and Meg Medina from school visits. I know I want to flesh this out a bit, but do not have the time right now due to other commitments.
2. The continuing commodification of educational practices. The newest affront is interactive read alouds. I saw these more as choral reading with kids but NOPE. Here are a few of the quotes I have pulled from web sites.
"Interactive read alouds help you make the most of this time (cherished read aloud time) by showing you creative ways to use popular children's literature to teach specific standards and build fluency and comprehension by combining guided conversations with reflective thinking."
"While reading, I stop frequently to clarify what’s happening in the story and ask questions like: What will happen next? What are you thinking right now? What picture do you see in your mind right now?"
So, I do not think these qualify as read alouds if we are turning them into skill and drill opportunities. I prefer my read aloud to be for Pleasure. I know I am stepping on some rather large toes here. I don't really care about that, either. I hate to see us change what we mean by reading aloud. Does EVERY SINGLE THING we do have to have a skill or lesson attached to it?
3. Another commodification of which I have been blissfully ignorant: RtI. Yes, I have heard about Response to Intervention, but recently I got lectured about it at a conference. I swear that I am so tempted to take something I know is basic to teaching and commodify the living daylights out of it, copyright it, write a half dozen books about it, and then go out and sell it. On the other hand, I think I will be happier if I just do as Sheldon Cooper would, give these folks a look of incredulity mixed with a bit of pity.
As it turns out, I guess I did have enough fodder for a blog post. But I do want to come back to each of these bits/fits and talk some more. Later.