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In The Art of Teaching Writing, Lucy McCormick Calkins talks about making poetry anthologies throughout each year with students. They can be organized by a variety of categories, e.g., themes and authors and environments, and they can be reorganized depending on mood, desired adjustments, etc. The idea is that making meaningful collections full of things we love and resonate with builds, or adds layers (or removes), to what is inside of us- the deep rich stuff.

Pinterest is the modern anthology. Today we have access to more in the world through the Internet: it’s our ship to wherever we want to go. We can track our adventures, gather ideas and knowledge, and go over it and filter it and share it through a digital board.

Making Pinterest boards, in some way, with students, would be wonderful. Poetry could be a section, as well as other teacher and student selected categories. Love it.

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This video is a few years old, but I want to post it because there are so many ways this piece could be integrated into curriculums. It’s a springboard for deep questioning-

Cut 1998

Thanks to a lovely conversation with a teacher at The Renaissance Charter School in NYC, I am now growing familiar with the amazing work of Kara Walker. I love shadow and silhouette work, and Walker is quite the master at projecting both. Her work is full of energy, history, and story- I am looking forward to studying it more, and hopefully integrating her work into curriculum designs.

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I was thrown off balance when a Head of Middle School showed me a neatly laminated 3′ x 2′ poster that may or may not have been titled “The Writing Process” and asked me for my thoughts. The reason I forget is significant: the poster was forgettable- not the least bit sticky. Well I lied, I remember the green border and the green tiger separated with its own palatial blank white territory. They had nothing to do with the writing process.

He said the school was standardizing the writing process and would be hanging these posters in all the classrooms. I’m not sure who designed the poster, but I don’t think it was a writer. My mind streamed with improvements that could be made-

Problems with the Poster

  • There are not always  5 steps (brainstorm, outline, draft, edit, final composition) in the writing process
  • People use different processes
  • The process is not linear and neat like a list
  • Lacked relevant and inspiring visuals
  • Font all the same style and color, nothing pops
  • A poster does not teach a person to write
  • It wasn’t student-centered and created

Improvements

  • Create a project for students, perhaps a unit “Writing Processes”
  • Students research writing processes, e.g., writing processes used by favorite or notable author; writing processes used by self and friends; improvements they would make, and present to class and perhaps school
  • Create a board in the classroom for Writing Tools and Processes, students can post and organize ideas
  • Address the writing processes they used for this project and how they figured out how to do it, e.g., trial and error, experience, tips, Internet, books, teacher, friends, parents

I heard the band Pomplamoose perform on NPR this weekend. They are a d0-it-yourself-band, i.e., not signed by a record label. While some of their songs are covered, many are original and quite good. The two band members play multiple musical instruments and it’s WYSIWYG. “There’s no hidden sounds, there’s no lip-synching, there’s no overdubbing. What you see is what you hear,” Conte says. “Sometimes, there might be two or three Natalys harmonizing with herself, and then you’ll see those three videos juxtaposed together on the screen.'”

“I guess I kinda don’t like how there’s such a pedestal for music culture and especially for band culture,” he says. “It just feels fake; it feels like smoke and mirrors. I feel like music doesn’t have to be like that. It can be something that’s very normal and very accessible.”

“Pomplamoose: Making a Living on YouTube”

Great musicians. Good article.

This song and video are wonderful. uplifting. insightful. life-

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot created this installation art piece for The Curve, a series at the Barbican Centre in London that exhibits site-specific art. This piece features a walk-through aviary with grass, little ponds, Zebra Finches, and an electric guitar. The birds land on the strings, jump around, and play with sticks on them- and sound is produced.

Zed Nelson, a British photo journalist, traveled the world and took pictures of people who morph and mutilate their bodies to become physically beautiful.

“Bodies Altered in Pursuit of Beauty” by Nadia Sussman covers the book in The New York Times. Sussman quotes Nelson, “‘Globalization hasn’t just given us Starbucks in Beijing and shopping malls in Africa…It is also creating an eerily homogenized look.’”

 

This piece comes with instructions on how to melt and shape.

“set my peeps free-” Froot Smoothie

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