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My Senior Speech

So here we are… You’ve completed the requirements for graduation, and you’re walking out of this school with a diploma.  Or maybe you’re not… but regardless of whatever hoops you have or haven’t jumped through, you’ve reached an important milestone:  … Continue reading

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Going Low-Tech — And keeping things social

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Preview of my NCTE presentation: Mashup The Shakespeare!

Shakespeare’s words are where the power lies.  Your students’ active connection with these words is the greatest gift you can give them. –Peggy O’Brien, Director of Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library   We teach Shakespeare so that students can … Continue reading

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Sharing the Joy of Reading

Our English department always required some summer reading. …and historically, nobody did it. …Well, OK.  Some students did it.  Some LOVED it!  and many, many more didn’t bother. Then we got really good: we required students to ANNOTATE the summer … Continue reading

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Address to the Poetry Out Loud Audience, Tallahassee, FL

  Thank you, Sandy and Ken, for inviting me to speak at today’s event.  More importantly, thank you for hosting an event that has continued to for both my brain and for my heart over the past six years.  The … Continue reading

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Need a Writing Prompt for Friday? Try this one!

The products on display here (the Hutzler 571 Banana slicer and the Wenger GIANT Swiss Army Knife with 87 tools, for only $1400) invite sarcastic and often wildly funny product reviews from Amazon browsers and customers.  I discovered these reviews through a … Continue reading

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Mash Up The Shakespeare!

Ludacris channels Othello?  Justin Timberlake in conversation with Desdemona?  Bob Marley meets the characters of Twelfth Night?  It all happened last week in my English classes, and students made it work. I got the concept of mashed-up literature from Chris Shamburg, who … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night — Using a Silent Scene. Thanks, Folger!

Today we experimented a little with video.  In order to understand the events of Act II, Scene 5 of Twelfth Night, I asked students to compose videos that captured the key events of the scene.  Here’s an example of what … Continue reading

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Whose Shakespeare? MY SHAKESPEARE!

As a warm up to this year’s Shakespeare plays, I had students read and perform Act 3, scene 3 — the scene where Cinna the Poet is confronted, attacked, and (possibly) murdered by a group of angry citizens. This lesson … Continue reading

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The Inspiring Story of Cain’s Arcade

Here are two inspiring stories. The first is the story of a brilliant nine year old who built an arcade out of auto parts boxes. The story moved me for two reasons: First, Cain is an inspiring kid — with … Continue reading

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