Eyeing A1

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Posts Tagged ‘Kathleen Blake Yancey

In the beginning …

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There has to be a start to everything. Basic building blocks. A foundation.

The question has come, though, where do we begin with our children in school? When do we start building the basic foundation to give children the tools they need in order to function in society?

Literacy today is in the midst of a tectonic change. Even inside of school, never before have writing and composing generated such diversity in definition.

Kathleen Blake Yancey states this in her speech Made Not Only Words: Composition in a New Key. If that foundation is shifting, where do we go?

No where.

We just need to change the way the foundation is presented. No matter a person goes, they were are key things they have to learn. Arguably the most important is a way to express themselves whether that is with writing, drawing, speaking or any number of ways.

Children and teenagers are already doing this with Facebook, blogs, Twitter and a number of other social media. Teachers have to show students that composing doesn’t have to be boring. There are ways to use what you are learning in the classroom and bring it to your everyday life.

The learning process shouldn’t be a fight. Student and teachers want the same thing, but it’s a matter of finding the right way to say and use things. Rather than taking a pen to a piece of paper, English teachers could take a lesson from VRMC10. Have the students create blogs where they can share their thoughts. In addition, have other students in the class take part by writing comments and provoking thought among each other.

Within the blogs, the students can find a topic, genre, game, picture or trend they are into and focus on that topic. Not only are the students becoming proficient in their area, but the rest of the class can learn from it as well. This will give everyone a broad knowledge and supply a small base to build on.

This is the foundation.

This is where we start.

The shift Yancey talks about doesn’t have to be as big as it looks. The gap isn’t as wide as it seems. As the students change from year-to-year, so the teachers.

That’s part of education. The old cliché is “We never too old to learn.” That’s something we should all remember.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

February 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm