Friday, December 5, 2008

One Pager

Case Study Report

I. What constitutes as an appropriate book club book?

Follow up questions:

-What topics are challenged in literature?
-What justification do parents give to the objection of literature?
-How do the students in these situations feel?

II. My primary sources include:

Lynch, Susan. "Parent Perspective." Personal interview. 21 Nov. 2008.
Swanson, Tim. "Teacher Perspective." Telephone interview. 12 Nov. 2008.
Unrue, Drake. "Student Perspective." Personal interview. 16 Nov. 2008.
III. The major themes that emerged in my investigation are parental concerns, teacher limitations, and a loss of the student’s voice. Parental concerns are a prevalent source in what constitutes as an appropriate book club book. Parental figures want control over their child’s exposure to sensitive subjects. The teacher standpoint I found through my interview contradicted this parental concern. The appropriateness of subjects in the text is valid. The text holds greater meaning as a whole, not simply to glorify negative aspects. The student in the middle of these situations feels isolated. They feel as if their voice has been taken away on the matter.

IV. As a result of this investigation I have found myself asking:

-How do schools handle these situations?
-Are teachers reprimanded when parents take issue with a text being taught?
-Who ultimately wins in these situations, seeing as it is not the student?
V. List of Secondary Sources
• Planet Book
• Unabridged
• The Malibu Times
• Free Management Library

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What i've found thus far...

I found that most teachers expressed their personal opinions on the matter, and were more likely to agree with the statement that, "book club books should not be censored." The aspect of the parental figure holding power over their child's reading selection is very apparent, although it should not be so strongly expressed. Yes parents should have control over their child's gain of knowledge(seeing as it is "their" child), but to what extent? Where do you draw the line between protection and over protection/sheltering? Do they loose the knowledge this literature provides?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Short Blog 10/24

Producing justifiable reasons which the text is chosen is key. These reasons must focus on the contents overarching ideals and questions, not a focus on the questionable aspects of the chosen text. A world view, better understanding of tough situations, and overall positive critical thinking should all be apparent in these pieces, not just the in question aspect of the text.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Delpict and Gee

Delpit focused on dominant discourse being the main power discourse, and home discourse being that of one taught/learned through the home setting. In Gee, he distinguishes this into primary and secondary discourses. Primary being the first environmental learning discourse in interacting with the word, and secondary being the discourses learned outside of the primary group.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Language Investigation #3

For Language investigation #3, we were asked to write about a community we all shared, that being the community of classrooms. In particular, looking at high school, middle school, and elementary. Being part of this community for the past seventeen years, I've encountered more then enough example to look back on that pertain to the kinds of reading and writing assignments, many of which reflected the rules and regulations which inform my use of language.

One class i remember in particular, the teacher was trying to begin a discussion on The Lord of the Flies, but the kids weren't having it. Socratic seminar does not sound cool at sixteen. I would have raised my hand and shown her some sympathy, except i had neglected to read the prior evening. Hard as this poor women tried to spark any intensity in her student, the slanted baseball hats and hidden ipod speakers we no match. Made me wonder what i would of done in that situation. I think i would have most likely brought candy in as a bribe, Popsicles in the hotter seasons.

Teachers don't have to be all old and angry, and they can actually have funny jokes! Teachers have taught their subjects using the same methods and approaches since the subject was established. I think these ways could stand some correction or at least updating. My beliefs about the importance of reading and writing are quite strong. If an individual is illiterate or has a comprehension problem, all that is needed for them to enjoy and understand literacy, is a good teacher who understands there learning style and is willing to take the time and help. The skills of literacy are unbelievably important to our daily lives. I love to see new teaching approaches as well. Along with this, the actual comprehension aspect of literacy must accompany the ability to read. Without comprehension one can read, but would lack the capacity to understand. This is rarely taken into consideration in the classrooms I've encountered.

My first real experience with a teacher was in my third grade math class with Mrs. Grimes. I had done poorly on her first exam and she had decided to write a letter to my parents and inform them that she believed, “Your daughter is incapable to retain the information we are learning in class, and I fear she will be unable to keep up with the other students.” When my parents received the letter they were quite angry with the teacher, but did nothing. I worked diligently on my homework each night, and made sure I knew the content well on each test, finishing the third grade math class with a solid A. The teacher was taken aback, and i got to learn a really important thing: Teachers aren't always right.

As a sophomore, I enrolled in a beginning creative writing class. My teacher came in the first day, looked everyone in the eye, and talked to the class as adults. This decision was great and she maintained the respect of the class through out the rest of the semester. On top of this, she actually got me and the other students excited about writing, whether it was short stories, poems, or even our final of a fifteen page short story of our own. I remember working on that story for months and being so proud when I received my A at the end of the semester. This teacher showed me that there are educators who can make a positive effect on my schooling.

Throughout my elementary and middle school years, reading and writing was hard for me. When I finally reached high school, I was diagnosed with learning disabilities and dyslexia. I worked everyday with flash cards and easy-reading books to improve my proficiency in literacy. Once learning of this diagnosis and reevaluating how to learn these skills, I became entranced with the wonders of reading and writing. I started reading novels, writing short stories, and working on poetry. To this day I am constantly scribbling in journals, napkins, or whatever I may get my hands on. Even though it came to me late in life, being able to read and write well changed my entire outlook on school and life in general. Now literacy is one of the biggest aspects of my life, working to become a high school English teacher as well as an author. Without the ability to read and write, I would probably not know what I wanted to do in my life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Warm-up #2

What kinds of reading and writing did you see students doing in school? Why do you think Rose chose these assignments?

I saw students in the reading engaging in various texts. Many different reasons can come about as to why Rose chose these assignments. Some may consist of knowledge based reasons, exposure to various types of text, a general understanding on topics covered, and of course, to become stronger readers of literature. In order to be a successful writer, you must first be a successful reader. This statement can shed clarity on the writing assignments Rose chose as well. The writing assignments further their growth as writers, and vice verse.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Language Investigation 2

I've been part of the "rugby community" for six years now. I played for my high school, select side teams, and for Colorado State. This community has been a huge part of my life since it has spanned for so many years. As a foreign game, meaning one not widely popular in the U.S., many words and phrases come across as confusing to members outside this community.

Pitch - Rugby field of play. Typically measured as the size of two football fields.

Touchline - The side boundary of the pitch.

Try - Five points scored when the ball is grounded in the other team's in-goal area. (a set or drop kick through post follows for additional points)

Forward Pass - Pass thrown ahead of himself/herself, which is illegal in rugby. It is a minor violation that results in a scrum to the non-offending team.

Pack/Forwards: Tend to be large players (jersey numbers 1 through 8) who make up a scrum (see later) and are used to retrieve the ball once the ball carrier has been tackled.

Backs: Tend to be smaller, quicker players, (jersey numbers 9 through 15) who use the ball once retrieved from the backs to progress towards the goal and score.

Set Piece - A set way of restarting play such as a scrum or lineout.

Scrum: A scrum will restart play after the referee has called a violation. A pack of players from each team (8 on each side) face each other and bind as one to form the "tunnel," into which the non-offending team will place the ball to restart play. The two teams will push against one another until the ball exits the rear of a pack (whichever side it exits); the scrum half or eight man will retrieve the ball and put it into play by throwing it to the "backs".

Lineout - Offense and defense players (forwards) line up perpendicular to the touchline to receive a ball thrown back onto the field by the hooker. Two players on each side may lift a third player into the air to receive the ball, with the opposing players lift their player into the air to defend.

Ruck: A ruck is formed when the ball is on the ground, usually following a tackle, and both teams converge over the ball, bind with one another, and attempt to push the opposing team backward to gain control of the ball until that teams scrum half can retrieve it and pass it out to continue play towards their goal.

Maul - Similar to a ruck, but occurs when the ball carrier is not tackled, but stays upright and maintains the ball. Both teams converge on the ball carrier and try to push the opposing side backward until the ball is striped or the ball carrier goes to the ground. (In that case, now forming a ruck)

"Ball's Out!" - Call heard when the ball exits the scrum, ruck, or maul.

Obstruction - Illegally getting in the way of an opposing (defensive) player. Unlike football, it is illegal to block (obstruct) your opponent.

Knock-On - When the ball has bounced forward after striking a player's hands, arms, or upper body. It is a minor violation that results in a scrum to the non-offending team.

Offside - Similar to soccer, there is an offside line (equal with the ball) continually moving up and down the pitch. It is not illegal to be offside, but it is illegal to participate in play from an offside position.

Sin Bin - For serious or repeated infringements the referee may send a player behind the in-goal area, the "sin bin," for a specified amount of time. His/her team must play shorthanded until the referee permits the punished player to return.

Positions: Each side has 15 players on the field at a time. A total of 30 on the field during play.


Loosehead Prop - The player on the left side of his own scrum. (1)

Hooker- The name is derived from the fact that hookers use their feet to 'hook' the ball in the scrum; because of the pressure put on the body by the scrum it is considered to be one of the most dangerous positions to play. They also normally throw the ball in at line-outs. (2)

Tighthead Prop-The player on the right side of their own scrum. (3)
The role of both the loose and tighthead props is to support the hooker in the scrum and to provide effective support for the jumpers in the line-out, as well as powerhouses in the rucks.

Locks:The two locks stick their heads between the two props and the hooker in the scrums. They are also responsible for keeping the scrum square and the front row together and providing power to shift it forward. As the tallest players, they typically are lifted in a line-out. (4 & 5)

Flankers: In the scrum, flankers do less pushing than the tight five, but they have to break away quickly and attempt to tackle the opposing backs if the opposition wins the scrum; and to cover their own backs if they win the scrum. (6 & 7)

8 man: The number eight packs down at the rear of the scrum, controlling the movement of the ball to the scrum-half with his feet. The 8 man is the position where the ball enters the backline from the scrum. (8)


Scrum Half: (My position) Scrum halves form the link between the forwards and the backs, and are invariably at the centre of the action. (Somewhat like a quarterback in football) A scrum half is normally relatively small but with a high degree of vision, the ability to react to situations very quickly, and good handling skills, as well as the ability to spin the ball with great ease off both hands long distances. They are often the first tackler in defence and are behind every scrum, maul or ruck to get the ball out to their team and maintain movement. They put the ball into the scrum and collect it afterwards; they also are allowed to stand further forward than other backs at a line-out to try to catch knock downs or passes from the jumper.It is also not unusual to have talkative scrum-halves in competitive situations seeing as one person must communicate with 14 others across a large pitch. (9)

Fly-Half: The fly-half makes key tactical decisions during a game along with the scrum half — whether to kick for space or tactical advantage, move the ball to the outside backs, return the ball to the forwards to drive on to or run with the ball themselves. An ideal fly-half should be a fast runner, be able to make decisions quickly, direct the backline on defence and attack, have excellent kicking and handling skills and the ability to cope under pressure. Strong leadership skills and defensive skills are crucial for this position. (10)

Inside Center: A "powerhouse" runner that is used to break through tackles or clear space for other runners. They may also be expected to act as fly-halves if the normal fly-half is involved in a ruck, tackle or maul. (12)

Outside Center: The faster of the two centers, the outside center is used to make breaks through the opposition's backs before passing to the wingers after drawing the last line of defence. Good size and tackle breaking skills are very important for outside centres to have, as well as the need to be very aggressive in defence. (13)

Wings: The idea is that space should be created by the forwards and backs inside the wingers so that once they receive the ball, they have a clear run for the try-line. Wings are almost always the quickest members of the team, aside from scrum-halves and fly-halves, but also need to be able to side step and otherwise avoid opponents in order to score tries. They are also used as a last line of defense on the sides of the pitch. (11 & 14)

Fullback: The full back stands back to cover defensive options as a 'sweeper' behind the main line of defence removed from the other backs principally to field any opposition kicks. They are also often inserted into the back line as an extra set of hands for an attack. As the true last line of defence, good tackling skills are required, as well as excellent kicking abilities, and require a good eye, as they oversee the entire game as it unfolds. (15)