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Showing posts from 2010

Vote for Democracy

In this upcoming election, Hawaii voters are being asked to vote on whether we should give up the right to vote for a school board and instead have a board appointed by the governor. Proponents of an appointed board say that this will increase accountability. At this point, since the elected board is powerless without the legislature's funding, and the legislature is powerless if the governor vetoes that funding, then the finger pointing will of course ensue. With an appointed board, the buck stops at the governor.

I went to a panel discussion the other day sponsored by the League of Women Voters and former governor Ben Cayetano was one of the two speakers for an appointed board. According to Cayetano, an appointed board would eliminate the micromanaging that goes on with an elected board because they would "know their role" and be in sync with what is best for the schools. He also said that he knows many very qualified people in the corporate world that would be excelle…

Reading Ladders - Teri Lesesne

The Hawaii Council of Teachers of English (HCTE) sponsored "Professor Nana," Dr. Teri Lesesne (rhymes with insane) for their fall workshop this morning at Mid Pacific Institute in Mānoa.

Neither the $50 fee nor the fact that this was a gorgeous Saturday and we were in a 1/2-day workshop was enough to dissuade the packed cafeteria of teachers. If you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YA and tween books like I do. . .if it's your guilty pleasure. . .if you read YA books in order to find something one of your reluctant readers will devour, then Professor Nana is the ultimate source in YA books. I first saw her in San Antonio for a literacy workshop with Kylene Beers. I have followed her blog The YA Goddess since 06, and whenever I'm at NCTE, I make sure I go to at least one of her sessions. It's true that her power points are always on her slide share account, but I always get more insight when I watch her because she book talks some of the covers that are in her slide show.

In betw…

Storyline Online

Storyline Online is a site Esther Kotke of Hilo Union told me about. The premise is to take powerful picture books and create a video of professional actors reading these books. I listened to To Be a Drum read by James Earl Jones, but I noticed some other favorites like Thank You, Mr. Falker, Knots on a Counting Rope, and Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge.

While the actors do the reading, the video shows the illustrated pages and subtitles appear on the bottom so that students can follow along in their own books or read together from the screen.

In addition, there are activities and questions for each book. The site is out of funding, so they probably won't add any more books, but they have a nice little collection.

This is great for elementary, but since I'm teaching 9th graders this year, I just thought it's a novelty to pass on, but I chose the right book to compliment what I'm doing right now. To Be a Drum can still be used in my high school class because it's …