Then, my delivery method was like the fear-based persuasion of the Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards. I delivered American literature with similar zeal, only my aim for students was a “great awakening” of the secular, literature-based variety. Edwards delivered “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” to a captive audience facing damnation. “The fire is made ready,” Edwards preached. I preached, too. However, for students, the fiery hell threatening was the semester report card. I knew this, but never made the connection for them.
Now, I am more Steve Jobs, of Apple Inc., than Edwards. My delivery reflects 21st-century technology and thinking. My materials are downloadable. (What if Edwards had PowerPoint?) My classroom is collaborative, and students design their learning. Information is not delivered, it is shared. We progress through the evolution of American literature, and my instructional model mirrors this progression and evolution from the 18th century to the 21st century.
Armando T. Zúñiga
Teacher on Special Assignment, English Language Development (K-12)
Simi Valley Unified School District
Simi Valley, California
11 years of teaching
Parent to Parent: Our Children, Their Literacy
Author(s): Gerald R. Oglan, Averil Elcombe
Parent to Parent helps parents become active participants in their children’s literacy development. Authors Oglan and Elcombe offer parents a wealth of information to facilitate their children’s learning. Each chapter begins with questions parents frequently ask about speaking, listening, reading, writing, and spelling. The authors provide a number of strategies that help children develop as writers and spellers, such as having children write grocery lists, use message boards, or participate in written conversations. Numerous examples of student writing are included, along with stories written by parents who have used many of the suggestions and strategies included throughout the book. An annotated bibliography of children’s literature from kindergarten to grade six is also included.
Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century: The Importance of Paying Attention
Author(s): Cynthia L. Selfe
Part critique of existing policy and practice, part call-to-action, Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century explores the complex linkage between technology and literacy that has come to characterize American culture and its public educational system at the end of the twentieth century.