Comics, Assessments and Captions

Much like Explosion Wednesdays, I’m not sure if this is going to become a thing, but I’m one of those people who needs structure, and this is one way I can impose structure upon myself. Plus, I’m an English teacher. I live for alliteration and all that stuff. What I think Monday Musings will be is a round up of things I’ve found on the internet, either book/reading related or teaching/literacy/educational technology related that I have thoughts about.

Let’s start with bookish goodness.

Over at The Broke and the Bookish, they want to know if you’re a paperback fan, or a hardcover fan. Personally, I’m a hardcover fan, though it drives me crazy when my students (or anyone else) tear the dust jacket. I think T is more of a paperback fan; she likes to bend the covers back. That makes shared book buying interesting. What about you? Paperback or hardcover? or ebook, or audiobook even? 

What’s you’re preferred reading format? #books #bookstack #bookstagram

A photo posted by Eli (@thebooksupplier) on Jul 27, 2015 at 3:45pm PDT


Over on Diverse Media’s tumblr, someone asked about LGBT book/movie adaptations. There are some TV options, but not many books are making their way to the big screen. I find this to be unfortunate. The last one I remember hearing about was The Geography Club, and I heard the movie engaged in some bi-erasure, which is enough to make me not see it. What books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters would you like to see as movies?

I’ve been thinking about going to see the Paper Towns movie, speaking of book/movie adaptations. And thinking about going to see a movie also had me thinking about this YouTube video series I saw called Every Single Word Spoken By a Person of Color in X by Dylan Marron. This is the one from The Fault in Our Stars.

Now, let it be said that I’m not criticizing John Green by posting this for discussion. I love TFiOS. But I think it’s interesting to continue the discussion about casting, and how when race isn’t specified, the default is white. I’ll even admit that when I read the book, I made that assumption too, since typically when reading characters of color, the color of that character is specified. I find this to be problematic, and it’s through conversation and reading diversely that we challenge these assumptions. Have you read with assumptions about race, ethnicity or gender? To what end?

There’s a list of Black comics by Black authors over on Panels.  I really want Strange Fruit (the second one they talk about), March, and Incognegro. Any of those strike your fancy?

Education, here we go.

John Spencer recently wrote about alternative assessments. As someone who is going to mostly conferences and individual student objectives, I’m particularly interested in his thoughts on three types of conferences.  I’ve read about conferences that literacy instructors use in Reading Reminders, but I’m always open to new ideas and approaches.

Essentially, this is what I’m doing in my classroom with gamification (except I take Lee Sheldon’s approach and call it a multiplayer classroom with different modes of play based on the lesson and activity). Somehow, I’m going to combine this with student conferences. We’ll see how this goes. I’ll probably post about how I’m conceptualizing class periods soon.

Over on The Innovative Educator, Lisa talks about the benefits of captions.  It’s always driven my students nuts because I’ll turn the volume down (not all the way, just low enough so if anyone is talking, no one can hear) and turn the captions on. They don’t believe that I’m trying to help them build literacy skills, but that’s okay. I have confidence that it helps. Maybe I should go find some research on it… What do you think about captions and building literacy skills? Pros? Cons? Tried it?

That wasn’t so bad. Thoughts? Leave them in the comments and I’ll see you there soon.

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