Session 1, Weekly Update: Getting to Know YA Literature

25 05 2011

Let me begin by sharing the quote that inspired my new mantra: “I am growing . . .”

If you want to feel secure, do what you already know how to do. If you want to be a true professional & continue to grow . . . go to the cutting edge of your competence, which means a temporary loss of security. So whenever you don’t quite know what you’re doing, know that you are growing. — Madeline Hunter

I’ve seen some growing this week, and I hope it’s feeling good.

I’m also really enjoying your creative work. I can see that this class is going to enjoy the work we do with infusing creativity into our teaching and our students’ learning in the English Language Arts. I just learned of an extraordinary opportunity to hear Sir Ken Robinson, noted authority on creativity, speak tonight so I’m sending this update out a little early. See below for the details.

Time to get started on Session 1. This is a longer session, lasting from Thursday, May 26 to Wednesday, June 8. Sessions to follow will be only a week long. We’ve much to accomplish in this session – you’ll complete your Funds of Knowledge Inventory (FOKI), learn to use Google Docs, start your blogging, read two YA books, create your first bookcast, and enter the new world of Second Life. Whew! Just take it step-by-step, and create your own rhythm. Slow, steady, and celebrate each small success!

Special Heads-Up: Our informal, optional meeting in the Bookhenge will work best on Thursday, June 2, from 7 to 9 pm. That way everyone will have more of a chance to complete their first personal conference and try out their Second Life skills ahead of this opportunity to try them out in class.

LIVE Class in the Bookhenge


1. Essential Questions

What do we bring to the course that we can use to create and contribute to our class, a larger audience of educators, and teen readers?

How can we use digital tools to model and encourage participatory learning through literature – or what Louise Rosenblatt referred to as to “perform in response to a text”?

What does literary quality look like in Young Adult Literature?

2. Action Items, May 26 – June 8

• Set up your portfolio blog and post the link to our blog directory. (Blog) Fri., May 31, 11:59 pm
• Complete your Pre-FOKI and post to your blog. Tag and tweet. (Blog, Twitter) Fri., May 27, 11:59 pm
• Share Colleague’s FOKI on Class FOKI Matrix (Part 2, Tues., May 31, 11:59 pm)
• Create your 3D virtual identity and begin to develop your virtual multiple intelligences. (Second Life) By your personal conference time — by Fri., June 3, 11:59 pm. Ideally by our first meeting (optional but highly recommended) in Second Life on Thursday, June 2, 7 pm.
• Schedule and complete first personal conference. Complete by Fri., June 3, 11:59 pm
• Read Maberry’s Rot and Ruin and contribute to “The Printz of YA Books” Literary Quality CCI (eReserves, Blog, Twitter, Second Life). Fri., June 3, 11:59 pm
• Read one title (your choice) of the 2011 Printz Winner/Honor Books and produce, publish, and prepare to introduce your first bookcast (bookcasting tools of your choice) Tues., June 8, 8 am
• Reflect on how students can “perform” literature. Blog if you’d like but be sure to bring ideas to our LIVE Class. Tues., June 8, 7 pm
• Set up your Reflective Assessment Process (RAP) (Google Docs) Wed., June 8, 11:59 pm
• Review and reflect upon your work this week in your RAP (Reflective Assessment Process). Wed., June 8, 11:59 pm
• Stone Soup — Generous sharing of connections made, articles, research, resources, etc. via Twitter, Diigo, Zotero, blogging and commenting . . .

Heads-up: Plan to choose a nonfiction book, read, discuss with club, and collaboratively produce a multimedia project by Tues., June 14, 8:00 am. Blakely has already pitched a great book, Spiegleman’s Maus, the first graphic novel to ever win a Nobel Prize for Literature. Yes, it could count toward either graphic novel or nonfiction genre assignment. But not both.

2. Stone Soup
Contributions via Twitter are going great with talk already about genre books and ALPs not to mention lots of good questions. Join in!

Plus there’s some talk of fave YA books and authors. I’d encourage you to follow some YA authors on Twitter. Here are a few that are really interesting:

Neil Gaiman — @Neilhimself
Jon Maberry — @JonathanMaberry
John Green — @realjohngreen
Laurie Halse Anderson — @halseanderson

Please share others!

3. Genre Book Club

It looks like we’ll have enough people in the class to have three bookclubs for each genre (nonfiction and graphica). Let’s say that if you pitch a book then you’re responsible for closing it out at three members total (counting you). You can tweet to let us know when your book club is full. Then we’ll be sure to have three clubs and not two with an overload.

4. Research Groups?

I begin with a recommendation of Zotero since it’s open source and odds are not great that they’d ever hook you and then charge big-time. But this tool doesn’t work with Internet Explorer or Chrome so Mendeley, which is still free, would be a good alternative. The goal is that you learn to use a research tool that saves your citation information and a lot of time when writing your papers. So make your choice. I joined both and will publish to both.

Here’s the ECI 521 (Bookhenge) Zotero Group . . . and here is the ECI 521 (Bookhenge) Mendeley Group . . .

5. First Personal Conference and First LIVE Class in the Bookhenge

I just scheduled my first personal conference and will look forward to scheduling others. Be sure and work through Second Life sign-up process — before we meet. We’ll meet in the Bookhenge for only around 15 minutes or so. Just long enough for me to help you with a few basic skills that you’ll need for participating in a LIVE session in the Bookhenge and answer any questions that you have about the course.

Our first informal, optional meeting in the Bookhenge will be on Thursday, June 2, from 7 to 9 pm ET. Yes, I’m moving it a couple of days into the future to be sure everyone has time for their personal conference ahead of time.

I’ll look forward to meeting you in the Bookhenge soon!

6. Sir Ken Robinson

You’ll watch his famous TED speech when we study creativity ( Sir Ken is one of the most powerful and talented voices today on the subject of creativity. He’s set to speak LIVE at 8 pm tonight in an Elluminate session. I attended his last session and there were over 550 people there. This is a rare opportunity so be sure and catch it if you can. Sign in at

Keep cool!




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