Grade 9 Learning Looks Like This!

First semester is beginning to fade, but I hope that the learning that this year’s grade 9s did is permanent. We had a terrific semester with the Global Read Aloud (especially in Goodreads and Tackk Board), Skyping with our new friends at Oakland Language Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, reflecting on ourselves as learners with Jac Calder’s class at Midland Secondary School  in Midland, Ontario, and beginning the work on an interdisciplinary wiki textbook called Global Perspectives: A Collaborative Textbook for Teens by Teens . We also shot a lipdup/music video based on issues around dignity and tolerance featuring the Madden Brother’s song “We are done.”

And a big thank you goes out to Ms. Black, who not only taught grade 9 English for the first time ever, but who did so with the kind of passion and energy that makes English come alive for students. Ms. Black and her students were great collaborators on many of these projects, and I look forward to our future adventures in learning!

Stay tuned for our video release!

Have a terrific 2nd semester everyone!


3 thoughts on “Grade 9 Learning Looks Like This!

  1. As the mom of a kiddo headed for Grade 9, I can only dream that his English experience might look even vaguely like this. Thank you for tons of ideas that I can share with teachers next year (yes, I might have to be that parent); I’m totally jealous that you did GRA (did you do TFIOS?). In a world where my students already know that at some point next year, they’re probably going to read To Kill a Mockingbird (not that it isn’t a great novel), as their parents, and some of their grandparents did, you give me hope.

  2. Thanks Lisa. Yes I read TFiOS to my students, they kept notes on character etc. and then posted questions and comments to Goodreads. It’s a beginning. Most of the students think that accessing online texts; that is, reading book reviews and checking out Cliff Notes or Shmoop is cheating, so pushing them to have “conversations” with people online in order to help them generate their own thinking is important.

    And the thing about giving students choice about what they read is that we will be surprised every time students choose To Kill a Mockingbird. There are those who want to read the classics, and they do.

    But the work I am most excited about (and will continue this semester) is the online textbook via the wiki. The skills students need to learn are endless and enduring.

  3. At some point, if you’re interested, and have Skype capability, I have a group of Grade 7/8’s who are my intermediate book club, and they might really like ot hear your students’ thoughts on TFiOS (which they’ve all read); I think my struggle with the “classic” isn’t kids reading it, which I love and embrace if it’s their choice; it’s when it’s the only choice. The on-line textbook sounds amazing and remarkable, and yes, a life-skill builder. Probably something I need to think about with my students in Core French;

    Thanks for being my hero on so much of this, and always challenging your class to try something new. Comfort zones are hard to leave for all of us.

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