Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Convention Carol: Keeping NCTE All the Year Long

By Dan Bruno

In Dickens's A Christmas Carol, Scrooge awakens after having had his transformative experience declaring that he will honor Christmas all the year long. As a representative body of secondary teachers, the Secondary Section Steering Committee (SSSC) will be doing something similar with the transformative experience of the convention: we will be honoring NCTE all the year long with new "Engage Now!" lesson ideas beginning next month. In 21st century learning, engagement refers to the active participation and ownership of one's learning; a process by which students and teachers transform the classroom into a space dedicated to the development of their own learning. These lessons are designed to be discrete, adaptable pieces of instruction that any new, mid-career, or veteran teacher seeking to increase this engagement could adapt and implement in his or her classroom.
The scope of these lessons is national. Tied chiefly to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), these lessons will take a specific topic, outline a lesson, provide a list of resources, and build stable links to online materials and activities in and outside of the NCTE community.
The first of these "Engage Now!" lessons will be available on the Connected Community on February 1st. Check back monthly to see what new lessons are being posted.
The first lesson is from SSSC chair Jocelyn Chadwick. This lesson is part of a larger 11th grade unit on identity and voice in a variety of selections from Cisneros, Hurston, Lipsyte, and Shakespeare. These lessons are not limited to these authors and can be applied to any pieces on identity. The skills in focus include: critical reading, collaborative-critical inquiry, collaborative and independent analysis, collaborative research, and whole-class sharing/discussion.
We hope you enjoy these new "Engage Now!" lessons. Feel free to respond to any of these "Engage Now!" posts with feedback so that we can hear about how you are using these lessons.