I don't know why or how I do it every year, but I actually expect my students to come to class after taking the HSA, and they never do, yet I'm always surprised. 6 today in 1st period, 5 in 2nd period. I'm probably one of the only teachers who required attendance, and that didn't get me very far, apparently. Bummer. I had a great lesson planned.
Weird, weird week. There are no more regular days this year. HSA week all week, then a 4-day week next week because of Memorial Day, and then finals. This year is gone in the snap of fingers.
I'm really thinking about summer reading assignments right now.
Current choices (for advanced rising seniors):
What is the What by Dave Eggers
Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin (the collection of short stories including "Sonny's Blues," my favorite short story of all time)
Here are the justifications:
* I want authors that cannot be taught in the course otherwise. Neither Eggers or Baldwin are on the IB list for fiction.
* Eggers' novel is really good, and it's an accessible, moving world literature story. The course is a world literature course so that helps. I don't really like summer reading too much, but the Eggers book is one I think the kids will like. That's important to me.
* Baldwin's stories are ripe for passage analysis, my primary goal for this unit. Additionally, I (currently) plan on teaching Baldwin non-fiction during the year (he's on the list for non-fiction, and I think the students would be very much into him), so I think reading some of his fiction will be an interesting setup for that. Additionally, everyone should read "Sonny's Blues" sometime before they die. Wow.
The drawbacks are that both are U.S. authors, and my course is already fairly heavy with U.S. authors. I haven't decided for sure what I'm going to teach, but I have 8 texts to choose from a complicated and rather restrictive list that IB provides. I have to center the texts around a theme, and they have to be from certain genres, and certain authors within those genres. I've decided on some of the works (Richard III will be my Shakespeare, almost certainly, and I really want to bring Song of Solomon back, and I believe Baldwin will be my non-fiction - really want to do some Steinbeck, too, because the teacher that shares the students is going to a Shakespeare Institute this summer), but need to figure out how they all work together and need to do a lot of reading this summer. I think the Eggers and Baldwin texts are adaptable to whichever way I decide to go with the curriculum (not that summer reading needs to relate that much, anyway).
I'm certain there will be plenty of posts about curriculum planning in the upcoming weeks. I have all summer, luckily, but need to figure out a summer reading assignment ASAP. Obviously.
2 years ago