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Shall We Rise to Combat Illiteracy?
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Or simply admit we're hopelessly outmoded and outnumbered?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...AR2008021502897.html
 
Posts: 7305 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sad story with grim portent, but I believe the absolutely illiterate must still be a small minority in our culture. The number of barely literate or so-called "functionally illiterate", however is growing at a most disturbing rate.
 
Posts: 3167 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dandy, "There is more than one way to burn a book!"

But there is Hope...Last Friday I accompanied my HS Honors students to one of our district's elementary schools. They had been previously assigned to select a book from home that they have possessed since childhood. The purpose of the visit was for each student to read a story that has had a lasting impression on them and to explain how it played a role in their own love of reading.

A few days earlier I allowed my students time in class to practice their presentation since the 42 young ones to be visited were all in the first grade! They were going to be the BIG kids coming into a small and very impressionable world. Proper attire, articulation, and enthusiastic demeanor were discussed as key elements for their efforts.

The 16 sophomores did a really great job. After we arrived, three groups were quickly arranged and the lessons began. Each HS'er had to offer his or her own view of how reading will always play a role in being good students and good citizens.

Once things got under way, I simply roamed from group to group, staying completely out of the way. Everyone was completely engaged in the experience. 6-7 yr. olds light up a room with pure joy for what is happening. By the end of the visit (a bit more than an hour), it was obvious that all involved had gained much from the exchanges.

Before we departed, the first graders were each presented with a bookmark artistically created by the high schoolers. My hope in setting up the visit was to set a flame aglow, somehow - someday - to light the way for one child's imagination and inquiry.

(Who knows?! Ten years from now maybe some of those bookmarks will be found in favorite books of those 1st graders!)
 
Posts: 2807 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What a great idea Frank! There should be a way of follow-up as these students progress through the grades. Wouldn't it really be great to be able to track the impact that your students may have had on them?
 
Posts: 1525 | Location: Sunrise, FL, USA | Registered: 28 June 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am a dinosaur, Biplane. When I stroll through the halls, the lights are usually out in 90% of the classes. Powerpoints, overheads, hand held devices projecting up on the white screens. Yeah, I know! That's progress. Yet, 45 minutes or an hour of such stuff, and what personal exchange has seeped into "the learning"? Gadgets!

I do utilize our library's splendid media center and my in room multi-faceted screen for topic related videos. I also allow students to show their (omnipresent) skills with the technology when orals and research presentations occur. Yet, I relate to RB's theme in "The Murderer." Cell phones, i-pods, and video games are everywhere throughout the day. (Not in my class, however. Not even during study halls. Reading materials abound, and even the most hesitant can be persuaded to skim through a magazine or newspaper with the right amount of cajoling.)

The group of teens (above post) I am working with, is the first to sign on and qualify for the course. They are headed for advanced studies in most areas over the next two years. It is a very dynamic and motivated class. Major assignments come in proofed, typed, and thoughtfully presented. We have been completing a literature unit ever two weeks (novels, Shakespeare, independent selections, and short stories). I want them to truly appreciate the spoken and written language. It seems it has far too many enemies these days. RE: chopped text messages, dim-witted advertisement, agenda driven talking heads, and musical compositions for a generation of numbed "cousins!"

Dandelion, your post has hit nerve!
Our boys just finished The Odyssey of Homer, Tom Sawyer, and a string of Hardy Boys Mysteries. No TV, year three - in two months!

Bi1! Nice visiting with you the other night, btw!
 
Posts: 2807 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you are going to combat illiteracy,
you better start with common sense!!
For example~

http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/FlatWhyFlat.htm

____________________________________________________
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Someone had better tell Mr. Columbus before the ships pull away.
 
Posts: 2807 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have you heard Allan Sherman's "Good Advice"?
 
Posts: 3167 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Christopher Columbus was a seaman second class
When I told him that the Indies could be found
By sailing to the West instead of sailing to the East.
I advised him that I thought the world was round.
(I really thought so.)
And then I sent him down to ask good Queen Isabella
To pawn her jewels for all their worth.
Next day he set sail, and as everyone knows,
He fell off the edge of the Earth.
Well, that was bad advice, bad advice!
Bad advice is just the same as good advice.
Everybody makes occasional mistakes,
And that was bad advice!

RE: http://www.mp3lyrics.org/a/allan-sherman/good-advice/

("Lyrics for 200, Alex!" Mr. Sundance, you are a man who belongs on Jeopardy!)
 
Posts: 2807 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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With my luck, all I'd get would be sports, or
current popular music or TV!
 
Posts: 3167 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great irony!

Hey, SD! Try this for a follow up to RB's "The Murderer!"

http://www.glumbert.com/wii/view.php?name=baddayoffice
 
Posts: 2807 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good one, Butch!
Suppose all those are real? Some of them sure look like it.
 
Posts: 3167 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Last Saturday evening, while my wife is away in Minnesota visiting her ill mother, I went to the Dragon Gourmet Buffet to partake of the endless Snow Crab and other delacies of the Chinese kind. While waiting to be called for a table a family went in through the door and trailing was a young man of 15 or 16 who had a book in his hand. Unfortunately I did not notice, nor did I inquire, as to the title of the book. But it was a paperback and looked similar to one that might have been assigned in an English class.

But rarely do I see a young person with a book, or even a magazine for that matter, in their hands. More often that not it is the hand held electronic game or perhaps an iPod or the ubiquitous cell phone.
 
Posts: 1525 | Location: Sunrise, FL, USA | Registered: 28 June 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just about a year ago, we headed to the Lone Star State for a visit with my wife's relatives. After our flight and between treks from one part of the huge State of Texas to another, we stayed for a night in a comfortable hotel. The next morning at breakfast, I spoke with a student about 16 yrs. old who was reading a book while waiting for (I assumed) other family members to arrive.

I asked him what the book was. He showed me Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Since it was a title I taught, we exchanged for a few moments. He indicated he found the book somewhat challenging because of the language and style, but he was otherwise quite caught up in the plot and conflicts. It seems he was in an honors class and had been assigned to read the classic novel over the Easter vacation. He was a respectful and intelligent young man.

Biplane, it is interesting how the post of your observation the other evening fired this anecdote right to mind. Unfortunately, I think it is just what you have hit upon! RE: These days "....rarely do I see a young person with a book, or even a magazine for that matter, in their hands."

This message has been edited. Last edited by: fjp451,
 
Posts: 2807 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I was that age, it seemed I always had a book in my hand.
And don't get me started on cell phones!
 
Posts: 3167 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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