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Unilateral Voyage in Mission: “Possibility”

I wrote this several years ago for a school I worked at, as a thank you and goodbye.  And to say, “even though I’m leaving we are still in this vision together to reach and help students succeed.  We are in this journey together to support students in reaching their goals no matter the obstacles that may come.  We are still in this together supporting each other regardless of obstacles that may come before us.  We are in this together because we have vision.  We may not see the outcome but we have a mission and a dream together.  We hold hand in hand with faith believing in the vision and believing in possibility.  Even though I may be physically leaving, I am still with you.”  

Later colleagues at my former school informed me that this poem was adopted as the mission statement of the school for the following school year.  I was deeply humbled and honored.  

Life throws curve balls at us sometimes.  Sometimes we get so busy with life that we don’t take time to stay in contact with those who mean so much to us.  Life happens, obstacles come and sometimes we lose track of our unified vision.  We lose focus in helping and supporting each other hand in hand.  We try to do it alone but will not succeed.  We need each other.  We need community.   

I recently was reminded of this poem because of getting in contact again with some former awesome colleagues and friends.  We have connected through our PLNs.  I’m excited to not only support these former colleagues and friends, but am also thrilled to be walking hand in hand in vision with my entire PLN.  

I’m sharing this poem to thank my former colleagues and to thank my PLN.  We are in this together dreaming and believing in possibility.  This is my heartfelt, “Thank you!”   And to say, “I’m here in it with you.” 

Written by Beth Crumpler

Public Domain Image

 Possibility reigns,

within our dreams,

propelled by vision,

a venture upstream.

Public Domain Image

With course set,

and oar in hand,

drifting forward,

exploration commands.

Relationships flourish,

with all on board,

for when “we” is said,

“I” is ignored.

Public Domain Image

With unilateral compasses

we voyage ahead,

on mission to achieve,

where passions lead.

Public Domain Image

 Obstacles will appear,

rocks halt our directive,

but together we maneuver,

toward our goal in perspective.

The path may be altered,

as life deals what it must,

but we will not forfeit,

so journey on we thrust.

 Toward the vision in distance,

blurry as it appears,

with blinded faith we continue,

uninhibited by our fears.

Public Domain Image

 Walking on water,

 hand in hand,

trusting that all things are possible,

with belief in command.

Public Domain Image

Reaching all realms,

our success is imminent,

to dream is to live abundantly,

when vision is prevalent.

The first image above is by Beth Crumpler. All other images are public domain, with no attribution. Links to  the sources are provided out of courtesy. Click on the pictures to reach the original source.

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Response to Intervention: Implications for Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners

Response to Intervention: Implications for Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners.

This is a great article on RTI (Response to Intervention) and the ESL learner through various instructional techniques: using cognates, teaching syllable relations between languages, phonological awareness, fluency and comprehension.  It also discusses the over and under referral of ESL students to special education within the U.S.  This is a good read!

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Guest Blogging – adaptivelearnin

Would you like to become a guest blogger for adaptivelearnin?

Do you have something insightful to share regarding education, materials design, adaptive learning, lesson plans, and technology that is related to the vision of adaptivelearnin?

The vision is “SHARING, CREATING & DEVELOPING-ADAPTIVE LEARNING AND EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS COMMUNITY”.

There is no limit to the content area of bloggers for adaptivelearnin.  Although I am an ESL and music educator, my vision with creating adaptivelearnin has not been to confine the blog to these specifics.  I am looking for educators from all content areas, grade levels (pre-K to higher ed), experiences (public, private, charter, and online), all levels of work (teaching, administration, resource), and experience with many technological platforms, and expertise.

If you fit the above vision and criteria, I’d love to add you to our growing team of guest bloggers and contributors.  To be considered for guest blogging, please contact me via the link below.

In your contact, please include:

  • Name
  • Your contact information: email, Twitter, LinkedIn, ect.
  • Work expertise (Content area, grade level, etc.)
  • Work title
  • Experiences that make you valuable to adaptivelearnin
  • General ideas of blog posts that you have in mind that fit the vision of adaptivelearnin.   

Once you contact me, I will get back to you as soon as I can.  

Are you interested in blogging on adaptivelearnin?

Contact Beth Crumpler

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Networking

Image by krossbow via Flickr Thanksgiving is soon approaching here in the United States. This is a holiday that we […]

I just started using Edmodo, but love it.  It has become an extremely useful communication tool with my students.  Edmodo […]

About a month ago I wrote a post called, “Why Teachers Should Join Twitter…What I Have Learned as a Twitter […]

This is a blog challenge. Please blog and Tweet about your results of this challenge.  I was inspired to create […]

Okay, I admit that I rebelled against joining Twitter for the longest time.  I had friends and family members urging […]

Have you ever heard of Pinterest?  The first time I have ever heard of it was last night, or maybe […]

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A Social Networking Space for Teachers of English Language Learners – National Writing Project

A Social Networking Space for Teachers of English Language Learners – National Writing Project.

Diverse Populations, Language Education, English as a foreign or second language, Integrative learning, K through 12, Learning, Online Communities, Online Tools, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter, Web application

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Zach Buckley, Author at adaptivelearnin

Forget the term Millennials, Generation X or even “the kids these days.” The term “Generation Self-Serve” might be more appropriate. […]

Education is forever changing. As students are exposed to new technologies and trends, they adapt their learning styles accordingly, and […]

Writing is one of the key skills that students, particularly those in high school, need to put effort into developing. […]

For some students, the arrival of summer means the opportunity to lounge around and do — well — pretty much […]

Guest blogger, author and contributor of this post is Zach Buckley.  Zach Buckley is a freelance writer who is interested […]

(Zach Buckley is new to the adaptivelearnin community. The article below is his first contribution. He adds insight into technology […]

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Lindsey Harper Mac, Author at adaptivelearnin

One of the amazing things about studying abroad in Europe is that it makes a wonderful base camp for traveling […]

Africa might not have been the first continent to come to mind when mapping out your study abroad destination, but […]

Many adults point to college as one of the most exciting and memorable times of their lives. That can saddle […]

(This post was written by Lindsey Harper Mac.  Please welcome her as a new contributor to adaptivelearnin.  You will see […]

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inspiration Archives – adaptivelearnin

Students respond to meaningful texts. I have found this to be true with traditional texts, with poetry and prose and […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

Have you ever felt malaise in the workforce?  What did you do about it?  What can you do about it? […]

I wrote this several years ago for a school I worked at, as a thank you and goodbye.  And to […]

For some students, the arrival of summer means the opportunity to lounge around and do — well — pretty much […]

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Five Minute Friday Archives – adaptivelearnin

On adaptivelearnin I have featured Five Minute Friday bits as examples to help you (teachers) incorporate free writing practice.  Students often struggle with […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

It’s Five Minute Friday time!  Remember you too can join in this “writing flash mob” and/or do it with your […]

Today Glogster EDU published a post I wrote called, Anxiety-Free Writing: Five Minute Friday and Glogging.  I share ideas on how […]

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Media Literacy: How to (and why we should) Teach a Music Video

Students respond to meaningful texts. I have found this to be true with traditional texts, with poetry and prose and art. I have also found this to be true for media texts. I bring in media messages that cause me to pause and question and think and usually find the same pieces are compelling for my students. For example, last summer my brother introduced me to pop-star, Kimbra, from New Zealand. He showed me the video for her song “Settle Down” on her 2011 Vows album, and I was captivated by the song, the lyrics and the decisions she (or the art directors) made in the creation of that media message.

“Settle Down” is a song by New Zealand singer Kimbra from her debut studio album, Vows. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org, accessed on 10/02/2013)

As an English teacher, I have used music in the classroom in the past, both lyrics as poetry and vocals/instrumental as a lesson in tone, but this song presents the opportunity to move further than that. I start the class reading the lyrics as poetry in a traditional literary way. We read for imagery, allusions, rhyme, rhythm and many of the tools we encourage students to find and unpack when reading a poem. I ask students to write their personal interpretations of the song using concrete support from the text. At this point, the lesson looks a lot like a traditional poetry lesson. We identify the tools and techniques used to achieve an intended focus, and my students are able to draw on their experience with poetry to identify the use and outcome of using poetic tools.  But the music is much different than the lyrics, so we move on to the music.

I play the audio of the song for the students and asked them to listen for the different instruments and to pay attention to the tone in her voice and her inflection as she sings various parts of the song.

Students are interpreting a media message without words, and, maybe it’s because they listen to a lot of music on their own, but they are really good at recognizing the techniques that convey meaning in music. They revise their interpretations and support their ideas with concrete evaluations of the vocals or the bass or the quick pause in the song.

Kimbra – Settle Down from Forum5 Recordings on Vimeo.

The next step adds the very complex visual image to the already seemingly conflicted message students received from the lyrics and the audio performance. The visual provides a strong narrative for the song and stark contrasts in costuming and imagery serve to further muddle the message sent in a song called “Settle Down” that is, at least on the surface, seeming to glorify a young woman’s desire to settle down with the man she adores.

Screen capture from “Settle Down” by Kimbra (source http://portable.tv/film/post/the-making-of-kimbra-with-guy-franklin/, accessed 10/02/2013)

The visuals include very young women, (children, actually) who express the desire to settle down with their mannequin “man.”The use of pre-pubescent girls and shocking images of burning porcelain dolls send a very clear message that defies many of the students’ original interpretation about the meaning of the work. By this point, my students have demonstrated an ability to not only determine the author’s purpose and intended effect on the audience, but they can point out how the author creates subtle irony through careful decisions in dress and how a well-timed close-up shot can change the perception of that intended effect. Using the Five Key Questions and Concepts from the Center for Media Literacy  help us get to the heart of the media message in a systematic way.

(source: http://medialitandict.blogspot.com/2006/11/cml-5-key-questions.html, accessed 10/03/2013)

The revisions of their original statements are astounding as each student begins to realize they ways in which the visual work to contrast and juxtapose the lyrics instead of support them, which is the paradigm for music videos that most students bring into the classroom.

The final step in analyzing this text added richness and depth as we watched the visual alone without the sound. The details in her eye rolls and dance moves take on new meaning for my students and our discussion of how a simple tool, like an eye roll, creates meaning inspired many students to turn a response paragraph into a full essay. They found more in the text than I thought they would. In fact, the content in Kimbra’s music video provided one of the richest texts I’ve ever brought to the classroom.

Here’s an analysis of the few of the details from the video by a student in my 10th grade class this year. She elegantly wove together a “reading” of the media message using the juxtaposition of visual images,  music, lyrics and traditional narrative tools like character and setting to demonstrate a rich understanding of the video’s message:

Adding to Kimbra’s disapproval is the theme of loss of innocence, and the girls trying to grow up too fast. Juxtaposing the young girls with very adult dress and domestic settings, shows their childhoods being lost as they are consumed with these adult ideas. Girls are already worrying about getting married, finding a man, competing with other women, even in their youth. The man is a mannequin in this case, an object, a prize. He is never described, with no personality or character because it does not matter; it is already the girl’s dream to marry the perfect man, and she imagines him, but does not even know him. Wishing on a star is a very naive thing, childlike. By adding, “Star so light and star so bright, first star I see tonight,” (line 26-27) and a sweeter, less dissonant section, within a passionate song talking about adult desperation to settle down, there is a clear aspect of cynicism. Within the lyric itself, in lines 28 and 29, it changes from a child’s rhyme into a desperate wish to, “Keep him by side!” Finally, after going back and forth between childish whims and adult wants, the end sequence where the dolls, a powerful symbol of childhood, appear burning behind the innocently dressed girls presents a contrast. The symbols of childhood are burning, which screams loss of innocence, but the girls have suddenly escaped adult life in favor of white frocks- which presents them as little girls again. As they appear in this youthful dress, next to Kimbra we realize that they are very young, presented as naive rather than grown up. The contrasts between the young girls and the mature setting, the stiff mannequin and the passionate lyrics, and the childlike rhyme and adult messages highlights the pressure of finding, and keeping a man, even on young girls.

Using media texts in the classroom may be unconventional but the media text provides students the many of the same opportunities to develop traditional literacy skills as a traditional written text; the difference is that more students are engaged as they get a chance to respond thoughtfully and academically to a text that resembles the ones they encounter every day.

Click through for the lesson handouts on Google Docs.

Welcome Jennifer Goen, new contributor to adaptivelearnin.  Jennifer graduated from the University of Florida with an English degree and a Masters in Education and now teaches high school English in Northern Virginia. When she’s not chasing her two toddlers or grading stacks of A.P. English Language and Composition essays, she is curating her tumblr at medialiteracyteacher.tumblr.com or planning her next English elective to offer to her students at the alternative school where she teaches. In the last few years she’s taught courses on Media Studies, Women in the Media, Western Films,  and the-very- popular-with-students Research, Reading and Writing about Whatever you Want, a problem-based learning class that gets students thinking, blogging, reading and creating about whatever they choose.For more about Jennifer, see http://medialiteracyteacher.tumblr.com/about . Jennifer has recently co-authored an e-book on Media Literacy with colleagues in her school district. Find it here.