Read Number One: Twilight. I'm not one to jump into the media, over-hype pool. So often, more is not better, it's just more. Combine that with my disdain for science fiction and fantasy genre, and you can see why I would not normally pick up Twilight. Oh, and add the adolescent female frenzy and I really have no reason to read any book in this series. However, one young student, Brandon Brodowsky, urged me to read beyond the picket fence of my interests. Still, I resisted. "Mr. Brandt, I'm reading it and it's not my interest either but I'm fascinated with the hype."
Still, I resisted.
"Mr. Brandt you make us read stuff we don't want to read all the time: Hamlet, Macbeth, The Scarlet Letter and don't ever forget you forced "The Open Boat" on us. Naturalism, Shmaturalism...it doesn't matter. That book was horribad."
I felt my icy resistance melting.
"Alright, I'll give it a read and provide a post-Christmas review."
The next book on my I-would-not-read-this-book-on-my-own list is The Shack. If you know anything about me you would understand why I would not read this book. One, let's return to the media, over-hype. It's really not the media but The Shack reading has been quite contagious in Macomb County. I love a metaphor as well as anyone. However, I like my readings on and about Christ to be metaphor free. Why fuzz the Gospel with man's literary confusion? Why fuzz the power of our Almighty God with vague allusions open to misinterpretation? Why confuse the Holy Spirit with human attributes? I"ve heard plenty about the book to know it's not for me. However, someone suggested I give it a read.
Shortly after that suggestion I researched some reviews and responses to The Shack and this confirmed my concerns. I listened to this Issues Etc. broadcast discussing The Shack. I also read two articles that articulated interesting points: article one and article two. This information was very helpful. Reading the book after reading the reactions will help me evaluate The Shack. I'll proffer my insights during Christmas vacation.
Normally I look forward to drinking good coffee while reading a good book in the quiet morning hours of vacation. The coffee will still be delicious. Forgive the redundancy of that last sentence. The books will be interesting and provide me with future blog fodder.
Here are some reads that I am anticipating with great fervor.
English Journal is published by the National Council of Teachers of English. The last issue focused on homework and the diverse approaches and discussions surround it. Does homework foster learning or learning the system of education. The difference is monumental. Does homework assess critical thinking? Should it? Ahhhhhh, this will be a two-cup read.
Educational Leadership is a periodical published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. The last two issues contain riveting discussions and studies. The November issue: Giving Students Ownership of Learning proffers great applications. So often we talk about developing critical thinkers in our classrooms but give students few opportunities to think critically.
The most recent issue of EL focuses on data. We are immersed in a data-driven world and education is no different. We strive for data. Well, what do educators do with the data that helps foster critical thinking, authentic assessment and academic growth? We cry for data. Now what do we do with it? This will require hazelnut, no cream, no sugar.
Merry CHRISTmas. Happy reading