Sunday, April 06, 2008

Shakespeare on Facebook?

Peoples, think with me, please.

7th graders just started to read Romeo & Juliet. Not gonna plow through the whole original text...I've gotta abridge some of it or their brains will asplode.

Skimming through the feedreader last night, found this sentence on LeaderTalk:

The good teacher is encouraging students to create mashups, to build social networking pages devoted to Romeo, to create discussion groups to second guess Juliet, and to figure out why Shakespeare separated lovers in two feuding houses in the first place.

How can I get Web2.0 on Billy Shakespeare? Could I have the students make profiles on Facebook / MySpace? Do we jump into Second Life on this one?

Juliet Capulet, hometown Verona, age 13.
Mercutio, interested in dreams and swordfights.

Or, do I take the profile pages from those sites, pull out the internet cord, and do them the old-fashioned way - pencil on paper?

Right now my brain is stuck on these three questions:

1. Could this work?
2. How on earth would I assess this?
3. I'm not the first person to think of this - where is it on the web?

(in answer to number 2, seems to me that this needs to be done as we read the play - formative not summative assessment. and number 3 - i guess i just need to be a bit more persistent with my hunting.)

Spring Cleaning

Maybe there's something in the water, the fact that I've had more than 8 hours of sleep a night for the past four nights, or that I've finally parted ways with whatever flu-ish bug was keeping me down...but I am in the middle of a Cleaning Binge.

...two weeks of rubbish, since my maid is on holiday in the 'pines.
...cigarettes - why do they have to be so enjoyable, addictive, and harmful to the body?! if there were cigarettes that didn't poison my lungs i would smoke a carton a day.
...staying up past midnight more than once a week (playing pool doesn't count against this rule).

...winter clothes - which in HK means anything thicker than a few millimeters and/or long sleeves.
...all those pants & jeans my waist won't fit into anymore. but SOMEDAY i'll lose the inches off my waistline!

...exercising. i thought that could be my goal for april, to get into a routine, but seeing as it's april 6 and no routine, hermmm...
...whether i should be "friends" on facebook with anyone who has ever called me "mister pierce". frankly it makes me uncomfortable - do these students remember that they've friended a (current/former) teacher? ...then...why am i NOT on a limited profile? sorry, but i don't want to even see a notification that you posted some drunken photos. right now i'm thinking of setting up a separate account that's just for my former students...but that's a tough call to make, as there are a decent number of students i used to teach whom i'm actually glad to keep in touch with and hear from regularly. guess i'm joining a group of folks starting to get fed up with the fact that facebook is everywhere and everyone is on it.

...a shopping spree to fill out the empty spaces in my closet.
...writing - not just on this blog, but fiction, short stories. there are a few contests out there that give me a clear goal to work towards, and i've still got a few drafts lying around that need finishing up. must admit i'm gutted to find that the Shiva Naipaul Prize, which was my most recent spur for writing, looks to be finished / finishing up.
...reading for fun. since "the wire" finished a month ago, i've yet to start watching another television series (which incidentally has had a positive effect on both my sleep and social life). while i was home sick this week i finished reading "Bone", by Jeff Green - it's a graphic novel, the perfect transition from moving images back to good old fashioned wordsonapage. maybe it's time to reread something from Graham Greene..."Quiet American"?

...and last, but certainly not least:

nine more weeks of Teaching My Ass Off - can't give up on the students, even the ones who have not once tried to do any work in my class. Nine More Weeks. i got this.