PML Day 7

During this week’s class we welcome Nick, Jacob, and Paolo from my first semester grade 10 English course. They’ll share what it’s like from the perspective of a student in a classroom when we implement a multiliteracies pedagogy.

After our chat, you’ll have time to present your poetry slams and discuss the reading for this week. Here are the slides:


PML Day 6

What a great class this week! We looked at remixes and poetry slams and we shared teaching strategies and resources.

I’m really looking forward to our Althouse Poetry Slam next week. Feel free to bring snacks to share to help recreate that coffee house vibe.

Here are the slides from yesterday’s class. If you were absent yesterday, please ensure you’ve watched the videos for today (posted in the syllabus), and I’d like you to blog about either poetry slams or remixes and how you could use them in the classroom.


PML Day 5

I’m pretty excited about this week’s class! We’re going to spend some time discussing Royan Lee’s pecha kucha. Royan’s blog is called Spicy Learning and most recently he’s blogged about… well… blogging. You might want to check out his post and comment. He said he’s open to any questions about his class’s pecha kucha (it’s a few years old now and his thoughts have changed a bit) and you can feel free to comment on his blog or ask him a question on Twitter. He’s @royanlee on Twitter so he’s pretty easy to find.

Pecha kuchas are really interesting in terms of the presentation format. You can read more about them here.

After that we’re going to head to the lab to explore a variety of web 2.0 tools that students are using in class. After you’ve explored a variety of resources, I’d like you to reflect on them in a blog post. You might also consider using one of these tools in your lesson redesign which should be posted on your blog by next week.

I have your survey redesigns marked and some feedback for you on your blogs so far and I’ll get those to you as soon as I figure out how to do that in OWL.


Hello multiliteracies folks!

This week I talked to you about Bitstrips and told you that I had created accounts for all of you. If you want to experiment before next week’s class, here’s what you have to do:

Go to:

Choose the student option and type in 5452S for the code.

Then find your name on the list.

PML Day 4

Hello everyone! By now your redesigned literacy surveys should be posted. If you haven’t done this yet because you were encountering difficulties, please come speak to me.

I’ve updated the list of blogs (See box to the right of this post). Please remember the expectation is that you blog regularly throughout this course (at least 5 posts) and comment regularly throughout this course (at least 5 times). Two of your posts have been assigned (the survey redesign and the lesson redesign). The other posts are up to you. I shared some exemplars from last year during last week’s class.

Your readings for this week are as follows:

Brown, J. (2010). The case for comics in the classroom. TEDxOntarioEd Event (video)
McCloud, S. (2005). Scott McCloud on comics. TED (video).
Young, N. (host) (2009, November 19). Full Interview: Jenna McWilliams on new media literacy [podcast]. Spark.’ll actually watch the Jesse Brown video in class, but I’d like you to watch the Scott McCloud video and Nora Young podcast on your own and come prepared to discuss them.

In this week’s class we’ll do our jigsaw activity from last week and we’ll also talk about comics in the classroom. Then we’ll discuss your lesson redesign assignment.

PML Day 3

Hello everyone! After today’s class, we’re a third of the way done, already! If you look to your right you’ll see I’ve posted all the blog urls I have so far. This is an easy way for you to find them. You can either visit this blog regularly to find the urls, or I will also show you how to subscribe to it in google reader.

By the end of class today, your survey redesign should be posted on your blog, either by way of embedding or by providing a link to the survey. If you still need help with that, don’t worry! We’ll have time today.

The slides for today can be found below:

A special note to those of you blogging on Blogger: Make sure you have enabled comments. To do that, follow these instructions.

PML Day 2

Welcome back! Today we’re going to be focusing on continuing to define 21st century Literacy, The Four Resources Model for analyzing texts, and setting up your own blog.

Once your blog is set up, please share the following information in this form:

Please  have your redesigned literacy survey finished for next week’s class. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to create a Google form, I will help you next week.

If you are able to, please embed your survey on your blog and write your one paragraph reflection before next week’s class.

Slides for today’s class:

Readings for next week are in the slides and posted in OWL.

Additional resources:

Additional Resources:
How to create a blog: (WordPressEdublogsBlogger)
How to create a form in Google Docs.
How to embed a form in your blog 

Pedagogy of Multiliteracies Day 1

1) During our first class I will refer to a survey I’d like you to complete. Here it is!

2) Think about how you would redesign that survey for use with your students in your next practicum placement and be prepared to discuss your ideas next week.

3) Please read the Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada Position Statement.

4) Here’s what you need to do for next week:
a) Make sure you’ve completed the above literacy survey. Come prepared to share the changes you would make to it to use with your students in your next placement.
b) Familiarize yourself with the chart for analysing texts. We’ll discuss it next week.
c) Have a look through the following professional educator blogs and think about the conscious (and perhaps unconscious) choices these educators have made about how they present themselves online and what they choose to use their blogs for.
• Zoe Branigan Pipe -
• Rodd Lucier -
• Jaclyn Calder

Here are the slides from yesterday’s class:

Frustrating adventures in literature

Here’s something I’m struggling with right now:

In my grade 12 online English course, the students are at the stage in their independent studies where they are developing thesis statements.

Problem: All the thesis statements read something like:

In the novel the author shows that history repeats itself.


Life experience is more valuable than formal education.


Love will conquer any obstacle.

Here’s how I’ve prepared them:

  1. They’ve prepared an annotated bibliography of  a variety of secondary sources connected to their novel so they can get a sense of how scholars write about literature.
  2. They’ve written a series of blog posts about their novels on specific topics: character development, symbols and imagery, themes, and finally potential thesis statements.
  3. I’ve given them a How to Generate a Good Thesis Statement handout.

If they were in a face to face class I would have done more modelling of developing a thesis statement but that’s a bit tough to do online.

Some of my students seemed confused, and downright angry that I was expecting them to consider literary devices in their thesis statements. So I created this little video that comes complete with a science analogy:

The problem as I see it is this: My students read literature without being conscious of the fact that novels are constructions. That all media are constructions (Save that for another post)! It’s like they think of the novel as something that just spontaneously came into being. They don’t consider that someone wrote their novel and that he or she made conscious choices about how to convey their ideas using a variety of techniques.

So what do you think? Have you encountered similar problems. Do you have any tricks or tips to share?