Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Haiku or Senryu

A fellow teacher suggested:

"A terrific idea is to have a child record their haiku and then illustrate it in a software program. I have done just that with several elementary classes and the results are wonderful. Each child is excited to see his/her illustration and hear their haiku. This is a way for parents to hear a recording of their child's voice. We have so many papers of what our children have done in school, but probably not many audio samples."

I used to have children read what they had written to their parents in February. We would tape them and send home a tape for all the kids. Of course, that predates CD burning! Voices can be taped and put in an audiofile in a class web page.

It is important for students to read plenty of examples. Teachers need to do this, too, to better understand the genre. And we must clearly understand that some examples on the web are not true haiku. Anyone can throw down some lines and call them what they will. Only use trusted, reputable sources for information.


Haiku

English-language haiku consist of "three content categories":
  • Nature haiku / Human haiku (senryu) / Human plus nature haiku (hybrids).
(see: E. St Jacques for more examples)

in construction:
  • three lines with 17 or fewer "on" (not syllables) in total.
  • tend to be about nature
  • include a kigo, or season word
  • serious
  • written in the present tense
  • relates a moment of discovery/surprise (the "aha!" moment):
  • includes a kireji (cutting word*)
*Kireji (切れ字 cutting word) is the term for words used in Japanese traditional poetry. It is regarded as a requirement in traditional haiku.

I have been introduced to another haiku family:

Human Haiku or Senryū

A Japanese form of short poetry with the same structure as haiku.
  • include only references to some aspect of human nature (physical or psychological)
  • or to human artifacts
  • possesses no references to the natural world
  • has no season words
  • subject: foibles
  • darkly humorous
  • often cynical

Senryū Karai (柄井川柳, 1718-1790) (see Haiku)

A typical example from the collection:

泥棒を dorobō wo
捕えてみれば toraete mireba
我が子なり wagako nari
The robber,
when I catch,
my own son
Is that not fantastic? I enjoy the discussion regarding how this Japanese tradition can be translated into English. I doubt it can - but it, like language, can evolve and encourage us to play with words and images. It is cognitive gymnastics in a pure, abstract, intellectual form.
Also, check out PoetryDances for some examples.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Swine Flu H1N1 in schools


29 city schools hit with swine flu
"As the number of Ottawa schools with suspected H1N1 flu cases doubles to 29, the city's four school boards -- with more than 120,000 students on their rolls -- have no plan of their own to respond to a flu pandemic, the Citizen has learned."

See also:

This is no surprise - kids share food, cutlery, wash their hands infrequently, and touch their faces. They eat food off of their desks, and their desks may only be cleaned once or twice a week! I used to keep a bottle of cleaner in my class. It made them more aware.

I would ensure that they had time to wash their hands, and watched them as they ate. I strongly encouraged them to make their own lunches, parents can transmit germs, too.

It is cross contamination that helps such spread through a family.

At dismissal, I would have appointed a row monitor who would dismiss his/her row after all was sparkly. I did not permit students to throw their food out, either. The garbage can would be put way before lunch, to ensure that parents would see what had or had not been eaten.

Click here for a PDF poster for your classroom.
~~~~~~~~~

H1N1 human swine flu

Get the facts from the Public Health Agency of Canada
www.fightflu.ca

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Creating music in the classroom


I must thank my music teachers.
How important is is to incorporate music into our schools.
We wrote some songs. Did a lot of singing, too!

We participated in the 
Blues in the Schools Project. 

A collaborative, cooperative effort: we wrote a class song in 2003. I wonder where these kids are at now? First we wrote a poem together, then one of the students created a tune. Several students played instruments. Others did the video work.



This is the kind of music we would listen to, to widen their music appreciation! All would write a music appreciation assignment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Autism Mothers: a powerful alliance


The Autism File's Campaign to bring mothers of autism together across the world ... together we can make a difference ... We will win.



holistic learning

Holistic learning incorporates an integrative, multisensory, inclusive approach.
It transforms the learner and the facilitator. It understands Gender Equity Issues.
It touches all the Domains.

It uses Literacy Strategies that meet the needs of all learners. and learning styles. Incorporates Gardner's intelligences.
Integrative Education incorporates Special Education and Technology.
It does not use Computers for no purpose. Technology is integrated purposefully.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Adult Learning - the strategies

The purpose of writing varies from person to person -













What can we do with our writing:
incorporate other writing prompts...




Adult Learning Circles - the practice


The Learning Circles Project - where unique individuals are equally accepted, they share with one another, celebrate their strengths, courage, wisdom. We do not remediate weaknesses, so much as develop our strengths and talents. Circles are a good metaphor, in than no one person is better than another. Adult learners face much that affects their ability to fully participate in society; participation in an adult learning group must be ensured by a strong advocate who respects them as valuable group members.

Many may not have had a good experience in schools. The facilitator must embrace differences, laud similarities, and encourage all to learn at the level that is best for them. Exploring possibilities, learning together, and from each other, ensures success. Whether we do something simple like writing a cheque, or follow a recipe, fill in a form, or create a complex RFP.

Like climbing a mountain, a team must return safely, as friends, and successfully climb over the mountain. Individuals must respect individual needs, goals, and desires. Literacy Consultants must encourage all to activate their gifts, invigorate participants lives, learn about themselves, research issues and questions of personal importance, educate the community, and advocate for social and policy change. We do not race to the top, but consider the journey the adventure.

Paulo Freire, the father of union workers who strived for improved adult literacy skills, said we are not beings of adaptation but transformation. This is similar to the theories of Piaget.
  • Observe then discuss your reality
  • Read and write about your reality
  • Analyse then transform your reality.
To incorporate our insights, intuitions and dreams will activate the learner to challenge preconceptions about themselves and their lives, to change the way they feel, relate, think, and act.

Groups must be welcoming, inclusive, supportive, flexible, non-hierarchical, self-managed, exploratory and community focused.


This is the way that we actualize our learning, We can internalize knowledge, skills and attitudes that will best help us maintain positive patterns and to react to every day learning situations with that attitude of one who finds a challenge, not a barrier.

Some adult learners come to a place from which they have realized discrimination, oppression or violence. A learning circle must be one that is inclusive, non-judgmental, open, safe and free.

This builds a synergistic collaborative community in which group members feel accepted and, indeed, celebrated for being who they are, not for who they think others believe they should be. The successful facilitator sends learners out into the world with the strength and knowledge that they are valuable, where they only need to look within for comfort, acceptance and rejuvenation and do not depend upon others for self-worth and sustenance. This type of growth has an impact on the learner, his/her family, friends, and community, and leads to a better sense of who they are and what they can be.

Barriers to adult learners occur when learners feel they
  • Must write perfectly every time, and that mistakes are not allowed
  • Must follow one path to success
  • Must come out with specific knowledge, skills and values
  • Must meet particular time constraints.
Learners must feel that their gender, culture, traditions, values, and learning styles and modalities are all acceptable and honoured. They know that their facilitator values the process of learning, and not the product, that the transmission of information is less important than mastering the mastery of the learning process. Life experiences are an important part of the learner, and as valuable as traditional, more rigid and formal education opportunities.

It is important that learning in all domains are accepted, literacy, numeracy, .
Break down isolation, create networks, provide personal support, community development and cultural reclamation. We can increase understanding while we appreciate personal differences.


Literacy: an integrative strategy

incorporating various theories of intelligences:


including curriculum adapted to gender, culture, previous knowledge and experiences.

Adult Literacy - the research

Ivory Tower Blues: A University System in Crisis For many reasons, adult may move into their working lives without the skills necessary to fully use literacy and numeracy abilities. To read and write means to be able to fully integrate into society and to be contributing members fully engaged in life.

The myths of previous generations, in a pre-economic 2009 crisis, as spoken about in Ivory Tower Blues (2007), says that we do not all need a University or College education to succeed in 2009. We do need particular skills, in the specific jobs, to enable full participation in the work force.

To this end, many programs have been created to enhance skills, and ensure full participation in community life. The demands of the Information Age have resulted in a need for workers to be literate, numerate, and to have computer literacy skills, as well. Being fully literate increases productivity, innovation and employment chances of individuals.

With increasing demands of the Age of Technology, and a potentially higher standard of living, gaps between rich and poor must be bridged through adjustments by industry, society, and individuals, who can respond to the new economic situation of 2009. With interventions through non-profit NGAs, as well as governments, we can invest our discretionary and tax dollars in improving the inclusion of previously illiterate adults. It is time that we prevent the permanent exclusion, and the marginalization of those segments of the population that suffer from less than high school equivalent reading and writing skills. These limitations increase socioeconomic divisions in society, and must be ameliorated (Rubenson and Schuetze, 2000).

By creating interventions in increasing literacy skills, society can enhance labour force productivity, which impacts all Canadian workers, and addressed unequal opportunities interms of economic and social areas (Coulombe, Tremblay, & Marchand, 2004; Statistics Canada, 2004).

"The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey found that 16 per cent of adults in the province do not have basic literacy skills; an additional 26 per cent would benefit from literacy upgrading."

Employment Ontario, is a government-sponsored plan to increase literacy.

A non-profit, private organization, through ABC-Canada, their page Adult Literacy says, "To be literate means that you have the skills to understand what you read, communicate with others and engage fully and confidently in life’s activities and opportunities– at work, at home and in the community."

They have 3 goals
  • Supporting those who struggle with literacy
  • Raising awareness of literacy issues in Canada
  • Addressing the social, economic and political impact of low literacy rates

Aboriginal people see four stages in learning: see, feel/relate, think, and act.

Canadian References

ABC Canada

Adult Learning in Canada: A Comparative Perspective: Results from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (PDF)http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-552-m/89-552-m2007017-eng.pdf (PDF Version, 645 kb)

There are a great many literacy programs in Ontario, alone.

Canadian Council on LearningThe Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) is an independent non-profit corporation, funded by HRDC to promote and support research on lifelong learning in Canada.
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