“If you go back to the etymology of the word ‘threshold,’ it comes from ‘threshing,’ which is to separate the grain from the husk. So the threshold, in a way, is a place where you move into more critical and challenging and worthy fullness. There are huge thresholds in every life. You know that, for instance, if you are in the middle of your life in a busy evening, fifty things to do and you get a phone call that somebody you love is suddenly dying, it takes ten seconds to communicate that information. But when you put the phone down, you are already standing in a different world. Suddenly everything that seems so important before is all gone and now you are thinking of this. So the given world that we think is there and the solid ground we are on is so tentative. And a threshold is a line which separates two territories of spirit, and very often how we cross is the key thing.”
And where is beauty in that?
“Where beauty is — beauty isn’t all about just niceness, loveliness. Beauty is about more rounded substantial becoming. And when we cross a new threshold worthily, what we do is we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us that had us caught somewhere. So I think beauty in that sense is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life.”
The results are amazing when done carefully. In order for this to work, though, we have to think about our students and what they know and what they need to learn. When I use this format I pre-teach the aspects that my students will struggle with (you need to know your students!) and work on building oral language around those ideas. By the time they get to the text they will be in that wonderful Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky) and understand most of what they are reading. I try to leave appropriate challenges along the way so that their reading is in the Goldilocks-Zone.
Try it and let me know what you think. If you want some additional coaching please let me know. Remember: Literacy Creates Justice (and it’s fun!).
Here is a list of the strategies we are learning with the NUA cohort this year. The work has been wonderful and I always love learning! I am pretty sure that any one of them can be “googled” if you are looking for more information.
We had a wonderful visit today to El Camino Real Academy in Santa Fe, NM as part of La Cosecha 2014. Here are some pictures of artifacts that I saw. The first 8 are from Kindergarten and 1st grade; the others are from 6th and 7th grade.
The new picture above is of the Biblioburro. Have you heard of it? Do a Google search and you will see/ hear/ read about this amazing project in Colombia. I believe in the power of books and literacy to change the world. Take a look at this YouTube video to get started on your learning about Biblioburro.
How will you change the world? Y tu, ¿cómo vas a cambiar el mundo?
Silent screams of starving children.Jobless teens rob, causing fear.Mothers mourning missing daughters.Halloween can last all year.Sickness without health insurance.Sadness without someone near.Drive-by shootings killing cousins.Halloween can last all year.Can’t pay the rent so now she’s homeless.Black and blue for being queer.A drunken driver got another.Halloween can last all year.Ghosts and goblins gather goodies,Door to door, from there to here.Beneath the masks we show each other,Halloween can last all year.
Were they banned? The District says they were just removed from the classroom but that students can still find them in the library. Hopefully that will happen. It sounds like a ban to me. If nothing else, I hope that it gives attention to these texts and motivates people to read them.
Rene said the seven books removed from the classrooms were:
“Critical Race Theory” by Richard Delgado;
“500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures” edited by Elizabeth Martinez;
“Message to AZTLAN” by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales;
“Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement” by Arturo Rosales;
“Occupied America: A History of Chicanos” by Rodolfo Acuña;
“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire;
and “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years” by Bill Bigelow.