Fahrenheit 451 Tweets

I used Storify to pull together a bunch of tweets about the novel my AD English 9 students are currently reading. This is the first time I’ve used Storify, but I’ve seen it a lot, especially in bundling tweets following a discussion.

I’m thinking about working this into an assignment, maybe requiring certain hashtags for me to follow: #Fahrenheit451, #RayBradbury, #mrshawke. I’ve had students creating tweet-like posts in writing before, but I’ve never used Twitter as an assignment. One issue would be that a Twitter account is not a class requirement. (Do teachers do that? Probably.) I’m pretty sure most of my students have Twitter accounts, though; I will be asking soon.

Basically, once you set up an account, you just search for content from various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. When you see something you want to include in your story, you click and drag it over. You can also click to make text boxes in between the pictures, videos, tweets, etc.

Storify has many options, so I’m going to post a few different versions to see how they work.

This is what Storify calls the “Full Header Story”:

This is the “Mini Header Story”:

This is the “Full Header Grid with a border”:

And this is the “Mini Header Slideshow”:

I’m not sure why the “full header” examples are not showing all of the content, but only the tweets that contained pictures. I guess I have some investigation to do.

I think I like the “Mini Header Story” best. What do you think?

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‘Books I Should Have Read in School, but Didn’t’ Challenge

It’s not the easiest admission for an English teacher to make: By the time I got to high school, I was one of those students.

You know the kind. Pretty smart but also pretty lazy. With a bit of attitude — not enough to get in trouble or make a bad grade but just enough to resist authority just a bit.

Yeah, I usually didn’t do my best, just enough to get that A or B I needed. And I didn’t usually do all of what I was assigned. And I didn’t always do whatever I did do on time. Faking it and full of excuses.

Once, for example, I did an oral book report on Winesburg, Ohio, after having just read the cover and skimmed through. I got an A. :(

(Pssst: Even though it’s been more than 25 years, my husband is sitting here telling me he’s not quite sure the statute of limitations is up on this. #riskingit ;)

Dana Huff has posted a challenge to read those books we should have read back in school. And even though I’ve already done my personal penance (by reading every book I could remember that I should have back then), there are so many other classics I want to have already read that I’m taking the challenge.

I’m not sure which books I’m going to read this year, but I’m committed to reading at least two. I’d like to read six, but with all of my other interests, it’s hard to aim that high.

Plus, I’m thinking one of my choices will be War and Peace, the proverbial tome that calls to me in Russian far beyond Fonda and Hepburn, and the other may well be Ulysses, a maze of meanings that I’m actually feeling a bit better about now that I’ve found the “Dummies” version. LOL!

In case you’re interested, here are some lists of “Top 100 Novels” that I’ve bookmarked:

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My Reading List

I usually just pick up books here and there and read them when I find time, so until now I’ve never had a formal list of books I plan to read. I had actually planned to make this a summer reading list, but as I’m only a week away from returning to school, er, that ship seems to have sunk.

Anyway. . . last summer, I moved into a new classroom filled with a wealth of resources from a retiring veteran teacher, including shelves and stacks of very old and dusty books AND a ton of books that look good as new. What a treasure trove! With summer school and family fun last summer, though, I didn’t have a chance to go through it all and sort out the valuable from the in-.

So the day before Spring Break in April, and again at the end of the year, I offered my students the opportunity to start clearing it out. In the process, we found some cool old treasures, like an old-style record player that perplexed a few of my sophomores (one actually asked what it was :P) and a petrified banana that was black, hard as a rock, and stuck to the floor!

Since half of the books on my list are from my cleaned-out classroom, it makes sense that most of the 24 books here are nonfiction. It’s still strange to me, though, because I usually prefer novels. Not all of them are really heavy-duty reading, though; some are teaching materials like quizzes and activities.

I’ve linked all the titles to my Amazon.com account as accurately as I can; some of them are older editions that appear to be no longer available. And I don’t really know why I linked them at all, other than I’d never done it before and wanted to try it out. If a book catches your eye and you buy it through my link, the proceeds will go toward paying Bluehost for hosting this site. :)

Nonfiction, education-related

Nonfiction, not education-related

  • Don’t Ask Stupid Questions – There Are No Stupid Questions — Tim Brownson [I actually won this book through someone on Twitter’s contest this past winter.]
  • Jazz for Dummies — Dirk Sutro [Ooh, I found this one at Ollie’s discount store for about eight bucks!]
  • Proust: A Biography — Ronald Hayman [This belonged to my cousin, who was a librarian at UVA for some time. He passed away several years ago (:(), and his mother (also now deceased :() gave it to my mother who gave it to me. Proust has always seemed a little intimidating, so I’ve been thinking the biography might spur me into reading his actual works.]
  • You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You* — Molly Ivins [Ms. Ivins was required reading for my journalism undergrad, and I’ve always loved her style. RIP :(.]



I’m already thinking of others that I could add to the list, especially old favorites — like Amy Tan’s The Hundred Secret Senses that’s been creeping into my thoughts over the last months.

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