I had an in-service day at school today so I missed class. I can't stand missing class but today was pretty awesome. The district is rolling out iPads for a handful of classes and three of mine were selected to pilot the program. Teaching with an iPad and having each student have one at the same time opens up a bunch of cool opportunities. The bad part about today was that they gave us (the teachers piloting the program) the iPad and then expected us to listen to their instructions. We just sat there and played on our new devices for most of the time. Not playing in a bad way though. Purely educational playing. Yep.
Today was just a huge tech day for me.
Listening Carefully by Sean Hammer
This is a nice piece of short fiction about two brothers, one in middle school and one in elementary. The youngest brother may be on the "slow" side but the father seems to be in denial about it. The story is told from the older boy's point of view. The younger boy gets moved to the older boy's school, which seems to be a type of gifted school because it's small and has two campuses, but struggles fitting in and has to be removed after a week or so.
Story: 8 of 10
I enjoyed a lot of things about this story. The older brother is a great character whose personal growth is the main point of the entire piece I believe. I liked the parents relationship. I liked the use of dialog. I liked the use of Bob Dylan as music that the boys and father would listen to on their way to school. There are some good nuggets of truth in here. The only thing I didn't like was how the older boy would eavesdrop on his parents to gather information. It seemed like a cheap trick by the author to get the readers to understand everything. The rest of the story is so enjoyable, but it's just a disappointing move by the author. Doesn't come close to ruining the story though.
Teachability: 9 of 10
Good themes in here, as well as some foreshadowing. Nice character development, especially with the oldest boy. Also, any story that is about kids automatically gets some points for high-interest.