[quote from Newkirk and Kent’s “Teaching the Neglected ‘R,'” chapter 22]
Managing a twenty-first century language arts classroom that welcomes diverse writers–as well as a variety of readers, speakers, listeners, artists, musicians, athletes, mathematicians, and scientists–is tricky. There’s no single formula, template, or textbook to guide us in this work. Our students arrive, each one with an assortment of gifts and challenges as writers, learners, and as people, and that’s where we begin (267).
Kent’s quote hits on a very important idea of how/where to start in the diverse classroom. It also made me think about how teachers can use technology to help with these issues…really tying into students’ strengths and improving their weaknesses. For example, if a science/math person doesn’t find writing relevant to their interests, have them work on a project that uses their disciplines’ technical jargon and then transfer that jargon into lay terms for other members of the class to understand. For more visually inclined students, have them work on digital storybook or comic book that incorporates images that show the theme, plot, climax, transitional elements, etc. of a story.
Again, there is not “set” answer to working with diverse classes. But then again, I like to think that’s what makes teaching such a unique profession!