An Authentic Problem
Quite often, we ask students to respond to original ideas. We ask them to reflect on an author’s claim. We ask them to connect their values to an author’s values. We even ask them to make personal connections to an author’s background. A colleague of mine has students write letters to Sherman Alexie after reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (to which he has responded once). Importantly, we also ask students to respond to the writings of other students. These opportunities provide moments of authenticity in terms of revising and publishing that carry genuine weight as students begin to see themselves as writers.
The push to allow for students to respond to one another was alive and well in my classroom until a student asked why she couldn’t respond to her friend who was in a different hour of mine. And so began The Door of Chaos.
The Door of Chaos
The idea behind The Door of Chaos is that students have the opportunity to respond to ideas that were generated when they weren’t in the room. Continue reading