Selfie with Larry

Last week we were discussing Drama pedagogy in class, so I intended to show the students the DramaThemes resources. In many schools, I have seen at least one DramaThemes book somewhere, and I have found them extremely useful when teaching drama myself. While I was holding the stack of various editions of the books and waiting for the elevator, I noticed another person also waiting. It slowly dawned on me that the other person was the author, Dr. Larry Swartz! Just as I realized this, he noticed my handful and said, “Hey I wrote those books!” I got the chance to tell him what I was using the books for and he encouraged me, saying that new teachers usually find a lot of useful material within. That day I was too shy to ask him to take a selfie with me, but when I ran into him in the same place again later, I did ask and he was happy to pose with me. Thanks Larry!

New Publication: Feedback in Online Writing Forums: Effects on Adolescent Writers


Adolescents are writing online. A cursory look at the web reveals that teenagers are well-represented; in blog posts, social media updates, profile pages, comments on YouTube videos, responses to news articles, and websites about their interests, teenagers are writing (Williams 2009). In the current research study, the specific kind of adolescent writing under consideration is writing posted in a social media context designed specifically for writers. This case study focuses on six young writers who are active members of an online writing community, and who post their writing in order to receive feedback. Descriptive data collected through interviews, as well as from samples of writing in the online community provide answers to the research questions: a) Who participates in online writing communities? b) Why do people participate in online writing communities? c) What kind of feedback do members of online writing communities receive on their writing? Educational implications for an informal writing pedagogy, for expanding the notion of “peer” in peer feedback, and for valuing students’ “out-of-school” writing are discussed.

Recommended Citation

OMEA 2016

I presented my preliminary research about what O Canada sounds like in Ontario schools. I investigated whether one specific recording is played each day, or whether different recordings are used, who chooses those recordings, how they are introduced, and how the features of each recording affect students’ ability to have a meaningful and developmentally appropriate experience of the national anthem.


Staff Jumping


screenshot-2016-11-28-at-10-44-24-amHere are my teacher ed students jumping on the floor staff. This activity helps students embody the movement of notes on the staff. In my experience, not all students automatically transfer the knowledge they learn through jumping, to the location of notes on a page. But if you explicitly help them make the connection, then they realize how to transfer the knowledge.


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