Once again, I present my top ten favorite posts of the year as a countdown. Only three of this year’s entries deal directly with the Common Core.
10. The Wager (April 28)
My friend Brian bet me he could pass my Shakespeare final without taking the course, and I accepted his wager. We both ended up learning more than we had expected.
9. Shakespeare and the Common Core (January 6)
Does the Common Core really eliminate all literature in favor of dry government manuals? Not even close. In fact, Shakespeare is actually mandated by the Common Core.
8. Shakespeare Follow-Up: Circumnavigation (November 29)
This year saw a new feature added to the blog: The Shakespeare Follow-Up. I chose this one, following up from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as a representative sample.
7. Cleopatra’s Facebook (April 17)
This project actually happened two years ago, but I worked with a class of 6th grade students who created a Facebook page for the Egyptian queen, reflecting the events of Antony and Cleopatra.
6. Don’t Be Rotten to the Core (October 2)
While I do have some specific concerns about the Common Core, fixating on distortions and distractions prevents us from having the real conversations we need to have about education.
5. Shakespeare Clickbait (December 25)
What if we used the same tactics to get people to read Shakespeare that websites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy use to get readers to click on their stories? I present: Shakespeare Clickbait.
4. Danny and the Death Ray (January 9)
This is a nice little story about a small town, and one boy who dared to speak out in order to save it. Some people read into it as an allegory for something else, but I just don’t see it.
3. In the Zone (March 6)
Wouldn’t it be a shame if the Common Core really were a better way to structure education, but nobody ever knew it because the implementation had been botched so badly?
The ongoing Shakespeare Song Parody feature came to an end this year, but not before the appearance of this swan song, paying tribute to all of the plays one last time.
1. How Real is Richard? (February 13)
When the bones of King Richard III were unearthed earlier this year, I was inspired to create a seven-point scale to rate how “real” each of Shakespeare’s characters actually are.
Have a Happy New Year, and I hope to see you in 2014!