A Study in Theater Education

A current undergraduate at Emerson College's Theater Education program. Posting exercises and lessons I learn along the way!

Long time, no posts…

Hello all nine of you! First off, I have to say thanks for following this blog! Though it was inactive for close to three months, I’m excited to jump back into it. I’ll start recording more of what’s going on in my classes, and bring in some discussion points for all of us to weigh. Let me know what you’re interested in within theater education, and I’d gladly create a post!

See all of you soon!

jaclynday:

Looking for a new book to add to read this year? 
I sometimes get in a reading rut where I read the same types of books over and over and have to make a conscious effort to switch it up. (It helps that I try to alternate fiction and nonfiction.)
I created the 2013 Reading Challenge as an easy and fun way for me (and you) to fit more varied books in this year. A lot of people create goals of reading a certain number of books in a year, but I think that can be stressful or worse—you may end up racing through shorter, mediocre books in order to reach your quota for a given month. I used to try and race through books in order to tick them off a numbered list, but I’ve found that it’s more challenging and enjoyable to try and read books that are outside my comfort zone, or in a genre I’m not familiar with or that I haven’t read in years. 
I created the below lists as a way to get started, but the books I’ve listed for each section are just my personal recommendations. The important thing is not to read any of them just because I’ve listed them here—you should only read them if they jump out at you as being interesting or worth your time. 
Above all, reading should be fun. I used to feel like I had to finish every book I started no matter how much I hated it or how bored I got. I don’t do that anymore. If I’m not enjoying myself, I don’t finish the book. You know yourself better than anyone! Only choose what you know what will bring you genuine pleasure and enjoyment. (And won’t be a waste of your time!) 
Have fun and let me know what books you pick in each category! I’ll keep you updated by posting reviews here when I’m finished.
Read a childhood favorite you haven’t picked up in years.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise McGraw
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Read a nonfiction book about religion or religious culture (or the lack thereof).
Rapture Ready! by Daniel Radosh
The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose
The Prophet’s Prey by Sam Brower
A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian D. McLaren
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Who Speaks for Islam? by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed
Read a classic you haven’t touched since high school English.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Read a popular historical fiction novel.
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George
Read a nonfiction book or memoir about an illness or disease.
Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi
The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch
Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery by Bill Clegg
The Mercy Papers by Robin Romm
An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith
Read an entire popular YA book series.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Divergent series by Veronica Roth
The Ender Saga by Orson Scott Card
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
The Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle
Redwall by Brian Jacques
Read a book that was made into a movie or television show released within the past year. 
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones)
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (The Woman in Black)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) 
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)
John Carter on Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (John Carter)
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Read one of the books on New York Times reviewer Michiko Katutani’s Meanest Reviews list and decide for yourself whether the meanness was warranted.
“The Original of Laura” by Vladimir Nabokov
“Chronic City” by Jonathan Lethem
“The Discomfort Zone” by Jonathan Franzen
“A Long Way Down” by Nick Hornby
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer
“Until I Find You” by John Irving
“The Dying Animal” by Philip Roth
“Point Omega” by Don DeLillo
“Nocturnes ” by Kazuo Ishiguro
“The Witches of Eastwick” by John Updike
“NW” by Zadie Smith
Read one of Amazon’s Editors’ Picks for January 2013.
Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes
Ship It Holla Ballas! by Jonathan Grotenstein, Storms Reback
Hikikomori and the Rental Sister by Jeff Backhaus
Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
Rage Is Back: A Novel by Adam Mansbach
Little Wolves by Thomas James Maltman
Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus
Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde by Rebecca Dana
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer
Read a nonfiction true crime book.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
My Life among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World’s Most Notorious Murderers by Helen Morrison and Harold Goldberg
The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
Devil in the White City by Jonathan Larson
Manhunt by James L. Swanson
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
Mind Hunter by John Douglas
Read a book about a sport that usually doesn’t interest you in the slightest.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
Secretariat by William Nack
The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
The Game They Played by Stanley Cohen
Paper Lion by George Plimpton
Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger
Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox
Read a collection of short stories.
Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie
Dear Life by Alice Munro
Night Shift by Stephen King
The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger
Naked by David Sedaris
Eleven Kinds of Loneliness by Richard Yates
The Best American Short Stories 2012 by Tom Perrotta and Heidi Pitlor
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls by Alissa Nutting
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you have any books to add to these lists? What will you read in one of the categories?

Great Idea! I’ll be creating a reading challenge for plays/musicals! 

jaclynday:

Looking for a new book to add to read this year? 

I sometimes get in a reading rut where I read the same types of books over and over and have to make a conscious effort to switch it up. (It helps that I try to alternate fiction and nonfiction.)

I created the 2013 Reading Challenge as an easy and fun way for me (and you) to fit more varied books in this year. A lot of people create goals of reading a certain number of books in a year, but I think that can be stressful or worse—you may end up racing through shorter, mediocre books in order to reach your quota for a given month. I used to try and race through books in order to tick them off a numbered list, but I’ve found that it’s more challenging and enjoyable to try and read books that are outside my comfort zone, or in a genre I’m not familiar with or that I haven’t read in years. 

I created the below lists as a way to get started, but the books I’ve listed for each section are just my personal recommendations. The important thing is not to read any of them just because I’ve listed them here—you should only read them if they jump out at you as being interesting or worth your time. 

Above all, reading should be fun. I used to feel like I had to finish every book I started no matter how much I hated it or how bored I got. I don’t do that anymore. If I’m not enjoying myself, I don’t finish the book. You know yourself better than anyone! Only choose what you know what will bring you genuine pleasure and enjoyment. (And won’t be a waste of your time!) 

Have fun and let me know what books you pick in each category! I’ll keep you updated by posting reviews here when I’m finished.

Read a childhood favorite you haven’t picked up in years.

Read a nonfiction book about religion or religious culture (or the lack thereof).

Read a classic you haven’t touched since high school English.

Read a popular historical fiction novel.

Read a nonfiction book or memoir about an illness or disease.

Read an entire popular YA book series.

Read a book that was made into a movie or television show released within the past year. 

Read one of the books on New York Times reviewer Michiko Katutani’s Meanest Reviews list and decide for yourself whether the meanness was warranted.

Read one of Amazon’s Editors’ Picks for January 2013.

Read a nonfiction true crime book.

Read a book about a sport that usually doesn’t interest you in the slightest.

Read a collection of short stories.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you have any books to add to these lists? What will you read in one of the categories?

Great Idea! I’ll be creating a reading challenge for plays/musicals! 

from-student-to-teacher:

This is a great reminder to kids (and their parents) about why that daily reading is important. It adds up!


Reading is important in encourage, no matter what the subject!

from-student-to-teacher:

This is a great reminder to kids (and their parents) about why that daily reading is important. It adds up!

Reading is important in encourage, no matter what the subject!

amandaonwriting:

Feelings Extrapolated - The roots of your characters’ emotions.

amandaonwriting:

Feelings Extrapolated - The roots of your characters’ emotions.

Topics: Playmaking

With the end of the semester drawing near, I can actually begin getting excited about next semester’s classes,which includes two theater education courses with Bethany Nelson! Playmaking is going to be the course that blows my mind. Once I can get on a computer I’ll link a bunch of information about playmaking, but for now I have a makeup class for Theatre as Education I. Talk to you all soon!

theartguy:

(via Free Technology for Teachers: Social Media for Teachers)

bethechangeyouwant:

Sir Ken Robinson


I’m sure this has gone around Tumblr #education before, but we watched this today at our institute and all I have to say is “Wow”. 

Check out the “Fictitious Plague of ADHD”. 

You need to do yourself a favor and watch this if you have not seen it before. 

Please check out more from Sir Ken Robinson if you haven’t already. Both of his TedTalks are amazing, and his collective books on education are mind-blowing. 

Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

(Source: bethechangeyouwantedu)

The 5 Elements of Reading Instruction and How They Relate to Theater

experimentsintheater-com:

There are so many ways that theater can help to foster a lively and enriching cultural environment in schools, but what about academics?  In a challenging economy, anything other than academics is viewed as “empty calories.”  There are no easy answers when money is tight, but this article addresses how theater helps to foster and support literacy and reading instruction.

A great response to a topic that is often thought of as an excuse to keep theater in curriculum. The academic growth is not limited to reading alone. Theater is a brilliant bridge between subject matters including the sciences, history, and languages of all kinds. The divergent thinking and problem solving that goes with creating theater is something irreplaceable. I’ll try to write a larger text post about this topic! Thank you for the well spoken and concise article!

gjmueller:

Knowing ourselves enables us to teach others

After over 20 years of teaching, I believe that the best way to increase my capacity to help others is to learn more about myself. To ensure successful learning, I include these four actions in weekly lesson plans, because knowing ourselves enables us to help others.
Look for and document changes in your own learning
Plan to learn while you teach
Reflect on moments of success
Make your perceptions of students visible to yourself

photo via flickr:CC | dkuropatwa

Great visual and reminder! Thanks!

gjmueller:

Knowing ourselves enables us to teach others

After over 20 years of teaching, I believe that the best way to increase my capacity to help others is to learn more about myself. To ensure successful learning, I include these four actions in weekly lesson plans, because knowing ourselves enables us to help others.

  1. Look for and document changes in your own learning
  2. Plan to learn while you teach
  3. Reflect on moments of success
  4. Make your perceptions of students visible to yourself

photo via flickr:CC | dkuropatwa

Great visual and reminder! Thanks!

gjmueller:


When we talk about game-based learning, what do we really mean? How is it different from the games you’ve been incorporating in your classroom all these years? In general, game-based learning means making gaming a deeper, more intrinsic part of the learning process.

What’s your take on the game-based learning trend?

I’m all about it! A link I found helpful on the topic is linked below:
http://www.newmedia.org/game-based-learning—what-it-is-why-it-works-and-where-its-going.html

gjmueller:

When we talk about game-based learning, what do we really mean? How is it different from the games you’ve been incorporating in your classroom all these years? In general, game-based learning means making gaming a deeper, more intrinsic part of the learning process.

What’s your take on the game-based learning trend?

I’m all about it! A link I found helpful on the topic is linked below:

http://www.newmedia.org/game-based-learning—what-it-is-why-it-works-and-where-its-going.html

You are my official first follower! Thank you! Feel free to respond or ask any questions you may have! 
A theory that my class spends a great deal of time integrating into our lesson planning is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. To avoid any misquoting or confusion on what the theory is, I’ll link a nice summary on the topic below (OR click the picture to get linked to the same summary!):
http://psychology.about.com/od/educationalpsychology/ss/multiple-intell.htm
In general, the theory invites teachers to look at their curriculum and students in a well-rounded way. Instead of creating a lesson plan that only focuses on one type of intelligences, let’s say linguistic, a teacher should create a balance. By incorporating facets of each intelligence, the hope is to provide a better opportunity for each student to participate and thrive in the lesson.
I’ll be referring to this theory plenty of times in my upcoming lesson planning posts. What are your thoughts on the theory? Yay or Nay?

A theory that my class spends a great deal of time integrating into our lesson planning is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. To avoid any misquoting or confusion on what the theory is, I’ll link a nice summary on the topic below (OR click the picture to get linked to the same summary!):

http://psychology.about.com/od/educationalpsychology/ss/multiple-intell.htm

In general, the theory invites teachers to look at their curriculum and students in a well-rounded way. Instead of creating a lesson plan that only focuses on one type of intelligences, let’s say linguistic, a teacher should create a balance. By incorporating facets of each intelligence, the hope is to provide a better opportunity for each student to participate and thrive in the lesson.

I’ll be referring to this theory plenty of times in my upcoming lesson planning posts. What are your thoughts on the theory? Yay or Nay?

Hello Reader!

Before I get ahead of myself, first let me thank you for reading! This is a blog I’ve been in the process of creating since I started my path into becoming a theater educator. And now that I’m reaching the more intense parts of the program, I thought it would be great to jump into the discussion and add in on the education tag! With that in mind, please know that I do not represent the opinions of my school, Emerson College, or the wonderful staff that have brought me to this point in my education. This blog is solely a place for me to communicate my understandings and concerns with the system. It’s also a place where I want to share with other educators and students. This is a topic I’ve gained a lot of passion and knowledge in, and I really just want to expand on it.

So, with that in mind, let’s get started! My hopes are to post daily exercises, lesson planning, and general experiences I gain through my program, and in classroom settings. I hope to invite you, the readers, in on your thoughts and experiences as well! This is both a record of what I’m doing for future reference and a place where you can join in and teach me more.
DISCLAIMER: I will try my best to keep my other blogs and their intense fandoms out of these posts, but please know my Tumblr personality will leak through at times. My expectations are to keep this STRAIGHT EDUCATION, but you never know. Excited to start a discourse with all of you! 

Sincerely,

Sarah the Theater Ed