the outside of enough

“Lord Liverpool gave him a long, hard look.  Then he said, “The matter shall not rest here, Mr. Norrell.  But whether it is Strange or not, one thing is clear.  Great Britain already has a mad King; a mad magician would be the outside of enough…”

p. 694


a leftover piece of the funeral

“It is these black clothes,” said Strange. “I am like a leftover piece of the funeral, condemned to walk about the Town, frightening people into thinking of their own mortality.”

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, page 528, Chapter 48 – The Engravings  Late February-March 1816                                                                   c 2004, Bloomsbury Publishing

interpreting texts

literacy teachers (which means ALL teachers 😉 ) stand to learn a lot from Margaret Atwood (of course – who else?).

today’s example brought to you by the current issue of maclean’s and the ontario elementary language curriculum:

“After so many books, she has learned that it is useless to try to point the reader in one direction or the other — they will take away exactly what they want to. “You’re not in control of how people read a book. They’re doing their own interpertation,” she says.” from Sister Atwood’s Travelling Salvation Show Maclean’s Oct 12th 2009 page 68.

Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts
1.5 develop and explain interpretations of
increasingly complex or difficult texts
using stated and implied ideas from the
texts to support their interpretations

Reading: 1. Reading for Meaning: Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts  1.5 “develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations” from the Ontario Language Curriculum document (this example is Gr 7 if you’re persnickety)

consider how this does not discuss “the” interpretation but “their own” and “interpretationS” i love that freedom.


there’s no end to how much i LOVE this. this reflects a personal philosophy and style, as well as something i was able to learn a little more first hand from some the wonderful people i worked with last year.  i think the biggest challenge for classroom teachers is that to do this, we also have to trust ourselves.   it does not always have to be planned, and long-range planned, and substitute-teacher planned, and short-range planned and visual-agenda planned {are teachers planners by nature? it’s getting a little out of hand} and scripted ahead of time {and yes, planning is important and perhaps teaching with INTENTION moreso}.  we 100% do need to trust our students, and trust ourselves to teach them well.

go with them moment. let them show you the need. meet them and teach them where they are. listen.  HEAR THEM. we teach kids, not curriculum, right?

Trust: Two Writing Teachers blog