“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.” — Oscar Wilde

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I like collecting quotations.  In my spare time, I go online and search for quotations about education, literacy, or just life in general.  I then cut and paste them into a word processing document.  I remember when my band teacher posted one music quotation per week around our band room.  We would arrive in the band room every Monday and look around to see what new idea had been placed on the wall.  Years later, during my first year of teaching, I volunteered to decorate the school library.  One of the first jobs I completed was to place a reading quotation above all the computers.  I enjoyed seeing the students walk around to read the quotations as they were perusing the bookshelves.

I realize that collecting quotations might be considered cheating, because why would I want to use the words of someone else when I can create my own?  I would counter that argument by stating that quotations allow me to perfect my own reading analysis.  I can determine what wisdom the speaker is trying to impart, and I can use his or her statement to help my students understand the themes we are exploring in a larger piece of text.  I can use a particular quotation in a lesson plan to add impact to my points.  Finally, I can use my collection to gain some insights into my own life, and learn how I can use these written statements to improve my own thinking and actions.  The quotations might have been said by someone else, but the critical thinking they can provide belongs to the reader.

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