1. Why did you miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post, or, if you "hit the nail on the head," why do you think you understood the metaphor, and why do you think that others in the class missed the metaphor?
At first, I didn't get it. However, when I got to the part where Tom Johnson says "Let me finish. Schools in low-income areas often have students who come in with a mentality that pencils are to be used for entertainment," I knew something wasn't right.. I knew he wasn't talking about "pencils." I finished reading the entire post, thought about all the other videos, blog posts/assignments and projects we were assigned and how they were all pro-technology and figured that Tom Johnson was, in deed, not referring to pencils, but to computers/technology. My guess for the students that did not catch the metaphor is that they simply took it too literally or that they just weren't thinking they would be assigned to read a post that was nothing but a whole metaphor.
2. What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?
Some of the metaphors I have encountered are: Let's get to the bottom of it; her comment was difficult to swallow; she got my blood boiling; she's going to steal the spotlight; he's the sunshine of my life; he was showered with presents; break a leg; and lastly, I would kill to have that car.
3. What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?
I definitely suggest spending a full day reviewing metaphors, giving a complete and thorough lesson with plenty of examples (depending on grade level, of course). In addition to the lesson, teachers could assign students to keep a log of metaphors they encounter, like we were asked to do. Then, they could share them in class and explain the underlying meaning of the metaphor to show their understanding. Also, teachers could encourage the use of them or even make it a requirement for each student to use at least one a day in class.
4. Why do we use metaphors?
In my opinion, we use metaphors as a way of communicating. They are like a shortcut to instant understanding. Metaphors make complex ideas simple and familiar to the listener because they compare the unknown to something the listener already knows. They can make speaking and writing more interesting and help us think about things differently.