Thursday, March 29, 2012

20 Shot Short Story

Other than having to film our story twice, I think this was a great experience. It might actually be something that I use in my own classroom someday/ or a similar idea. I like that we were randomly assigned groups and were given a story to do rather than having the option to choose our group and choose which story we do. In high school a lot of times all of the popular kids work together and then sometimes there is someone that is very shy or doesn't really get along well with others that doesn't have a group to work with. This way, that bias is gone, and each group will be roughly equal. Also, if the students were permitted to choose their story, they would likely all try to choose the stories that were familiar to them and no one would choose the other stories that were new to them- which could result in groups fighting over who gets which story. Having the stories selected for the groups is a sort of element of surprise. If I were doing this activity in my own classroom I would likely extend the amount of time students have to work on the project. Since high school usually meets 5 days a week rather than our 3 day a week class, maybe one solid week of class time would do it? I think it really depends on the students and their maturity level- some may need more time while others may finish in less than five days. Overall though, I think that the assignment as is was set up very well- and will likely do something similar to it someday.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Dyslexia Jeopardy

This week in my special education class I was required to complete a differentiated assessment project. Some of the options were writing a paper, summarizing about two journal articles, making a cartoon video online, creating a wiki-space, designing a website, or creating a jeopardy game. Being an English education major I think we can all agree I have enough papers to write in my other courses. So I decided to choose one of the more interactive options. I decided to make a Jeopardy game and we were required to create it around a topic we focused on in class so I chose dyslexia. If anyone would like to check out my Dyslexia Jeopardy game you can find it HERE.If you would ever like to create your own Jeopardy game this website is really simple and easy to use. It provides a template and you just provide the questions and answers. Easy enough, right?


Thursday, March 22, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor

This week in Young Adult Literature we are studying dystopia literature, including The Giver and The Hunger Games. I read The Hunger Games a few weeks ago and over spring break I took the time to read the other two books of the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I could not put the books down. I would think- I'll just read one more chapter, and then the next thing I knew it was four a.m. and I had a finished book. I thought to myself this is the kind of book I would want to teach in my class someday. Something exciting that really keeps the students attention. I have come across various hunger games activities to use in the classroom on Pinterest but today after typing "The Hunger Games lesson plans" into the Google search bar I received countless helpful resources. One of the more helpful websites that I found is Hunger Games Lessons. This website not only gives rationale for teaching the hunger games but also provides teacher examples and free downloads.

 If you ever decide to teach The Hunger Games in your classroom this website might come in handy!

"Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!"


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reading Specialist

A few weeks ago in Young Adult Literature, Dr. Balok had one of her former students address the class during our focus on the novel Dope Sick. Originally, she was an English Education major but then decided to get her masters and become a reading specialist. After hearing her talk about it I researched the roles of reading specialists in schools and it has become something that I am seriously thinking of pursuing after I get a degree in teaching. I think it is something I would enjoy, and I cannot get the thought of it out of my head. I am a very indecisive person so it may take some time before I make my final decision. I mentioned to Dr. Balok about the opportunity seeming like something I may want to pursue one day. Her advice: keep thinking about it- and that is just what I am doing and will continue to do until the time comes when I have made a decision.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pinterest- does have educational value!

I am a die-hard user of Pinterest. I could probably use it in my sleep. Not only do I find delicious recipes on there, I also find tons on DIY projects, and many helpful photography tips, but that's not all. I also find many helpful educational resources. I even have a separate board titled Teaching English. Where I not only pin lesson plans that might be helpful someday, but also different helpful organization tips and ideas for how to decorate and display things in my classroom- including countless quotes I would love to  have on display in my classroom somewhere. One of the most intriguing educational ideas I found recently on Pinterest is a website where students can upload photos of themselves and fill it with words about themselves and their interests, or I thought even better- they could write a poem to form to the shape of any image they choose. It's called Tagxedo. Here is an example of one in honor of a certain someone that just had a birthday last week. From looks it sort of reminds me of a Wordle- but in a fun shape.

Anyone else think this is a neat idea?


Monday, March 5, 2012

What's my grade?

This might turn out to be a bit of a rant, but it really bothers me when I have a class where the professor doesn't give you physical grades. It's not that I dislike the professors, because I do not, it just seems that every semester or so I have one class in which I do not receive physical grades. Once I had a night class in which we were required to write weekly reading notes and responses and the professor never gave us points or letter grades, but rather each week we would receive a check mark followed by a couple of plus signs. One week I would get a check plus and the next it would be a check plus plus. After a while I was worried because I had no clue how I was doing in the class and I asked the professor what the markings on my paper meant- their answer "You're doing fine." I didn't think I was failing or anything I simply wanted to know what I had in the class. This semester I have another class in which no grades are given. We write weekly response which have comments on, but never a grade or points. We have also taken several quizzes and none of them have been returned with a grade. (Many of you are in this class as well.) My question is why do professors do this? Do they think we don't care what we get on a quiz or have in the class? I am very conscientious about my grades. Maybe they don't realize the thoughts that run through there students mind when they have no physical grade to look at? Who knows, all I know is I can't stand it.

Anyone have any thoughts on this matter?