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A full 10 weeks

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I cannot believe this will be the last week of class! It has gone by so quickly. I am glad that I was able to take this class. I think that I got a lot of valuable information and I was able to learn a lot of different procedures and concepts for my own classroom. I also got the experience to work with different programs that I never have before, or even heard of them before. I will definitely use some of those programs like voice thread, evernote, and slide rocket in my classroom. This class also helped me realize that I am in the right major. My concentration used to be math, but I changed it to Language Arts. After seeing how much I enjoyed writing a lesson plan that had to deal with reading and language arts, I realized that I could definitely do this for the rest of my life. I love reading, and hopefully my students will enjoy reading by getting involved in my lessons. I also was introduced to the concept of class blogs, and letting students have their own blogs. I think that many middle level students would enjoy having a blog. They are at that stage where all they want is friends and attention, and a blog is a great way to interact both by blogging about your day, telling stories, and commenting on other friend’s blogs. I also liked that we were able to see other middle level student’s work. It gave us an idea of how they write and create different things. Overall, I am very glad that I took this class and will use a lot of the information I gained in my own classroom.

 

Reflection Post

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When I first heard that I was going to have to write a memoir, I got extremely nervous. I had no idea what to write about, nothing really exciting has happened in my life. Yes, there were a few moments that I held special, like my first trip to New York City, or moments that had happened in high school. However, I didn’t really feel comfortable writing a memoir about them. For one, my first trip to New York City was so long ago, it was hard to remember specific details about that day. I had no other options though, so I decided to write about New York. Then, one day in class, my teacher brings up the Kardashians, and I made the comment jokingly saying, ” I wish I were a Kardashian”. She replies, “that would be a good title for a memoir!” Then I had it! My idea. I am always wishing that I could live a celebrity life, wishing my life would be more excited, or wishing I could travel all over the world. This would be so easy! I started out writing, and it was so easy to write. I found pictures on Kim Kardashian’s blog, had some pictures of my own from when I visited their store, and the ideas started to flow to me. After the topic is chosen, it is very easy to write. I was able to write more and more everyday. I knew my draft was not that very long. I knew there was something missing, I just didn’t know that. Then, I shared my draft with my group. I always look forward to peer editing groups because since I trust their opinions, I know they will give me very good feedback. A lot of it was very good, they said that I had good flow, voice, and parallel structure. They did mention for me to add a little more detail. Alissa and Jason had the idea of maybe writing about why I appreciate them, or the first time that I was drawn to them. Then I knew exactly what to write because I could remember the very first time I ever watched their show. The writing groups were very helpful because they helped me come up with a lot more detail for my memoir. I think I did a good job in my memoir. It was a very different approach from most of my other classmates, but it was still something special in my life. I am always wishing that I could be famous or travel so I think that this memoir was very parallel in my life. I would enjoy doing an activity like this in my own classroom because I think it would be a great way to have an insight into my students’ lives.

 

 

 

 

 

First day of school (Finally!)

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Thursday was my first day of pre-student teaching at Blairsville! I was so excited to finally be able to go. For the first two weeks, I did not have a placement, and when I finally got it, their school was closed the third week. So, I went Thursday and Friday to make up for my missed time. I have the  most experience with 5th grade, so it was very different for me to go into an 8th grade class. 8th graders are very self-centered. They tend to only care about themselves, always to be in the center of attention, and surrounded by their friends. They also are very disruptive and can be disrespectful at times. My concentration is Language Arts, so again it was different entering a biology room. However, when teaching and developing my lesson plans there are multiple ways to tie in language arts, writing, and math into science lessons. I think that it will be a challenge dealing with 8th graders at first because I am not used to this grade level. They have so much energy! It will be hard to manage them when they barely listen to the regular teachers. However, I am very excited to finally begin my teaching experience. I did not do a lot of work. It was just observing, and my teacher said that I would be observing until April. It will give me a chance to see his teaching strategies, how the students behave in the classroom, and to see what different things I can do to create good management and teaching skills in his classroom.

Draft of Memoir

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Here is my draft of my memoir. It was actually very easy to write. I think because I was so passionate about what I was writing about. It still needs a little work, but I am very happy with how it turned out.

I wish I was a Kardashian

Five siblings, living my life for the world to see, making paid appearances at Hollywood events, and getting the opportunity to travel the world and meet other celebrities. It must be nice. Having enough money to buy a million dollar ring like it was just another pair of sunglasses from American Eagle, spending every birthday at Tao Nightclub in Las Vegas, and waking up Friday morning deciding I want to spend the weekend in Santa Barbra…just because. I wish I was a Kardashian.

I wish I had such a close, loving, crazy family. I wish that I was able to experience all of those amazing trips, products, achievements, fans, and the Hollywood life. I wish I had my own clothing spread out around the United States. I wish that I could write a book about my life and have it on the New York Times Bestseller List. I wish I had a life that 4.2 million people Worldwide would tune in every Sunday night to watch. I wish that I could be invited to endless Hollywood red carpets, and I wish that I were even nominated for awards at those red carpet events. I wish I had the money to travel to Haiti and donate all my time and my money to help those who would be less fortunate than me. I think about how amazing it would be to shoot cover after cover for the World’s most famous magazines and have editors want to do an entire story on me.

I wish I could experience super bowl games and sitting courtside at basketball games. I wouldn’t even have to pay because I would be related to one of the players! How cool would it be to have multiple perfumes out in stores? With a picture of yourself on the box! I wish I could have my own radio show and host different television shows. I wish America could wake up and turn their televisions on and see me right on their television screens. I wish I could endorse a specific diet product. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to work out so much! After all, I would need that great body for all those photo shoots I would be doing. The Kardashians even have their own silly bandz and wax figures made after them. I mean really, I cannot be the only one who wishes they were a Kardashian.

I know that being a Kardashian is not all money, jewels, and a huge fan club. Of course, there are downsides for everything you wish for. Would I be able to still live my life how I normally do with cameras 5 feet behind me? Would I be strong enough to not care about the rumors that were out about me every week in the newsstands? Some moments might even be captured on film that I might not be too happy about.  I would be so busy I might not even get to appreciate the little things in life. I know being a Kardasian is not all that great. No matter how much I may wish I was a Kardashian, or even wish to meet one, which I haven’t yet, just putting that out there, I really do appreciate my friends and family. We may not live a Kardashian life or travel all over the world together, but I am very happy with my life. My family may not tackle rumors every day, be asked to attend events, or have a home in Holmby Hills, but I am fine with that. I know that at the end of the day I am very happy with my life and everybody who is currently in it. Sometimes it’s just fun to think, “I wish I was a Kardashian”.

Voice Thread / Windows Movie Maker

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Well, I lied. I’m not doing a memoir on my New York City trip. My teacher gave me the best idea! She was talking about in class how we do not have to be a former president or a Kardashian to write an exciting memoir. Kidding around I reply, “I wish I was a Kardashian”. She laughs and says, “That would be a good title for a memoir!” All of a sudden, I started thinking of a different angle for my memoir. I do not think that it is bad for students to continuously change their mind about a project or topic. By changing your mind, it shows that you are thinking and continuing to put in effort for project. If your mind is wandering, that shows your putting thought and you care about how well you are going to do. I am so much more excited for this memoir than the one I was going to do about New York City. This memoir, I wish I was a Kadashian, will be about how I wish I was like them, having billions of dollars, traveling the world, making so many achievements, and having such an amazing family. Then I will go on to say that at the end of the day no matter how much I wish I could live a Kardashian life, I do appreciate my life and my friends and I am very happy with the place that I am in my life right now. I am so excited to do it, and I think that I will do a great job. I have all my photos ready. I need to add a few more that are on my other computer, but even though I changed my topic I am back on track with my draft. At first, I started out with Windows Movie Maker. I liked the idea of seeing the words on the screen instead of hearing them read while seeing the pictues. I think that Windows Movie Maker is a very easy tool to use. It is very easy to upload pictures for one slide, put words on another, and it is just like a slideshow in the end. However, for the final draft it has to be done in Voice Thread. I have never heard of Voice Thread before, but I was excited to use it. Once I got to the site, however,  I was very confused on how to use it. As of now, I am not a huge fan of Voice Thread. For one, I do not like the sound of my own voice over recordings. I think I sound like a five year old. Also, it is very confusing on how to preview it, add your voice, and then go back to editing it. At least right now I would not recommend it to my students in the classroom, but maybe after I use it more for my memoir  I will enjoy using it more. This is just the draft of memoir.

 

Memoir

I finally have decided on the topic of my memoir. It took me a while because I could not think of any funny story in my life. I do not have that family story that is always told when my family gets together, and nothing life changing has happened to me yet. After doing an exercise in class and listing the first 5 people that came to mind, I focused on my best friend Lauren. One of the best memories I have with her is going to New York City for my very first time. After that first time to New York, I have been going back there every 4 or 5 months, and I love it! Then I knew what I should write about..my very first trip to New York City! Now, at the very last minute I have my topic. I did a lot of Google searches to find tips on trying to write a memoir. When writing my memoir, I started out just by writing down words and phrases that came to mind when I thought about that day, and I will go from there. It can be surprising how many small details and things you will remember about a certain event that you haven’t thought about in years. I also went through a lot of my Facebook pictures to try to bring back some memories. I think that a memoir can be a very exciting thing to do in the classroom. In my other English class, we were talking about how teachers of writing learn so much about their students, whether it is good or bad. By having students write a memoir, it can be a great way to have a brief insight into their life. Also, if I do really well on this memoir, I can save it and use for my students. I think it is better for students to see a model of what they’re expected  do. Also, I always thought it was interesting to see an insight into my teacher’s life and see what they do outside of school and see that they have a life, too. I’m really excited to get started on this memoir and learn how to use some digital storytelling tools with my memoir. Hopefully my next post will be more on my memoir, and of the several storytelling tools that are out there

Reading Like a Writer

This week’s assignment in class was to read like a writer. What exactly does reading like a writer mean? Well, I thought the same thing. There are six traits of a good writer. Those traits are Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, and Conventions. When reading like a writer, the reader analyzes the passage, while reading it, to see if that passage has all of those six traits. It’s not just about reading for entertainment or reading just to say you read it. One has to read the information and at the same time see if that passage has all of those traits. I do consider myself a good writer, but I’ve never found myself reading other pieces of writing and seeing if those traits were present. Though, today my teacher did say that now that the 6 traits of writing have been introduced to me, I will probably start to look for them in writings a lot more. I think that ideas, organization, and conventions are very common traits to writers. They are what the standardized tests look for while scoring writings. Students in elementary, middle school, and high school have been trained to perfection in conventions, organization, and ideas. However, I do not think that there is a huge emphasis on sentence fluency, word choice, and voice. Today I learned about P.O.P. I will definitely teach that in my classroom. It stands for Personality On Paper. I think that students are so concerned with getting the basic format down, having words spelled correctly, making sure their story makes sense, and having clear ideas that they completely forget to add their own personal touch to the paper. In my other English Class we were talking about how the 5 paragraph format has made students start to move away from writing. If their paper does not follow the 5 paragraph format for tests, they think they did something wrong. They’re drilled to think that an essay is only 5 paragraphs with each paragraph having 5-7 sentences. Creative writing and allowing students to have their own voice, fluency, and word choice in their writings can really help students to enjoy the writing process. I agree that those 6 traits are something that every writing should contain, especially those last 3 traits. Now, knowing those 6 traits of writing, I think I will be able to really help my students succeed in writing and I will now look for those traits in other writings I read to see if they are models for good writing.