This week our assignments were quite difficult and time consuming. We learned about using the program Google Earth and how to create a lit trip with it. I found this tool to be very difficult to use. I created my lit trip numerous times, and every time I tried to save it the whole app would close and my trip was lost. Eventually I had to just stop trying and returned to the app the next day and it worked without any difficulty. The other thing that has taken a lot of time this week is my portfolio. I had it set up a completely different way than what was asked of us for this class, so it has taken me a long time to reconfigure it but I am happy with the finished product. Overall, I feel like this class has given me so much valuable information that I am excited to use in the future, I now know how useful technology can be in a classroom, and how much more exciting learning can be for students when technology is being used.
Last week and this week we worked on the flipped classroom idea, and screencasting. When I first learned about a flipped classroom in Foundations of Education I absolutely loved it. I definitely see myself using this method a lot in my future classroom, and I have already had quite a bit of practice screencasting. I think that this type of classroom is a great way to incorporate technology in a classroom, and if I were exposed to this form of teaching in high school I would have enjoyed school (and homework) much more.
I found this first week of class extremely interesting, especially the shift happens video, which I shared with my two roommates and they loved. I found using glogster interesting, it is a fun and unique way to essentially create an online poster board. I am very excited to use it more and become more familiar with it. I look forward to the next three weeks of class, and what I have to learn about technology, because it has become so important in the educational field.
Chbosky, Stephen.(1999). The Perks of Being a Wallflower. New York: Gallery Books.
This is a Young Adult novel about coming of age. This books is banned for many reasons, a few being: drugs, alcohol, smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, and masturbation. After reading this book I would probably only recommend it to high school students.
iv. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of how real it is, I don’t think that I have read a book like this in a long time. The author tells it how it is, whether it is about drinking under age or having sex before you are ready, he does not hold back. I think that is important for students to read, especially a the high school age. Students in high school are always told to refrain from things that they shouldn’t be doing, but this books demonstrates a boy who doesn’t refrain from anything and ends up in a psych ward; it is a great lesson for kids in high school.
I completely understand why this book has been banned in many school settings, it is very vulgar and some people may think that it encourages the bad behaviors that the main character partakes in. But I think that in a unique way it can show students why they are always told to not do drugs, don’t drink and drive, and practice safe sex. If I was a high school teacher I would highly encourage my students to read it.
Because this book is not geared towards grade school students, I think it would be best incorporated into two different classrooms, either a health class or english class.
If I were to incorporate it into a health class I would focus on this standard:
1.2.A Explain the impact of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use on brain chemistry, brain function, and behavior.
The main character in the novel goes through many behavioral changes, you could use the book to focus the students on how the main character acts prior to using drugs and alcohol and what the difference is after.
- How does the main character act in the beginning of the novel?
- Did the drugs and alcohol change his behavior a lot?
- How did this behavior change affect his personal relationships?
Warner, Gertrude.(1924). The Boxcar Children. New York: Rand McNally & Company.
Genre: Young Adult Chapter Book, 3-6th grade (realistic fiction)
III. Thoughts about the craft: Since this book was written in the early 1920s you can definitely tell that it is outdated. Four siblings run away from home and on their first night they sleep on hay bales and wake up to a rooster crowing. This is definitely not something that most modern day children experience, or would have the opportunity to experience.
IV. The main issue raised in the book is the fact that four children no longer have parents, and run away from the people that want to send them to live with their grandpa. They now have to be adults and fend for themselves.
After reading this book I understand why this series is so famous, within a great story it teaches many valuable lessons to children. Though the lessons may be a bit antiquated now, when this book came out it was something that most kids could relate to.
A fun and creative activity for students to do after reading this book is making their own boxcar, and filling it with the things that they think will be necessary for them to survive.
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
- Do you think you could survive out in the wilderness like the characters did?
- What supplies would you need in your boxcar to survive?
Heymans, Annemie.(1993). The Princess in the Kitchen Garden. Farrar Straus & Giroux.
This is a picture book written for 1st-3rd graders.
IV. The main issue raised in the book is grief, and dealing with death. Two young kids just lost their mother, and this death has caused their father to withdraw emotionally and physically. Throughout the book you see how the kids are dealing with this grief, and how not having a parental figure present in their lives affects them.
The one thing that stood out as being very unique in this book is it’s style. The story is told primarily through the two children’s monologues. This made sense to me, but I could see how it would be confusing for a young child. After reading many reviews of the book people seem to think that the fragmented way that the book is written is supposed to coincide with the fragmented and broken way the kids are feeling after their mother’s death. This makes a lot of sense after reading the reviews, but I do not think a young child would think of that.
Objective: Students will be able to share their feelings in a group setting, and listen as their fellow classmates share their feelings.
- What are feelings?
- Does everyone have feelings?
- What kind of feelings did the characters have in this book?
Activity: Individually students will write down how they are feeling on a piece of paper, then if they feel comfortable they will share in front of the class.
CCS.Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
CCS.Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
Good, Merle. (1993). Amos and Susie an Amish Story. Pennsylvania: Good Books.
Genre: Multicultural Suggested Age: 1st-3rd grade.
iv. thoughts about particular issues raised in the book: The book is about what a brother and sister who are Amish do every day, such as help plow the fields and can fruit for preservatives. But it does not explain what being Amish is, which I think is important for kids to know before reading this book so that it will make sense. I understood the book clearly because I have previous knowledge about the Amish, but I think it would be confusing for children, they may think that being Amish is like being a farmer or owning a farm.
The illustrations are the only thing that show that the book is about a pair of Amish siblings. But for children that do not recognize the caps the women wear on their heads or the clothes that they are wearing may just think that the book is about normal people, but that they dress a little funny.
Lesson Sketch: Students will be able to discuss how Amos and Susie are alike and different from themselves.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Rohmann, Eric. (2002). My Friend Rabbit. Connecticut: Roaring Book Press/Millbrook Press.
This is a picture book intended for 4-8 year olds.
I knew from looking at the cover of the book, that it was going to be a fun and colorful book, but I was definitely surprised by the lack of writing within it. I really enjoyed how the majority of the book was told through pictures, I think that is a great way for kids to be able to use their imagination. It also causes kids to have to pay more attention to the book, because they cannot just read or listen to what is being read to them, they have to really look at it and figure out what is going on.
I really enjoyed the style of the book, as discussed above, I think that it is a great way to keep kids engaged.
But, I was not a huge fan of the plot of the book, I feel like the story line of a friend that is a trouble maker is over done. So many children’s books have this plot, but the Caldecott is based of off illustration, so I completely understand why it received the award that it did.
Objective: Students will be able to create their own picture book where they are the illustrator.
With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
- Do any of you know what an illustrator is? What do they do when making a book?
- Are the authors and illustrators important when it comes to making a book?
- Do you think you could be an illustrator one day?
Freeman, Don (1968). Corduroy. New York: Puffin Books.
This is a fictional children’s book, suggested for children from age 3-6.
This book has a very personal connection to me because now that I have read it as an adult, I can definitely remember reading it as a child. It felt very familiar to me. Even though I think the book is very well written, I think the illustrations are what make the book stand out.
My only critique of the book is at the end the little girl talks to the bear, and he talks back like they are having a conversation, but it is not clear if she can actually hear him speak or not.
Objective: Students will be able to understand the different emotions that the bear experiences throughout the story by the end of the lesson.
- When the book begins how do you think Corduroy the bear is feeling?
- Do you think Corduroy was scared when the security guard found him upstairs?
- If you were Corduroy how would you feel at the end of the story?
Individually, the students will color in a blank picture of the bear and use colors to describe how they think Corduroy feels throughout the story.