Monthly Archives: November 2013

My Very Own Room 109 Reflection

Mr. Richard Kent takes us through an in-depth and inspiring look at a portfolio classroom. Room 109 has helped me make some decisions in how I will attempt to create my first classroom. I have a better look at what my class might just look like, now. This book was very well written. A fair few questions about portfolios came to mind as I read and they were subsequently answered. 95% of them, at least. This book is also handy for a resource-filled book.

As great as Kent’s classroom appears to be, I do not think I would be able to pull it off quite like he does. I need to find the means to make a class like this work for me. This classroom needs to have a air of fun around it, and I’m not normally called, “fun.” Regardless of my fun levels, I still plan on using some of Kent’s ideas in my future classroom.

I suggest this book to any future or current teacher who is looking into portfolio classrooms. This is a great book that can act as a great mentor text. One thing, however, that concerned me with this book is how old it is. A lot of things have happened in the education world since this book was written. Also, a lot newer more technology has come out since this book. If Kent is still teaching, would love to see what Kent is doing in his classroom now. 

This is a short blog for a short book. Also, next up is a dedication post!!

Blogging to Say, “Thanks”

This week has been insane. I feel as though I have learned more than a normal person should ever learn in a week. No, not everything I have learned has been good. Thanks to Maggie, I have learned that cheetahs have been around since before the Ice Age and that they are having a lot of genetic issues due to this thing called the “bottle neck effect.” I have learned that I am SO READY and WANTING to be a teacher.

My methods professor gave us an assignment to grade a paper. This paper is filled with grammatical errors, spelling errors, and VOICE. The editor in me want to whip out a red pen and “go to town.” Instead, I read the paper and couldn’t make a single corrective mark. Instead, I have tons of questions for this student. I have respect for this student. I want this student in my class so I can see and help him grow into the writer I know he can be. A self-rule I think I will have in my class: no red pens.

Of all the things I have learned this week, the most important one I believe I have learned is to be thankful. November is the month for many things: novel writing, not shaving, stressing over homework, being thankful etc… I am thankful to have the people in my life that I do. I am extremely thankful for my dearest friends who put up with me and who save me from considering going postal on people. I love you! Unfortunately, a good majority of people around me make me want to shake them to wake them up from the dense fog of deception in which they seem to be floundering. I am thankful for the pleasurable experiences I have had. More than anything, I am thankful for the people and events in my life that have challenged me. 

An addition to my motto:

What’s on my Agenda for Blogs? Why, it’s you ENG461!

To be perfectly honest, this is my second time typing this blog. I was literally 80% finished with this blog before my computer/ internet connection wigged out and completely deleted my draft. So, lucky readers, you might just be getting an abridged version of this blog.

 I was frustrated.

Though the countdown until Christmas steadily falls, the stress levels felt by students across the world begin rising exponentially. Many students discover the library and all it’s resources during these times. It is also during these times that I find joy in reflecting on this semester in reverse. Shamefully, there are always a couple of classes where I just blank out a month or two from the semester. Anyways, as I was reflecting on my methods course, I thought about some greats, not-so-greats, and some down-right hilarious moments. I also thought about how much my class seems to enjoy the “snap-cup,” “warm fuzzies,” and “positive post-its.” These are the happy notes that students (people in general) write to each other. Inspired by this idea, I have decided what I am going to write about in the next few weeks. I am going to dedicate a blog to each of the wonderful peeps in my methods course. I do not have a specific order in which I will be dedicating a blog to each classmate. (My blog, my rules:remember?)

The get this metaphorical ball rolling, here are links to my classmates’ blogs: (hopefully they are all working, all correct, and all here)

Maggie: http://lechatdu503.wordpress.com/Mariah:  http://mariahbusch.wordpress.com/

Kelsey: http://kelseyempfield.wordpress.com/ Nikki: http://nikkijh2424.wordpress.com/ 

Laura: http://livetoread08.wordpress.com/Heather: http://hecoll.wordpress.com/

Lindsey: http://lindseygail10.wordpress.com/Kali:  http://krblev.wordpress.com/

Elizabeth: http://thedirigibleplum.wordpress.com/Brit: http://britgrace.wordpress.com/

Ashley:  http://ashleyrushman.wordpress.com/

I think that is it! If I have missed anyone, let me know because I will use this blog as a check list for blogging. Also, if you do not want me to write you a blog, then let me know ASAP. You have at least until class on Wednesday because I still need to finish reading and blogging for Room 109. (Still great, by the way.)

Something random: (I literally Googled, “random.”)

Isn’t he cute?! Also, he is the thing I found to be most random.

“Well, that’s your opinion, isn’t it? And I’m not about to waste my time trying to change it.” ― Lady Gaga

Who would have ever thought I would quote Lady G? I never thought I would, but this is a very appropriate quote for what this blog is going to contain. Warning: the majority of this blog is going to be a rant.

In block today, we had some great conversations and presentations. Overall, the class was pretty great. However, (you knew it was coming) we ended the class with a discussion about women in the Military. One lady in the class said some things that really made me angry. Picking two that most fired me up: “Do we want the Military to win?! We can’t have women in there if we do.” and “A girl can’t carry all that heavy equipment and wear a helmet.” I know I probably shouldn’t be writing like this when I am upset, but gosh dang it! My very best friend from high school is a Marine. She as been active and is actually on an 18-month tour right now. I see her once a year, maybe. I do not believe she is making the Military lose by serving. She is clearly capable and actually does all the hard work that this one girl claims to be impossible. Women have been warriors for thousands of years.

 This is a picture representation of Hervor. Hervor comes from the legend of a Viking warrior woman who followed in her ferocious father’s footsteps and lead other Vikings into battle, raided villages, and the like. 

Oh and another lovely quote from this lady, “Women are wimps.” —Excuse me?! I could spend the rest of my blog explaining how that is not true, but as the cliche goes, that would be preaching to the choir. (I think anyways.) So, now I am torn about what to do in this situation. Do I wipe her slate clean with me? Do I file her under “the people I don’t like” section? I feel very strongly about this subject. Also, I wasn’t sure I liked her before this incident, but my opinion of her confirmed my distaste for her.

What about if this situation occurs in my classroom? Realistically, I am sure I will not allow a situation to get this heated, but the possibility is still there. I need to figure out a way to make sure I don’t let things like this get me down or ruin classes for the rest of my students. Honestly, I am a little concerned about how much this minor incident affected the rest of my day.  Another thing on my list to improve myself is to control and deal with reactions I have.

Thanks for reading!

1980’s Style Classroom Management- An Explanation?

Tuesday, I was digging around in the “Free Books” book case and I found a gem [!] of a book on classroom management. 

Here’s a picture of the cover:

 

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Let’s begin by analyzing the title of this book: You Can Handle Them All. In the 1980’s, when this book’s copyright is, the professional development books consisted of “handling” students. I think this makes so much sense. Many of my own teachers are the product of this way of thinking. One of my high school English teachers did not care what we did as long as we did the worksheets, stayed in the classroom, and were good when the principal game. We were handled so that we never complained about that class. I was not in love with English because of my high school experience. Actually, the only reason I came to the English department in college is because I spent more than 85% of my childhood with my nose in a book and I wanted to be able to share that love with others.

love reading

Before I get back to the book, I need to address the concept of “spider webbing.” In my literary criticism class, we are discussing feminist theories. One theory we learned about was how the female brain functions. According to this professor’s research, a woman’s brain goes from A to A1 to A2 to A3 then to B then B1 etc… all the way to the point trying to be made. In short, female brains go through several different thoughts before ending at the point. Male brains, according to this same research, go from A to B to C etc… until they get to the point. Any and all of my blogs can be used as evidence for this theory.

So after that little blurb, back to the book from the beginning.

The “Table of Contents” is actually an alphabetical list of the 101 behaviors addressed in the book. Just by reading the “Table of Contents,” you will understand what I mean when I say this book is extremely politically incorrect.

Here are pictures of the Table of Contents:

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My “favorites” from this page include:The Apple Polisher, The Alibier (which different than the Alibi Maker?), The Blabbermouth, The Chiseler, The Crier(s), and The Failer. 

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My “favorites” from this page: The Follower, The Hider, The ‘Idiot’ Syndrome, The Lewd, The Lover, The Noncompleter with Grand Plans, and the Rabble Rouser. (Notice a pattern in this blog?)

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Just a few “favorites” on this one: The Tramp, The Vindictive, The Underachiever, The Spoiled Darling, The Sleeper, and The Snoop.

I think the way this book is set up and the way it coaches teachers to instruct explains a lot of teacher’s methods. Many behaviors in this book are addressed in stereotypical fashion with no real sense of getting to know the individual student. I just feel it all makes sense! 

In other news, I need to step up my teaching game because I did not do well in my presentation of a lesson today. So to cheer myself and everyone else up:

I might have died for a minute from all the laughter. HAHAHA Oh my gosh! WATCH IT!

Things to Literally Die For: Curing Person-hood with a Cause

Before any of you dear readers try to jest at my use “literally,” this blog consists of things I would give my life for without much hesitance. Also, I hope the majority caught my reference to The Fault in Our Stars  by John Green. Before I get into the meat of this metaphorical sandwich, I would like to take a moment and discuss The Fault in Our Stars. Cool?-Great.

Alright, if you have not read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, do it. Also, stop reading this blog because their are plenty of spoilers here. I know a lovely lady who adores John Green’s work and would love to meet him some day. If you haven’t read the book in question, rent it or borrow it or buy it and then read it!  

Last warning: SPOILER ALERT!!–Just kidding, no real spoilers, kinda.

Okay, so I hope (and assume) most of you are still with me. Not to sound cliche, weird, overzealous, etc…, but this book changed my life. Well, not really, but I saw the world in a way that helped me with a lot of issues I had been having. I especially loved, “… no longer suffering from person-hood.” I love it! I cried at the end. Wait, that doesn’t do it justice. My cheeks flooded as the dams in my eyes overflowed and the tears washed the soil away. I felt like Colorado. (bad joke, I know)

How does this tie into things I would die for? Well, that’s a bit of a stretch, I admit it. I just really loved that book and it reminded me of death, so yea.

My dear friend, Maggie, just blogged about things she would die for. I loved the idea so much that i promptly stole it. She asked for three things we would die for, but I might not be able to comply with three.

1. My Class

As a future educator, I know that if the situation ever arises where I might have to die to save my  students, I will gladly lay my life down for them. They are my kids and I will not let them perish before I can see them grow and put what I have taught them to good use. 

For all the wonderful teachers who have paid the price for this belief:

2. World Peace

I do not wish to run for Miss America,  but I would do this in a heart beat. If my death brought peace, I would throw myself on a grenade for people just to be happy and at peace with each other. I just get really tired of either being a jerk or other people being a jerk to me.  

I thought this was cute:

world-peace

3. Homes for All Pets

For those of you who know, I am an animal lover!! I love love love animals! I kind of want a pet bobcat some day. I  would gladly die so all animals could have a safe and loving home to go to.  Fact about me: I try hard not to judge people, but I will openly judge someone based on how they treat an animal. I love the furry kids!!

Just some crazy fanatic ideas that I wish I had enough money for:

dog house3 Bizarre Homes for Pets

AND………………..

WAIT FOR IT……………..

The Ultimate Crazy Cat House

cat home Bizarre Homes for Pets  I want, kinda.

4.  To save another

I really do not have much to say on this one. If I can save someone, I will do my very best to do so. If the choice became mine, I would want to give life to another over my own.

life-is-beautiful

Yea!

Life As Adventure

I think that’s it. Have a great one! 

Whoop-Whoop! “Room 109”

I have finished about half of Room 109 by Richard Kent. I am officially jumping on the portfolio wagon! However, I still feel concern for the amount of work there is that goes with the territory. I do not mean to sound lazy, but I know I will struggle to find the balance between the classroom life and my personal life. I fear that I will not be able to find a school with a writing center or with computers. I worry that without these crucial resources, I will not be able to provide the right amount of feedback that might be necessary. I do not want to be unable to meet and serve the needs of my students by being unable to figure out what their needs actually are. Does that make sense? 

Question marks on chalkboard. Decision, confusion, FAQ or other concept. Hand writing with chalk on school black board.  Stock Photo - 14287488

Yes, I love this book. Yes, I will steal more than one idea out of this book. Yes, I recommend everyone who is seriously considering a portfolio and workshop based classroom to read this book. Two people whose opinions I value, Nikki and Lindsey, loved this book as well. I will blog more on this topic when I actually finish reading the lovely book.

patience-is-a-virtue Ha! I thought this was cute.

In other news, I know I have had some very bad blogging habits lately. I just struggle with what I want to blog about. Also, I feel like I do nothing but rant in my blogs. So, I am working on these things, but I fear that this will be a long process. I already want to fly off on a tangent about how disgusting those nasty box-elder bugs are and how they are the bane of my existence right now….

Posted Image YUCK!!

So, hopefully the next blog will be easier than this one. My goals for next time: longer, no off-topic rants, and at least 3 relevant pictures containing animals. Ciao!