Blog #5


Read alouds- The first read aloud of the past two weeks was an article about the emotion Awe in the Parade magazine. Within the article, it explained that awe is necessity in order to inspire and spark children in a learning environment. An example of a teacher using awe is taking children on nature walks to see the different aspects that bring together one beautiful piece of art. I think this article would be best be taught in a classroom full of teachers or high schoolers like our teacher cadet class. Inspiring awe in not only children but adults as well will create a society that sees all parts of the picture and not just the main idea. 

Next, we read the story The Empty Pot by Demi (ISBN 9780590470902). This book was about earning what you deserve and working hard. Within this book, it indirectly described how putting in effort comes out with rewards in the end. In a classroom this book could be used in many different ways. For geography or history class, you could talk about China and the position of being an emperor. In science, you could do experiments or simply talk about flowers and how they grow. With an experiment, you and your class could try out different fertilizers, salt or split seeds like the emperor did in the book. Also, you can bring it back to the Salt In Our Shoes from last week’s read aloud- how working hard made Michael Jordan practice and how the little boy in The Empty Pot persistently worked on his plants. I think this book would be best be used in a classroom full of preschoolers to third graders but the lesson plans would be changed greatly.

The third read-aloud was a slam poem called Somewhere In America which was interesting because it brought variety to our read alouds. The poem was about how school systems and society in general overlook or don’t talk about crucial topics that all children should know in our to be prepared for the real world.  However, some of things the people in the poem talked about I disagreed with because of my more conservative values. The right to be on any website or to hold a gun is for all people and the people talked about restricting it. Yes, I don’t advocate the KKK or rape but people make choices, good and bad choices. Plain and simple. I also don’t think that is a topic of choice within a school environment. Children are already plenty aware of what those things are and how they effect society. Yes, I could be up for changing what books that can be taught in schools like The Catcher in the Rye which was banned because of its profanity. High schoolers already know curse words and what they mean but they reasoning behind it is to limit their awareness at such a young age. Since the poem used curse words and talked about major social topics it would be appropriate to restrain this poem to high schoolers or up.

Keepin up with variety these past two weeks, we read an original poem by Ashlynn called To The Child In the Back. In this poem it was nice to see a well written poem that highlighted how some kids were made differently- some more talkative and some more shy. This would be a great book for the first day of school in order to remind children that everyone should be given equal opportunity within the classroom. This would be especially useful for children in middle school because they are entering a new environment and tend to form groups and exclude others.

Going back to children’s books, Color Dance by Ann Jonas (ISBN 9780862034252). This book showed how teamwork can cause different “solutions” and in this book colors. The book showed a mixing of colors through children dancing and their leotards. Besides the obvious use of this book in an art class to explain how colors are created, I wouldn’t use this book in a classroom. It was so simple and had no underlying meaning that children could relate to. However, for art, I would use it for lower elementary students for basic curriculum.  

Like the other book, One by Kathryn Otoshi (ISBN 9780972394642) used colors in order to stand up against bullying. With elementary students you could use this book to teach this lesson and improve their learning of colors and small numbers. In a classroom I would use this book to promote action to stop bullying with all grades as well not just elementary students. Relating back to the other book, this book would be better than the other because of its’ in depth theme and the way it endorses learning of colors, numbers and the limiting of a bully’s effect.

Learning Experience:  Two great learning experiences occurred in the last two weeks- Walk In My Shoes Day and Labels Day. Within both of these specialized classes, we had to become a person with a barrier and a physical disability. During the Walk In My Shoes Day, the one station that really struck home was the one where you can’t understand what anyone is saying or simply given an auditory disability. On the piece of paper at the station, the beeping sound at the end is what a person with hearing aids would hear when their batteries need to be changed. I was blown away by this. Both of my grandparents on my mother’s side have hearing aids and knowing that that is what they have to hear all of the time must be miserable. It also explains why my grandpa would rather not talk then pretend like he can understand what we are saying or constantly having to say “What!?”. 

Current Event: In this article, it demonstrates how Texas has limited its ability to reach out to special needs students. At 8.6 percent, Texas’s shares toward special education is falling behind in the United States’ average of 13 percent. Students are constantly being told that it’s not because they have a disability or barrier but that they “lack interest” with what is being taught. With no special programs available for these students, children can’t advance in their learning. Overall, this article brought awareness to how important it is to give special attention to students who have difficult in school because if we don’t they will never reach their full potential. This was a great article to read because it tied into what we are learning in class.

Quote of the week: 

Besides the obvious fact that we have the same last name, even though it’s spelled wrong, I chose this quote because this past week the slam poem read aloud made me feel like I was forced into feeling a certain way- a way that agreed with everyone and making me put aside my own personal views. As a teacher, I think this is an important view to hold onto. Opinions do matter and causing children to be bias toward your own view is not acceptable.

Observations: At the Beta Club this past week, a new freshman girl was looking for a place to sit so I invited her over to where my friends and I were sitting. Here, she told us that she just moved from North Carolina and Germany before that. I was interested in what she had to say and continued to participate in the group activity at the meeting. Afterwards, she asked me for my Snapchat and even though I didn’t know her fully I gave her my username. It was nice to be kind toward someone who feels excluded from everyone else at our school. Inclusion is important because it allows people to feel wanted and no longer the “child in the back”.

Reflection: My prayers were answered this past week, I was offered two jobs at Cold Stone and at Kohl’s. Because of a weird stream of events, I am now working at both jobs. I don’t know how I will be able to balance school, both jobs, social life and everything else all in one day. I’m proud of myself for putting myself out there but there are so many other things I need to do- homework, college applications and simply cleaning my room. I’m done with stress.


Blog #4


Read-aloud: During the last two weeks, the first book was The Wolf’s Story by Toby Forward. (ISBN 9780763627850) This book was all about showing a different perspective and the value of trust in sources including authors. In a classroom, you can make the students do a creative writing piece to write about a popular story but either create a different ending or from a different perspective. This would be great to use in a classroom for third to fifth graders because it would enhance their writing skills and cause them to be aware of bias and opinions. Showing the difference between of fact and opinion, the children may read and analyze articles through tone and diction.The second book was Mother to Son by Langston Hughes. The moral of the story is that she, the mother, keeps telling him, her son, to keep tying no matter how hard life gets. She also says she has been through her share of hardships, but she continues to persevere and encourages her son to do the same. In a classroom you can teach this life lesson and you could do a creative writing assignment to write about a time the students had to get over a hardship. This would best be used in a classroom full of high school students because that ensures they have past experiences for the assignment.The third book was The Mask by Maya Angelou. The poem infers that each of us have a mask that we wear daily or just take it out on special occasions when we need to make a good impression. Not being our true selves cause us to act different- not matching our true potential. At this point in time we live in a world that is so one sided and decides what is right or wrong. After deciding that is it. No change. In a classroom this would be a great way to show bias and the art of having an opinion (again). I would encourage students, most likely high school students, to write about a time they purposely wore a mask or felt insecure about themselves, 

The last book of the past two week was Salt In His Shoes by Deloris Jordan. (ISBN 9780689834196) This book talked about working toward your goals and how their are different teaching methods that a teacher and/or an adult will go to in order to encourage this. Encouragement systems will later promote high and difficult aspirations that children reach for. In the classroom you can obviously play basketball like Michael Jordan and a creative writing assignment to talk about the dreams they already have. With this journal, they could keep it to show the changes throughout the years. I would use this in a classroom full of upper elementary students.Learning Experience: After watching the Oprah episode about autism was really interesting and eye opening for me. It showed that how new and limited the reasearch to cure autism has become. With the new definition of autism, ratings have gone up with only little awareness of the disease. I didn’t understand how little people understood the disease and how it affects a child for life. I now know the symptoms that an autism child has and feel more informed about the lifestyle and hope that others will soon learn this information as well. I hope that in the future we will find a way to end the disease so that no one has to deal or feel the way they do.

Current Event: Due to Hurricane Matthew, South Carolina schools were closed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (October 5th to the 7th). In  this article, the news article talks about Florida schools only taking Thursday and Friday off. I found this quite interesting. South Carolina, being farther from the storm than Florida, took off more school. Yes I do understand that South Carolina was using the buses to evacuate the people off the coast but it is intriguing that our government took more precautions compared to Florida. This storm showed the power of states rights at its best. Also, the article showed how they used Twitter to reach out to people and evacuees. This is quite smart especially for outreach to younger people or people who frequently use the app.

Quote of the week: 

After learning about the lack of awareness for autism, this quote struck home. From birth to around two to five years of age, children are developing normally, showing only a few small symptoms of the disease. After that time period, the children were developing very slowly- having a mind, a vessel, to be filled. With this disease, there “vessel” struggles to ignite into there full potential. Plutarch hopes to increase the teacher’s capabilities to reach students and bring their skills to a working and full degree. I wish the same.

Observations: This past week it was brought to my awareness that I need to be more thoughtful about my actions. I can do the right thing but I need to find ways to make sure that it doesn’t just help me but someone else as well. Selfishness and/or irresponsiblity should not become a part of my vocabulary. I hope I can stop decorating myself in way that doesn’t meet my full potential. I want get a job, get into college (Clemson preferably) and earn scholarships. I want to be the best me- somebody who makes decisions based off of others and is responsible for my own actions no matter the consequences.

Reflections: I applied to another job this week, Kohl’s. I feel that all my friends get jobs so easily and I just stand in background begging! Also, I have been having plenty of stomach issues lately. Leaving school once because my stomach was plainly hurting while last Monday I had food poisoning. I hate being sick so I’m glad that I am feeling better. I pray that I get a job and no longer getting sick in the next two weeks! Until then I hope that things will start turning around for me! Fingers crossed!