Sunday, April 29, 2012


"Connecting the Young Adult Literature Community......One Book at a Time" For those of you that have yet to have Dr. Balok for Young Adult Literature, she will have you become a member of ALAN. It will send you a journal (I'm unsure of how many times a year) in regards to lesson plans, whats going on in the young adult literature community, and various other things. It is really great. I read some of the material as soon as I got it and saw how influential it will be when I'm teaching. I will continue to be a member of ALAN when I graduate from school. I think it will make me a better educator and it will keep new ideas coming into my classroom. I think that you all should (if you haven't already) take a look at it.

Student Teaching

Today I created a lesson for Freak the Mighty. It made me excited to student teach. I think it is normal to be nervous but I have been absolutely sick about doing it next semester. In college I have furthered my education in English and in literature, as for my education classes they have taught me the ins and outs on HOW to be a TEACHER but not HOW to TEACH. I know that I could never be fully prepared to know how to teach, it is something that I will learn as I do it. I have thought a lot about how I have spent four years trying to become a teacher but I will never fully know if I can be a good teacher until the semester before I graduate. Various questions have been crossing my mind lately, like "What if I'm not a good teacher?" "What if my CO OP fails me?" "What if the students hate me?" Are these normal questions or am I just thinking about this too much?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Teaching our lesson.

Teaching the lesson that Julie, Elle and I created was interesting. We knew that the lesson was going to be a challenge because of the content that it presented. Although, in the light of The Hunger Games, we thought that it could be and interesting way to look at genres of this type. I think it went well and I do believe that it has potential in the classroom. Once we taught it there are definitely things that I would change about the lesson but I really do think that it is a good idea. Sometimes you have to go out on a limb and try something different, who else to try it on better than your classmates!

Almost Finished.

Now that this semester is just about over I would like to talk about how much I feel I've learned from blogging and this class. I really loved the openness of this class. I think it is great that TO is able to "Monitor and Adjust" when need be. He does not try to make us try to fit the schedule, but rather he has the schedule fit to us. I think this is a great lesson to be learned. What ever can go wrong will go wrong, this is teaching high school every day. Making sure to monitor and adjust is a key necessity for being a successful teacher. Although this is just my opinion, what do you think?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

When we censor literature we take away great ideals to be learned and morals to be taught.

"To assert that young adult literature exists merely as a transition from children's books to "real" adult books is to undermine young readers astuteness. A young reader should never be made to feel that what he/she is reading is simply fodder for them to devour until they are apt enough to handle "true literature"." This quote is from Jennifer Kemper's "Censorship & Young Adult Literature". I really feel that some people believe that young adult literature is only for those who cannot comprehend "true literature", which makes young adults believe that it is beyond their ability to waste their time reading such books. The other issue that arises with young adult literature, which only reinforces this belief, is the censorship that surrounds this genre. In my opinion it is truly sad that people think that it is okay to withhold the classics as well as upcoming literature. There is a saying that I have recently heard, to teach literature is to not only teach the mind but also the heart. When we censor literature we take away great ideals to be learned and morals to be taught. Is that not what all literature does? So why is it okay to take this into others hands and tell young adults what they can and cannot read while in schools. This is a serious hardship to take into account. What do you all think?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Hunger Games

Being in Young Adult Literature and reading The Hunger Games brought many questions to my class about whether or not to teach this book in schools now with the new hype because of the movie release. The question  that arose, in relation to the Harry Potter, would the same thing that happen to us with Harry Potter happen this this generation with The Hunger Games? Will teachers teach this to death? Is that even possible? I think that not pushing the issue, actually giving your students the option to read this as a class novel could pose as a preventive measure. If students do not want to read it, don't force them to. If they want to make sure that the unit is fun and interactive, this way your lessons can live up to the book's amazement. I think this would be a great book to teach in the high school level but I would never want to be the teacher to ruin a good book that children are actually reading. What do you guys think? Would you teach this book in your classroom?    

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Teaching 'that person'.

"You're going to have to teach that girl you hated in high school." This was a comment that was made in my Young Adult Literature class today. The discussion was in regards to the book Change of Heart. People in the class were saying that they could not and did not want to relate to the female character in the book because she was that girl they hated in high school. This discussion got me thinking and apparently got another girl in my class thinking the same thing, "you're going to have to teach that girl you hated in high school." When trying to figure out the books that you will ultimately teach it should not matter whether you like it, what should matter is if you think the students can get a message out of it. Personal feelings on characters, themes, and books in general does not apply when you are a high school teacher for ELA. For instance when I was in school I had a teacher that was teaching us something from William Shakespeare. As soon as he began class he said to all of us, "I hate teaching things like this, but the state says I have too." It put us all in the mindset that because he did not like it (someone that chose to further his education in a field that William Shakespeare had such a huge influence on) neither should we. Verbalizing personal opinions on books or authors is something that I feel, as educators, we should not do. Leave your personal (negative) feelings at the door and do your job. Every ELA teacher has the ability to place different works into their curriculum. If administration says you have to teach certain books, teach them, that does not mean that you are only limited to those books. Right? Moral of this blog, we all will have to teach people that we may not have typically gotten along with when we were 16 but the truth of the matter is, we're not 16 anymore.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Khan Academy

A couple of days ago I was on my IPad downloading apps and I came across the Khan Academy application. You do not have to have an IPad to access this site though, which is nice. If you do just type in the App Store Khan Academy and download it, if you don't, type into Google Khan Academy and the first hit is the site you want to click on, here is the site,
I think this is a really interesting way to get students involved in certain areas in education. Granted he does not focus on English, which for most if not all of us is a downfall, but he does focus in the Sciences, Mathematics, and some History. An idea for this site is to have your students go on and complete whichever exercises that fit into your lesson for that time period. It is something that you could have them do at home over, say like a Christmas break. It gives videos on how to accomplish the exercises then they can practice on their own! I think it is a pretty cool idea. It keeps them in an active educational mindset while at home. What do you think?  


When I was in high school I was in a TVT class where I produced, edited, and filmed various videos. I really enjoyed this class. It made me want to potentially teach the same class someday. There is a test that I will have to become certified in but it is something that I really fell in love with my senior year of high school. When we got assigned the video project I could not wait! My group really had a lot of fun with the project and I could not wait to blog about it. I definitely want to have some sort of project like this one in my classroom someday. Even if I do not teach a TVT class I will find a way to incorporate video technology into my classroom. I do not have a link for this post, but I really wanted to let all of you know how much I enjoyed doing this project. Did anyone else enjoy it like I did?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This past week in TO's class we not only discussed Podcasting but also various internet websites that can be beneficial in the classroom as well as fun ideas for us to explore. My and Ryan's topic was to explore Pinterest. We created a board that is called Writing Prompts, this board has quotes and different pictures that we intent to stimulate students writing. This type of assessment keeps the students interested and their options open. They are able to choose any picture and relate it to anything they wish, just as long as they write. Pinterest is a great way for teachers to gather ideas and also spark classroom creativity. I cannot air to see what everyone else was assigned and how they relate it to education!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blogging+Digital Audio= Podcasting

When I was investigating how to Podcast and different places to Podcast I came across a site that showed me how it works, This site was very helpful for me because I have never listened to or even made my own Podcast. A quote from this site that really intrigued me was,  
"Log on to one of several podcast sites on the Web, and you can download content ranging from music to philosophy to sports. Podcasting combines the freedom of blogging with digital audio technology to create an almost endless supply of content."

The site informed me that Podcasting came from a combination of two words, IPod and Broadcasting. It is a common held belief that you need an actual IPod to access and listen to Podcasts. This is not true. You can listen to them directly on your computer, any media player, and any IPod device. Anyone can access Podcast at any time if you download them on to any of these devices. It is not something that you have to tune into. That is the nice thing about them, you can relisten to them or listen to it while on the run.  

I never thought about using Podcasting to gather information or keep up to date on news stories but I actually downloaded some the other day for myself and while I was at the gym listened to it. I was getting a workout and updating myself on the latest information! I think Podcasts are a great way to get students within your classroom engaged in keeping up on information as well as becoming their own talk show host. There are potentially great things a teacher could do with Podcasting within the classroom.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


The one chapter that I cannot get out of my head is the Glogster: A Poster-sized look at Student Movie Stars. (pgs45-52) One idea that strikes me about this project is that students can always access it. Instead of constantly carrying projects back and forth, students can have their projects for a life time. I truly wish that some of the poster projects that I did in school I still had; rather age destroyed them or the bus ride home did. Glogster allows students work on computer literacy and conjoins their computer skills that they already have. Integrating technology within the classroom is a huge deal. I never took into account the various opportunities that technology will allow me to do within my room; the possibilities are endless. Glogster ultimately places complete individuality with every student. Their ideas about characters could come alive with it. It would Be priceless and interesting it see what kids could come up with. I think I could do a lot of fun things with Glogster, what do you think?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Social Media and Wayy too much Personal information

In my Young Adult Literature class today we discussed how today everyone places every emotion on their social networking sites. This has allowed for many people to become victims of various kinds of abuse. Cyber bullying, pinpointing targets for abuse, and placing personal information that others can use against you. A woman from the Health Center was in to discuss domestic violence and this was a topic that came up. After class I was on Pinterest and saw this picture -->
For me it is not that people place way to much information about themselves and possibly personal issues they may be having but rather they use social networking sites as a way to flaunt and express every minute of everyday. I am sorry but I do not need to know when you went to the bathroom, how your room is messy, and what you had to eat. From me, social networking is a way for me to see family from over the US, keep in touch with my family/friends at home, and meet people from school. This picture does not apply to the cyber bullying that has integrated itself into our schools (because it has taken a turn for the worse) but rather for all those people who think that I need to hear/read every second of their life. News flash, no one wants to know that you are violently sick with the shits. This post seems to be a little on the rough side, maybe it's my mood, but really I just don't need to hear every second, of everyday, of the 400 friends I have on Facebook!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pinterest Interest!

Okay, so this post may not be completely educational, but I just would like to discuss Pinterest. This has become the new fab within technology. Is anyone and avid 'Pinterester'? I do not know much about it other than it is a site that people use to find interesting ideas and what not. My sister is all about using this website. I heard that you have to be invited to become a Pinterest user. Is this so? And why? I would love to know more about this website and what all of you think of it. Is there a way we can incorporate a technology such as Pinterest in our classrooms? If so what do you think we could do. This post is for me to hear your thoughts, opinions, and feelings on this new fab. Thanks gals and guys! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Technology within the classroom

This morning in my Educational Measurements and Assessment class we had a discussion about technology within the classroom. There were a couple of technologies that were brought up that I had never heard about. The main topic concept that we looked at was Second Life. We discussed how some people have either seen their professors use it in their classrooms, or my actual professor gave us an example how she hosted a conference on this website. She said that people from all of the world attended the lecture. I found that this would be a great tool to use within the classroom. As soon as I was finished with class I went online to see what all the fuss was about. This is a truly interesting website. There is a link that you can follow that shows you how to interact on Second Life. Here it is,
If you have never seen this site you should really check it out! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The class discussion we had on Friday was enlightening to me because I enjoy hearing different peoples perceptions on the reading. Sometimes when I read I take ideas in a different context than what others do. It allows me to become open to other ideas and viewpoints. Some of the technology that the book offered was very new to me.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Technology Experience

     Yesterday evening I started my new job at a YMCA working behind the front desk as well as working with children. From 2:30-5:30 they have an after school program where children from the age of 8-12 come after school and participate in various activities. As 150 children are running around screaming and playing with one another I noticed that most if not all of these children had cell phones. I am not talking normal phones, they had smart phones. Little girls were FaceTiming accessing the internet and calling and texting everyone. I found that this would be an interesting post because it has to deal with technology and how children at very young ages are exposed to it.
     When I was their age I was probably interacting with other kids on a more personal level. When these children are in college it will be very interesting to see the new forms of technology they will be using and how it will become integrated with little children, just like it is now. It brings me to the question, is it hurting or affecting how children interact today and how they develop their social skills? Anyone with answers feel free to help me come to a conclusion about this.
-Nikki D. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I am a student at a Pennsylvania State school. I major in Secondary English Education and enjoy it thoroughly. I enjoy running and working out. Life is an experience, I wish to make everyday a delightful one!