Teaching English Methods Reflective Journal Entry #5

Beach and Burke both explore how different literary perspectives can provide multiple perspectives, a cornerstone of reading education. Review these listed theories & write an entry in which you describe how you would utilize at least two different perspectives in teaching The Giver, Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, or Macbeth.
    Deconstructive Criticism with The Giver. Discussing the privileged status of Jonas when he becomes the giver within his community.
    Reader’s Response Criticism with The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass. Discussing the connections we can make between the life of Frederick Douglass and our own lives. In addition, which elements, words images or devices - affected me most while reading. How did they affect me?


Teaching English Methods Reflective Journal Entry #4

At the beginning of Chapter 5, Burke shares his reading autobiography. Be sure to include how your thoughts about reading have developed throughout your life, notable teachers, and instructional methods; as well as particularly influential texts.
    Reading has always been a part of my everyday life. As a small child, I recall playing with books and pretending to read my Dad’s Reader's Digest. We often attended the library where I brought 20-30 books home with me. I read them several times before they were returned. When I started Kindergarten, I was reading at a second grade level.
    As I grew older, reading became an escape from the ordinary; as well as an excuse not to do my chores on the blueberry farm. I enjoyed teachers who allowed us time to read our own books  during school and took the time to read to us. I loved being read to. My Dad would would often read to me from his favorite stories; he had a lot of books that he re-read for entertainment. The storyteller at the library is someone I often visited. When I was in junior high, I assisted her with the younger kids reading and as I entered high school I began my own storytelling time for those in Kindergarten through third grade. I also continued to read my own novels, thirty minutes before bed. I still attempt to do so (if I am not completely wiped out from my day). It is a habit for me just as washing my face and brushing my teeth.
    I have children now and I read to them. I started reading to them when they were utero. My oldest is seventeen, he still likes to hear me read to my daughter, he still does some of the voices and makes underwater noises in the part of Green Eggs & Ham (a book I read multiple time to him throughout the years).

Teaching English Methods Reflective Journal Entry #3

Think back on the most effective lessons that you had as a student. Pick one or two of these lessons and discuss why they were so effective. How do you plan to integrate a similar model in your own classroom?
     In junior high, I recall reading several Shakespearean plays in class. In the beginning of the Shakespeare unit, we each took a survey which helped direct us toward the Shakespeare play we should choose to read. I believe, there were five or six plays being read with about four or five students per group.
     I loved being paired with like-minded classmates who wanted to read Hamlet. Through the unit, our teacher led us through a variety of activities; reading, short stories, close reading, acting out scenes, creating a poster, etc. Even though each group was reading a different play we all experienced Shakespeare and shared our knowledge with the class. At the end of the unit, we all had knowledge of several Shakespearean plays.
     In my classroom, I would love to incorporate a similar unit! Giving students choice and grouping them with those who also made the same choice increases both the intrinsic motivation and the engagement of the material I want each student to learn.

Teaching English Methods Reflective Journal Entry #2

Consider your relationships with some of your middle and high school teachers. In what ways were you similar with your teachers? In what ways were you different?
     In middle school, I found myself to be more similar to my teachers than different. A large percentage of my teachers were white females; however, I did have a few male teachers, a hispanic teacher, and a black teacher.
     In high school, I found it to be more similar as they were ALL white; however, I had more male teachers. I do not remember a lot of diversity in color in my high school.
     In addition to differences and similarities in race and sex. There was a larger difference within the socio-economical factors between my family and those of my teachers. Most of my teachers were middle to upper class; while I lived in lower class in a farming family stricken with poverty.

Teaching English Methods Reflective Journal Entry #1

What are two or three of the most important skills you can teach a student in an English classroom? Why are they the most important? How might you impart these skill to your class?

     I believe, the most important skills I can teach a student in an English classroom are: communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. These three skills are important for the workplace, further education in public school, higher education in college; as well as life in general.
     These skills could be taught through giving students relevant, daily opportunities to practice. Through activities such as literature and text master circles; students would be allowed to find their voice, learn material in collaboration with other students, and analyze their own readings as well as others to enhance their critical thinking skills. In addition, communication skills will be increased through these in written form in preparation and orally when participating in the activity.

The UnSocial Network

College of Southern Idaho
Professor Matier
English 102      

      Facebook was created to bring friends, families, childhood playmates, acquaintances, and those within our local communities together. One must wonder with status updates such as, “I made chocolate cupcakes today”, “I am taking my family to Disneyland this summer”, and “I ran fifty miles this week” who it is we are posting for. Facebook, an online social network that was created to connect one another, has become a place for the disconnected.
     Facebook, created by Harvard University’s student Mark Zuckerberg, was launched on February 4, 2004. According to Caitlyn McGarry of PC World, “it was a way for college students to seek each other out for friendship, or, you know, whatever” (par.1). Ten years later the mission of Facebook has expanded to connect the world to the internet, with one billion active monthly users one might say Zuckerberg is well on his way.
     Statistically speaking one-seventh of the world’s population is connected to the internet through the online social network Facebook, of these users, how many are actually connecting to one another?  In order to make a connection, one would need to communicate with those “friends” they have associated themselves with. Does posting the status update, “I made chocolate cupcakes today,” on one’s Facebook wall satisfy the idea of a connection? Most people would not translate that into a conversation or even an update they would be interested in reading, in fact one may even consider it as a selfish boast of themselves, a way of communicating to those reading their news feed, look how wonderful I am this very second. These status updates are not only annoying to read and a waste of our valuable time but they are creating a disconnection amongst the connected.
     Instead of having millions of people connecting, conversing and building relationships on this social network, we have millions of people disconnecting, boasting and breaking communication lines on this un-social network. In the paper entitled, Misery Has More Company Than People Think, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Alexhander Jordan shares a series of studies in which examines how college students evaluate their moods. The researchers at Stanford’s Psychology Department found that their subjects consistently underestimated how disappointed others were and would likely end up feeling more miserable as a result. These college students observed, appeared to be feeling particularly inferior about themselves after logging onto their Facebook site and scrolling through their friend’s attractive, filtered, Instagram improved photos, accomplished about me sections, and the boastful “I ran fifty miles this week”, status updates. Jordan was often told by these college students, “they were convinced that everyone was leading a perfect life” (par.32).  Though the tendency for people to compare ourselves to others is nothing new, social networking is making this negative practice worse.
     The truth is people only post what they believe others want to know. Not very often a status update will include the words, “I hate that I yelled at my children today”, “I failed my English class this semester”, or “I could not pull myself out of bed this week”. The Facebook “Like” button has created a social pressure to post that everything is wonderful in one’s life and the more wonderful it is the more likes one will receive from those they are connected to.
     The reality is no one’s life is always wonderful and those who are truly connected off line are often too busy and have no need to share about the cupcakes they made for their family today. These posts of too much information that lead us to blocking a user or even unfriending them may be an act of invalidation to someone who just wants to belong.  A study finds that oversharing on the world’s most popular social network is a possible sign of loneliness, these people are disconnected. Yeslam Al-Saggaf and Sharon Nielsen of Charles Sturt University found Facebook users who felt lonely were more likely to post more personal information, as well as their relationship status, favorite things, address, interests and hobbies, than users who felt connected so that similar people or those living nearby could approach them, allowing them to minimize their feeling of isolation (pp. 462-464). The research also states that these over sharers admit to refraining from posting their thoughts, facts and beliefs in regards to subjects such as politics and religion to steer clear from people disliking what they say.
     It is impossible to categorize Facebook users into two perfectly separate groups, the connected and the disconnected; however, it is important to be aware of such differences. Rebecca Hiscott of The Huffington Post describes Facebook as a, “double edged social sword, a network that can simultaneously alleviate symptoms of depression and loneliness in some and cause them in others” (par.13). A lesson attained from such information is that not all users are aware or respect their audience they have on Facebook. Instead of being quick to slap the hands of someone who we are uncomfortable with their need to belong, one may need to become a more attuned reader in knowing the post author in avoiding the overlook of the over sharer who might just be reaching out for a human connection.  Facebook after all was created to be an online social network that will connect the world to the internet
Works Cited

Al-Saggaf, Y., & Nielsen, S. (2014). Self-disclosure on Facebook among female users and its    
     relationship to feelings of loneliness. Computers in Human Behavior, 36(2014), 460–468.
Hiscott, Rebecca. "Why Your Empty Facebook Profile Is A Good Sign." The Huffington Post.  
     TheHuffingtonPost.com, 3 June 2014. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
Jordan, Alexander H., et al. "Misery Has More Company Than People Think: Underestimating
     the Prevalence of Others’ Negative Emotions." (2011).
McGarry, Caitlyn. "Facebook At 10: How The Social Network Grew Up." PC World 32.3  
     (2014): 24-28. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.

Why do I want to teach literature?

This semester, two of the books I am reading for my Teaching English Methods class are: The English Teacher's Companion by Jim Burke and Teaching Literature to Adolescents by Richard Beach. My professor asked us to read the first chapter of both of these books to prepare for a lecture, entitled, What & Why We Teach. This question was asked of me in the beginning of my readings and then it was asked of me several times? Why teach English? Why teach literature? Why teach writing?

I have always had an answer, for why I want to be a teacher, but I have never considered the why behind teaching English and literature. I mean, I know that I want to to teach English, as I have a passion for reading and writing. But why?

Through my readings today and inspiration from both Burke and Beach, I have come to my first of many answers to this question.

Literature is a story, a never-ending story that moves through time, the ages, changes, love, war, hate, indifferences, and more.

Literature are the ideas to be considered and pondered until personal understanding is gained.

Literature is taking the never-ending story and applying its relevance to our own story and applying it to our very own story. As Jago states, "to making a living, making a life, and making a difference."

Literature is finding answers and seeking the truth and purpose. Adding to the story with our own opinions.

Literature is taking your time to enjoy the story and a willingness to continue the story. Passing it on to others so they too will know, see, and understand. In hopes that the never-ending story goes on...

Why do I want to teach literature? 

Teachers of Literature, English teachers are the force that drives the ideal that this never ending story will go on forever.

Why do you teach? Why do you teach literature? Please share in the comments below!

Until next time..


EDUC 2235: Elementary Art Methods

     Over the last two weeks, I have participated in my Art Methods class required to receive my Bachelors degree at Idaho State University. At first the idea of this class totally stressed me out, as I am not an artsy person. I am creative toward words and music; however, drawing, painting, and the like kind of freaks me out. Now that I have finished the class (and survived), I can say that it was a stretching and valuable experience to my education. The methods taught, have provided me with ideas to present to my future students (even in the Middle School English classroom).

Course Content:
Learn various art media and techniques for use in classroom while developing resources for art projects with a minimum cost.

Division of Study: 
Collage, Printmaking, Painting, Drawing, Paper Projects, Resist, Clay, and Wire.

Elements of Art:
Line, shape/volume, color, value, texture, illusion of space, and illusion of motion.

The following are what I created during the class. Please stay tuned for instruction posts to come soon!

Day One

One Point Linear Perspective

Two Point Perspective

Coil Clay Pot

Day Two

Charcoal Drawings

Wire Sculpture

Tissue Paper Collage

Day Three


5 line cubism


Day Four


Crayon Resist

Paper Weaving

Day Five


Positive/Negative Design

Mono Prints

Nature Prints

Foam Prints

Block Prints

Day Six

Master Reproduction


     Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish artist and painter who revolutionized painting, drawing, sculpture, and ceramics. His artwork changed the way the general public looked at art; giving many a new appreciation for his work as well as others. Born in Malaga of Andalusia in 1881 to his father Jose Ruiz Blasco who was an artist and art teacher. At the age of 10, Picasso moved to La Coruna where he and his father continued to study art. As a young adult, he achieved admission into the High School of Arts in Barcelona with the aspiration to become a modern artist and create a new way of painting. As an adult, his paintings are inspired by his many trips to Paris and Spain.
     Today, Picasso is considered as one of the most important twentieth century artists and influential toward the development of modern art. There are over 1500 of his works in museums around the world. One of these is entitled, Bouquet of Peace (pictured here) is also known as Hands with Flowers as well as Flowers and Hands. This piece displays a simple design with a significant message, while expressing the power and beauty Picasso utilizes in his works. Originally this was a watercolor drawing that Picasso printed as a color lithograph for a peace demonstration in Stockholm, Sweden (1958).

     Bouquet of Peace is a visual representation for Picasso’s desire for people to join together in love and harmony. The brightly colored flowers convey a sense of hope and rebirth, and the bouquet forms a bond between two individuals symbolized by the two hands displayed within the piece. This simplicity of the forms represents both Picasso’s wish for childlike innocence in his art but also symbolized the purity and the openness needed to get along with others in peace.