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Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm currently in my junior year at Southern Connecticut State University. I am majoring in Elementary Education and Interdisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in Spanish and STEM.

Lauren Barry

Realistic Fiction Participation Task

2 min read

A grade level I have never worked with before is the Kindergarten level. Thus, I am attempting to create a mini lesson for Kindergartners using the realistic fiction book Going Home by Eve Bunting.

 

The book is about a Mexican family coming to the United States for a better life, but still calling Mexico their home. Students will read this book and hear about the struggles and challenges immigrants experience with identification and culture when they come to our country. The mini lesson would go as follows:

 

Students will begin by drawing a picture of their home. Students will then share with the class their pictures and give a little bit of an explanation of their picture. 

 

After all of the students have shared with their pictures with the rest of the class we will do a sneak peak of the book. Since students at the Kindergarten level are still learning and mastering concepts of print and how to handle books, a sneak peak would give students a good practice run of handling and reading a text. 

After the whole group sneak peak the book will be read aloud to the class. During the read aloud the teacher will use interactive questioning with the students to check for engagement and understanding. 

 

When the book has been read completely students will reflect upon the characters and the problems they faced. Students should focus on the issue the children in the book are struggling with about where home is; Mexico or The United States?

 

After a whole group discussion has been lead students will complete a summative assessment of the lesson by writing about their own experiences. Because the story involves children experiencing a different feeling than their parents, this is what students will focus on. Students will draw and write a few sentences about a time that they felt differently than their parents. Students can then share their experiences. And then the students experiences can be connected to the character's through similarities and differences. 

Lauren Barry

Realistic Fiction Writing Task

2 min read

In Cynthia A. Tyson's article http://edu307class.networkedlearningcollaborative.com/readings/tysonrealisticfiction.pdf">Shut My Mouth Wide Open: Realistic Fiction and Social Action she discusses weather or not fairy tales should be discussed and taught throughout the curriculum. Tyson claims that fairy tales should not be taught throughout the curriculum. Tyson claimed that students were not interested and/or engaged in the stories. Instead of using fairy tales Tyson has started to use realistic fiction. Tyson sees realistic fiction as a way to alternatively teach the lessons behind fairytales. Tyson has used realistic fiction to make the students aware of societal issues and had them reflect upon how they could use them to better the community and areas in which they live. 

 

In Kelly et. all's article Portrayal of Poverty in Realistic Fiction Children's Picture Books she tells readers how there is a misrepresentation of poverty in children's picture books. Research has showed that poverty in the United States has been presented through stereotypes. Many races such as Asian American and African American as well as the working middle class white families were underepresented in children's picture books. These misrepresentations of these types of students does not allow them to feel conected with the texts. Having students not feel connected and engaged. Without this engagement similar to the way Tyson addressed, students will simply not be learning. 

Lauren Barry

Biography Module Participate Task

Biography Module Participate Task

This is a way to represent who I am. The dark blue pieces are values that have helped to shape me. The light blue are quotes from my family members that I heard growing up and have helped me to get where I am today. And then the green pieces are physical things that have helped create who I am. 

 

Finally, there are some parts missing because who knows what the fututre holds and how I will change! 

Lauren Barry

Biography Module Writing Task

1 min read

Dear Diary,

     This time away has been like no other. There have been difficult struggles both mentally and physically. Fighting has been like something I have never done before, and it was harder than I ever thought possible. However, even though it has been a terrible time going to war within our own country, I am happy to do it to support what I believe in. I have paid a duty to my country to fight for what is best, and I know in time good fortune will come back to me for this. But quite possibly the worst part of all of this has been leaving those I love behind. I can't imagine what I'm on my way home to, but no matter what it is I know I am ready and I am coming back home stronger than ever. This time away has been a test of my patience but I think I have conquered it. I am ready to begin life where I left it back home. The time is now. 

 

Lauren Barry

Fantasy Module- Participate!

1 min read

The coolest thing about creating a fantasy world is the fact that it could be literally WHATEVER you want, and that's just so fun!! 

 

In my fantasy world; there's a few things: Family, Disney World (where that photo was taken!) because... Who doesn't LOVE Disney World?!, and happiness. All of these are so important and I truly believe if you have things like this in life, all can be well!!!

Lauren Barry

Fantasy Module Writing Task

3 min read

I think that fantasy and science fiction books should absolutley be included in the classroom when appropriate for the age group. Part of the obligation of a teacher of literature is at minimum introductions to all types of literature. Thus, there should be some sort of instruction on this genre. As we were able to read in the assigned readings for the module fantasy and fairy tale stories are able to show students important lessons. These lessons that the stories so often communicate to students are worthwhile for the overall benefits of the student. Knowing this, how can anyone say that these shouldn't be included in school reading curriculums?!

I think the stigma that series like Harry Potter shouldn't be read in schools stems from the thought that they are books to "read for enjoyment." Why reading for enjoyment isn't "allowed" in the classrooms for some districts is beyond my comprehension abilities. I can't fathom why the heck we would not allow a student to engage in reading something he WANTS to!?

For middle school and high school students I would for sure include fantasy/ science fiction novels or readings. During this "awkward" stage of life kids are really starting to start trying to find themselves, and I think exposure to a plethora of things, even in reading, will help nourish that state of mind. Kids may find interest in reading the genre or may find a topic through the novel that they may not have picked up elsewhere that could really interest them. And as a teacher, it is your job to help students learn and grow, so I think exposure to new things such as the genres of science fiction and fantasy would help accomplish this for many students. Books that I may include in this instruction might be: 

  • Life as We Knew It --I read this in 8th grade and I still absolutely love it and would reccomend it to anyone (hint: go read it!!!!!)
  • City of Bones
  • City of Ashes
  • Farehnheit 451
  • Tunnels (I spent last semester tutoring a 6th grade student and reading was something she struggled with and getting her to actually read was quite the challenge to say the least. However, she found this book and read it in a week--she LOVED it, and her parents and I were beyond impressed with how much it grabbed her attention!)
  • Freefal (The same reason for Tunnels-I think this is a sequel!)
  • Z for Zacharia 

Lauren Barry

Myths Module Participation Task

1 min read

For the module on mythology we have been prompted to use a creative writing strategy of blogpoems to put our knowledge of myths to the test. Here is what I was able to come up with!

 

Athena

Tall, blueish-green eyes, with a suit of armor, and weating a gold helmet

Relative of Zeus, Metis, Apollo, and Artemis 

Lover of teaching, protecting, and giving advice

Who feels wisdom, independent, and knowledge

Who needs herself, wisdom, and clarity

Who fears nothing

Who gives wisdom and advice

Who would like to see dominance

Resident of the ancient city of Alipheria in southern Greece

Minerva

 

 

 

Info collected from: http://www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/athena/

Lauren Barry

Elementary Mythology Mini Lesson

2 min read

For the module on mythology we were prompted to create a mini lesson for students.

This online simulation from Scholastic is an incredible resource. Basically what the students do is use the scaffolding from the simulator to create their own myth from Greek mythology. This would be really good for students to use in the middle/early end of a unit on mythology. By the time they are ready to use something as complex as this they should be farmiliar with mythology and the meaning behind it as well as the reasons for having it. After students create their own with the help of this, they can go on to do a summative assessment of writing their own original myth. This simulator would serve as a method of scaffolding that they can use for ideas, but they should be doing this mainly from their own ideas.

The CCSS that this mini lesson aligns to could be for Grade 4: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.a

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.b

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.c

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.d

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.e

[The last 5 are just subcategories of the overall standard (the first one listed). This happens to be one of the writing standards that has several parts and components!]

 

Lauren Barry

Picture Books Module Video

1 min read

The last task for the picture books module was to create a video of yourself recording your favorite picture book and explain why you like it.

 

I had fun doing this task, and enjoyed viewing some of the videos from my peers.

Here you can find the link to my own recording that I have posted to my Youtube Channel! 

 

Lauren Barry

Picture Books Module Response

2 min read

While doing these readings I was introduced to topics and ideas about teaching with and through picture books. I enjoyed the readings very much, and I think this was a great first module to be released from the work we have done with all our groups! 

 

To get to the question prompted by the picture book group's prompt; "[W]hy does Sharp think picture books can be used in various subjects?"

Throughout her article, Sharp touched upon many of the different subjects that the reading of picture books would be helpful in. I think she named probably all of them; math, science, social studies, and obviously reading. Sharp made valid points in each of the disciplines she discussed. In terms of math, there have been picture books specifically written for the development of mathematical skills, but there are also picture books written in a story format that aid in children's understanding of counting money and saving money. For science, the topic of weather was brought up. Having pictures of each page and characters as they go through the discovery of whatever the science lesson may be is so helpful for young children and students. And finally, social studies. Social studies is such a broad category as we have all learned by now in our college experience, so the possibilites are endless. Social studies picture books can occur in fiction or nonfiction settings. There can probably be a picture book found for every type of social study on the elementary level; economics, political science, geogrpahy, history, anthropology, and sociology. Having either characters, pictures, or even just a difinitive plot for students to place the concepts with in the most direct sense will only enhance their learning. 

 

All in all, I completely agree with Sharp's idea that picture books can be used in many of the elementary subjects. I learned so much by reading her article, and plan on using them in my future classroom lessons.