English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: Lexi Mitchell

keep on dreaming- lexi mitchell

keep on dreaming- lexi mitchell

I am reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and I was so excited to read this book after reading a poem by her in Peter Kittle’s class last semester. This book is even better then I thought it would be and I’m so glad I chose it. I really love how her writing seems effortless and well thought out at the same time. I also really like that the book goes in the order of her life events, it makes you want to know what happens next. The form did change how I read the book and I feel like it is less daunting to look at the pages of this book. I made more pauses and I imagined her telling the stories, because she brings up how much she loves to tell stories out loud throughout the book. There is so many good lessons in this book and I think every school should have it in their curriculum.

It was really cool how she talked about how she was always being compared to her big sister by her teachers because her sister was a faster reader and always had the answers. This is one of the many points that students can relate to, and it shows that things like reading fast and knowing answers doesn’t mean you can’t become a writer. This is also an eye opener to how much influence a teacher has on a student! She has many poems about her teachers. It is also a good text to use as an example from the Civil Rights Movement. Even though I want to be a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher, I would like to read some of her poems out loud to my class. I really love poetry and this book is not difficult to understand, I think younger students will like it too. 

so much depends

upon 

the clock 

on the wall 

ticking 

as each moment passes 

deciding how much time 

we have left 

Lexi Mitchell- Out of My Mind

Lexi Mitchell- Out of My Mind

This is my first time reading one of Sharon Draper’s books and I love the way this novel is written! I chose this chapter book because I am thinking about teaching special education. Ever since I started working as paraprofessional substitute for Chico Unified, I have grown so close with some of the students and classrooms I work in. This novel is about a witty girl named Melody and how she lives with cerebral palsy. I admire how this book gets you to see past Melody’s disability and gives her a voice! I love the way each family member and classmate is described and with every page you want to know more. I had a hard time putting it down. This novel allows you to see things through Melody’s eyes. It gives you perspective on not only her struggles, but everyone around her as well. It is inspiring to me because it shows how much influence teachers can have on a student! Melody talks about how her classes are dumbed down and she doesn’t learn much of anything because her teachers don’t believe she is capable of retaining much information when in actuality she is very smart and learns a lot from television and the people that believe in her. She also has a photographic memory and I love the fact that she talks about every student in her class and what they are good at. This would be a great book to read out loud to students. 

Intro to Mysteries!! By Natalie, Amreena and Lexi

Intro to Mysteries!! By Natalie, Amreena and Lexi

For this weeks  make our group decided to work together. Our make for this week is on the series book of King and Kayla.  King is a dog and Kayla is his owner. King cannot talk but his expressions and gestures make clear of what he is thinking. Kayla  makes dog treats for her friends puppy but a few of them go missing, at first she thinks that King ate them but after smelling his breath she becomes sure it is somebody else and then the mystery begins.

For this make we decided to have our children read the book together in class for three days and then follow it up with a treasure hunt which includes a treat at the end. We thought this would tie well with the story.

-Amreena

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Z9DffugTOK8NVDUGdA8NE8xENbour8WByj9pejnhAUQ/edit?usp=sharing

Lexi Mitchell- Reading in the Wild

Lexi Mitchell- Reading in the Wild

 

For my children’s series book I chose the King and Kayla mystery series. I think this is a great series for about first or second graders and is a cute introduction to mysteries! I love the Dog King and how he wishes that he could talk to her. The author gives King his own dialogue and I think that kids would really like hearing the dog’s perspective. There isn’t anything I dislike; I think the story I have read so far is very good. I will definitely buy all of the others to start my classroom collection. This book would be great for kids who like animals and mysteries! The central characters in this book are King (the dog) and Kayla (his owner). Another character that comes up a lot in the series is Jillian (Kayla’s friend) and Thor (her new puppy). There are four books total in this series and the Author Dori Hillstad Butler has a website called kidswriter.com. At her website you can find a King and Kayla dog treat recipe and a King and Kayla decoder game! Those both can be used in the classroom to go along with the books. With the recipe, I might share it with my students and then challenge them to make their own dog food recipe and then choose one to make at home and bring them in for the student’s dogs to try. I could make a little classroom mystery and have the students decode some words to help them solve the clues.

Reading in the Wild is great, I think I realized how much being “plugged in” really matter when you want students to be lifelong readers. I like when she talked about her daughter and how she was very involved in groups and online. I never really thought about how important it is to also surround yourself with readers. I also love the reading itineraries because it takes pressure off of the students. I think this is a great alternative to reading logs and I will be using that idea. I also like the fact that she values bringing a book wherever you go and I don’t think students think about that as much as bringing their technology! A good old-fashioned book never runs out of battery! I’m excited to teach reading more after reading Miller’s tips but it is also scary to me that there is such a push for technology. I see I-ready used in classrooms today and I think that it is more useful to read a book and do a project where you use creativity and critical thinking skills. It is also intimidating to know I need to start reading a lot of children’s stories! I want to be the teacher that can recommend a good book to a student that likes a certain subject.

Lexi Mitchell – Carmine A Little More Red

Lexi Mitchell – Carmine A Little More Red

I decided to make a writing activity for my future classroom using a modern version of Little Red Riding Hood. In this writing activity, my 4th grade students would be encouraged to think of a classic fairy tale and make a new short story of their own using a sequence of four letters in the alphabet. Students will also be encouraged to use the letters to make a word that gets incorporated into the story, much like the mentor text does. I decided to have the students focus on only four letters in the alphabet but give them the choice of what four, because I think they would have a hard time focusing on the techniques if they needed to focus on the letters of the alphabet. I wanted this text to spark creativity and new ideas about the classic fairy tale. I love that this book incorporates so many good writing skills and tools. Melissa Sweet uses dialogue effectively throughout the story and has chosen some great words using the letters that I think students would get excited about. Leading up to this workshop I would have read them the full book as well as two other versions of Little Red Riding Hood and had some discussions comparing the different versions. I think that if I gave this assignment to 4th grade students they would be able to have fun with it. I would provide them with a little stapled paper book that I pre made, and would have many art supplies that they could use for their stories. 

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Lexi Mitchell- No One Is Too Old For Fairytales

Lexi Mitchell- No One Is Too Old For Fairytales

I think that besides the differing endings of these Little Red Riding Hood fairy tales, the wolf is shown as the antagonist and I think this is because the wolf is a predator in the woods and in this case, he symbolizes a predator towards society. Specifically towards a girl who is walking alone who is shown as being much too trusting of this predator. Another theme that is shown throughout the different versions is that Red Riding Hood is walking through the forest to get to her grandmothers house. Many fairy tales feature the woods or a forest setting in them and that gets me thinking. Is it because it is an unpredictable or eerie place where bad things always happen?

Responsibility is a key theme in both Grimm and Perrault’s version. I started to think about how I could incorporate this fairytale into my classroom and what I would do with it. I think it would be a good idea to read both Little Red Cap and Little Red Riding Hood and use them as mentor texts. I would discuss the common themes and then talk about how the ending of the tales differ and what ending they like better. Another thing to point out to the kids is the play on realism and how specifically unrealistic cutting the belly open and saving the Grandmother and Little Red Cap really is. Then I could encourage the students to use the common themes and make up their own fairytale or even use the main idea of Little Red Riding Hood and come up with an exciting new ending. The students could make a mini play with some other students or work on their own to make their own mini books. 

Back to Cole’s quote, I really do believe that the point of stories is not the resolution because when I tell a story about something that happened in my life, usually the most interesting part is in the middle of the story! It’s more about how you got to that situation instead of what happened after or at the end. Stories are great for children because usually there is a moral or lesson or something they can relate to, which can help them emotionally. They also spark imagination in children and introduce cultural differences in some instances. Stories and fairytales play a key role in many children’s lives and should be used in the classroom as well! 

Lexi Mitchell – My weekend is all booked

Lexi Mitchell – My weekend is all booked

1) Hello! My name is Lexi, I’m 23 years old and can’t wait to start my career as an elementary school teacher in either Chico or Durham! I’m originally from Red Bluff, California, where life is simple and the back roads and bon fires are what made my childhood so fun. I believe that having faith in each and every one of your students in the classroom is key. I also think that this profession requires to you be one hundred percent invested, all in. I want to be the teacher that is kept awake at night thinking about how I can better help my students, the teacher that has snacks on hand, buys jackets in the winter, and any other necessities necessary for my students to succeed. I’d like to work with a diverse population of students from many backgrounds. Staying in at lunch to tutor or just talk to a student and be their biggest supporter is my goal. 

2) I think being a reader means something different for each individual. Some students may have to re-read things over and over to conceptualize a text, while others will be quick to grasp the main ideas. Being a reader takes place at a variety of settings and places for all of us, many people read social media posts daily, street signs, and text messages. Some people are quick to pick up a best selling novel and get through it within and couple days. That is usually not me. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book and finished it! I hope this class can change that! I find myself making connections with things I have learned at school with things I read on social media and to me, that is pretty cool. From the Williams article I realized that from such a young age many classrooms categorize students into groups like the “readers” and “non readers”. With all of the research and tools we have today, teachers should be challenging theirselves when it comes to teaching english and reading. I really love the idea of connecting a text with “making stuff”. Peter Kittle’s class along with About the Authors totally changed my perception of what teaching English looks like in the classroom. I’m excited to dig deeper in this class!