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Intern Presentations 2004

Team Interventions:  A Systematic Approach for Struggling Students

Maria Arcangeli (

As teachers, we always wonder and question why some of our students easily succeed and others continue to struggle.  We constantly analyze these students' behavior and academic struggles; however, we have to move from constantly analyzing these students to what WE CAN DO as educators to help these students succeed in our classrooms.  In this presentation, I will discuss the Mount Nittany Middle School Purple Pack Intervention Plan and discuss our trials and tribulations as we used a systematic approach to help students on our team.

Building Classroom Community by Exploring Our Values

Kimberly Dennis (

Where do we begin when building a classroom community?  With the students!  We know that our values act as the foundation for most of our thoughts and actions.  But pausing to consider values with students permeates the many aspects of learning such as engagement and classroom management.  By exploring student values, we discover our own values and the impact they have on the learning environment we strive to create. Pursuing this topic with future English as a Second Language classes will prove particularly beneficial as we seek to understand the various cultures within.

How can student teaching programs help improve education in the 21st Century?

Michael Gore (

An informal interactive presentation that asks:  What are the most significant improvements needed in education today?  How can programs like the Professional Development School help work towards them?  After considering these questions and potential solutions from my inquiry, I will ask my audience to share their own thoughts with me through written reflection and dialogue.

How Can We Create Dynamic Discussions in English Class?

Jessica Hall (

What can we as teachers do to make class discussions more engaging? How can we encourage our students to participate?  With the help of a group of 8th- and 9th- grade students, I have explored these questions. I intend to present my findings and give other teachers the insights my students gave to me.

Using varied teaching strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners in 12th grade English.

Beth Hartman (

I will show how it is possible for a high school English teacher to attempt, through the use of diverse/varied teaching strategies, to meet the needs of diverse learners in the classroom. I will use data from my Choice Novel Unit to show how the lessons and assessments not only meet each type of learning style, Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic & Tactile, but that they also contain a number of critical features necessary to meeting the needs of those diagnosed as diverse learners (sometime labeled ‘learning disabled’).

Grammar's Place:  Considering the issues surrounding grammar and usage in the classroom.

Kevin Hulburt (

The controversy of grammar's role in the classroom includes several issues from its relevancy in the improvement of students' writing to issues of social justice.  My inquiry has been an exploration of some of the key issues as I formulate my own beliefs about grammar's role in my English classroom.  Also, it has included an analysis of my own classroom experiences as I have put my beliefs into practice.  Participants in this presentation will be asked to consider the controversy of English grammar and usage as well as their own beliefs by taking part in discussion and activity. 

Cultural Dissonance and Cultural Content; Developing Transformative Strategies of Pedagogy and Curriculum Planning

Donna King (

The process of developing my philosophy of teaching, my teacher personae and versatility of voice and pedagogy, morphed into an inquiry project researching the invisible undercurrent of “cultural dissonance.”.  Transforming “cultural dissonance” into progressive, authentic, “teachable moments,” creates the need for the development of critical lessons and/or critical exigency.  Educators can create a conducive learning environment encompassing a sense of community and critical consciousness with cultural competency when the inclusion of transformative and spontaneous strategies are used to teach cultural and controversial subject matter.

How have I as a teacher developed my philosophy of education during my Professional Development internship and the application of this philosophy in the classroom?

Kathleen Kline (

This presentation will discuss the development of my philosophy of education.  I have been able to develop this philosophy through the many different experiences I have encountered throughout this school year.  This internship has given me a unique opportunity to discover my own unique philosophy of education and to apply this philosophy in the classroom.

What can we learn from using reading logs in English class?

Jessica Lackey (

This presentation will examine my implementation of reading logs as a form of assessment in a high school English class.  By reflecting upon the various ramifications of using this form of assessment, I will explain what I have learned about teaching and about my students from using reading logs.  I will also investigate the implications of using Reading Logs for my future practice and for other educators.

I-Movies and more:  Using technology to promote literacy in the middle school English classroom

Katherine Maslanik (

This presentation will explore the following questions:  How have my views of technology in the classroom changed throughout the year?  How have I used technology in my classroom to promote literacy, and how has it affected the learners in my classroom?  I will also provide examples of how other English teachers make use of technology in their classrooms.

There, Their, They’re

David Mericle (

This presentation focuses on the validity of alternative assessment methods for vocabulary building in the ninth grade English classroom.  If the student is assigned a word, such as lever, is it a valid assessment method to have the student draw a picture of a lever and write an explanation or is it necessary to have a memorized dictionary definition to prove cognition?

Scaffolding Learning of Stifling Creativity?  An Exploration of Modeling

Amanda Miska (

What are the effects of modeling in the classroom?  By examining the practices of modeling in various assignments and classrooms, questioning educators' definitions of modeling, and reflecting through personal, I will present several perspectives on modeling.  After inquiring into the practices in my own classroom, I will propose instructional methods involving modeling that can be beneficial for different types of learners.

How do teachers actively engage diverse learners to improve students' comprehension of material?- -A Presentation of "What Worked"

Jacqueline Urciuoli (

Educators are faced with many challenges on a daily basis and today I will present to you my success story of beginning to overcome my biggest inquiry-how to teach students of differing learning abilities while striving to keep them engaged. This presentation will illustrate how I implemented three activities into our class that proved to be engaging. I aim to cover three main points of each activity and show evidence of why I thought each engaged diverse learners, helping them to interact with lessons while improving their understanding of material.  Both students and teachers are life-long learners who collaborate on a daily basis, so allow me to share with you the activities that "worked" in our class.

Evolving from Student to Teacher - Taking a Look at Teacher Identity

Krista Yerkes (

This presentation investigates my personal development from student to teacher.  By examining personal emails, journal entries, and critical incidents in the classroom I will try to unravel the events that were significant in the process of becoming Miss Yerkes, the English teacher.  I will concentrate on specific areas and issues that reoccur in my data in hopes that this will inform future mentors/interns in this year of identity change.

The Socratic Method in the Secondary English Classroom

Mariel Yuhas (      

The heart of authentic learning is the classroom discussion.  Our students’ voices need to be validated and heard.  When we employ the Socratic Method of questioning in our classrooms, we place value on students’ questions and ideas above our own.  We take a risk: relinquishing control.  Putting discussion into the students’ hands instead of controlling it and directing it ourselves is a great challenge.  Many teachers believe they are conducting this type of discussion, but in fact they are still maintaining some level of control.  In my paper, I will outline some strategies for employing the Socratic Method as successfully as possible, I will describe how some teachers have done so, and I will detail my experience with the Socratic method in my own classroom.