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Intern Presentations 2010

Activities to foster confidence in “at-risk,” and struggling students

Rachael A. Barasch
State College Area High School, English 11 and English as a Second Language

When “at-risk” and struggling students say, “I can’t do that, I’m stupid,” what can teachers do to show them they can? This presentation provides examples of techniques and strategies that were used to give struggling students confidence in themselves and their learning abilities.

Using Tools to Reach Beyond their Current Abilities

Christopher Brown
State College Area High School South, 10th Grade English

Many students struggle with the writing process and need various levels of support. Having students produce a variety of symbolic tools that they used to mediate their responses to an essay led to the production of pieces of writing that were more sophisticated than what they were able to produce on their own.

Twilight, Tractor Manuals, and Shakespeare: Discovering What Reluctant Readers Read

Catherine Campbell
State College High School South, 10th Grade English

A discussion of reading that students self-select and what these books can tell teachers about motivating students to read course material. 

“Will Boys be Boys?”- Sword Fighting and Student Interest in the Classroom

Renee Fledderman
State College High School South, English 9 CTI

Why are there more boys than girls in lower level English classes?  Research consistently finds that these classes are more often than not composed of primarily unmotivated male students. This session explores various strategies to spark engagement and motivation in this population.  Oh, and there was sword fighting.

Computers: Engaging or Just for Entertainment

Sarah Krepps
State College High School South, 10th Grade English

Today’s students live in a digital world, but does technology engage students in the classroom? This session will share how assignments using computers and the Internet fostered online and classroom community, how some assignments failed to engage students, and how, in the latter case, traditional assignments using paper and a pencil were more successful. 

Where to Begin?

Jessica Lehmann
High School South, grade 9 and 10

You’ve got all your resources, lesson plans, materials, games, and books ready for your upcoming unit… but where do you begin? According to students, the unit introduction can influence their comprehension and engagement in the entire unit. This inquiry will share how different unit introductions can influence the subsequent students’ comprehension and engagement.

Why Don’t You Want to be in My Group?

Alyssa Patti
State College Area High School South, 9th and 10th Grade English

Some ninth grade students are more willing to work in groups and work successfully, while others create a hostile environment where success cannot be achieved. This inquiry will examine, through a series of classroom observations and student feedback, how group work is successfully achieved through genuine student interest and positive collaboration.

Classroom Communities: Yellow Fridays, Supergroups, and Control

Tim Pawloski
State College Area High School North, 12th Grade English

Students and teachers must cooperate to share control and responsibility in the classroom.  This session will share strategies to create classroom community and demonstrate how community forms the basis for effective instruction.

Peer-ing into Peer Editing

Elizabeth Popowicz

State College High School North, AP-11 Language & Composition

Is peer editing just busy work, or can it be an effective writing and editing tool?  Why should a student trust his/her peer to edit his/her paper and do the comments even make a difference?  While there may not be one “right” way to conduct peer editing in the classroom, we can begin to evaluate the ways in which peer review serves as a collaborative writing and editing tool for students.

Wait, learning can be fun?  Active Activities in the Classroom

Leanne Rohrbaugh
State College High School South Building, 10th Grade English

When you face that challenging preconception of high school students that they don’t like school and learning can’t be fun, what can you do?  Role playing, group work/discussions, artistic activities actively engage students by getting them up and moving so they are literally involved in the material.

“You Might be a Redneck if…”

Lydia Shellenberger
Park Forest Middle School, 7-8 Team English

Right now you are smiling, because about 10 different punch lines are zipping through your mind. But have you considered how  “redneck” stereotypes could negatively affect a child with a rural background? One such student in my 8th grade English class prompted me to ask: How can a teacher cultivate a sense of cultural pride within rural kids, while maintaining a cohesive classroom community?

Literacy, More Universal than Healthcare?

Nicholas Ward
State College High School North, 11th & 12th grade English

Literacy, other than of the written word, is easy to ignore in an English classroom.  Some teachers can’t or won’t justify exploring media literacy.  But other forms of literacy are just as relevant to becoming a well-rounded individual and community member.

Technology and 21st Century Learners: Why Reading Just Ain’t Fun Anymore

Larry Weaver

This inquiry attempts to examine technology’s affect on the willingness and ability of students to engage with classroom texts. The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate this interest shift among young learner’s, as well as provide ways that teachers can take advantage of this shift to provide more engaging activities.

Books Build Character: Using Literature to Develop Morality in a Secondary English Classroom

Stefen Wisniewski
State College High School South, 10th Grade English

Developing the character of students is both a worthwhile and achievable goal in an English classroom. A unit using the books Monster and Whirligig that was centered on character education showed important results in tenth grade students’ moral critical thinking.

Student Response to Teacher Feedback: What do students get out of those comments in the margins and why do we write them in the first place?

Michelle Wrambel
State College High School North, 11th and 12th Grade English

Why do we offer feedback on written work in the form of comments in the margins? This inquiry seeks to explore what significance students obtain from these remarks, which often make up the bulk of our revisions. These comments are frequently ignored, so what do students find meaningful when it comes to revision?