Reading of “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin

As a future teacher, especially one who plans on teaching writing and literature, I know that there’s going to be a lot of reading aloud in my future! Here, I’d like to read to you an excerpt from the first chapter of one of my favorite children’s literature novels, “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin. I think it does a wonderful job of establishing setting and uses beautiful imagery to convey a story… about telling stories!


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Thinking about my Past and Future…

My Past . . .


Here’s a little story I came up with to sum up why I want to teach. Think of it as a little storybook, and like any good storybook it’s read aloud! Feel free to listen to the narration below.

“Once upon a time, not very long ago at all, there was a little girl who loved to read. She would read, and read, and read, and could never grow tired of it. She’d stay up late, perched in her bunk-bed with the lamp over her shoulder, and read to her heart’s content. She loved it because from early on in her life, she realized that imagination could take you places. Far, far away from our normal world, there were other fantastic lands that we could explore with purely our minds alone. Writing could hold secrets and meaning far beyond what the simple words on the page showed. Writing could be powerful, and writers had the key to it all. As she grew older, she found that she wanted to explore the secrets of writing with others; to show them the potential within the pages. She thought to herself “I want to show everyone how wonderful it is! I want to teach them!” So that’s just what she set her mind to do.”

My Future . . .


Alright, so now it’s 2018 and I’m on my way to becoming a teacher. Not everything is all shiny and chrome like Spongebob promised, but technology is more advanced than ever and teachers need to utilize that! If Teaching Digital Writing by Hicks has taught me anything, it’s that it’s a great idea to teach by example. When we’re trying to show our students new methods of writing, they need something to work off of. Otherwise, they won’t really know what exactly it is that they’re trying to accomplish. In my future classroom, I plan on teaching good writing, both digital and traditional, through mentor texts. What better way to learn than by looking at the beautiful works put together by the greats?

Be it a novel, website, or television commercial, we can take away valuable information on the medium that we’re trying to utilize simply by studying the choices made by those who came before us. We’ll discuss what we like and dislike about certain aspects of the works, and use our newfound knowledge to put together something of our own. Though I love the traditional writing that I’ve been brought up with, I think it’s equally important for students to know how to compose good digital writing, in the all the wonderful forms that it come in nowadays. It’s the future! It’s time to embrace not only the classics, but the beauty of a well thought-out digital text. As teachers, we need to prepare our students for what’s to come, and that of course means lots of digital writing!

Here’s a small example of something that I think would be interesting for my students to try out in the future: found poetry. Essentially, you take a section of preexisting writing (in my case, a paragraph or two out of Teaching Digital Writing by Hicks), select a few key phrases from it that you like, and reformat them as a poem. I think it would be a great way to introduce developing writers to constructing poetry, as well as challenge experienced writers! Hope you enjoy this little one that my group-mates and I put together.


Art and skill of a digital writer

Is to understand audience and situation

But 2 b shrt


Identity Blog Draft

Brainstorm time!

  • Do a digital scrapbook of some kind. Take pics of my notebook and myself, as well as type out things, and format it in a cool way. Maybe use a website that does photo maps or something.
  • Write an autobiography about why I want to teach and the ideas I have. Narrate some of it, and include pics of myself.
  • Plan out future classroom? Have different portions of the room associated with writing I’ve done and my ideas of what I want to do. Have it be one big picture of what I want the room to look like. Give example of digital writing I’ve done and how I would teach it, as well as the tools I would use to do so.
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Research Papers: Traditional VS Digital

When thinking of traditional research papers this is what I picture students feeling:

A meme showcasing how students are bored of research papers

There are many different options for us teachers to explore when thinking about assigning a new project for our students. You can always go with the traditional route and have them write a standard, 5 paragraph essay on your topic, but put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Think about how many papers just like this they’ve already written. Will they actually learn anything from this? Perhaps more importantly, will they enjoy doing this?

Group of bored teenagers sitting in a classroom

On the flip side, you could test your students’ creativity by assigning something a little more interactive, such as a social media campaign! Have them choose a site of their choice, such as Twitter or Facebook, and let them run wild. You’ll probably notice a change in engagement, and have some more fun yourself! Have students create a hashtag that people can use to express their concern about the issue the student has posed and let the creative energy flow!

Jon Stickland teaches his sustainable systems analysis class in the R.E.A.L classroom in McDonel Hall on Friday March 29, 2013.

The social media campaign could look something like this:

A social media campaign example.

So let’s encourage creativity and involvement in class!

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