2011 Inquiry Conference Abstracts: Secondary English

Constructing Collaboration
Heather Heeter, heatherheeter@gmail.com
High School South, English 9 and Advanced English 10
This session will examine multiple strategies for constructing collaborative activities and projects in the secondary English classroom. We will explore the formation and structure of collaborative groups and assignments and the impact these factors have on student engagement and learning.

Come One! Come all! The Impact of Mainstreaming in the Classroom
Taylor DeMaio, tl.demaio@gmail.com
High School North, Grade 12
At first glance, mainstreaming opens the door for many opportunities, but in practice, it presents both advantages and disadvantages in the classroom community.

Increasing Engagement During Vocabulary Learning
Andy Veres, averes046@gmail.com
High School North, Grade 11
When was the last time you heard a student say that vocabulary exercises were his "favorite part" of English class? This presentation explores how activities for different learning styles can increase student motivation while learning new vocabulary.

A touch of you, a little bit of them, and a whole lot of us needed to create a safe classroom community.
Jenn Buccino, jeb5279@gmail.com
High School North, Advanced English 11
While creating a classroom where students feel safe to be themselves sounds appealing, it may be harder to accomplish than we think. This presentation will touch upon findings, student feedback, and classroom techniques that have helped to uncover several factors needed to make this accomplishment more obtainable.

Speak up! How can we encourage our students’ voices in the English classroom?


Allison Harvey, Allison.Q.Harvey@gmail.com


High School South, 10th grade English and Advanced English


Through a series of several class discussions, I have explored “Think. Pair. Share.” to encourage my students to voice their opinions in my English 10 and Advanced English 10 classrooms. Come join the conversation while I share my findings and techniques.

"Walk a Mile in My Moccasins..." Is it Possible to Teach Empathy to Students?
Margaret (Margo) Paul, margoapaul@yahoo.com
High School South, 9th and 10th grade
In a generation surrounded by cyber-bullying, anonymous texting, and hurtful blogging, is it possible to use the classroom to foster compassion and sensitivity? This year-long inquiry examined ways to urge secondary English students, through reading, writing, and discussion, to view the world through the eyes of others.

Searching for Clarity through the Authentic Voice
Michelle Gerrity, michellegerrity@gmail.com
High School South, 9th Grade English
How can essay writing be authentic and effective like journal writing? This presentation explores the ways in which students view different genres of writing assignments and provides techniques that may be used to expand students’ use of authentic voice to these different genres of writing.

Creating Connections: Making Texts Meaningful to Students
Andrew Newhouse, aln12@scasd.org
High School South, 10th grade English
This presentation will discuss the ways to foster a love of reading through making text to text, text to self, and text to world connections.

Graveyards, Hades, and Shakespeare - Experiential Learning
Annelise Difilippantonio, aqd5043@gmail.com
The Delta Program, 8th-12th English
Do your students make frequent trips to la la land? Do they seem to check out in class? Fear not for this presentation will explore various ways for students to become active seekers of knowledge where lesson material will be learned through personal experience.

Is this a girl book? How male students engage with a text they gender female
Kimberly Burchfield, kburchfield24@gmail.com
High School South, 9th Grade Advanced English
Most high school boys like to express their masculinity. So, how does reading a text about a female protagonist and stereotypically feminine concepts affect male student engagement? This session shares male students' experiences with the text Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, which the students have labeled a female book.

Why are you doing that? The Chemistry Behind Student Actions
Brielle Taylor, bet5031@gmail.com
Park Forest Middle School 7-8 English
You’ve seen it in your classroom, boys who don’t care, girls who care too much, the desires for rewards, the fear of punishment and smiling or cringing during group activities. This session examines the chemistry of some student behaviors.

"What’s in it for me?" Exploring the necessity of relevancy
Katie Frazer, caitlinfrazer@gmail.com
High School North, College Preparatory 11th and 12th grade English
In an ever-changing, globalized society, it is imperative for teachers to continually teach skills and knowledge relevant to students, colleges, and careers. This session will identify how relevant assignments deepen the value of learning.

How Do Bob, Scott, and Barbie Learn? Differently! Meeting Diverse Academic Needs
Mollie Rice, mar25@scasd.org
High School South, 10th Grade English
How to modify instruction for students with varying intellects, interests, and motivational goals AND empower them with the required skills, concepts, and ideas needed for success.

How come my advanced students aren’t scoring advanced in the PSSA Reading test?
Erica Tegethoff, eat5049@psu.edu
High School North, 11th Grade English
In a case study of three Advanced English students at State High, I approached the PSSA’s as a specialized genre of reading assessment. This presentation provides strategies for PSSA Reading achievement.

Consortium for Intercultural Reflective Teaching Program participants

Student participation in education
Erik Lund, eol5065@psu.edu
High School North, Grade 9, World History,
Sandra Härnqvist, smh5642@psu.edu
High School North, Grade 11 & 12, Economics and US History
Will increased participation and opportunities to make choices increase the motivation of the students? And what role does the teacher play in this?

Students and their historical consciousness: A case study on how students reflect and feel about history
Louise Josefsson, lxj5040@psu.edu
Mount Nittany Middle School, Grade 7
Each person has a unique perception of history and, therefore, a historical consciousness. This case study, based on interviews and literature, describes students' historical consciousness and its development.

Preventing ‘The One That Got Away’ From Being One of Your Students: A case study on motivational techniques for a highly unmotivated pupil
David Hummel, ddh5033@psu.edu
Houserville Elementary School, Grade 4
A student, on an individual level, needs reinforcement and varying techniques to motivate him to want to learn. I explore, implement, and analyze various strategies to determine their effectiveness for this learner.

A picture is worth a thousand words--a thousand words of understanding
Megan Simmons: mls53122@psu.edu
Ferguson Township Elementary, grade 1
Brittany Sala: bas5212@psu.edu
Gray's Woods Elementary, Kindergarten
Using the arts, such as drawing and dramatic play, in the primary classroom fosters a deeper understanding of concepts. We will explain why providing students with different mediums to explain what they have learned, is an effective technique to use in the classroom.

It’s Time for a Change
Beth Kopay, bak5104@psu.edu
Gray's Woods Elementary School, grade 1
Social action is the process of getting change into society. I took my own personal experiences in different countries and the United States to see where social action occurs. I also used my first grade classroom to initiate social action and change.

Is play beneficial to a child's learning?
Emma Leach, ejl5154@psu.edu
State College Friends School, Kindergarten/1st grade.
Is play really something we should encourage in a classroom of young children? I will discuss what I consider to be the benefits and hindrances that play can provide in a classroom.

The impact of technology on children's learning
Amy Stevens, afs5106@psu.edu
CLC Charter School- 5/6th grade
This topic will highlight the use of technology and literacy within children's learning and how each can be used to promote and hinder learning, also how the changes of technology have an impact on learning.

Multimodal Writing and Drama in the Secondary English Classroom
Matea Dujmusic, Mxd5057@psu.edu
High School South, 9th grade English
Melissa Dulany, Mad5208@psu.edu
High School North, 12th grade English
A discussion of the varying ways in which the inclusion of multimodal writing and drama can enhance understanding and motivation in the secondary English classroom.

Multiculturalism in the Classroom: Understanding for the Future
Timothy D. Braunecker, tdb5015@gmail.com
Ferguson Township Elementary, Fifth Grade
This paper will focus on the idea of integrating multiculturalism into the modern American classroom. With American classrooms becoming increasingly diverse, and the global economy becoming increasingly integrated into our day to day lives, it is essential for students to command knowledge of not just their own culture, but of other important cultures as well.

Student motivation and school lunch in Sweden and the US
Thomas Nilsson tqn5048@psu.edu
Centre Learning Community 5/6 grade
A small insight in the policies and rules of the lunches that are being served to our students and can they be connected to their motivation to learn?