Friday, September 30, 2011

DEJ Week 6

“Since NCLB was passed, teachers have had to adjust their curriculum to incorporate standardized test preparation into lessons.”

I found out how hard it is to try and incorporate test preparation into my curriculum last year. While making out my lesson plans, I found out that I had to plan to give my students acuity/benchmarking tests at least twice, make time to teach and complete Tech Steps, and make sure that my teaching correlates with the West Virginia CSO’s.
The CSO’s and lesson planning I was fine with; I didn’t even mind the benchmarking and Tech Steps, but where in the world could I get some extra time? We had staff development days, snow days, and holidays. There just wasn’t enough time. I was able to get test prepping in by adding questions from the WESTEST preparation book into my bell ringer questions. It is very hard trying to accommodate for all of the testing and still trying to teach a class everything that they need to know to move on to the next grade and be prepared.

Learn critical thinking through media literacy education. (2010, October 25). Retrieved from

Webpage Link:

Just Think
This website has a little bit of everything if you are thinking of trying to integrate media literacy into your classroom.

Sixth Grade WV CSO’s

Classroom Resources | Grades 6 – 12 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Creating Character Blogs
Students view examples of blogs, learn the basic elements of blog creation, and then create a blog from the perspective of a fictional character.

Sixth Grade
select defining characteristics, construct background knowledge and develop reading skills to understand a variety of literary passages and informational texts by West Virginia, national and international authors:
• myth
• fantasies
• biographies
• autobiographies
• science fiction
• tall tales
• supernatural tales
differentiate and apply comprehension strategies in literary and informational texts to
• use prior knowledge
• draw conclusions
• interpret meaning
• determine cause and effect
• judge text critically
determine the elements of literature (e.g., external conflict, mood) to construct meaning and recognize author’s/reader’s purpose.
interpret the actions, behaviors and motives of characters in literary texts.
determine and explain theme by locating supporting details in a literary passage and in informational text across the curriculum.
evaluate connections (e.g., cause/effect, order) among the facts, ideas, events and concepts of literary and informational texts to self, to other texts and to the world.
identify and understand figurative language (e.g., onomatopoeia, personification, alliteration) in text.
use graphic organizers to create, develop, interpret and organize information (e.g., tables, graphs, diagrams, charts).
increase the amount of independent reading to comprehend, analyze and evaluate literary text and informational text.

from a prompt, use the writing process to develop a composition that contains specific, relevant details and transitions.
use the five-step writing process to address specific writing purposes and to address various audiences (e.g., creative, journalistic, essay, narrative, informative, persuasive).
use analogies, illustrations, examples, or anecdotes to enhance written communication.
edit one’s own compositions as well as the writing of others to correct errors in organization, content, usage, mechanics and spelling.

exhibit effective oral communication skills (e.g., volume, rate, audience, etiquette, standard English) through the presentation of
• compositions
• personal narratives
• brochures
• speeches
• poetry
retell and create original, simple and detailed sequential stories.
interpret spoken text in order to comprehend topic, purpose and perspective in spoken texts (e.g., of a speaker, informational video, televised interview, radio news program).
perform a variety of roles in group discussions including active listener and discussion leader.
create and present an age-appropriate media product that demonstrates format, purpose, and audience.

Can integrating media literacy into your classroom activities help prepare your students for taking the WestTest? Use what you learned from this week's reading in your answer.

Yes, integrating media literacy into classroom activities will definitely help prepare student for taking the WESTEST. It allows for a variety of instruction and allows for the students to be more creative,I really like the idea of the students creating a blog from their character’s point of view. It is creative and can help to enhance writing which a lot of sixth graders still really need.

In our reading there was a quote from Summer’s stating, “Teachers who recognize the goal of teaching thinking rather than just imparting knowledge help students make connections beyond the content of the coursework”. Integrating media literacy is a great way to help students think outside of the box and not have to remember a hundred facts about a particular subject. Students sometimes don’t know how to do a lot of things on their own, thinking seems to be one of them. It is easier for them to ask for help or an answer than to take five minutes to find it on their own.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week Five: DEJ

"In their 2001 study, Thomsen, et al. found that girls who are frequent readers of health and fitness magazines are more likely to use risky, unhealthy diet practices."

I would agree with the findings of the researcher's work in this study. I remember being a teen and in my early twenties thinking that I was fat and always trying to lose weight. I would buy magazines with the magic diet and exercise plan and tried just about every one. The fact is that I wasn't fat or anywhere near overweight, I was about 110 pounds at that time. Using these magazines, I may have lost a pound or two here and there, but when there is not much to lose I guess that is why the process didn't really work. Even now being older, not 110 pounds, and maybe a little wiser, I still find myself looking over the magazine headlines and wondering if it will work or not. I don't buy magazine anymore though. After a few dozen stacks with about five pages of actual readable material and another 100 pages of ads, I realized I was wasting my money.

Reference: Sauer, H. & Robles-Pina, R. (2003, Winter). Magazines: what adolescent girls are reading and the way they shape body image. Advancing Women, Retrieved from

The picture I found was linked to an article called "Anorexia is not fashionable" The article basically explained what anorexia was and how those in the fashion industry feel pressured to become thin. I thought that this linked in with the article I read on body image and how young girl's perceive themselves. I think though that the picture says it all and that is what many young girls see when they look in the mirror, although the "fat" girl that is looking back at them is not even fat at all.

Refererence: Scakacs, O. (2010, July 19). Anorexia is not fashionable. Retrieved from

Week Five- People Magazine Cover

People Magazine Cover

I used my daughter, Amelia for the subject of my magazine cover. My Microsoft Office Publisher would NOT work. I finally just finished the assignement in word, but then I couldn't figure out how to upload it to my blog, but did get it uploaded to Google Documents, which would not allow me to upload it and convert it the way it should. my magazine cover is broken into two parts and the People title is not even showing. I don't know how to fix it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Week Four- DEJ

Are teachers willing to struggle and make sacrifices necessary to put critical content into instruction?

I think that teachers everywhere are already struggling to make the sacrifices that are necessary to put content into instruction.

Less money is available to spend in the classroom, so there is more coming out of our own pocket to buy some extra books or do a lab. There are countless meeting from the typical parent-teacher conference to IEPs. We are being trained on new technology while doing all the work on the old. Our classes are getting bigger and so is our paper work. Students and parents complain because there is too much homework. "We just have too much going on right now, our child is involved in >insert EXTRA curricular activity<." Some parents don't seem to care, so their children don't care.

I think that the struggles and sacrifices to incorporate the needed content into instruction is done with everything teachers do from spending $130 to get the class a set of novels that would be perfect for the lesson to offering to staying after school and offering more small group help to the some of the students in the big class who need it.

As a teacher there are all types of decisions to be made from something as simple to room arrangement to something on a bigger scale of making sure that their students score well on the WESTEST. What everyone assumes is an easy job, is really one of the hardest jobs that I have ever had.


Semali, L. M. (2001, November). Defining new literacies in curricular practice. Reading Online, 5(4), Retrieved from

Web Page Link

PBS Teachers

I connected what I read in the reading to this web site because it gives you an overview and quiz on media literacy as well as resources and ways that you can integrate digital tools. I think that sometimes we may know what something is, but not all the different ways that we can use it.

Week Four Magazine Deconstruction

1. What do you think about this person based on the cover of the magazine? How does he look? How does he make your feel?

I think that Arnold is tough because his face is cut up, he has his sunglasses on, a serious look on his face, and his arms are flexed as if he is waiting to pummel someone. He makes me feel like I'd be safe if he were my body guard, but scared if I ran into him in a dark alley.

2 What is the main purpose of this magazine?

I believe that the purpose of this magazine is to sell fitness and big arms to men who want to look like Arnold.

3. Describe who you believe is the magazine's intended readership.

Men from 18-40 would be the one to buy this magazine or anyone that may be into bodybuilding.

4. What lifestyles, values, points of view are represented or omitted? I think that the lifestyle that is represented is to be healthy, but in order to be healthy you have to have big biceps.

1. What do you think about this person based on the cover of the magazine? How does he look? How does he make your feel?

Arnold is not an actor, but a politician. He is a professional and dresses the part. He has on his navy blue powersuit with a red, tie. He's smiling and pointing playfully at the camera.(Although he seems to be one of those people who is a little creepy when he smiles.) He makes me feel like I am smarter than he is.

2 What is the main purpose of this magazine?

That Arnold has what it takes to be a governor when he puts on his suit.

3. Describe who you believe is the magazine's intended readership.

Professional, educated males in their 20s- 50's would probably buy this magazine.

4. What lifestyles, values, points of view are represented or omitted?

Middle to upper class lifestyle seems to be represented. It also seems to cover a little bit of everything from politics to music.

In a blog posting answer the following questions

1. What are the differences between the two covers? What techniques are used to attract your attention? Pay attention to body language, clothing, camera angle, lighting, color, eye contact ect. How do the difference influence what you think and feel about the person.

In the first picture Arnold is tough and ready to rumble. He is beat up,ready to fight, and looks like he is just stepping out from being in a fire. Dressed in a tank top and sun glasses. Don't mess with him. Arnold is looking away from the camera and he is in the center of the picture.
The second picture Arnold is sitting and looks like your typical professional man with his suit and tie. He is smiling and carefree. The background is blue, boring, and average. The camera seems to be angled above him.
I think that if you were to see the picture of Arnold coming out of the fire advertising him for governor,then you might be a little worried about what kind of trouble your state would get into. He looks like a man that likes trouble. The second picture is average and less intimidating. This looks like a man you would want to be your governor.

Consider the following questions in your response: (This is an exercise in identifying denotation)

1. What do you find appealing or not appealing about the cover of the magazine?
If I were to pick up one of the two to read while at the doctor's office it would be the Esquire. The blue is more appealing to me and there seems to be more to read then just about muscles.

2. What elements in the design make it appealing or not appealing?

The blue and font of the word Esquire. The magazine seems more organized.
The flames and the scratches on his face do not appeal to me and I am not really into gaining twenty inch arms, maybe a twenty inch waist.

3. What elements are included on the cover to sell this magazine? Consider title, imagery, sensationalized headlines, exclusive articles, secrets, gossip, free gifts, and celebrity news.

Esquire is a popular magazine.There are some articles about music and there is lady with her shirt lifted up, men would be drawn to her if not Arnold.

4. Describe the type of content in one issue. Music, John Lennon, a new governor

5. What products or services are advertised in the issue? American Music and science are being advertised in Esquire. Twenty inch arms and less time in the gym are being advertised in the fitness magazine.

6. What lifestyle, values and messages are being promoted by the contents in the issue?
Health and body image is the message in the fitness magazine. Politics, music, and beautiful women are the promotion in Esquire.

7.Describe the demographics for what you think may be the magazine’s intended target readership. Consider age, sex, interests and socioeconomic status

Both magazine are geared towards men. The fitness magazine would be men from 18-40 and the Esquire men from 25-50. I think the Esquire would attract more middle to upperclass than the fitness magazine.

8. What features of the magazine indicate to you that this is the intended readership?

Most women intended fitness magazines have a skinny, tanned woman on the cover and are geared at losing weight or getting nice buns. This fitness magazine has a big, bulky Arnold and a promise for 20 inch arms.

I would compare the Esquire to Cosmo. Cosmo features a female celebrity and articles that women would want as Esquire features men celebrities and articles geared towards men.

9. What personalities or celebrities are used to promote this magazine? Arnold Schwarzenegger

10. Are these personalities or celebrities promoting or challenging stereotypical messages? How?
Promoting. Arnold is promoting muscles and fitness in the fitness magazine and a professional, high class guy in the Esquire.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Commercial Deconstruction

Century Link

Is this commercial an example of corporate media's attack on the American workforce? How? In a blog posting link to the Century Link deconstruction and answer the question.

After watching the commercial a few times and reading the deconstruction, I feel that it was an attack on the American workforce. The commercial seemed to only show connections between a particular class of people, although there were different races and ethnic groups shown, I didn't see a connection with maybe an urban to rural area. The fact that Century Link purchased Qwest and left 660 people without job did not help me think any better of Century Link.

1. Whose message is this? Who created or paid for it? Why?

Yoplait Yogurt created this commercial to sell their product.

2. Who is the “target audience”? What is their age, ethnicity, class, profession, interests, etc.? What words, images or sounds suggest this?

Young to middle aged, professional, middle class women who are worried about their weight. There is a woman who is at work that opened the refrigerator and is bargaining with herself to have a piece of cheesecake.

3. What is the “text” of the message? (What we actually see and/or hear: written or spoken words, photos, drawings, logos, design, music, sounds, etc.)
The woman is standing in front of a refrigerator in what looks like a break room at work, she is also dressed up like at work. The woman is bargaining with herself to have a piece of cheesecake.She is not talking, but a voiceover makes it seem like she is thinking. She is debating on what she will have to do in order to eat the piece of raspberry cheesecake. (Extra exercise, eating celery to cancel out the calories) A coworker (also a woman) comes along and grabs a raspberry cheesecake yogurt and lets her coworker know that she has been waiting to eat it all day. The woman that was debating comments on the weight that her coworker has lost. The coworker thanks her and walks off, the woman then grabs up the yogurt and ignores the cheesecake.

4. What is the “subtext” of the message? (What do you think is the hidden or unstated meaning?)

Yoplait's raspberry cheesecake dessert yogurt is a good as a piece of real cheesecake and healthier.

5. What kind of lifestyle is presented? How?

A healthy lifestyle because yogurt is considered a healthy food and the woman chooses it over a piece of cheesecake.

6. What values are expressed?

I don't think that it shows good values because one piece of cheesecake would not have hurt either of the women. They were both thin.

7. What tools of persuasion are used? See "The language of persuasion"
The women were clearly plain folks. They were average in beauty and dressed like a typical average, middle class woman might dress to go into the office. The one woman was wearing a shirt and cardigan, the other a blouse over a tank top. There was also an analogy of raspberry cheesecake yogurt being like a piece of raspberry cheesecake.

8. What positive messages are presented? What negative messages are presented?

The positive message that is presented is that you can eat a yogurt to satisfy a sweet tooth. The negative message is that an obviously thin woman is worried about her weight and what one piece of cheesecake will do to her.

9. What groups of people does this message empower? What groups does it disempower? How does this serve the media maker's interests?

It empowers those who are trying to eat healthy. It disempowers those who may have eating disorders. (This is the commercial that was pulled because of the National Eating Disorders Association's claims of upsetting those with an eating disorder)It does serve the media maker's interest because I myself am always trying new diets and ways to watch my weight as are many of the people (especially women) that I know. I would try a yogurt that tasted like my favorite dessert in order to eat something that I loved.

10. What part of the story is not being told? How and where could you get more information about the untold stories?

I think that the story that is not being told is that women are not the only ones who struggle with their diet choices. Google or another search engine on people and their dieting trends could help to find more on the story.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Week Three Double Entry Post

"All media messages are ‘‘constructed’’."

I strongly agreed with this core concept from the reading and picked it because I think that sometimes it is scary to not really know what is going on in the world around me. An article " The Construction of Reality in TV News Programmes" by Daniel Chandler talks about how most stories are reported, then revamped from secondary sources such as news agencies or spokespeople. They are the ones giving the public the information that they feel needs to be known.

"News actually creates the 'consensus' knowledge by which reporters and viewers recognize 'newsworthiness'. "(Chandler)

I liked this quote from the article as well because I think that it is funny what some news sources think is actual news. It reminds me of when President Obama first took office and went on vacation. Apparently it was very newsworthy that he had a fit body and swam with his shirt off in the ocean and that his wife looked nice in a bathing suit that she was also wore when she was swimming. Did that change the way the public liked or disliked them at all? It did not make a difference to me.

The one other thing that I feel reminds me the most of constructed media was something that I watched in my Exosphere class about the "1969 Moon Landing Hoax". The video showed both sides of people who thought the moon landing really happened and those who thought it was a hoax. I always assumed it was true, but after watching the film, I honestly don't know what to think. That is why I believe that constructed media is really scary. What is really the truth?

Works Cited

Chandler, D. (n.d.). Notes on the construction of reality in tv news programmes. Retrieved from

Kelner, D & Share, J(2005). Toward critical media literacy: core concepts, debates, organizations, and policies. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 26(3), 369-386. Retrieved from

Mediathatmatters [Video podcast]. (2007). (Hate) Machine. Retrieved from


I am including the link for the article that I felt helped to connect some of what I read, but I am also going to post a video from youtube that shows how media can be constructed to create hate. I thought it was an amazing video that shows how something that seemed innocent was turned to manipulate others to hate.

The Construction of Reality in TV News Programmes

Hate Machine

Friday, September 2, 2011

Seven Power Lens on 21st Century Literacy Week Two

Week Two

"Learning to look without drawing inferences is a powerful observational tool that can gather rich visual data for the observer."

As an observer we want to obtain as much data about a subject or situation that we can. When we can observe and not draw inferences it will benefit not only us, but those that we are trying to reach. Often times we are so quick to pass judgement or criticize without knowing the whole picture.

This also reminds me of a quote that my friend's mom used to tell us all the time, "Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear." It is more beneficial to find out the truth than to spread false information, so if we observe and obtain the needed data we will be able to report the truth. There is enough propoganda out in the media, but I don't think that it is because they are not taking the time to make inferences. It is based solely on the story that they want to portray.

Abilock, D. (2003, November/December). A seven-power lens on 21st-century literacy. Multimedia Schools, Retrieved from


I really liked this article by Alan Sieler. Here is one of the things that he wrote that I can relate to, "As observers we always will view a situation from a particular perspective and have a point of view. However, our tradition of observing has rarely encouraged us to take a look at the position from which we observe and how that will influence the particular viewpoint we take." If we can look at things from another perspective, how will that affect what we observe? I think that whether it changes our perspective to be more positive or negative of a situation that at least we are trying to broaden our views.

Sieler, A. (n/a). On becoming a different and more powerful observer. Retrieved from

Photo Analysis

Photo Analysis Two

Photo Analysis
Observation: President Obama seems like he is in a cheerful mood. He is smiling and seems confident.He is casually dressed in a button up shirt and slacks. He is with a group of men. One looks like he is a Coast Guard. They are either on a boat or getting off of a boat. Men (Secret Service maybe) in the crow's nest.
People: President Obama and unknown men
Objects: Boat, Water, American Flag
Activities: Walking, Talking, and Smiling
Inference: President Obama is either on or walking off of a boat. There is water and men in a crow's nest. The people around President Obama are smiling and seem interested in what the President is doing.
Questions: Where is President Obama? Was this particular visit planned ahead or last minute? Who are the men with the President? What are they discussing?
Answers: I could find answers to these question on Google or another search engine.

Photo Analysis One
Observation: President Obama seems as if he is concerned or upset over something. His eyebrows are drawn together in the middle and his lips are pursed. There also seems to be books and plants behind him. He is casually dressed, I don't see a tie or jacket.
People: President Obama
Objects: Books and maybe plants
Activities: Sitting/thinking
Inference: President Obama is thinking about something. President Obama seems to be inside. He is unhappy or stressed.
Questions: What is going through President Obama's mind at this moment? Is in a room with a few people or is there a room full of people?
Answers: I could search the Internet by either Google, Bing, or another search engine.