Friday, December 5, 2014

August {#3 individual grading sheet}

For my second individual connection I chose Rodriguez. I don't know if this connects entirely but its just something I felt about one of my students. To reflect quickly on my Collier connection it is the same student. He struggles in school from a learning disability and also has a tough time with his language barrier. To get inside the mind of my student I feel maybe as time progresses he will improve. One Rodriguez quote that I thought connects to him was " Without question, it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when I entered the classroom. I would have felt much less afraid. I would have trusted them and responded with ease." (34) I feel this thought went through my students mind. If things were entirely in his first language he would have felt comfortable in the classroom. The material would have been easier for him to understand. 

Collier {#2 Individual grading sheet}

For my first individual example connected to another author I chose Collier. One student that I had was Spanish and what I came to notice when I would work with him he would give me answers in Spanish. Luckily it was only Si for yes so I understood if he was right or wrong. I by no means told him to answer in English because he was answering thee questions correctly in his first language. "Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language" (227) I had to remember Collier would want me to accept my students first language and not try to change him. It was important to respect and understand that is who he is.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Empowering education: by Ira Shor {reflection}

Ira Shor's Empowering education was an interesting read because this is a topic I have strong opinions about. Today having a teacher or professor who is genuinely passionate about getting the best from his or hers students is rare.  I have been very fortunate to have a great professor in fned and my other courses this semester. Horror stories do exist within colleges and local school districts. To put simply Shor argues that educators focus heavily on making students memorize information rather than critically think and analyze it. I have been victim of teachers/professors who just want memorized information. The thought of walking in a classroom and the teacher says "okay, open your books to the first chapter" makes me feel sick thinking about it. Very seldom do I succeed in a setting like that. "Education is a social experience for tens of millions of students who come to class with their own dreams and agendas. Sometimes cooperating with and sometimes resisting the intention of the school and the teacher" p13 This is a powerful quote that I agree with. I do come to class with my own dreams and agendas. Sometimes I am at completely different ends with my professors and I will let them know and other times I am on the same page. A good teacher or professor will enjoy positive or negative feed back. That is a great example of empowering your students. The best advice I could give anyone in school is don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in when you're in school. Shor

How I feel when being lectured.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Promising Practices reflection.

Going into the promising practice conference I was very excited. I told my mom and sister who are both teachers that I am attending my first professional development. Yes I am sort of far away from becoming a teacher, but I always act professional when it comes to representing myself in a serious setting. I signed up for two workshops for my day. The first workshop being Confidently Working Towards your Career and my second one was Using Technology in Early Childhood Classrooms. To start whoever was in charge of naming the workshops did a inadequate job describing them. I was under the impression for my first workshop, Confidently Working Towards your Career that it was going to give tips and pointers about achieving confidence within yourself. That was far from it. When I showed up to the classroom I started to get slightly nervous. The workshop was structured for only STEM students and minorities entering that field. Now there were two African American ladies running the workshop who are business owners and educators. They were both surprised to see that there were no African American people attending our workshop. Now don't get me wrong here, they were both welcoming regardless of the situation. It was just unfortunate that everyone there was under a different impression about the workshop itself. They tried their best to make the workshop interesting.
Now it was off to my second workshop of the day. Using Technology in Early Childhood Classrooms. Back to the person in charge of naming the workshops. I feel he or she didn't do a great job explaining this one either. Being a Technology Major I was under the impression that there was going to be an actual showing of teaching the kids how to use technology. There was to an extent, but not what I expected. The workshop was based on teaching different subjects by the use of technology. By using power point, smart boards, ipads, downloadable apps and other websites. It was a great presentation, but I can only go as far as the technology. I would only be using math, history and English to an extent within my classrooms if I am doing hands on work.
Finally it was back to Donovan for the key note speaker. The Keynote Address was by Dr. Christopher Emdin #hipHopED(ucators) STEMing the Tide of Disinterest in Education. Dr. Emdin is an Associate Professor in the department of STEM at Columbia University. I was nervous getting ready to listen to him because of my experience with my two workshops, but he was the deal breaker. Dr. Emdin is maybe one of my favorite speakers that I have witnessed in a school setting. STEM aside, he is truly passionate about what he does and cares about his students. He spoke sort of fast, but I always able to catch some points of his address. One topic he discussed was students leaving school due to bad experiences in science and or math. He explained how the classroom setting and teacher/professor can make the difference in the students view on the subject. It really is sad to see a student drop out of school because of struggling with content. This is where the teacher needs to come in. He then said we as educators need to understand youth in education. The teacher needs to find something within his or her students that they need to work with to keep the students intrigued. To expand my own thoughts on the teacher/student relationship I feel it is very rare today to have a great experience. I would say over 50% of professors/teachers are out of touch with their students today. This is what leads kids to drop out in school or college. It also leads to dropping classes which prolongs a college career. I have dropped a lot of classes in my college career not because I hated the subject it was because the classroom setting was terrible. I need to develop a positive relationship with my professor and classmates. I admit I do get down on myself for being 24 years old realizing I could be in my career, but I just need to have a positive experience within the classroom. I have been very lucky and fortunate for having a positive semester. I really enjoy going to my classes at Rhode Island College because my classrooms are filled with positive experiences. I understand I could have some tough classroom experiences on the horizon, but maybe just maybe i'll be able to change it to a positive.
Dr.Chris Emdin

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

(Reflection) After reading Citizenship in school, it really got me thinking about my middle school and high school days. During my time in middle school I was never really accustom to meeting another kid that had down syndrome or any other disability. I did know what down syndrome was, and there were a few students within the building that had it. There was just never an opportunity to interact with them during school. High school was different. My high school had a basement, first floor, second floor, and third. The special education students were placed in the basement in which I am not entirely sure how I feel about that today. The one positive thing I can think about in regards to those students being in the basement, was that all the students attending gym had to go to the basement before class started to change in the locker rooms. This is where I had the opportunity to interact with the special education students. They had a few rooms in the basement so they were always in and out of their classrooms. It might have only been for two or three minutes because I had to run up to the gym, but it helped me. I got to know a few students and they were always happy and friendly. One quote that I like from Kliewer was "[Community] requires a willingness to see people as they are-different perhaps in their minds and in their bodies, but not different in their spirits or in their willingness and ability to contribute to the mosaic of society. It requires the "helper" to have the humility to listen for what the person says he or she needs. Also, the "helper" must see that the interaction "helps" both ways. (p. 12)" I agree with this through and through. You just have to listen when they talk to you. A little bit can go a long way.

Thinking back about students with down syndrome or any serious disability, maybe I should try to think of a positive for them being placed in the basement. To reference August, maybe that's their safe space. It could help them within the classroom and their learning process. Overall I enjoyed the message Kliewer is sending out to his readers. Chris Kliewer

Sunday, November 9, 2014


(Extended comments)After reading Literacy with an attitude, it really got me thinking about the education system today. Today teachers are held back from their own creativity because of standardized testing in connection to the common core testing for K-12 students. In my opinion the teacher should have control throughout the course of the year on what the students should, and shouldn't know. Standardized testing is the reason schools have low performing scores, and why students lack enjoyment in the classroom. If a student is affected by a subject or a particular teacher, that could change their entire outlook on education. Now don't get me wrong as much as I feel their are flaws in the education system their are teachers who make their marks in a child's life.
In Literacy with an attiude Finn speaks about literature and the power it can have among lower class children. To reference Mike's Blog I really enjoyed how he brought it into Delpit's world. "I didnt say to an errant student, what are you doing? I said, stop that and get to work. No discussions. No openings for an argument." This couldn't sum up Delpit any better. This week in my service learning project I had to really channel my inner Delpit and explicitly tell my kids to pay attention to their school work. I found myself saying okay this is a Delpit moment, and that I cannot be afraid to explicitly tell my kids. Overall this reading was a little tough, but I made it through. Sorry for rambling at the top of my blog its just something that instantly popped into my mind with this read.


Sunday, November 2, 2014


Being the son of two baby boomers I have learned a lot of historical information through my parents because they lived it. I have always been heavily interested about the history between the 1950's to 1970's. The civil rights movement is something I love to read about and gain new knowledge on. Martin Luther King Jr has been a public figure that I always admired and looked up to because of what he did. I did not have much knowledge about the Brown vs Board of Education case. I only knew the surface of the case, and what was accomplished. Now after exploring the brown vs board of education website, listening to Tim Wise, and reading Bob Herbert's article I understand how they are all connected.

Brown vs the board of Education by all means was a big victory for the civil rights movement. Unfortunately today's economy is still making segregation difficult within the education system. One quote that got my attention in Herbert s article was "If you really want to improve the education of poor children, you have to get them away from learning environments that are smothered by poverty. This is being done in some places, with impressive results. An important study conducted by the Century Foundation in Montgomery County, Md., showed that low-income students who happened to be enrolled in affluent elementary schools did much better than similarly low-income students in higher-poverty schools in the county." This to me states the kids within the poverty stricken areas are more than willing to excel in the classroom. 

Wise states that even though we have an African american president, racism still exists within our country.  What struck me during the Wise interview is when he says 6 out of 10 white Americans will admit to one of the stereotypes about African Americans. One, that African American folks are perceived as less intelligent, perceived as being aggressive, prone to criminality and perceived as less patriotic. Also he states that 75% white Americans say that African Americans just want well fare and do not want to work. These stats are relatively current, so those state that racism still exists today. Yes, President Obama set the bar for our country showing anyone can become President or chase any dream they have. We have to keep growing and expanding our standards. Anyone, from all walks of life can be or do whatever they set their hearts to.
Brown vs Board of Ed (Youtube)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Delpit: Rules and Codes of Power (Revisited)

Lisa Delpit's Other People's Children is a great read about children learning in the classroom. Delpit addresses that, children who speak different languages at home face a difficult time with the "culture of power" in today's standards at school. We cannot discourage children to not speak their own language. When a child speaks their own language in school they are not wrong by any means. This is where the rules and codes of power come into play. Delpit constructs what she calls " The five aspects of power." The first is 1."Issues of power are enacted in the classrooms" In this step she describes that in simple terms the student is at the bottom of the educational process. The teacher along with the publishers of the textbooks, creators of the curriculum, and the state you are in are all above you to guide you to your economic status. Number 2. "There are codes or rules for participating in power; that is, there is a culture of power." This states that students should have a general idea of when to understand power is taking place before them in the classroom. When students from different cultural backgrounds come into a foreign classroom they most likely do not understand. Number 3. "The rules of the culture of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power." This means a reflection is shown within the people who have power. They understood the rules of the culture of power which gave them their own. Number 4. "If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier." This goes back to our class discussion of how to instruct a student within the classroom. If they are doing something they shouldn't be, they should explicitly be told to not do that. They will not understand if a teacher questions them about it. Number 5. "Those with power are frequently least aware of-or least willing to acknowledge- its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence." Meaning people who hold a position of power may not use and those who have no power are aware of where they stand within society. In conclusion Delpit feels that all students must be explicitly taught the rules and codes of power to achieve a better society.
Here is a somewhat lengthy review if you have the time of Other Peoples Children Delpit: Rules and Codes of Power

Sunday, October 19, 2014


(Reflection) After reading In the Service of what? by Kahne and Westheimer, it really made me think about my future. Kahne and Westheimer emphasize that service learning within a community can help students learn, rather than just read about something. I really enjoyed this article because I enjoy helping others. It was 2004 my Uncle was elected to the Town Council in North Providence. I know from the bottom of my heart my Uncle has been in politics for the right reasons, and they are to help others, and improve their quality of life. By him being elected, that was the day I fell in love with community service. Now I can only help on a small scale by making charitable donations or donating time whether it be a toy drive, food for the homeless or cancer research funds. When there are town functions going on throughout the year I try my best to donate my time whether it be a day or even just an hour to help out. I think its great more teachers and students are getting out to do community service. It really helps you learn a lot. It connection to Kozol its really sad that not much community service is established in Mott Haven.

It really does my heart well seeing happiness from others. It is one of my greatest satisfactions doing for anyone in need. If its something as small as donating a five dollar toy, knowing it will make some little guy or girl happy that's enough to make my day. In the middle of all this I really learn, and understand how lucky, and fortunate I have been growing up. The real life stories I have witnessed keep me grounded and humble as a person. Hopefully someday I achieve my goal of becoming an elected official to help others. I will never forget how fortunate I have been in my life, and I will be there for anyone in need.

Here are a few pictures of two public figures I admire for what they have done.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


(Extended comments) Unlearning the myths that bind us was an interesting piece for me. Christenen's article focused on how Disney movies, and other cartoons expose a certain way of thinking to young children. As a frequent visitor of Disney World I have always been interested in Disney's "subliminal" messages. Now they're are many messages that are obvious, and others that are questionable. It is interesting to note that in Erika's blog she shows a chart of the different races Disney has in their movies. Out of two hundred seventy one characters listed, two hundred five of them are white. That is some serious stereotyping. Now I know Disney has made some leeway on breaking up those characteristics in animation, but in one of their television shows they have incorporated the LGBT community. In connection to Safe Spaces Disney has showed two Lesbian moms on 'Good Luck Charlie' in which that they have been attacked by angry conservatives. This is a big stepping stone for Disney and their product. I feel this is one door that has opened to possibly introduce having two moms to children. It is shown in a positive limelight, so hopefully this will connect with children or at least get them thinking.

I feel that we are going to keep changing and evolving. Today we need to keep knocking down the barriers that show stereotyping. The children of the future need to be shown that no matter who you or where you come from you can be whatever you want.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


(hyperlink) Throughout my very long academic career being in the halls of different schools throughout the state I have noticed the LGBT kids in them. I became aware of the LGBT people at the start of my high school days, and all the way up to now I have always supported the LGBT community. I have met people of the LGBT community through my sister and my girlfriend. They always treat me with respect and now I would call them my friends. Why should I treat them any differently just because of their sexual orientation? I do know that the people of the LGBT community all of the world get bullied just because of who they are. Its outrageous that they get bullied just because of that. If people actually sat down with them, and got to know them they would realize that they are no different. It kills me to know that some are driven to suicide by bullies. As the text says "death should never be an option"(Intro) and its sad because those people had a chance. I know what it is like to feel hopeless, fear, and anxiety in life but you have to remember you are never alone. No matter what you are going through, you have to never give up. Just think of the people you love and just keep your head high. We are starting to make cracks in the glass for equality for all.
This is a short video on LGBT bullying awareness. It gives incite on how we need to work together to stop the bullying.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rodriguez "Aria"

(Argument) At the start of "Aria" I thought Rodriguez was going to push the argument that children need to have a positive bilingual education. Rodriguez is the son of immigrant parents from Mexico. Spanish was the only language that he knew and spoke before he entered public school in the United States. This is where Rodriguez's argument comes into play with his story. In my opinion I felt that Rodriguez was trying to argue the fact that, yes he is in the United States and needs to become accustom to the American way but needs to not lose sight of who he is. He did understand "There are codes or rules for participating in power" (Delpit) and needed to develop some sort of identity among his peers. 
One line that stuck out to me was "Without question, it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when I entered the classroom. I would have felt much less afraid. I would have trusted them and responded with ease."(34) This makes me think about the card game we played in class. Sometimes children or even ourselves as adults can be put into uncomfortable situations where we do not understand what is happening. It can be tough and almost even embarrassing to not understand something in the class room. Whether it be a language barrier or the material itself. 
In conclusion I feel that Rodriguez did the right thing. He was able to develop his English skills by practicing with his family even though at times it made things uncomfortable. Rodriguez was able to understand that it is okay to have two different identity's as long as they are for something good.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dear White Moms Beckford

Dear White Moms was a different read. I'm not entirely sure on Beckfords  message but I am going to take a try at it. From what I understood from the reading I feel that it was an outreach from a African american mother to a white mother about their children. All over the news in recent months Ferguson, Missouri has been the center of attention for the killing of a young African american 18 year old boy by a white police officer. I think the article is shedding light on how many innocent African american boys are shot and killed by police officers just by racial profiling. This mom is reaching out to white mothers to just make sure they cherish their sons because the chance of them being innocently shot is slim to none. History proves it. African american mothers go through the heart ache of losing their children under terrible circumstances. The racial profiling and violence needs to stop. 

White Privilege By Peggy McIntosh

Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege really gets her readers thinking about woman's studies and a white persons privilege. She examines day to day lifestyles from an african american person to someone who is white. I found it interesting on how she identified some daily effects of a white person. When she mentions #12 "I can swear or dress in second hand clothes or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race." That shows me if someone of African american decent swears a lot or dresses in second hand clothes they might be labeled as someone from poverty or bad morals. In my opinion that just doesn't seem fair to judge someone from the clothes on their back. Then #19 on her list really struck me. "If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race." Every single day that happens across america. It really grinds my gears that people of different race get pulled just on that principle alone. You cannot judge a book by its cover. Another one of McIntosh's effects struck me and made me think. Number 24 "I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me." This makes me think of a famous picture involving racism (in advance I apologize to anyone that finds the graphic nature of this picture tough to look at)  Medical attention should never be denied to anyone of any race. I feel that McIntosh is saying that the word privilege needs to be distributed to all. If privileges are only given to people who are White then we are failing as a nation. White privilege connected to Kozol's Amazing Grace. In my opinion, privilege plays a roll for the people of Mott Haven. Are they underprivileged people by fate? or do they actually have privileges to fight their way out of poverty. We need to analyze and study the word privilege down to its core meaning.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


(QUOTES) Amazing grace is an extremely in depth view on how almost fifty thousand people in Mott Haven, South Bronx struggle with poverty, disease and just an all around suffering area.  I feel that Kozol paints a really clear picture right off the bat on just how bad every day life is in Mott Haven. On page three Kozol states that "only seven of the 800 children do not qualify for free lunches. Five of those seven, says the principle, get reduced-price lunches because they are classified as only poor not destitute."  In my view that pretty much states that one hundred percent of the children do have free lunch because their families can't afford to pay for them. The magnitude of that number is just astronomical. Another piece of this story that caught my attention was when Kozol says on page four "Some of these houses are freezing in the winter. In dangerously cold weather, the city sometimes distributes electric blankets and space heaters to its tenants. In emergency conditions, if space heaters can't be used, because substandard wiring is overloaded, the city's practice, according to Newsday, is to pass out sleeping bags." As I stated in the beginning, Kozol really paints a clear picture on just how bad Mott Haven is. People living with just sleeping bags, sounds to me like an a apocalypse. Throughout the course of amazing grace there seems to be one constant and that is religion. Kozol is able to shadow a young boy named Cliffie. Cliffie comes from a poor family that struggles day in and day out. During the time Kozol is following Cliffie around town, they stop at a pizza place to pick up three pieces of pizza. One for Cliffie, one for his mother and one for his father. On page eight  Cliffie explains a story to Kozol about a previous pizza experience " How did you know that he was hungry if he couldn't talk" Kozol asking Cliffie about a homeless man. " He pointed to my pizza. What did you do? I gave him some! Were your parents mad at you? He (Cliffie) looks surprised by this. Why would they be mad? he asks. God told us, Share!" This might be one of the strongest parts of the dialogue between Kozol and Cliffie. I feel by Kozol explaining this story to the reader he is showing us that no matter how bad someone has it in life, they can still be good. Religion can be that barrier that divides the poor from the wealthy. If we really think about it, if someone is poor can we judge their character just based on that? Can we say to ourselves "Oh those people are poor they're just for themselves." I think this is something everyone must think about.
St.Anns in Mott Haven

Friday, September 12, 2014


My name is Anthony Mariorenzi and I am from North Providence Rhode Island. I am 24 years old and a new transfer student. Over the summer I went to Disney World with my girlfriend. I may not look like it but I am a Disney fan. I try to get to Florida at least two times a year. I am taking FNED because it ties into my Tech Ed major and hopefully someday I become a teacher. When I am not in this class I try to take it easy in the outside world. I work here and there at my part time job at Stop&Shop but mostly I try to spend time with my girlfriend, friends and family. It is tough to see them a lot during the semester. Also I am involved in local and state politics. When I was 19 years old I was elected to the North Providence Democratic Town Committee. I get involved in the local races such as Town Council and or School Committee. Hopefully this well help me get more name recognition. Thank you for reading my first post!