Reading, Writing, & Religion

English Language Arts & Queer Christian Musings

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Favorite Books: 2012-2013

At the start of this school year, I challenged my students to read 20 books a year, 10 books per semester. To wrap up this school year, I asked my students to choose at least one favorite book of the entire school year, not just this semester. Some students just gave me one title, but quite a few gave me multiple titles, which made me happy. A few students had to rack their brains to land on a title, but others knew immediately which book was their favorite.

I put all the titles into a PowerPoint. I initially had students add their own slides, but some of my sophomores could not handle such a responsibility. One student, instead of getting the image of his favorite book, opened my My Photos folder and inserted a picture of me that I had on hand for a bulletin board. I was working on other things in the classroom, and students were supposed to just go up one at a time and add their slides. Anyway, I quickly retook the reigns and was able to power through all my students and their titles in about two class days at the start of class. Of course, some students were absent, so I had to wait for their return and for their titles. I didn’t want to leave anyone out. Then I found this helpful video on how to convert a PowerPoint 2007 into a video.

Basically, I had to save all the slides of my PowerPoint as JPEGs and then import them into Windows MovieMaker. I did all this on my school’s computer because my laptop is way old and needs replaced. Besides, I had already created the PowerPoint during class time. It only made sense to finish the video at school. I typed up a script for the introduction to the video and recorded it using Sound Recorder, found in the Accessories > Entertainment folders. It took me a while to realize I needed to zoom in on all my slides to make the audio last the perfect length. Anyway, here’s the result, which I will share with my current and future students:

Note: My school computer could not link up to YouTube, so I had to save the MovieMaker file to my flash drive, move it to my laptop, and upload it to YouTube from my laptop.


OCTE Fall Conference

I first learned about the Oklahoma Council of Teachers of English (OCTE) when I received the Geraldine Burns award from them when I was a junior in college. Oklahoma Baptist University selected me for this award because of my promise as a future English teacher. After I left college and began teaching, I joined NCTE (the National Council of Teachers of English), but I delayed my OCTE membership. After a year or so, I learned of their presence from a student writing contest. Flash forward to my eighth year of teaching, and I’m now serving on OCTE’s executive board. We’re planning our 2013 fall conference, and I’d love to have a great turnout of Oklahoma English teachers, current and future alike. Here are all the details you need:


Oklahoma Council of Teachers of English

Fall 2013 Conference: NATIVE LEARNERS

Saturday, September 28, 2013

featuring Sonia Gensler

Oklahoma author of The Dark Between & The Revenant


The theme of the conference is Native Learners, focusing on two strands: (1) Native American literature as a source of innovative lessons & (2) the relationship between student teachers and mentor teachers.

  • Do you teach any Native American literature?
  • What tribal prose and poetry enlivens your classroom?
  • What was your student teaching experience like?
  • What advice would you offer future student teachers?
  • How could mentor teachers improve their craft?

These questions and more will guide our breakout sessions. Of course, if you wish to propose a session outside our theme, feel free. Use this Google form to submit your proposal. Presenters will receive one-year free membership in OCTE.


The fall conference, sponsored by the Department of English at Southern Nazarene University, will be held on the SNU campus at the Herrick Building & Auditorium on the corner of NW 39th Expressway and N. Asbury Ave. in Bethany, on Saturday, September 28, from 9:00am—2:00pm with a break for lunch at area restaurants.


A detailed schedule with breakout session descriptions will be emailed to registrants the second week of September. The complete schedule will also be posted on the OCTE website.

8:30-8:55         Registration
9:00-9:25         Opening Session: Oklahoma author Sonia Gensler
9:30-10:15       Breakout Session 1
10:20-11:05     Breakout Session 2
11:10-11:55     Breakout Session 3
12:00-12:55     Lunch at area restaurants
1:00-2:00         Closing Session


Registration is exclusively online on this Google form. Please register by Thursday, September 26, 2013. Contact Laura Bolf-Beliveau, OCTE treasurer, with any registration questions at Registration fee includes morning coffee, tea, and snacks and all breakout sessions. Lunch is on your own. Some restaurants are within walking distance.


We are unable to accommodate registration at the door, so please register early. Those who are not members of OCTE are required to purchase a year’s membership to attend the conference; however, first-year teachers and college students get free OCTE membership. No reimbursement can be offered for cancellations.

Free    SNU College Student
$20      College Student
$20      First-Year Teacher
$20      Presenter
$20      OCTE Member
$45      Non-OCTE Member (includes a 12-month OCTE membership)


The Herrick Building & Auditorium is located at #1 on the SNU campus map. Free parking is available on the street and one block west of the building in the Bethany First Church of the Nazarene parking lot.



Use this handy Google Map to navigate to some favorite area restaurants.

  • Ann’s Chicken Fry House
  • Arby’s
  • Bella Italia
  • Birrieria Diaz
  • Boom-a-rang Diner
  • Braum’s
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant
  • City Bites
  • Flatire Burgers
  • Lai Thai
  • Los Amigos
  • Papa Angelo’s Pizzeria
  • Sonic
  • Swadley’s Bar-B-Q
  • Thai Sweet Basil Express



Twitter: @oklacte


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