04
Dec
08

End of School

I remember last month how I could not wait for this semester to be over. I was sick of the homework and just did not want to do anything anymore. Now it is the last day of class and I am sad that I will not be attending any of these classes ever again, unless I fail (which I am pretty sure I won’t).

I have created a lot of good and bad memories throughout this semester. Most of the good memories were from my education classes; ECMP 355, and EPS 100. My good memories have been from my field placement experiences in my EPS 100 class, and the face to face classes within ECMP 355. My bad memories are all from my Biology 100 class, not because I dislike the class, but because it is so much information to learn and understand at once. The biology lab exam was the most horrible experience ever. I studied three days ahead (which is a lot for me) and felt like I was prepared for the worst. I went in and my spirits were crushed. I am convinced that I failed the lab exam, and all of the time I spent studying felt like a waste of time because it did not help me with the exam at all.

I am scared for my biology 100 and math 110 finals. I know what I am doing in math, but there has been so many times where I have completely bombed on a final because of making stupid mistakes. I really hope I do not do that for this math final. Biology 100 I am worried about because it is just so much information to memorize. I will have to force myself to study every day before the final, and hopefully I will do ok.

In high school I was involved in so many activities and always around people I could talk to. I feel as if I have been deprived of this activity throughout this semester. I try to go out and have fun, but it is just not the same. I really feel that next semester I need to put time away for myself to have fun and relax or else I will completely burn out. I would like to join the concert band at the University of Regina, but I am not sure if I want to take that much time away from my studies. I hate being in limbo and not being able to decide what I want to do. Ugh.

Well on a happy note I can not wait until finals are over and the Christmas holiday begins. But I know I will miss the classes.

Here is just a funny comic that made my day. I always bite the head off first.


04
Dec
08

Final Project for All to See

So here is my final project for all to see.  As you probably already know I did this project as a partnership with Joelene.  We first created this presentation in Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007.  For some reason the audio was really bad when we tried to record our voices in PowerPoint, so we decided to use audacity to record the slides instead.  We then uploaded our PowerPoint into SlideShare.  After uploading our presentation we uploaded our audio into archive.org .  We did this so we could have a URL of our audio so we could paste the URL into slideshare and create a slidecast that we could synchronize with our presentation.  Even though this sounds pretty easy it took us forever to figure out, and was really hard to do.

Hope you enjoy our Final Project for ECMP 355!

03
Dec
08

Comments make a Difference

Today when I went on my blog I actually had two comments awaiting my approval.  I looked at the first comment and realized that it was a student from one of the online classrooms I was mentoring.  He responded to one of the question I had asked him.  I had asked him what his favorite part of the King Tut exhibit was, that his class went on.  It pretty much made my day to see that someone actually read one of the comments I had made on their blog and took the time to respond back.  Thank you Caleb!

02
Dec
08

Mentorship Assessment

I was part of two online classrooms this semester. My first classroom was a grade five classroom run by Mrs. Davis.  The main page of this classroom is called Reflective Voices.  My second classroom was a 7/8 split run by Mrs. Hoffman.  The main page of this classroom is called Mavis Hoffman – Blogmeister. Each blog was fun to read and comment on.

There was one thing that I found hard about mentoring these two classrooms.  It was hard because they did not put up new posts very often, especially one of them.  Plus the one blog only had five students in it.  Whenever there was a new post to comment on I took advantage of it, but at the same time I felt as if I was not doing as much as I should have been because of the lack of blog posts.

I made sure to comment on every students blog.  I would also comment on 3-6 blog posts a week, some weeks more than others.

One student did ask a question to me about math and science and why she gets better marks in math than science, even though she likes both subjects.  I repelied that it is because math is a process and the sciences are based more on memorization and application.  People tend to get better marks when it is not complete memorization, when of course they have the gift of being able to learn and adapt processes.

Other than this one comment, not one student answered back to any of my blogs, but I figure this is because of lack of time to blog. One thing that I found odd is that I would comment on a blog, but the comment would not show up on the page, but if I clicked on the RSS feed it would. I can not figure out why that is, so if someone could tell me why that would be great.

When I would comment on a students blog I would pick out something that I really enjoyed about the blog or thought they had done a good job on and tell them why I thought it was so good.  Next I would relate to their post by telling a story of my own, or relate their blog to the world in some way.  I would than give constructive criticism if I thought it was necessary, and then would tell them to keep up the amazing work.

Here are some examples:

1. Hey Ashton:
That was really sweet of you to make a comment like that. It always makes people feel good when you show appreciation. I want you to know that Caleb was right about your blog. Next time you post, make sure to revise your work, because in the end it will make it so much better. Keep up the good work!

2. Dear Filemon:

Being the principle would be pretty cool, but I know that being a principle is a lot of work. Creating more outside activity is a great idea, but you have to remember that learning is a big part of school. Do you think any of your changes in schools will enhance learning? One last thing is that being a principle forever would be a long time. Would you really want to be around kids forever?

3. Dear Hunter:
That sounds like an amazing fall break. I am completely jealous. I have never seen such things. I did pet a sting ray at a zoo once. What was your overall favorite part about your fall break?

Overall I thought this was a great experience.  It has shown me different ways in which I can approach a class blog.  I do know that I want to have a class blog for sure so that the students, parents, and I will always be kept up to date.  It will also be great for students because they can get a hold of what they need pretty much anywhere, instead of just at school like it used to be.  This mentorship has really inspired me, and changed the way I will approach teaching.  I know that technology is a tool that I should use to my advantage to help me and my students grow.

For a mark I will give myself an 8 out of 10, because I feel I could have commented more often that I did.  One thing that I have realized from this mentorship is that when I have a class blog it will be required for the students to comment on each others blogs.  I will have commenting required because the students will be able to reflect and learn from each other.

02
Dec
08

Social Learning Assessment

In the beginning of this class, my goal was to comment on five blogs a week.  As a person that really likes to read into what others have written I was able to accomplish more than five comments, depending on the week.  When I comment on others blogs I make a connection on what they wrote about, tell a relating story that I had been through, and than maybe make a comment on improvement if I felt it was necessary.

Because I was with a partner for my final project, this made it a bit easier for me to interact with others in different ways.  Joelene and I texted, phoned, emailed, used msn messenger, and met at the university to get in contact for our final project to be completed.  I have left blog comments, emailed, texted and talked to others within this class throughout the semester.  I mostly did reflective comments on others blogs if I found their blog to be well done or interesting.  I would also comment to a person if I saw them and liked one of their blog posts.  If someone left a comment on one of my blogs that asked a question, I would leave a comment on my blog, answering their questions.

Here is are some examples:

1. wow. are you actually a guider pilot? LETS just say wow. that is great. So lucky. Really admirable that you are able to do that. I liked your slide show- I like the comic in the middle with the arrows. Don’t we all just feel like that sometimes. Not really too sure where we are going, if is the right way or wrong. My philosophy is just to say yes.. I am on the right path. Someone once told me that I should never ask if I can do something… if you don’t ask no one can say no.

– Yes I am a glider pilot. Got it through Royal Canadian Air Cadets. One thing people don’t realize is that through cadets you can get paid to get your glider and power license. Of course you have to earn this, and it is a fairly long process, but it is completely worth it in the end.

2. haha oh my gosh! i would have went crazy! i never take buses, except like once in moose jaw, so i doubt i would be able to get the hang of it! how do you normally get home if not on the bus? i would have been freaking out if the bus wasn’t going where i thought it was going haha phoning people and trying to figure out what was up! But i get lost driving… soooo its the same situation haha, like i forget to take exits, or i think i should take that exit then i dont and i wish i did, then cant figure out how to turn around… its usually an adventure!!! were you by yourself? it would have been fun if you were with a friend, i wouldnt freak if i was with a friend haha! You should have just went around talking to random people haha just network your way around regina! haha

– I normally walk home,but its a 25 minute walk, and it was pretty cold and windy outside so I decided I should learn how to take the bus. I was kinda freaking out but I am overall a fairly calm person so that helped me a lot. Yes I was by myself and there was not very many people on the bus. Since it was my first time I sat at the front and everyone else was at the back so I couldn’t really talk to anyone. This morning I took the bus to the university and got on the right one which was awesome. What made it funny though was that the bus driver was the same one as yesterday when I went on my grand adventure.

3. I have commented on many peoples blogs.  I feel as if I have made my comments meaningful and relevant, as well as giving my own insight.  The only thing I feel I could have improved on was asking more questions in my comments to make the person I was commenting on think and reflect upon their post.  I have even had a big discussion with a lady about tattoos and teachers.  This was a deep and meaningful conversation that broadened my view of what others see and think about tattoos on teachers.

Learning from others was a major point within this class.  I really enjoyed getting comments from others, because it made me see other peoples points of view and I would also learn something new.  By reading other peoples blogs it also would shine light on a new perspective and teach me something new.

Some of my favorite comments I have received that I felt helped me learn were:

1.  You definitely have some great points. I agree that the more negative someone is told the more likely they are to fail (basically). In your future class how do you think you will be able (or will you be able) to make sure something like this doesn’t happen? Obviously we can’t always tell a student (or anyone for that matter) that they are doing great when really they need some constructive criticism. But, again… how can we differentiate between constructive criticism and negative feedback, because really to a student, they tend to sound like the same thing?

– This comment made me reflect upon my blog post, which in turn made me learn.  It also made me think about what being a teacher will really be like.  Knowing that I have the power as a teacher to brighten up a students day or crush their spirits really moved me.  It was something I had never thought of before.

2. I would dispute the assertion that technology is a fad – it’s a tool, like books and paper, and chalk and slate before it. It is the path by which we reach a goal, not a goal in and of itself. With that in mind, it doesn’t matter which tool you use (though there are compelling arguments in favor of technology over chalk and slates), because they will always be changing and improving. The important part is what you’re using them for.

– I found this to be a very interesting comment.  I had never thought of technology in this way before.  At one time everything is new and scary to everyone, but once we get used to it, it will seem normal to everyone.  After this post I realized that I shouldn’t look at technology as something scary, but should embrace it as a tool that will help me to teach students in a different way.

3. Technology is not a fad-it is here to stay. In fact, it is so embedded in our culture, particularly the youth subculture, that it is not a factor that impacts youth, it is now determining and defining the culture. Parents and teachers have the responsibility to keep pace with the technology as it changes, as well as incorporate it in their families/classrooms. This is how we can keep youth connected to the family and learning. I discuss these issues at great length in my new book, “Generation Text: Raising Well Adjusted Kids In An Age Of Instant Everything.” As a clinical psychologist, I am concerned about how kids are growing up. Parents and teachers have the opportunity to transform Generation Text into Generation Best if they adopt the technology and use it beneficially, instead of fighting it.

-This post blew my mind.  I never realized how many people are actually trying to fight technology instead of adapting to it and using it to their advantage.  Technology is actually part of our culture, and their are so many people that still do not understand how to use it.  I feel as if I know nothing, but this post made me realize how important it is going to be for me as a teacher to keep up with technology and help me and my students keep up with the change of technology.

4. I read this book as well. I thought it was really interesting and valid. It is true. Right now I am pre interning at an elementary school. The classroom is not the homey’s classroom I have seen but it is nice. I remember back to my classroom’s in high school and I to found it quite sad. Many were empty rooms with desks, a few enthusiastic posters, and a chalk board. Learning needs stimulus.

– this post is what made me think about how sad a lot of high school classrooms really are.  After reading this post I decided to myself that I would never teach in a cold harsh classroom.  It made me think about how classrooms really do need stimulus, and that we do that by interaction and constantly changing the pace of the classroom.  My goal is to make my homeroom a wonderful place to be.

Here is a great quote that I completely love that I feel relates to social learning.

Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Gandhi

I would give myself a 12.5 out of 15 on social learning.  I feel as if I could have commented on more blogs that I did.

30
Nov
08

My Future Classroom

As a first year university student, I have not given a lot of thought to what kind of classroom I would like to teach in.  I can honestly say that I am not even completely sure that I want to teach at times.  I am not a fan of how much work being a teacher will be, but every time I enter the classroom I fall back in love with the idea of becoming a teacher.  So at the end of each day I keep my eyes on the goal of becoming a teacher.

Throughout my  first semester I have been introduced to many great ideas for classrooms. I do know that I am a big fan of quotes and posters on the wall to make it more homier for the students.  I also want my students work to be shown within the classroom.  I want my students to feel comfortable and safe within my classroom so that their learning will be optimized.  Some ways that I believe I can make my students feel safe is by making sure there are windows so they can receive fresh air and sunlight throughout the day.  I also believe that peer learning and discussions are important.  To do this I would place their desks in groups or have tables in which they can sit around.  I want my students to be able to bounce ideas off of each other and reflect about all lessons taught.  I believe that by telling a story and relating the material to the students and having them discuss the material, it will optimize their learning.

One thing I would like to try in a high school setting is to have a class pet.  I want to see if a class pet will bring students closer together and if it will make more students want to come to school.

I would like to start off each of my classes by telling a joke or a story, and get the students minds thinking.  The joke or story should be something that the students can relate to, as well as relating to the class material of the day.  I believe if students hear a meaningful story they can relate to, they will be able to remember what was taught in the class better.

Having a class blog/website is definitely something I want to do.  This way students will have an updated list of homework they need to do, and have contact with me at all times.  Students will also be able to learn from each other.  The blog will also have all the class material posted on it.  I want the blog to also be something fun for them to use.

I do not have much experience with a smart board, but I am positive it will be something I will use in my future classroom.

For a final statement, I want my classroom to be a fun and memorable experience.  I believe in order for that to happen I need to have my students constantly interact with each other and me, and learn by doing.  If they are part of the learning, they will learn more effectively.  Obviously the last thing I want to do is have a classroom in which I lecture.  I want to introduce an idea they can relate to and guide my students while discussing the idea.  I want a classroom in which my students feel comfortable asking questions and discussing new ideas.  I want them to be able to reflect and learn, and enjoy it.

//farm3.static.flickr.com/2085/2108050388_f734d089d0.jpg?v=0

Uploaded on December 12, 2007 by Willowpoppy http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2085/2108050388_f734d089d0.jpg?v=0

This is a picture of an elementary classroom.  I love the organized mess of it.  When I am in a classroom like this I feel at home, and warm and fuzzy inside.  I am hoping that by having a room, kind of like this, it will also make my students feel at home.

29
Nov
08

Reflections on new information

Something that has pushed my thinking is the concept of hemisphere specialization. The left brain thinker is logical, rational, analytical, objective, and looks at parts rather than wholes, while the right brain thinker is more random, intuitive, holistic, able to synthesize, be subjective, and looks at the whole picture. From reading this section I am wondering how an educator is able to create a learning environment that will incorporate both hemispheres. How can we tell what side of the brain a child uses more? How does learning affect each side of the brain, and what type of learning is most beneficial to both? What type of activities and classes are most beneficial to the growth of a brain?

Emotion and mental attitude are very important to learning. Every child has their own set of emotions, and deals with their emotions in their own way. Emotions rule a child’s life, so we need to be able to help children cope with their emotions as well as being able to boost their emotional appearance. If we can help students to control their emotions and believe in themselves, how much will students improve in the school system?

Students learn best from others. Students learn from stories told by others that they can relate too, they learn from group work and most of all they learn from observing other people. Children are observing others from a very young age. They figure out how life works around them and the necessary skills to survive. One important thing that we need to do is have positive and moral role models for students to observe. This is hard to do because we cannot control what students see outside of school. How can we change these negative influences of society and their environments so that children will become more just? Will schooling ever come to the point of all schools being boarding schools again where children are monitored constantly and taught the proper ways of life?

They say that teaching is successful when learning is the result. Students can memorize and do well on an exam and then once the exam is done they will forget everything that was on the exam. This is not proof of real genuine learning. How do we really know that learning has occurred in a student? Do students learn best in a strict lecture or a student involved lesson? I believe that for students to learn they need to be part of the process. We need to be able to interact with the students and make sure they are taking part and reflecting upon the information given to them. As a teacher we also need to be able to have professional judgment with our students. I will be able to pursue this topic in my near future and will hopefully figure out the balance between interaction and judgment to create successful learning for the students.




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