Learning With EDTC 300

What a semester it has been! I came into this semester with quite a negative feeling towards technology. I knew it had benefits for the classroom, I had used Kahoot, speech to text on Google Doc, Splash Math, and Dance Mat Typing, along with some YouTube videos during my internship. So, I did know that there were some advantages to using tech in the classroom. However, my fear, lack of competence and confidence, along with my “old soul” made me often shy away from technology and from learning new ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. 

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I am so thankful for my #edtc300 course! My incredible classmates for being sowilling to help me, encourage me, and share their resources and perspectives. My instructor has also supported me and helped push me to be positive and just TRY some of the tech she was introducing, thank you Katia. My biggest cheerleader was Mackenzie. She was always pushing me to try new things, keep trying to stay on top of assignments, and she was my model for my learning project– thank you so much girl!



My contribution to others learning was minimal compared to the help I had been receiving all semester as I knew very little about technology in the beginning. However, I tried to contribute my ideas and feelings during Zoom classes. While on twitter I worked hard to share articles regarding education and technology in education. I often lacked in contributing to others learning in our slack community, which made me feel very unhelpful and sometimes stupid. I felt bad when people would ask questions and I would have no idea how to help. I am very thankful to those who asked questions and answered questions because I learned a lot from our slack community. Lastly, commenting on other’s blogs were not a huge strong suit of mine either. I often put commenting on blogs on the back burner when it came to assignments and the other things going on in my life, not an excuse, but not prioritized the way it should have been.


Slack 

Slack became a space where I could receive help and feel safe to ask questions and get advice. I never really contributed answers however, as I usually did not know the answer to people’s questions- or where to even begin looking for the answers! However, I received lots of help from my classmates and AMAZING MENTOR Kaytlyn!

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Slack made it super easy to organize our discussions and thoughts as a group. I found this super useful when looking for information or when I needed to ask a question. It took me a little while to understand threads, but once I did, it made it super easy to have a little bit more private conversation with a specific person. I think slack is something that I could incorporate in the future for parents and students with extra-curricular and school events. You would be able to keep it very organized.


Twitter

Oh, the twitter world. Throughout each year of my degree we had been asked to get twitter for various events and classes, however it was never mandatory and therefore I never got it. I had it when I was real young and didn’t understand any of it. So, I didn’t want to get now. Thank goodness I was forced to because it has become the heart of my personal learning network (PLN)! I have been able to view, communicate, read, and engage with so many other educators and students to further my understanding of various aspects of teaching and learning.

I have been able to contribute to others learning via twitter the easiest this semester as I found it soothing to scroll through twitter and read various conversations and articles. I was able to retweet, comment, and contribute to polls easily and efficiently. I learned that hashtags are a great way to help find a whole other network of people and pages via your interests. I mostly used #edtc300 and #edtc400 as these would reach my audience of my classmates and our mentors who were all working hard to contribute to the learning of technology in the classroom.

Here is a little slideshow of a few of the ways I was able to connect and contribute to others’ learning:

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These are only a few examples of things that I did to contribute to others learning on twitter. I answered several polls that classmates had posted as well, however I did not remember to screenshot them.

My peers reciprocated the help in my own learning on twitter my retweeting, commenting, participating in polls and more! Thank you all for your help and motivation throughout the semester!


Blogging

I have provided a few examples of comments I have given on blogs.

The 1st photo is on Kennedy’s blog, “A Coding Conquest”. I felt like we connected when it came to this post, as we both did not know much about coding. However, we both realized that they have great benefits in the classroom! She also taught me how to add slideshows to my blogs, THANK YOU!

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The 2nd photo is also on Kennedy’s blog, “Rock Got No Reason and I Have No Time!”. She was talking about the stress she was enduring in the middle of the semester and I connected as I was feeling it too. I completely understood that she was probably very tired and overwhelmed while trying to finish the post, but I reminded her it is important to reread our blogs as they are a flash of our professionalism.

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The 3rd photo is on Danica’s blog, “Can You Hear the Difference?”.  I LOVE Danica’s learning project, learning to play the banjo is super cool. I have always wanted to learn the guitar or banjo, but I don’t have the ear or coordination for it. Danica is doing amazing and I hope she sticks with it after this course. She clearly has the ear for it, as she tuned her own banjo, I HAD to let her know how amazing that was.

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The 4th photo is on Danica’s blog, “‘Amazing Grace’- It is Not a Race”. I commented that I too share a love for the song “Amazing Grace” and that I thought it was amazing how Danica is taking her time to learn the basics of the banjo and not trying to rush the progress. She reminded me that it is ok to take your time and learn the helpful, simple steps before attempting the big ones. I also gave her my vote for her next song choice.

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The 5th photo is on Courtney’s blog, “Nama’seeya later”. This was her final learning project post and I found it amazing how much she has improved in her stretching and knowledge of Yoga. The idea of before and after pictures was a great one!

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The 6th photo is on Courtney’s blog again, “ZZZ’s for days with bedtime yoga”. This post gave me the idea to use lists in my own posts because I loved how it broke up the paragraphs and ideas in her post, so I complimented her and used the idea in my own posts.

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The 7th photo is on Jana’s blog, “Guess whose back, back, back… back again”. This was my first time visiting Jana’s blog and I loved it. I really enjoyed the theme and how personal it was. She inspired me to try to personalize my own blog more. So, thank you Jana.

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Some New Things I have Learned 

  • what a digital identity is
  • internet safety and teaching it very young
  • add widgets to my blog
  • the meaning of hashtags on twitter
  • how to convert word documents to pdfs
  • how to upload pdfs on wordpress
  • how to add pages and categories to my blog and adjust them accordingly
  • use slack as a way to collaborate and communicate
  • create my own Zoom webinar/ meeting
  • how to add extensions to my Chrome
  • how to create a screencast
  • how to find articles of interest to me through Feedly
  • what a tweet deck is and does
  • how to participate in a twitter chat
  • how to create a fun iMovie with various effects, sounds, and more
  • and several resources for the classroom 

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The list could be a lot more extensive, but as you can see I have come SO far and I owe that to this course! I know that technology will be important and useful in my future classrooms. I feel confident in incorporating various gadgets, extensions, assessments, games, and learning tools to help engage and support the learning of my students.

The Grand Finale

Today I put my hair styling skills to the test. Using my previous blog posts and my initial attempt at my goal hair style, I attempted my goal one last time. I knew I needed a braid, curls, twists, and a messy bun to complete my dream hairstyle.

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I am OBSESSED with this hairstyle!

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Unfortunately, I could not do it justice! BOOOOO.


Here is my process of doing Mackenzie’s hair today.


I am super disappointed in the outcome of my hairstyle. I tried really hard, I applied ideas and techniques I learned throughout the semester. SO WHY?!

WHY DIDN’T IT WORK! UGH! 

Here’s my thinking:

  • is it because her hair looks like a different texture?
  • is it because of the colour?
  • is it because she doesn’t have layers in her hair, like the picture?
  • is it because I need more practice?
  • am I even good enough to do hair for special event?

I needed answers, so I began Google searching. I came upon this article, Choosing the Right Hairstyle for Your Hair Texture and Density. The article suggests that different hair textures and densities COULD change the outcome of a hairstyle and the look of someone’s hair in general. This, kind of, answers my questions about the hair texture and layers causing my outcome to be different from the original image.

I am also not naive enough to think I am a master hair stylist now. I do know I need to work on some of my skills, especially the hair twisting. To me it is the part of the hairstyle that seems the most “off”.

What are your thoughts? Please be honest, I love constructive criticism. 


While I feel disappointed, sad, and frustrated that this hairstyle didn’t turn out exactly like the picture there are some pros:

  • the braid looks stellar
  • I love how nicely the braid laid over the bun
  • the curls look amazing
  • I masters curling hair with a flat iron
  • the bun had some volume due to my own thoughts and knowledge about hair

So, while there is room for growth, I also know that there are some great things about the hair style and my learning. I like trying my new skills on my own hair too. It is a HUGE difference working with Mackenzie’s thick, dense, long hair compared to my thin, fine, short hair! I am even considering getting extensions this summer to add thickness and length to my own hair!


Let’s reflect on some of my growth!

Remember when I tried to curl hair with a flat iron using a twisting method?! Yeah, me too and I apologize again to Mackenzie’s poor hair!

Remember that incredible French Fishtail Braid?! ME TOO!!

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Remember that super symmetrical and elegant bun?! I still drool over the precision on that one!!

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I have learned so many neat hair styles that I would have never explored before, like that Mohawk Pull Throw Braid! Through the learning of Pinterest, YouTube, and other blogs I have successfully developed hair styling skills that could help me style people’s hair for their big events!


I have learned so much more than just hair styling. I have developed new skills in Screencasting and iMovie. My first video had very little editing done to it. Through using iMovie more and playing with the different effects and settings I believe I was able to create more aesthetically pleasing videos with special effects, voice overs, and freeze frames. I feel like I could confidently go into my classroom and school and volunteer to help create or teach about iMovie and creating videos with it.


Thank you to everyone who took part in this learning journey by contributing to my blog posts, giving me advice and compliments. I truly appreciate it. 

The Dino Summary

Hey all, this is our final week of EDTC 300. We were asked to create an artefact that helped summarize our learning journey throughout the semester. I worked with Mackenzie to complete the project.

CAUTION: I guarantee you will laugh, so please refrain from eating or drinking while viewing, you WILL choke from laughing! 🙂 ENJOY 


Even through this video experience with Mackenzie we learned so much about video editing using iMovie. We learned how to add audio over an image, zoom in on our faces, add sound effects, and add transitions. I had been using iMovie for other videos, this was the first time I really used effects and created something I am really proud of. 

Mackenzie and I were determined to add some humour to our video and to capture our audiences’ attention right away, exactly what we like to do when we are teaching! We incorporated both of our learning projects by having our hair styled by myself and our dance choreographed by Mackenzie! We also decided to use an authentic response to our learning experience, no script! We thought by doing this we would capture our true emotions towards what we have learned in the course.

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Do to our learning about fake news Mackenzie and I were able to create our own news article. While this news article is quite obviously fake, there are serious modifications that were made to demonstrate how you identify fake news online. We pieced together three different images and wrote our own story.



Some of our takeaways from this semester:

We are thankful for the experiences, tools, and new skills we developed throughout the course. We both feel more confident and prepared to incorporate technology in the classroom in ways that will benefit our students!

 

Environmental Health- Plastic Consumption Inquiry

Hello! For my EHE 258 course on personal health and wellbeing I have taken on a health promotion project. I decided to focus on my environmental health, as it is something I often don’t think about. I specifically focused on my own plastic consumption, using the Greenpeace campaign as a guide to help me reduce my “plastic footprint”.

As part of my promotion I have put together a grade four inquiry unit that can be adapted for any grade. There are three detailed lesson plans that help start the unit and then an extensive list of outcomes, activity ideas, and resources to help guide a classroom inquiry project/ promotion with your students.

I hope you find the unit useful and adaptable. Please let me know anything you might add, change, or modify! I love hearing different perspectives and ideas!

Plastic Consumption Mini Unit

Refreshing the Curls

It has been a crazy busy few weeks. Only 5 more days of classes left in my education degree!! How crazy?! That being said these last two weeks are insanely busy with due dates, tests, and final reflections. My stress levels have been maxed out with school and all the “life” things that have been going on as I prepare to finish my degree and head into (hopefully) my own classroom!

This week I decided to refresh my memory on how to curl hair, without twisting, using a flat iron! I had to refer back to my previous post to remember how this method of curling hair worked. Looks like…. I STILL GOT IT!

Mackenzie’s hair turned out great and I was happy I was able to jump right back into this skill, like riding a bike! This skill refresher is going to help me with my final goal hairstyle next week! So, stay tuned!

If you need a refresher of where I started in all of this and what my end goal is, check out my very first learning project blog, Follow Me as I Learn to Style Hair!

Classrooms & Coding

This week we learned about coding in our education technology course.Image result for codingI have heard a few people say they have been coding in the classroom, but I never looked into it because my assumption of what it was, made me believe it was crazy difficult. My assumption was that coding was a black screen lit up with lines and lines of green numbers and letters in which students would have to know formulas to “fix” or solve the codes to make their screen do a function. It was very stereotypical of me to think this way and made me close minded

However, class today, along with my professor and fellow classmates proved me so wrong. They helped me become open minded and understand the true benefits of coding in the classroom. Because coding can actually be super fun, engaging, and interactive. A great website is Hour of Code. There are numerous themes that students can choose from according to grade levels or age.

*I apologize that the video seems “cut off”, Screencastify only lets you video so long without the premium version, so I stopped abruptly, the rest of my thoughts are written below.*

After playing a couple games, getting frustrated, and confused, I was uncertain the purpose or benefits this would even have in the classroom.


My classmates provided me with great examples of how coding may be essential in the classroom and full of various learning opportunities including, but not limited to:

  • Computational thinking skills are learned and enhanced
  • Graphing coordinates and other mathematical terms
  • Following instructions
  • Sentence structure
  • Building stories around content
  • Digital literacy
  • Reading skills and engagement
  • Numeracy skills and engagement
  • Many jobs are digital based now, so these computer schools are essential

Screen Shot 2019-03-30 at 6.21.37 PM.pngExamples could be doing one level of code and then writing a story about what happened during that code movement. You could also use it as an example of procedural writing. The opportunities are endless if you are willing to think outside the box and allow your students to express their ideas related to code and how it is supporting their learning you can really take coding anywhere.

If you are like me, and need to continue researching how to implement coding, this page has many articles explaining tips, tricks, and benefits to coding in the classroom.

 

Updos & New “Views”

Hey everyone! I just wanted to say my title doesn’t make a ton of sense, but it rhymed and seemed catchy, haha! I did another updo today and tried some new ways of presenting my learning project.

I tried a vlog type style for sharing my learning project this week. I explain most of my process through the video below. I just wanted to add that I now love Screencastify for Google Chrome. I can definitely see myself using it in the future.

Without further ado, enjoy my journey today.

 

Here is the link to Missy Sue’s website if you are interested!

And here is the link to just my updo video!

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Follow Me as I Learn to Style Hair

Welcome to My Learning Project

I have always been fascinated by hair styles. I have very fine and thin hair, making it really difficult to style. I have always longed for long, thick hair so I could try all the “in” and “cool” hairstyles that didn’t work on my fine hair. I even considered hair school, to learn how to style, cut and dye hair before realizing that working and learning with children was my ultimate dream. So, I am taking this opportunity of a learning project to try to “tap into” my hair styling dreams again.

Some of the struggles I foreseen with the hair style I chose to work towards included: working with very thick, long hair, curling hair with a flat iron, creating depth and texture in the style, braiding sideways (and using braids other than French braids), and hiding bobby pins. I wanted to learn more before attempting the hair style, I even typed it in a few times, but I forced myself to hold off until I gave it my best effort from what I already know about hair styling. I could tell you about the process and my struggles, but it is best you watch it for yourself. Please take a look at my YouTube video for an insight on the work I have ahead of me during this learning journey.

I am looking forward to learning each of the individual steps of this particular hairstyle throughout my journey. I am also looking forward to learning about different products that will benefit the health of my models’ hair.  And my big dream is that someday I will be asked to help style hair for grads, bridesmaids, and maybe even brides themselves.

Please, follow me on my journey in finding reliable and useful resources to develop a lifelong skill in hair styling. Each week I will seek out, use, and critique hair styling videos and articles. All while improving my own videos, skills, and technology use.

Final Reflections

I apologize in advance for the lack of images in this section. Remembering to take photos of the students learning and work was not a strong suit of mine. I also did not have clear consent about posting images of my students on my blog.

I am someone who takes a lot of time to critically reflect on my teaching practices, my lesson plans, my classroom management, and my daily routines. I think one of the most important parts of being a teacher is being able to be reflective and accepting of criticism. 


Monday, October 1st 

Thursday was such a fantastic day. Our student who has been coming half days, tried his first full day of class, and he did amazing! Phys. ed. had previously been a trigger for this student to become violent and to run away, but not this time. This student participated in our game that we played, he played catch with my coop and he only left once, but it was not out of anger. This was a huge win for this student, and it made me feel incredibly awesome. S also enjoyed her time, participating in our game for a few minutes and then playing with a ball with her EA, it was great. These students have both come a long way from what I have heard. Warms my heart.

The rest of the day was great as well, I taught our next lesson in health, continuing talking about labels and judgement. I had the students do a little worksheet to explain what they knew about the topic, before beginning we reviewed all the words and talked about them before I gave them their worksheet. However, all the grade 3’s and one grade 4 were very confused and were not able to answer most of the questions. I plan to reteach these students the ideas during intervention this week before our next health class.


Friday, October 5th 

Wednesday was an interesting and tough day. Our poor K-2 teacher had an emergency, yet chose to stay and finish his day at school, instead of leaving. In the afternoon I went and volunteered in his classroom, helping his students with a Thanksgiving craft, this way he was able to work on some other things, while I managed the classroom and assisted the students. And in last class we had our grade 3-5’s join the K-2’s in phys ed, allowing the K-2 teacher time to do his meeting with the literacy coaches. This phys. ed class was absolutely insane. There were 28 bodies in the gym and a lot of children with their ears turned off. My coop and I had to do a lot of classroom and student management. We figured out that it worked best to play a more structured game than a tag game. Once we started playing musical hoops the students began listening much better. Wednesday was a good first taste of a K-2 room. I look forward to more opportunities of being in that classroom and learning from those students and their teacher.

*It is so important to be flexible and to help your colleagues when you can.


Monday, November 12th

 This past week was a busy one. Teaching full time is intense, but also really fun. I like having the control of class time and transitions as well as feeling like I am making decisions about the students education to help them succeed. I am just so thankful for this experience. I was having a conversation with another staff member and we discussed how the education degree would be even more remarkable if we could try every grade in our range for a couple weeks at a time. This would allow us to get our feet wet in all age groups and with many different classrooms and students.

The week went by extremely quick. I had a couple of my guided reading groups take on new books, still working on the same skills of building fluency. I had my coop sit in on a guided reading lesson and she gave me some great pointers, as I felt like I maybe wasn’t doing the guided reading thing justice. I learned a lot from her comments and am looking forward to putting them into action this week.


Friday, November 16th

Thursday there was another huge blow up. A student lost it at the very end of phys ed because he was unable to participate without gym clothes. He was very upset with me and with the “changes of rules” since I came to teach here. I felt so bad and I tried to remain calm and supportive the whole time. But I ended up getting upset and he left for his science class and nothing really got resolved. This student is constantly testing me and trying to see how far he can push me. He also has ADHD mixed with rage, so he often cannot control his outbursts. I had a talk with the principal after and she gave me some advice as I go into my own classroom one day, to phone the parent when things like this happen, keep good communication, ask for advice, and make a relationship with them. She also gave me some advice with the student himself, to give him at least ten minutes on his own to cool down after an out burst before even attempting to talk to him. So, I will try this in the future.

*I am so thankful for the support and guidance of the staff as I learned how to deal with out bursts like these.


Monday, December 19th 

After lunch we practiced Christmas concert again, it was almost flawless! They did so well, I am getting really excited for the final performance. However, I am kind of nervous because I still don’t feel like I know all the students’ dances and I am their prompter. YIKES. I took the time to write down all the actions today in the scripts, and I will need to practice. I spent my prep in the K-2 room. They were taking time to decorate their classroom with Christmas decorations. It was hectic and I saw a few things that I probably would have done differently, but the teacher was having a great time and I just kept the peace and handed out tape. Once they were mostly finished, I had the students sit in their desk and I read them a story. I was amazed at how quiet they were listening to the story. It was like they were mesmerized. I tried to use my best expression to keep them entertained, I had them giggling a few times, which felt like a win to me. We read one more story, which allowed the teacher some time to do his own thing. And then a few minutes before the bell we started to get ready to go home. The teacher was very appreciative of my help, which made me feel very good. I love being in their room.


I had such an amazing experience overall. I made great life long relationships with some of the staff, including my cooperating teacher.

I was given many opportunities including: head coaching sr. boys volleyball, helping with the Remembrance Day ceremony, helping with Christmas concert duties, planning a sr. volleyball wind up for both teams, participating in two Chinook literacy PD days, visiting several other schools in the division, and making valuable connections with several teachers and Chinook School Division staff. I will forever be grateful for all of these opportunities!

Math+Math= FUN

I have always been a huge lover of math! I love solving problems, working through equations, and applying math skills to everyday tasks. While I love doing math, I am not always the best at explaining HOW to do “math”. I understand that there are several strategies for solving various math tasks, but I usually find one and stick to it. Which means I sometimes forget the importance of sharing multiple strategies.

I was also really nervous for my three week teaching block to begin because I had no idea how I was going to teach three grades of math with only one hour a day. This was new for my cooperating teacher too. She developed a chart system in which she would provide math game time, lesson time, SPLASH math time, and work time. She would alternate the schedule daily to try to have lesson time for two grades per class. We ended up deciding that she would work with the grade five’s while I taught the grade three’s and four’s using the chart system. This choice was partly to relieve some of my stress, but also because the grade five’s were behind and struggling on the unit she taught prior to my three week teaching block.

I had the opportunity to teach the grade three’s double and triple digit adding and subtracting. While I taught one of my two grade four’s about place value and adding and subtracting using borrowing and carrying. While I taught the other grade four multiplication.

“The students have been doing well in math, for the most part. One super interesting thing that happened in math this week was our grade four student who has really, really been struggling, is now doing much better due to one tiny adjustment. This student is a unit behind our other grade four student and has been struggling with adding and subtracting. My coop and I brought this concern to the principal and within seconds she had an idea, which changed this student’s whole math world. We put her math equations on 1cm grid paper, lining up every digit, and wow! This student went from getting over half her questions wrong, to getting almost all of them right! So amazing.”

This is a reflection that I had after feeling super defeated about one of the grade four’s continuous struggles. My cooperating teacher was out of ideas and so we went to our principal. By reaching out we helped build confidence in our student and bring success to her work and understanding. I loved seeing this transformation in my student. Her whole attitude toward math changed when we found a way to help her succeed!

As with ELA, I learned that Math is about routine and adjusting with the students needs. Luckily the Math Makes Sense textbooks have great lessons already made for you. So, I found it best to read over the lesson the night before and write down important steps to emphasize, or possible other strategies to teach, or things to eliminate that I knew would confuse my students.

While I found that sometimes I was reteaching ideas or back pedalling in the middle of a lesson as my students weren’t understanding, for the most part I think I did a great job of supporting their needs and learning.

One thing that I noted was a huge change for my grade three’s understanding was creating my own examples while teaching that related to my students interests or funds of knowledge. For example, two of my grade three’s knew a lot about cattle and horse care, including medical needle measurements. So, I would use these ideas to create realistic questions, this brought their engagement and “try levels” to a maximum.

I look forward to my future math classes and bringing math to life with my students through engaging examples, games, and manipulatives.