Posted in Literacy in the Classroom

First Nation Children’s Books

Throughout my university career, I have had the privilege to be taught about Treaty Education and implementing First Nation content into our teaching. As an educator, I believe that we need to be authentic as we incorporate Treaty Education. One of the best ways that I did this was through story telling of children’s books. For my ELIB 218 class, one of our assignments was to create a package of children’s books that consisted of First Nation content. This package consists of 40 books for the ages of 4 to 14 years old. I hope that this resource I made will be beneficial for your classroom!

First Nation Children’s Books

 

Posted in ECMP355, Weekly Reflections

How Have I Contributed to the Learning of Others?

The semester has final come to an end! I am excited to write this final post, as it marks my last assignment of the semester!  I am asked to reflect on the ways that I have contributed to the learning of others. This is such a powerful reflection. On my journey of becoming a teacher, I have been constantly gathering resources and learning from others. I was trying to soak as much up as I could. Throughout the four years I have “took” a lot. I have so many exciting ideas that I can carry with me into my future classrooms. But have I giving back? As I reflect on this post, I realize that teaching is not just about “taking”. It is also about “giving”. I know that others in this class have helped me learn. Have I done the same for them? Below is an outline on how I contributed to the learning of others.

1) Commenting on Blogs

Each week I designated time spent commenting on my classmates’ blogs. I made it a goal to browse and comment two to three times a week. I made sure to put a lot of thought into each comment that I made.  This was a heavy course and I knew my classmates were working really hard. They deserved for my thoughts on their posts to be insightful. As I reflect on this experience, there are a couple of highlights that I would like to point out:

  •  A couple of weeks ago, I had a classmate comment on my blog by sending me a video of her thoughts on my post. This was such a great idea! It was something different from just simply writing out a comment. I found it even more thoughtful and personal. I decided to do the same thing for her. Check out our interaction here.
  • I was always excited when someone commented on my blog post. I received these comments from my classmates weekly. I always made a point of responding back to them. Most of the time, I avoided hitting the “like button” or simply just thanking them for taking the time to read my blog post. I tried to make my responses back meaningful for them.

  • I had the opportunity to connect with other bloggers who were also learning American Sign Language for their learning project. As I commented on their posts, I added resources for them to take a look at:

  • Sharing resources in my comments was something that happened often throughout this experience. It was one way to make my comments more meaningful. I went beyond just sharing resources with those who were learning the same thing as me. At the beginning of the semester, I came across an article that talks about the benefits knitting and crocheting has on young students. I saved the article because I thought it might be applicable for someone in my class learning about the topic. I finally came across a classmate who was learning crocheting. In the comments, I shared the resource:

2) Interaction on Twitter

Twitter was another plat form that I used to interact with fellow educators. It was a way for me to develop professionally. I was able to gather valuable resources and network with local teachers. Beyond this, Twitter also gave me an opportunity to contribute to the learning of others:

  • Anytime there was a question asked on Twitter, I would try my best to answer. It is in conversations like these, where we can really grow as facilitators of the classroom. They can challenge our thinking. A great example of this was between myself, two other classmates, and another Saskatchewan educator. A classmate asked about our thoughts on incorporating the game “Minecraft” into our classroom. I answered the question and explained how I didn’t know much about the game. I went on to say how it is important to bring students’ interest into the classroom. An experienced educator challenged us by encouraging us to think about the purpose of the game. Will students find it engaging? Is it the best way for them to learn? Will they actually like the fact that you brought a game from home into the classroom? He went on to explain that these type of games did not work well for his daughter. I was reminded of the importance of incorporating a variety of instructional strategies to reach the needs of students in the classroom. My one simple answer to a question, opened the door for myself and my classmates to think deeper about instructional strategies.
  • Twitter allowed me to share any helpful resources that I found online, or even in my other classes this semester. I also used Twitter as a way to get my blog known. Sharing of resources on Twitter was something that I did daily to contribute to the learning of others.
  • I also used Twitter as a way to “showcase” the work of my classmates. If I found their blog post very insightful, or if it consisted of helpful teaching resources, I made sure to tweet their post. I wanted their work to be recognized. An important part of contributing to educator’s learning and professional development is sharing resources that are found. This is exactly what I did. If I thought their post was beneficial, I instantly tweeted it!
  • #Saskedchats was another opportunity that I used to contribute to the learning of others. In this community, I was able to offer my insights about specific topics. I contributed to #Saskedchats 3 times during the semester.

3) Interaction on Google +

  • Keeping up to date on Google+ was something that I did weekly. This was a great way to keep connected to my class! There were several occasions where I answered questions that fellow students asked. At the beginning of the semester, I knew that many of them would take the time to answer my questions. I wanted to return the favour. I can sincerely say that I was consistent at answering any questions that I possibly could help out with.  Click the link  for a few examples of questions that I answered throughout the semester: Google + Answers to Questions.
  • Beyond just answering questions when I could on the Google + community, I also asked questions myself. I have often heard teachers explain that there is no need to be afraid to ask questions because someone in the room probably is wondering the same thing. I applied this motto to the Google + community. I am hopeful that fellow classmates learned from the questions I asked. Click the following link for examples: 4 Examples of Questions Asked on Google
  • Google + also gave me an opportunity to share resources that I created or found on line. If I didn’t want to Tweet the resource, or if I just wanted to share it with my classmates, I simply just posted it on the community page. While I did this, I noticed my classmates would visit my blog and interact with me more often. I can honestly say that I benefited fr0m this as well.

4) Sharing of Resources

My professor once stated that, “the wheel has already been invented”. In other words, as educators, we do not need to come up with instructional strategies, lesson plans, unit plans, or any other types of resources completely on our own. A wonderful aspect about being a teacher is that we have amazing resources right at our hands. I just have to simply type in a topic on the web, and I  instantly have ideas and resources given to me. Throughout this course, I wanted to give back to the teaching community that helped me create learning experiences for my students. I wanted to share the resources that I found, adapted, and created. Below is a list of resources that I created/found and shared with my classmates of ECMP 355:

Daily 5

First Nation Children’s Books

Literature Genre Unit

Unit and Lesson Plans

Technology in the Classroom


That is a wrap! Thank-you for following my blog posts as I navigated my way through this class. This specific post has been a reminder that I need to always make sure I am giving back to other teachers. Many of them have helped me along the way. How can I help them in return?Being a teacher means that I am a part of team. There is no reason for me to “hide” and keep all the wonderful resources I find to myself. Instead, I can can be a team player and help other educators build their library of resources.

-Mrs. J

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Unit and Lesson Plans

Art Education Unit Plan-Grade One

During my Pre-Internship, I had the opportunity to teach an Art Education outcome in Grade One. I focused on cultural traditions in my students’ homes and communities. I also had them look at First Nation artwork. They even had the opportunity to learn from a Saskatchewan Metis Artist! I hope that you find this unit helpful. I have attached several different resources. They can be adapted to different grade levels.


CH 1.1 & CH 1.2:

Unit Frame Work

Unit Lesson Plans (Lessons 1-3)

Posted in Unit and Lesson Plans

Science Unit Plans

Listed below are full science unit plans that I created during my university classes and internship. Feel free to take and adapt what you need. I hope that they are a helpful resource for you!


Kindergarten: NSK. 1

ESCI-UnitPlan-NaturalSurroundings- Brittany Larson and Christina Kelly


Grade One: DS 1.1 & 1.2

Internship-Daily and Seasonal Changes


Grade Three: SM 3.1 & 3.2

Strucutre and Materials Gr. 3 -Lessons 1-3

Structures and Materials Gr. 3 -Lesson 4-6

Structure and Materials Gr. 3 -Lesson 7-10


Posted in ECMP355

Summary of Learning

Well, that’s a wrap! I can honestly say that this ECMP 355 class has been very beneficial. Although I still have things to learn, I do have a new set of skills that I can take into my future classrooms. From this experience, I have learned the importance of equipping children and youth to use technology effectively. Technology is a huge part of their lives. As an educator, it is my responsibility to prepare them for living in a world that operates on technology.

Below is a presentation that Sarah Munro and I created through VideoScribe. It summarizes  our learning experience. I hope you enjoy it!

-Mrs. J

Posted in ECMP355, Weekly Reflections

Online Social Activism: Is It Worth It?

A fellow classmate made such a simple, but yet powerful statement about social activism: “If you don’t talk about it, it means you don’t think that it matters”. Silence or taking a stance of neutrality sends a message to our students. It portrays that we don’t care about significant things, such as racism, that is happening in our society. Teachers are social activists. We are put in a position where we can influence children and youth. We are put in a position where we can impact society. What do we need to do about it? We need to begin to have conversations with our students. We need to begin to talk about racism, sexism, biases, stereotypes, and other topics that society needs to work through. Having a conversation is one of the most important things that we can do as educators.

Can social justice topics go further then just talking about them in our classes? Is it worthwhile to have these conversations online? Let’s take a moment and discuss whether or not online social activism can be meaningful!

There are most definitely some benefits to online social activism. When we want to bring awareness to people about a specific event or topic, we need to find a way to connect with them. Where can we do this? The internet is a tool that allows a message to be spread throughout the entire world.  This is great! An article states that, “One of the biggest benefits of using digital tools for positive changes is the ability to connect with a large community, and if applicable, globalise a campaign’s goals”.  The same article goes on to say that we no longer have to go door-to-door or stand at street corners to bring awareness. Instead, we can use social media, such as FaceBook and Twitter, to reach out to everyone around the world. We now have a bigger audience.

An 8 year old posted a sign about hosting a free piano recital. Someone came along and decided to post the sign on FaceBook. This went viral! Before they knew it, they had hundreds of people showing up to his front yard. They were there to support the young boy. This is a great example of how online social activism should work! Evidently, the picture impacted the heart of the people living in the community. They felt compassion. It is important to note that the community did not just simply “like” the photo and continue to scroll down on FaceBook. Instead, the post motivated them to take action. They went and supported the young boy. By no means was this a campaign, but it serves as a reminder to make sure that we do take action. Simply clicking the “like”, “share”, or “retweet” button does not mean that we are social activists. So yes, using the web can indeed be meaningful to get an important message out to the community, or even to the rest of the world!

Using the online world as a tool to bring awareness does come with some disadvantages that we need to be aware of. According to the dictionary, the term “slacktivism” means, actions taken to bring about political or social change but requiring only minimal commitment, effort, or risk”.  This is where we run into danger. For example, back in 2014 there was the “Ice Bucket Challenge Campaign”. In summary, people would through ice over their head, nominate three people to do the same, and they were suppose to donate money to the ALS Association. This did have a positive impact on the research of ALS. It did bring in a significant amount of money. However, let’s not forget about the hundreds of people who did the challenge without donating. Most of us probably had a friend, or perhaps it was ourselves who was unaware, that did the challenge because it looked like “fun” and everyone else was doing it. They lost sight of the cause. Were they really making a difference by just throwing ice over they head? It is so easy to get caught up in this mindset. A click of a button or a silly action does not necessarily mean we are contributing to a social change.

So, what do we do about it? It is important to constantly think critically as we engage in social justice through the online world. Before we click buttons on social media and throw ice buckets over our heads, we need to think about the actions that we will do to support the awareness. Although is has been said thousands of times, there is significant truth to this phrase: “actions speak louder then words”. Do our actions match what we are saying? In this case, do our actions match what we are liking and sharing on FaceBook or Twitter?

-Mrs. J


 

 

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/135148869@N04/22228636261/”>PaulsenDesign3D</a&gt; Flickr via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a&gt;

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/44560354@N07/19963500408/”>tdscosp</a&gt; Flickr via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a&gt;

 

 

 

 

Posted in Literacy in the Classroom

Literature Genre Unit

I am excited to share my final project in ELIB 218! During my internship in Grade One, treating others as we would like to be treated was something that I was constantly teaching my students. For this project, I collected 40 children’s book that supported the theme of respect. I went  into the Grade Two health curriculum and used the following outcome to guide my selection:

USC2.4

Examine social and personal meanings of “respect” and establish ways to show respect for self, persons, living things, possessions, and the environment.

Feel free to use any books or ideas that would best suite your teaching practices! Many of the books can be used for multiple grade levels.


Literature Unit-GOOD COPY

Posted in ECMP355, Learning Project

The End!

For my ECMP 355 Summary Project, my partner and I decided that we would use a program called “Video Scribe“. For practice, I decided to try out the program and create a summary of my learning project! This literally took me all morning to create, and I am still not thrilled about it! Adding the graphics were easy and I had no problem getting them up and going. The part I struggled with was the recording of my voice. I had  a very difficult time with the timing of my voice matching up with the graphics. For whatever reason I was not able to use the program to record succesfully. I ended up using “Screencastify” to match up my voice with the video.There is no doubt in my mind that I recorded my voice over a dozen times. The video below is the best one so far! I apologize for any awkward pauses in the video. From this experience, I am reminded that I have a tendency to be a perfectionist.

I came across an article called, “How Not To Be a Perfectionist Teacher”.  This particular article had a powerful reminder that, “While it’s beneficial for teachers to be detail-oriented and focused, as they are charged with the important task of preparing youths for later-in-life success, teachers who are overly perfectionistic often run into problems, because perfection isn’t possible.”  Being a perfectionist in the teaching profession can lead to burning out. There is simply just not enough time in the day for things to be “perfect”. I am not saying that teachers should be “lazy” or just brush things off. It is important to put a lot of thought into our teaching practices. We need to work hard because children and youth deserve our best. At the same time, we need to learn when to let things go because perfection is impossible.

After several repetitions of trying to master the recording of this video, I finally decided that it was good enough to post. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think!

 

-Mrs. J

 

Posted in ECMP355, Weekly Reflections

Frustrating, But Beneficial!

Last week we were asked to blog about something that was ed-tech related. I chose to blog about coding. Feel free to check out my post and the resources I attached to it! For this week, it looks like I will be doing another write up of coding for my assigned weekly reflections. I decided to explore the website called “Scratch”. Please tell me that I am not the only one who found coding frustrating!

I started off the program by just simply trying to figure it out on my own. After an hour or two of frustration, I decided to try one of the tutorials. The tutorials were great and most definitely took a load of stress off my shoulders! They took you through coding step-by-step. Their instructions were visual and easy to follow. If you are a rookie coder, I strongly recommend following the tutorial instead of navigating the site by your self. It will make things less frustrating!

As I was making my way through the tutorial, I made my first scratch video. I am slightly embarrassed to show you this! It is very simple and completely random. Some may even say that it is incredibly annoying.  I wasn’t focused on making it look really “cool”. Instead, I was just trying to figure out the programming. From there, I decided to branch out on my own. I was not ready for this! Once again, coding became very frustrating for me. Why was the cat not doing exactly what I wanted?!? I wasn’t able to do what I imagined. On my own, I was only able to do very simplified scratches such as, “Cat Kicking the Ball”. I decided that I should stay away from doing this independently for the time being. So, I decided to browse the options of the starter projects. This was great! I was able to see what programming they used. I learned from other’s creations. From there, I simply just added my own characters and programming. Although it is still simple, I did feel slightly more successful. Feel free to check out “Dance Party”.

What did I learn from this “frustrating” experience? Well, in my last blog post about coding I shared a couple of articles: “Add Coding to Your Elementary Curriculum…Right Now” and “Why Kids Should Learn To Code”. Both of these articles pointed out that coding teaches students how to problem solve. I can completely relate to this now! In my case, things were not working out as I wanted them to. I needed to find another way to be successful. I used strategies such as tutorials and looking at other people’s work. Evidently, I was problem solving. This is a vital skill that all students need to learn. Coding is indeed a great tool to teach children this skill! However, I would like to add on to this.

Coding also teaches students perseverance. It helps to develop the mindset of “not giving up”. I am not sure why coding was a challenge for me. Perhaps, it is because I am learning something brand new. There were countless times where I wanted to give up and walk away from my computer. However, I stuck with it and in the end I learned something valuable.

It is so easy to give up when something is hard. That is why children need to be taught resilience; they need to be taught to keep going when they are faced with frustrating challenges. An article states that, “Resilience is an essential tool that helps kids navigate their way through life’s inevitable challenges”. It amazes me how something that might be considered small or insignificant, can have a positive impact on a person’s character. So yes, using “Scratch” was frustrating. But at the same time, it was beneficial!

-Mrs. J

 

 

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/131320797@N05/16727200657/”>West Wakefield Health & Wellbeing</a> Flickr via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147″>cc</a&gt;

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/95205711@N02/26108985654/”>Vernon Barford School Library</a> Flickr via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/11868850@N00/2694205942/”>andresmh</a&gt; Flickr via <a href=”http://compfight.com”>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;