Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Summative Blog

This term has proven to be another information packed-never enough time-kind of term! We've looked at videos, websites, digital stories, photo editing, portfolios, and much more (to say the least). However, most importantly we have talked about the changing ways of the classroom and the newer, authentic-learning styles of the the students. As discussed in class yesterday, maybe the learning styles and information aren't totally changing- but it seems we as the teachers are. We are moving to the sidelines to better allow students to fuel their own learning and work in a collaborative manner. So what does this look like in the classroom? Well, I can't tell you with 100% certainty! But I will start here..

I came across a website that does a fantastic job of summing everything up that came up in our discussion about how to be an "on-board" teacher in 2014. Feel free to take a look by following this link: Authentic Instruction

A quick sneak peak of what the authors say to be the 5 rules of authentic learning....

Higher-Order Thinking
Depth of Knowledge
Connectedness to the World Beyond the Classroom
Substantive Conversations
Social Support for Student Achievement

So, I will start there. And I will allow students to lend a hand in how they want to learn the information we need them to be learning. And of course, I think every great teacher learns from their mistakes- and I feel comfortable saying that trial and error is sure to happen in my classroom, but I'm confident that our successes as a whole class will come out on top.

Good luck to all my fellow classmates and thanks again to Mike for providing us the information needed to set us up for success in our first teaching positions :)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Maple with John Evans

Maple is a website and resource for professionals in the education field, including pre-service teachers still attending university. Maple (or Manitoba Professional Learning Environment) is a great way to share resources and collaborate with other professionals in the education field. John, being an administrator of the website, encourages pre-service teachers to join the group as it allows us to use many of the resources available on this website. As a member, you will have access to many different areas such as the library for reading resources (along with your own personal library), an events calendar (informing us of any workshops, professional development sessions, or other important events available to us), a blog sharing links and materials for teachers of all grades, and discussions that may be of interest or importance to you. On a more personal level, Maple allows you to request entrance to private groups and chats that would be beneficial to you and your career at that time. John also discussed the benefits of being involved in a Personal Learning Network as it allows you to get connected and receive responses from many other educators in the field who will help you shape your teaching career. All in all, a great session from a committed fellow educator who travelled on bad roads to make it to us!

Thanks John- and of course we were all happy to share the moment of the Canadian women heading to overtime in the gold medal hockey game!!

Friday, 14 February 2014

The only thing missing is the students!

I finally put the finishing touches on my classroom website- and I am excited to re-visit it in September and hopefully have my own classroom! Feel free to take a look, it is far from perfect but a good foundation for now!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

A New Day, A New Blog

I feel like I have defeated blogger AND technology and finally managed to get into my old blog account! It's a great day. So I've combined my two blogs so that they are easier to follow and easier to read. Mike will be happy!

It's been a great week using video to create small movie clips to showcase just what video in the classroom can achieve. It's definitely been fun and we can't wait to show everyone! With Canada's medal count on everyone's mind, we may have went in the direction of an Olympic theme..


John Finch

"It is critical that our students think critically"! John Finch

As expected, we had another great session with John Finch last week about ICT! There's so much to learn and I'm sure John could have kept us all day sharing his knowledge and experience. As always, John provided us with a jam packed hour full of great tips and pointers when talking about ICT in our classrooms. As the title suggests, John discussed the importance of getting our students to think critically about what they are posting on the internet as well as all the information they are finding! As we all agreed, the most popular form (almost the only form) of finding useful information for research projects, etc, while we were in middle school was heading to the library. Students now have the opportunity to jump on the internet and browse millions of websites about any given topic that they are interested in. So, in acknowledging this, we also need to be teaching our students how to filter through what they find.

John says that in order for a student to be ICT literate, they should have the ability to find internet sources that are valid, reliable, and current. This might not seem logical to some of our students as they are most likely to click on the very first set of links that come up when they use any search engine. One way to help explain the importance of finding recent, relevant information (that really helped us get on board too) is to talk about today's doctors. Would you want them using the original practices and medicine that were used years and years ago? Or would you want them using the most effective, recent, and logical practices and medicine that they come across? It's an easy answer when looked at from that angle!

John provided many reasons why it is so crucial to have your students using the internet and technology in a safe and educational manner. One of the most important reasons to me as a new teacher will be to use ICT to help generate an audience for my student's work. To our students, it will surely prove to be of greater importance having other peers and students their age acknowledging their work than just us as their teachers!

Thanks, John, for another great discussion!

Class Websites

I've learned a little something about late night blogging - that it gets my mind going a million miles a minute! I figured I still had enough thoughts happening to create one more post for the night. Our other big project we are trying to master right now is creating our own websites for our future classroom. Now I know some people have been having a hard time with this task as it isn't easy creating a website to share with your class when you don't have a class yet! However, I'm thinking the foundation of my website will remain the same over time-I just might tweak a few things from year to year as my students come and go. Some of the most important information I feel necessary to include in this website is who I am as a teacher and what my students can expect of me, our classroom values, the latest news, and a place for sharing our masterpieces with each other and with parents. I think mainly, our class website should be a safe place to share some of our best accomplishments as a group and as individuals, and keep parents up to date with the most exciting news and chatter around our classroom. Once I complete my website I will be sure to post a link sharing some of the ideas that I have came up with - and also some great ideas that others have shared and passed along for our benefit!


This week had me thinking a lot about ePortfolios (well, Mike has sparked an interest in this topic area!) First thing to be discussed: should we be using the ePortfolio? Or should we stick to something we consider comfortable and easy to use, being the paper route? Well I know what I thought of right away, it's 2014 and we don't do anything using the "paper route" anymore! Sure, we will have some polished resumes to hand out in a few months, but for the most part out career is going to be (hopefully) focused on using the most recent and modern tools and technology. So the answer for me was to go the ePortfolio route. That was actually the easy part! The hard part? Deciding what it is about yourself that stands out from the other 100 applications and portfolios that your future employer might be looking at! The portfolio basics I feel comfortable with - you need to include a little bit about yourself, your education, your personal learning experiences, related work experience, achievements, samples of your creations, and a few other things once you've completed that. What I consider most important in this portfolio is showcasing who I am as a teacher, a colleague, and why my teaching philosophy is one to be recognized. All in all, this is a piece I have yet to accomplish and put the finishing touches on, but soon to be completed! I feel confident and determined to make this something that highlights who I am as a person, and really use it as a way to help me to understand who it is that I want to be as a professional, and where I see myself in the future.