Back to Class

Standard

I’ve now been to all of my new classes for the semester. As is required for education students and for getting my student loan I am taking five classes. This semester I am taking maths 111 and 122, psychology 102, geography 100 and history 101. After each class I was left with a number of things to think about. Deciding what to write about was on the rather difficult side. The classes themselves were interesting but there was so much in what the professors said and did that made me think the most.

I really found something my Math 111 prof. said especially interesting. She said that learning math is different than learning any other subject. It requires you to build on what you already knew and you can’t let yourself get behind in it. Other subjects you can learn it all at the end of the semester and do alright but for math even one week behind is too much.

I remember other teachers in high school saying much the same thing but for some reason this hit me in a different way this time. I think for me this was the first time that I looked at this as what does that mean for my teaching it instead of what does that mean for my learning it. I also think it is a good reason why it is such an important subject to learn. It is an entirely different way of learning that they need to learn and be able to use.

It really makes sense to me now why it has it’s own learning type (which I’ve discovered recently I have become). I need to think more about what this means completely and I’m sure as I learn more about teaching I’ll figure it out. But it was definately my aha moment of the day.

Blackout

Standard

A rather interesting thing hapened here in residence last night. Our power went out for six hours. It was interesting how my roommates and I all responded to the outage.

At first we were all rather distressed it was supper time and none of us had anything that didn’t need to be cooked and sounded apealing. Our brainstorming was rather interesting. It usually went like this: “how about…no that requires (insert piece of technology)”  Needless to say ideas were not quick in presenting themselves.

Then came the problem of how to entertain ourselves, no power meant no lights in our appartment except for the emergency lights from the hall coming through our open door, and since we are not allowed to have candles we had no way of lighting our way to things except with our cell phones or my roomates laptops which were nearly dead. We could have gone to another part of the campus and evenutally we did but what happened before that is what has got me thinking.

We played UNO. Probably about 10 rounds of it. We had been so bored before I pulled out my UNO cards but once we started playing it was amazing how much fun we had. I was the only one with ebough light to see my cards colors and the deck was in complete shadow. We had to use our celllphones to see the deck and the others cards. It made for an intersting game. I can honestly say it was one of the funnest things I have done in a long time. Far more fun than watching tv or playing on the computer.

I think sometimes we need time to take a break from technology. We need to know how to survive without it for cases like last night. I think that is what keeps me from believing the technology only approaching I see some people taking to schooling. If kids only ever expereince technology then how will they function if the power ever goes out. Will they know how to entertain themselves.

My own question I think I have a semi answer to. I keep thinking back to when I was little. Every Christmas I would get tons of awesome presents. I hardly ever played with them instead the wrapping paper and bows held my attention. I see my niece and nephew do the same thing. They have tons of technology (I know for sure that they are both getting brand ne DS’s for Christmas) but they still like playing with the bows and finding new uses for boxes.

We worry about not being able to keep kids attention if we do not use technology, yet often they themselves choose to entertain themselves in other ways. Do we need all technology or will a nice balance (suited to each individual classroom) be better for our students? I think for now the balance is what attracts me. Sometimes it is nice to not be completely attached to technology (though I admit we did have need of our cellphones-I mean it was dark!) Sometimes all you need is good companions and something interesting to keep your attention.

Take me Home Country Roads

Standard

In case you didn’t recognize the reference in the title it is a song by John Denver. It’s an oldie but a goodie. I’m going “home” at last. I’m leaving first thing in the morning for my parents (which is legally still my home). I finished my first two University finals ever today and now I do not have any finals until the 18th. So rather than stay around here I’m leaving. After my parents house I’m going to my brothers to babysit for the weekend then hopefully off to see my friends in Lipton. i’m so ready to get away from the city. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice place to visit I’m just not into living here forever. I’m ready to let those country roads take me back to where I can walk all the way across town in under half an hour.

However, my parents computer isn’t the greatest so I will be disappering from the interent world until I get to my brothers who has a nice new laptop.

Face to Face

Standard

When I read Dean’s comment on one of my my last posts I knew it would take me a long time to make a sensible answer. So here is my answer if I can get it out right. Here is what Dean said

Great reflection. You make a valid point about the face to face part. It really is the best. What I wonder is do you feel the same about your other classes? In other words, was there something that occurred online or outside of class that made Wednesday’s class as good as you say?

Let me start at the beginning. How do I feel about my other classes? I would have to say that it depends on the class. I relly enjoy my math and EPS class. I like my Indigenous class but it isn’t on the same level as these other three. I detested my English class and am so happy that it is over.

What is the difference between all of these classes? Each class has its own unique ups and downs. The one thing that is common to all three of my favorite classes is Sara and Nicole. If you haven’t caught on by the amount we all refer to each other we are starting to be pretty good friends. Having someone to laugh with and rely on for help can be a huge factor to success in a class. Another common part to EPS and ECMP is the class size. ECMP there is only 18 of us (I think) and in EPS on Thursdays we split into small groups of 5-6. The smallness of these allows you to get to know the people in your class better and develop a relationship with everyone. I think it also allows for a better flow of ideas as there is not enough people to cause feelings of shyness.

What makes me dislike my other classes? For one my Indigenous class is rather large (not like EPS lectures of 130 but large enough for this country girl). English though a small class consists of a lot of being talked at in a monotone voice and very uninteresting texts. I’ve nearly fallen asleep more times than I can count.

Now what made the face to face class different? It’s not really something I can put my finger on. I think there are a number of things that contributed and of course that unidentifiable something that everyone keeps trying to understand but no one seems to be able to. For one, having food was great. It’s a fact that people learn better when they are not hungry (I mean who can concentrate on an empty stomach). Having time to visit also helped, to find out what is happening in peoples lives besides what they put on the internet. I remember one of us saying in their pecha kucha that she always found it difficult to decide what to write. I think that is a big part of what makes f2f so different. I remember a teacher who talked once about the different faces we wear in life. The face someone “wears” on their blog is very different from the person that you meet f2f.

Another important aspect is the ability to read a persons body clues. When you write on the interent you have to be careful that you do not get taken the wrong way. Like when you are texting an emotional friend you have to be careful the words you use so as not to further upset them. Body language is so important to communication. I know people who can understand a lot of what I s”ay” (I’m really shy sometimes so the people who know me  well adpated) just by the I hold myself or look at them. Not having these verbal clues can make communication touchy.

Finally, that intangible something. For me, I really think that it is something that cannot be understood. Let me use a personal example to explain what I am talking about. I hardly ever see anyone from the town I lived in from grade 10- the beginning of grade 12. I talk to the girls regularly over facebook, msn and texting. Yet I still have a need to see them in person. Each meeting between all of us is ful of hugs and chatter. We know what is hapening in each others life and talk constantly yet these f2f meetings are so much better. Each one is looked forward to for ages and highly exciting. That something that makes these meetings so important is what makes f2f  so great.

Now, did anyhting happen online that made this f2f particluarily good. I’d have to say all the back chat is what made it good. I feel that is wear I learned the most from my classmates not from their blogs but from the back and forth chat that we had during classes. The blogs helped me to get to know them but the chat I feel is where the real us came out. Coming into that classroom knowing the peoples personlaties (though not their faces) really helped. I felt like I knew that no matter what I would be welcomed because I already knew everyone so well and had many conversations with them.

On top of this I think the activity was interesting. It allowed us to show our own learning and display our talents. It wasn’t a lot of being talked to and ahving everyone do the same project created a sense of comradery. I also think it was important that none of us had done this kind of project before. It made it new and exciting to see how everyone else learned to work with it.

I still feel like there is a lot I don’t know about what made this class stand out for me, other than that is was new and fresh and that I knew all the people there. Maybe someday I’ll be able to put my finger on that unidentifiable nothing.

Twilight

Standard

So I just saw the twilight movie and I have to say I am in love. i’ve never read the books so please if you leave a comment and haven’t seen the movie no specifics in case something in the book isn’t in the movie. i’ve already asked my roommate if I can borrow the book over Christmas break but I’m not all that sure I can wait until finals are over tp start reading. The movie was amazing and I can tell the book will be even better. I’ve decided on a new tactic of seeing the movie before reading a book. I did that with Eragon and I love both the book and the movie so I decided to try it out for this book too. I hope it works.

But as always my brain has begun to take a different turn. Why don’t we allow kids to read books that interest them in school? I know those of the interent realm would say books don’t even matter so why question it but I think books are better for relaxing and enjoying. Not so much stress as you do a million other things at the same time. But back to my point. I can remember one book I read in grade 7, it was called (I think) the seventh tower. It was such a good book, lots of action and fantasy.  Yet most of the books we read I struggeld through. I can honestly say that I am a pretty strong reader having made it through lord of the rings among other things (where some of the paragrpahs are painfully long) why do we give kids books “classics” all the time and expect them to be interested? Maybe if we gave them more choice in the matter and used newer books that appeal to their generation rather than past generations?

Christmas!!!

Standard

Okay, so I am a Christmas junkie. I can’t help it I love everyting about Christmas. Unlike so many others standing in line for twenty minutes or so doesn’t phase me. If you don’t like it, don’t go shopping. I’m just kidding but I think it is important not to sweat the small stuff during the holidays. My mom refuses to shop in the city during the Christmas rush. Me it doesn’t phase. I love all the people, the music, the lights, the gaudy colors. Today, as I was doing some Christmas shopping in Wal-mart (possible the busiest of all stores at this time of year, I told you I’m a little crazy for Christmas) I noticed a couple fighting over a tree skirt. A tree skirt. i don’t know I just can’t seem to find that stressful part of Christmas. Their fight (as mean as this is) actually amde me laugh a little. See nothing can break my mood.

I did however, manage to hold off on going completely Christmas crazy until December. i managed not to talk about it on my blog or sing Christmas carols out loud (at least when anyone could hear me). I did however, decorate my appartment on the day after Remembrance Day (my old blog post should tell you how much Remembrance Day means to me).  So to share a little of my Christmas cheer I thought I would post some pictures of my gorgeous living room.

The ugly cement pole made pretyish and the candy cane wallour christmas tree and dancing singing santa

our icicled coffee table

our snowflaked window and some of the lights

All the lights and a look out at the campus

My roomates got more decorations for the tree since then, but generally it looks the same. It’s a nice distraction from the stress of finals.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wrap Up-Social Learning and Mentorship

Standard

Alright so this is going to be short, sweet and to the point.

For my mentorship I give myself 5/10. I made a point of stay up to date on 5th Grade Reflections and commented on each child when they posted something new. However, for Rossoscience I ended up not going on there at all. So I give myself 10 and o which averages out to be 5.

As for Social learning I’d have to say for a shy person I did well on this. Outside of class I met with Sara and Nicole on a regular basis as well as another one of my friends to work on math. On top of all this I’ve had so many nteresting discussions with my roommate, a roomates friend in his intern year, and my staff group for EPS about teaching. All had super interesting things to say and while we occasionally disagreed all the conversations were interesting.

As for my online social learning, I left a number of comments on other classmates blogs. I;’m afraid I haven’t gotten up the nerve to comment on any outside my bubble yet but I will soon. I have managed to write posts about others blogs such as my tech task #8. Yes I know but that’s a tech task, however I was going to write on it anyway I had it saved. I don’t think I ever got into a conversation like many of the others did but I have gotten numerous comments from various people and noticed that I got the most when I asked questions. And the responses definately helped me out. so I can’t remember what this is out of but I’d give myself a 75-80%. For now, it will get better in the future. Trust me.