Take a photo of someone that is nice and cozy in a blanket.
Take a picture of something you made, be it food, art, or something else.
Grade 9 pottery was one class I really enjoyed. While I was in this class, one of the assignments was to create a pottery face, so I decided to make a Shrek face. Though I was never that good at art, I really liked this assignment, and was proud of my abilities in creating a face that somewhat resembles Shrek.
If you could be any pastry in the world, which would you be?
If I could be one pastry, I would be a poppy seed roll. I think I would choose this pastry, as it is my favourite pastry. As a child, my dad and I would go to the Cathedral Bakery on Saturdays after my basketball games and pick up a poppy seed roll for breakfast. To this day, my family still regularly picks up poppy seed rolls from the bakery as part of our weekend breakfasts.
Today I taught my first virtual lesson to Room 209! I had fun discussing substance abuse and addictions regarding alcohol and tobacco with this group of students. The students were so attentive, and involved in the lesson, which made me feel more comfortable! They all had great ideas, and were very eager about discussing these topics. I was surprised how much previous knowledge they had regarding alcohol and tobacco, and they were so curious to learn more.
Teaching a class over skype had a few challenges. The first challenge I found was at points there was feedback. I found it difficult to tell if I was interrupting a student, or if my voice was just echoing. I hope to find other ways of incorporating technology into my lessons with Room 209, as we further discuss alcohol and tobacco.
I really enjoyed this video. I thought it was really interesting to see these ideas in action, and how the students and teachers experimented with these strategies.
The first strategy that was implemented was the popsicle sticks with students names on them. I thought this was such a good idea. I was surprised to see the kids get so frustrated over the popsicle sticks. The students who were used to always answering the questions would get frustrated when they weren’t chosen, and the students who never put their hands up, were scared to get picked. I thought the idea of pulling two popsicle sticks at a time was a really good idea. That way, the students have someone else to rely on if they don’t know the answer. I think this is a strategy that I would definitely try in my internship in the fall.
Next, was the whiteboards. I thought this was neat, because it gave every student a chance to answer, without being outed by everyone else. One problem that could arise from the whiteboards, is students doodling, or writing irrelevant or inappropriate comments on the whiteboards. I think before introducing the whiteboards, I would discuss with the students how beneficial the whiteboards can be when used properly. I would explain like one of the teachers did in the video that if a student is misbehaving with the whiteboard, he/she loses their privilege to participate in class discussions.
Another strategy that was introduced was doing Physical Activity first thing in the morning. I was really surprised that Dylan asked the students and teachers to be there 30 minutes before school started to participate in physical activity, and that they actually showed up. I think this is a great idea, but I’m not too sure how I feel about requiring students to be there earlier than when they are supposed to be. I also thought it kind of seemed like a lot of work for ten minutes of physical activity. The teacher spent quite a bit of time in the beginning reminding the students to change and get into the gym so they could begin. Therefore, by the time students changed and attendance was finished, they only had roughly ten minutes left before school started. Though I think daily physical activity is a great idea, I would try to find other ways to incorporate it into the day. For example, one school I did my ECS 100 field experience at had 5 minutes of movement every 45 minutes. Each classroom had two or three leaders that would lead the students through movement exercises for the duration of one song while it played over the intercom. I thought it was a good idea. It was good to see the school trying to get the kids moving, and I found even for me, it was a nice brain break. I think it definitely added a bit of energy to the majority of the students.
Only adding comments as part of assessment was one strategy that I found interesting. I usually enjoy comments and feedback, but in the end, it is the mark I care about. However, I was so surprised how these students reacted. The one girl was genuinely upset about not getting a grade, and another girl thought since she didn’t have many comments her work was perfect. I also noticed the type of comments the students got. One teacher had a rubric with comments, as opposed to numbers. I noticed with that, the students were then comparing which comments were circled/highlighted, and interpreted that as part of their mark. However, from what I saw, there were few personal comments about the students work, and more generic comments.
I thought when Dylan invited the parents to come and see the new changes to the school that was quite interesting. It was apparent it made some parents feel uncomfortable when their popsicle sticks were drawn from the cup. However, the one mom talked about how her daughter was so shy and quiet, but when her popsicle stick was drawn, she answered the question with confidence. I thought that was awesome; to me, that just reaffirmed how positive the popsicle sticks can be for the quiet students who normally would be too shy to raise their hand to answer the question.
One strategy I thought was really interesting and seemed to work okay was the Secret Student. I thought there was some positives and negatives with this strategy. I thought it was neat how the teachers told the students when someone earned them a point, but never pointed out the person who didn’t get them a point. I also liked how similar to the popsicle sticks, once that student was chosen, their name could still be chosen next time. I thought once they picked a popsicle stick or secret student, that student wouldn’t be picked until everyone else was picked. However, I liked how that student could be chosen again. Though I really liked the idea of the secret student, I thought the reward was too much. If I were to do this, I would have a much smaller reward, like pizza or dilly bars. I think as long as the students are still motivated by secret student, any type of reward would work.
Yesterday I skyped for the second time with Shauna‘s classroom! I spent the first little bit just observing their language lesson on sentence structure. While students were independently working on their sentence work, I had the opportunity to work one-one-one with two students. They each read me their stories, then we edited it, and made some adjustments. I was impressed by the imagination these girls had! Both stories were full of creativity, and it was good to hear really creative and imaginative stories.
After recess, I sat in on a math lesson. I really liked how this math class was run. Right from the get-go, Shauna put up what the objectives were for that lesson. I think that was such a good idea to show the kids that first thing in the lesson; it made it clear for everyone what the goal was. I’m a pretty concrete person, so that would have helped me immensely in school. Once the objectives were clear, they wrote down the objectives in their own words; Patrick explained that he found it easier to understand the goals when the goals were written by him in language he understood. I thought he brought up a really good point; Shauna posted her version of the goal, then allowed the students the time to make that goal meaningful for them. Once a few students shared their interpretation of the objectives, we then moved on to a few examples of how to achieve that objective.
I am really looking forward to what our next steps are . . . A few health lessons perhaps!