Tech Task #11: A Peek inside your classroom

Throughout the past three years in the Education program, I have thought numerous times about what my classroom would look like.  However, I just thought of myself standing up there teaching; I never really considered the details.  How would the desks be arranged?  What would be on the walls?  Would it be loud or quiet?  Chaotic or boring?

These are all things that I never really considered until my pre-internship when I was actually teaching.  The first few days I spent with the Wellness 10 girls in the gym, they were loud and chatty and wanted to interact with one another.  However, as soon I was the teacher in the classroom, they froze.  I was so excited to do all these movement activities while learning with them, and they went silent.  It drove me bananas!!  Why aren’t they talking?  Why is no one moving with me?  Why is everyone sitting in single file rows when I told them they can partner up?  Right away I noticed two things I want with my classroom – movement and chaos.

I’d say I was a good student in high school, but I hated the classes where we silently read and wrote, and if we were caught talking we were penalized in some way.  I guess I am one of those people who prefers idle chit-chat while working, as opposed to dead quiet.  I also loved the classes when the teachers got animated, and we were allowed to move freely around the room.  If a student was losing it, they could go get a drink, or get up and move around.

It wasn’t until University when my EHE 310 professor had us move while we worked.  During a group assignment, we had to wall sit, lunge, or hold a plank for an allotted time while we discussed a question.  Once we were done that question we were allowed 20 seconds to sit, then move on to the next question.  I LOVED this!  Nothing in my mind is worse than being sedentary in a chair while trying to participate in group work.

One thing I learned from my pre-internship is that noise can be good.  Noise, chaos, and movement if used effectively can all be part of learning.  As long as I am able to bring the students back when needed, I have no problem with chaos in my classroom.

During EHE 310 our professor, Shelley, took us to a model classroom at Kitchener Community School here in Regina.  I loved this room.  We walked in and there was a trampoline, stationary bike, standing desk, and tipi at the back. There were desks in groups of one, two, and four.  There was also a mat area filled with two been bag chairs and stuffed animals.  Wowza was I shocked.  How could all this go on while I’m trying to teach?!  I was baffled at first that teachers thought this could go on during class time.  However, during the presentation, the facilitator asked us to look around – we were all doing something different using the tools that were given, and no one seemed to be bothered.  She then took us to a few of the teachers classrooms to watch it in action with REAL STUDENTS!  My perspective immediately changed.  If all of this can go on in a classroom and kids are still learning, then this is just the coolest thing ever!

The last thing I want my classroom to be like is very Inquiry-based.  I know it is pretty much all we hear about the first two years of education, but it wasn’t until this year, more so this semester, that I truly understood what Inquiry looks like.  Having Shauna as my mentor has shown me a lot about inquiry.  It seems the majority of the students classrooms are inquiry based, and the kids seem to really enjoy it.  I hope that in the future, my students look as engaged and willing to learn as Room 209 looks!  This classroom also looks like fun – it looks like a bunch of kids just hanging out, as opposed to a classroom.  I imagine it took Shauna and the other teachers at Churchill Alternative School a great deal of time to set up inclusive classrooms and safe places for those children.  That is something else I value, and hope to achieve in my classroom.

Though I have a great deal to learn before my classroom will ever look like this, I’m feeling confident that one day this classroom will be successful for me as a teacher, and my students.

Tech Task #10: Best Ideas

Heather Durnin: I really enjoyed the Padlet app we learned about.  I think that would be a really good idea, even for high school.  I liked how she used it as sticky notes, and I think this would also be a good form of diagnostic assessment.  I would try padlet prior to a unit and ask students to post what they may already know, or what they want to know more about.  Our Day Project was also so neat!  I can’t believe that they had the opportunity to Skype with students from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Australia!  That is so neat.  I liked the idea of just filming people throughout their days.  I think that is a great icebreaker when getting to know how others live around the world.  I also love how she shows things their class is doing outside of technology, and they just use technology simply for the usage of communication.  Keeping the lines of communication open, through newsletters, or emails, is crucial, and I will definitely keep my blog in mind when communicating with parents.

Royan Lee: looking at technology through space.  He discusses how most classrooms are traditional and allow little collaboration;  technology is a great tool as it can alter our notion of space in the classroom.  I thought it was interesting how Royan discussed how frequent Apple products are.  From what I understand, Royan explains that Apples are advantageous, because they are one of the few providers that allow students and teachers administrative access to the computer.  Meaning, Apple allows the students to get into the settings, install, and delete as they would on their own computer.  BYOD – bring your own device: the effectiveness of this program is dependent on your group of students.  For some schools this will not be a possibility, as few will have access to these devices that will be effective in the classroom.  I liked how Royan discussed movement and technology.  He explains just because they are engaged in technology doesn’t mean they are participating in sedentary activities.  I think that is a key point, that I think is important when incorporating technology in the classroom.

Clarence Fisher: I thought it was interesting how Clarence discussed differentiating based on technology.  I really liked how he discussed that not all students will learn best using the same technology tools.  I guess I never really considered that technology may not work for some students.  There is such an emphasis on all the positive aspects regarding technology in the classroom, that we never really talk about how we need to differentiate for those students who don’t enjoy technology.  I also really liked how Clarence had his students “stalk” well-known educators.  This could easily be used in a health lesson when discussing social media and the importance of using social media in a safe and secure manner.

I thought all three of these presenters were really interesting to listen to.  They had quite a wealth of knowledge, and it was interesting to hear middle years educators discuss their views of technology.

Tech Task #11: A peek inside your classroom

You’ve listened to several great teachers and speakers, connected with classrooms and hopefully you’ve been thinking about your future classroom. What will it be like? What are the must haves? Think not only about the technology but the pedagogy and learning environments. Embed a trail of links to the people and ideas we’ve explored this semester throughout your post.

Tech Task #9: Are You Well Googled?

I’ve always wondered what would pop up when I googled myself.  It used to be the website for Basketball Beat from grade 7, or when my class was in the paper in grade 3.  However, things have changed a little since then!

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I have to admit, I felt a little popular with all these things popping up about me!  I definitely feel more confident about telling future employers to “google me”.  I like that my about.me page pops up first – definitely a good starting point.  One thing that caught me off guard was my Pinterest page, and under images, my Pinterest profile picture.  I guess I didn’t mind that my page popped up, I was just caught off guard at the pictures of me.  It made me take a second glance at my Pinterest page and what it is exactly that I’m pinning . . . Thank god the worst thing I discovered were 3 pins of Ryan Gosling’s face!

After further investigation, I found some interesting facts:

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Apparently, there are, or should I say were, three other Anna Hipperson’s around at the around the 1830-1900’s.  There was even an Anna M. Hipperson (same middle initial as mine!).  This was so cool, that I just had to call my grandparents.  Apparently, Anna and Mary (my sister’s name) were very popular “back in the day” with the Hipperson clan.  So, as I was looking up other Hipperson’s from English in the 1830-1900’s, I discovered a googled version of a family tree!

Tech Task #8 – Week One

I’m using this post to kill two birds with one stone by blogging from my phone! So, week one of my pre-internship is complete! Woot! As tired as I’m feeling, I have to admit I’m having the best time. Balfour Collegiate is treating me well… The students are so much fun to work with, and the staff are so accommodating and constantly willing to offer up their time to discuss our internship.

Thursday was Diversity Day. It was really interesting to see how diverse Balfour really is! They represent 36 different countries and speak 33 different languages! Holy Cow! There was cultural trivia during the day; delicious taste testing at lunch; and endless entertainment. It was apparent the choir teacher worked really hard with the ELA students in working on a song half in their native tongue and half in English. It was quite impressive.

The Shirley Schneider Centre was another part of Balfour I was exposed to on Thursday. Diversity Day was held in the auditorium, so over the lunch hour a few of the girls brought their kids down to check it out. I was shocked at young some of these girls were, but how some of them were so responsible and trying their best. I felt better knowing there was a place like the Shirley Schneider Centre for these girls.

This week I begin teaching a full class! Last week I just taught in small groups, but tomorrow I’m given an all girls Wellness 10 class, and could not be more excited. We’re going to learn about relationships, so I hope the girls are interested in this topic, and involved in what I have planned…. Back to planning these lessons I go!