Slam Poetry at it’s Finest

I found this video on Facebook and couldn’t help but have similar thoughts towards education as this man does. Just from the brief time I’ve spent in the EAL rooms, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for these students who barely understand their own language to figure out our language in order to stay in school.



Standardized Testing

This morning my EHE professor, Lee Schaefer as well as another U of R Professor, Marc Spooner discuss the issue of Standardized Testing on CTV News.



Lip Dub!

When Dean first expressed his interest in creating a lip dub, I have to admit I was a little hesitant to volunteer; video recording myself is not really my favourite thing.  However, I’m so glad I signed up.  What a neat way to show everyone how we connected with classrooms from all over North America, and how diverse each classroom was from one another.

Anyways, here is the final product of the lip dub.  So happy with how it turned out, and definitely an activity I will keep in mind when an opportunity like this arises.


“To This Day…”

Before my pre-internship, we watched part of this video.  Now after seeing the full video through Facebook, I am taken aback.  This presentation is so moving; Shane Koyczan somehow finds a way to add humour to such a serious topic.  While watching this video today during my prep at Balfour, I could not shake the feeling of seeing some of my students in this video.

I have to say, I haven’t heard or seen that much direct, or even indirect, bullying at Balfour over the past couple of weeks.  However, I can’t shake the feeling that people in that building are feeling that way.  It breaks my heart to see a man of his age still get so passionate choked up about his past.  I think this video truly illustrates the long-term affects bullying can have on someone.



How do we assess understanding?

What Ed Said is one of the blogs I chose to follow for a previous Tech Task.  I’m glad I did!  I was looking through my blogs the other day and found an interesting post about assessment.  Creating rubrics is something that has been discussed in many of my classes, and something I have experienced with Room 209.  In one of my ECS classes, we worked together on creating a rubric for our one of our major assignments.  My oh my, was it ever a task!  I guess I never realized how big of a process it is to create rubrics with students.  I also noticed this when I worked with Room 209 to create a rubric for their Substance Abuse/Addictions project.

One thing I noticed about the rubrics posted on the What Ed Said blog was that numbers for assessment were replaced with words.  I also noticed this when working with Room 209; they used terms such as “Neon Green; Green; Yellow; and Red” instead of a score.  I thought that was an interesting way of looking at assessment.  Having “student friendly” language in the rubric I noticed was also key.  Room 209 is big on calling things “juicy”, so I noticed that if you achieved a neon green, you had some real juicy information to share with us!  By using this language, the students seemed more involved, and I have to admit, I quite enjoyed the process as well!

Another interesting part about the rubrics on the What Ed Said blog was that the rubric was phrased in “I can” statements.  I’ve heard about the importance of these in some of my other classes, but to see it on a rubric really helped me to grasp the relevancy “I can” statements have for students.  I’ll definitely keep those statements in mind as I plan my assessment unit!


If students designed their own schools…

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

While looking through others blogs, I saw this video on Dan’s blog, and was really intrigued.  This article is a snapshot of a school in Washington that created a program for Independent Learning, where the students have 100% control of their learning.  We frequently discuss giving students some control of their learning, but I found it really interesting to see that the students had the freedom to learn about whatever interested them.

I liked the idea of having weekly questions.  At the beginning of the week, each student would pose a question that they were curious about.  They would then spend the half of their time that week answering their question through research or experimentation.  The part I really liked about this independent program is that they had one large individual endeavour.  This was a bigger, and more ambitious project that they participated in throughout the entire term.  The only requirements for this assignment were that the student had to display effort and mastery of a skill towards their endeavour.  For one student, that was learning how to play the piano; for another it was creating a documentary.  The teachers were there just to support and mentor the students through their project.

I think that is such a good idea, and something I would definitely consider trying in the classroom.