FIND FIVE FRIDAY – Week Eight
1. I was doing a little research on Shared Purpose and found a really awesome TEDTalk from TEDxSDSU by Larry Kesslin called, Shared Common Purpose. He talks about how humans crave connectedness and how connecting relates to Shared Purpose. He is a really awesome speaker and a lot of what he says can relate to what we are learning in this class.
2. Something else I found while exploring Shared Purpose was a silly short video that looked at Shared Purpose on a bigger scale and the purposes everyone living on earth shares. It is called, A Quick Guide to Shared Purpose, and was a fun and interesting video.
3. I really enjoyed reading ED677’s post on Shared Purpose, especially their implications. I liked that they linked Shared Purpose with creating students who are college, career, and civil ready. I think people can find Shared Purpose in really anything they do. Awesome post!
4. I loved reading/viewing Danielle’s map project. I never thought of using Prezi for something like this, but what a great idea! One thing though that I found frustrating with Prezi (and I could be wrong) is that you have to have an account to be able to view someone else’s work. Is this right?
5. So many things today are done on the internet or with some kind of technology that it is very hard to get by without having these resources. EveryoneOn is an organization that is trying to make internet and technology more accessible to those less privileged individuals. Even something as common as filling out college application is done online so how can we expect students to further their education if they don’t even have the means they need to do so. Thanks #ourkidsmatter for sharing what you found!
As educators I think it is extremely important for us to remember that our students are “curious and critical thinking civic agents in their own way”. We want to make sure that each student knows that they are contributing members of a society and that their opinions and voices do matter. All the members of a school (students, teacher, parents, nurses, administrators, etc.) have a shared purpose. Many times the shared purpose shows through in a school mission statement, moto, or even slogan. An example of this is the mission statement for the school I am currently doing my pre-student teaching with.
It is the Mission of Fort Washington Elementary School to inspire our students to believe that learning is a lifelong adventure and that success means doing our best, being our best, and feeling proud in our efforts.
What I think is really neat about this school is that everyone in the school community knows what their mission (shared purpose) is and they work towards it every day. Every month they even have a “Town Hall Meeting” where the whole school, even parents are invited, comes together and reflects on how they have been working as a community to live by their shared purpose of “doing our best, being our best, and feeling proud”. It is a really cool experience to witness.
One implication that I took away from this week’s topic of Shared Purpose is how important it is to share and explain the purpose for the lessons we teach. So often students asked “why are we learning this” and I think it is our job as their teachers to not only teach them those skills but to explain to them why it is important that they learn them. Once we share the purpose of our teaching with our students they can begin to see the importance of the lesson and become more motivated to learn.
I also think that when our students work together for a common purpose it gives them ownership of their work. They are able to see how their work is contributing to a greater good and how even though they may all come from different backgrounds they can still come together to work on common goals.
This week we were also asked to create a short presentation about our views on Shared Purpose using a program called Flipgrid, so I wanted to reflect on that a little bit. Flipgrid allows individuals to post 90 second videos to a group sharing space. (I didn’t really realize how short 90 seconds really is!) There is an app version of the program but I used the website to complete the assignment. Overall I though the site was very user friendly and simple to navigate. It is a very simple website and I am actually shocked that there is a cost for it. Could you just have students post short videos on a classroom YouTube page? I am not sure the cost is worth it.
Find Five Friday: (What Inspires Me to Create and Make)
- TimeToast – This is a free resource that I used to create my timeline for the map assignment. It is extremely user friendly and easy to maneuver. I would even say it is so simple that older elementary school students would be able to use it. Super awesome tool and did I mention it’s FREE!
- From the article I found a link to a webinar, What Does “Interest Driven” Look Like?. CLTV (Connective Learning TV) posted this webinar in which Paul Oh from the National Writing Project interviews a number of experts. The interviews give great examples of what interest driven teaching looks like. If anyone is having trouble understanding this idea watch this video, it is great!
- I am sure that many of you reading this post know what Etsy is but for the one or two of you who don’t I want to draw your attention to a site that inspires me to create/make every time I go on. Etsy is a site where individuals can go on to sell or buy handmade items. When I see that talent that is on this site it inspires me to use my creativity and try more DIY projects. Something that I just learned this week actually is that the COO of Etsy just became the CEO of Teachers Pay Teachers. Cool, right?!
- I also stumbled across a really awesome blog this week while exploring teachers as makers and creators. It is called Creating & Teaching. A pre-school teacher blogs about the things she creates with her students. I especially like this site because she posts a lot about working with students with special needs and how she creates with them in the classroom.
- Teach Teachers How to Create Magic is a TED Talk where Christopher Emdin talks about teaching in urban settings and creating magic in these settings. He says that you create magic by going to places where magic happens, barbershops, rap concerts, churches. We need to create the magic in content and standards by bringing the magic from these places into the classroom and by doing this “we could make dead classes come alive, we could reignite imaginations, and we can change education”.
For my map I wanted to reflect on the journey I am taking to become a teacher so I created a timeline of all the steps I have taken so far. I used a website called TimeToast to create the timeline and make it public for anyone to see. With this program you are able to upload your own photos and even link websites to your posts on your timeline, it is a really awesome program. At first there were some events that I didn’t have anything to go along digitally, for example my new pre-student teaching experience. For this I have not created anything or taken any pictures, but then I thought why not at a link to the school website so readers can learn more about the school and their climate. Overall the timeline allowed me to organize my journey but still be creative!
Here is the link to my timeline…
Right now in my life I am in the middle of my path to becoming a teacher and it is one that has taken many turns and hit many road bumps. It also is one that I am very proud of and all the obstacles that I have had to face and will face are only going to make me a stronger educator. Sometimes we can forget the steps and turns that we have taken to get us to where we are, so it was nice to be able to document them in a way that I will be able to always revist. I really enjoyed not only reflecting on my journey but being a “maker” as I did it.
One aspect of this blog post assignment that I think is just as important as the actual “making” is the questions we were asked to reflect on. In chapter four of Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, Clifford Lee says that, “simply creating an artifact and/or levering new and exciting digital tools will not surface”. There needs to be meaning and purpose in the things we create and reflecting on our process can help us find that meaning and purpose.
The past few weeks I have truly come to find out how important a community can be. I recently lost my Nana and throughout the whole thing there was one community that was always there, our church. This is a community that my whole family is a part of, my parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even one that my Nana was a very active member of. Some of us are not as active in the community as others, but that didn’t matter during this time. The priest came to the house to pray with us, families brought over food, and members showed up at the funeral to show their support and condolences. In being a member of this community we were able to get through a very tough time a little easier.
Another huge community that I am apart of is the community of professors, teachers, and students in the College of Education at Arcadia University. This is a community that is full of people interested and passionate about the same thing. One thing I have notice from the year I have been at Arcadia is how everyone is so willing to help. Being a new teacher this is something that is very important. I think we learn the most from each other rather than textbooks so having a community to lean on and learn from is extremely important.
Through the community at Arcadia I was able to become a member of a new community. Being new to teaching I wanted to connect to a community for teaching, so after asking around at Arcadia it was recommended that I sign up for the website Teachers Pay Teachers, so I did! This is a website where teachers can sell original lesson plans, activities, and other resources and then other teachers can go on to purchase them. As Lave and Wegner say in their article, Communities of Practice, “In some groups we are core members, in others we are more at the margins”. I would say that the members who are selling and are very active are core members. I right now am more at the margins exploring all that the community has to offer.
One more thing I wanted to comment on was something that Kira Baker-Doyle said in her book. She says that, “teacher networks and professional learning communities help socialize and guide teachers to become active members of the professional community”. As someone who is just starting this journey this quote really makes me realize that it is okay to go to others for help and that there are so many communities out there to help me. Time to start building my communities of practice!
For this week’s assignment we were asked to participate in something, anything. For me this seemed like it would be an easy task to complete but it was more difficult than I thought. It took me until Thursday to come across something where I was a participant. That is four days! What I finally participated in was a yoga class that I take weekly on Thursdays.
With something like a yoga class participation is more physical/kinesthetic than it is verbal. I participated by setting up for class, doing the positions and meditations, and then cleaning up when class is done. For the most part the instructor spoke except for in the beginning and end when I said hello and goodbye to a few other classmates. In an activity like yoga being a good participant means following the “yoga culture”. Being quite, being respectful of each other and the space, as well as, setting up your equipment in the proper way.
In the Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture article by Henry Jenkins he defines participatory culture as, “type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices”. For my yoga class the instructor lead us through the positions and flow of class. Without her I know I would not be able to practice yoga, but each week I do gain more knowledge and more knowledge. Henry Jenkins also defines participatory culture as, “members feel some degree of social connection”. Even though there is not much verbal communication between the students in my yoga class, all the members of the class are still connected because they are in the same room participating in an activity that they enjoy.
With the students in our class I think it is important that we remember that when our student are passionate and care about something then the participatory culture can be stronger and more affective. As teachers though it is also important that we recognize there will be students unwilling to participate but it is important that they still feel free to contribute whenever they are ready and willing.
For my first week I wanted to explore the list of blogs that Christine Cantrill provided with us. I have never explored education blogs and thought this was a good opportunity for me to build a collection of blog resources.
- This week I read a post by Maha Bali on her blog Reflecting Aloud. It was all about an event she attended on the education reform in Egypt. I have always been very interested in how education in other countries is different from ours in the United States, so this title stuck out to me. Specifically she talks about the keynote speaker, Pasi Sahlberg. She shares a quote from his speech that really got me thinking, “the worst enemy of creativity is standardization”. How can we allow our students to be creative if everything has requirements and outlines that need to be followed? Overall it was a great read!
Side Note: I really liked that at the top of each post Maha had the average amount of time it will take you to read that post. I thought this was an awesome feature to have.
- Another post that I read was on BlogWalker. This article interested me because the author talks about how educators can use filmmaking to show the importance of developing literacy skills to our students. They talk about how using film to create documentaries with students is a great example of student-driven, project-based learning.
- I loved reading recent posts on The Spicy Learning Blog. It’s nice to read the words of a “very…weird” educator like Royan. His writing is very light and easy to read but yet provides the readers with great insights into education and even parenting. I also read a lot of the comments that were posted after each post and I love how Royan is a part of them and contributes to the comment conversations. Great blog and one that I will be adding to my favorites bar!
- When reading the latest post on the blog Kevin’s Meandering Mind I was taken to another one of the author’s projects, Wild West Adventures of the Internet Kid. This is a series of daily comics that share insights of the modern culture of technology, more specifically, young people’s interactions in the digital age. It is really fun to read.
- This week I also read the latest Weekly News on Hack Education. Each week Hack Education posts a summary of what is happening in the world of education. Some of this week’s highlights include Jeb Bush’s plan for higher education, a complaint filed that says a NYC charter school was violating the civil rights of students with disabilities, and the revamping of the GED. I really enjoyed reading this because it is something you can read in full or just glance over to see what is currently happening in education. All the currents events for education are found in one place with this weekly news posting.
- I wanted to explore The New York Time’s blog The Learning Network this week as well. The New York Times is such a credible resource that I figured a blog about teaching and learning with The New York Times would have to be a very usable resource. From just explore the site I could see how diverse the activities that they provided/suggested are. I saw activities for ELL students, high school students, and even activities for students who are Star Wars fans. This site is updated very frequently so the activities are very current. I would say that the activities are geared more towards older students, so as an elementary school teacher I might not find this as useful.
- The last blog I explored was Art Museum Teaching. The idea of museum education was something I have never really heard or thought of before so this blog was very educational for me. I started out by reading the posting titled 2015 Year in Review because I thought it would give me a nice overview of what the blog was all about. The post talked about some of the issues that were on our minds in 2015. One thing that they looked back on was one of their most popular postings about teachable moments on Facebook and using Facebook as a tool, which I found very interesting. Over all a very cool post and blog overall. This one is a keeper too!
As a young person I always had an interest for the performing arts; plays, musicals, concerts. I started out by signing in the chorus in Elementary School, then started performing in the plays and musicals in Middle School, and eventually became President of the Thespian Troop in High School. In High School I was even provided with the opportunity to take classes on drama and stage crew.
In second grade my Mom signed me up for the school play, Mary Poppins, where I was a duck in the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious scene. I truly believe this is what sparked my interest in the performing arts. Ever since then I have wanted to be in the shows every year and be involved in multiple choirs at school. In middle school I was able to take private voice lessons where I could learn about my interest outside of school. Whenever I was up on stage performing or at play rehearsal practicing I always felt like I had found a place I belonged and was happy that I found people who shared my interest.
Both of my parents have been very supportive of this interest from the very beginning. They drove me to and from play rehearsal, researched other ways I could pursue my interest, and sat through three night in a row of the same show I was performing in. My extended family was also extremely supportive of me. They came to every show I was ever in and knowing that they were there to watch and cheer me on made it that much more special.
This interest allowed me to learn so many things in school. Not only did I learn about the performing arts, self-confidence, and leadership, but I also learned about historical events and different topics in English/literature. I remember specifically how much I learned about Salem and the Salem Witch Trials when performing in The Crucible.
Having an interest in the performing arts was something that shaped me into who I am today and I couldn’t think of anything else I would have rather pursued throughout my schooling.