Monthly Archives: January 2016

FIND FIVE FRIDAY – Week Two

  1. Like Danielle, the concept of connected learning is still something I am wrapping my head around, but I really enjoyed reading her most recent post about participation. She talks about how teachers with all different backgrounds were able to come together and work towards accomplishing a single goal for their students. I think it is so awesome how one common goal or interest can bring together people of all different experiences and who come from all different places.
  2. When I was reading Khaliah’s post, Interest as a Young Student, I thought it was really awesome how her teacher was able to recognize her interest and create a way for her to explore that interest further and still have her grow as a student. Not only do I think Khaliah’s experience made her a better dancer but it also help to build her self-confidence.
  3. I think Ryan did a great job showing us how even something like losing weight and exercising can even have a connected learning component. In his Participation Challenge blog post he uses the examples of blogs, articles, and videos which share new exercises and information about nutrition. With the internet all of a sudden our world gets that much bigger and the community of people participating in the same things we are grows larger.
  4. I think Tom’s post is a great example of how as educators it is important to make our classroom a warm and inviting place for our students to participate but also realize that it will take more students longer to warm up, especially those new students. We need to allow student to participate at their own pace but still make sure everyone feels comfortable when they do decide to participate.
  5. For my final Find Five Friday this week I wanted to “re-find” one of the finds on Teacher & Tamales. They posted a resource that provides a lot of information about legal immigration. I am a very visual learner so this was extremely helpful to me for learner about something I didn’t know much about. With this I can also see how valuable these Five Find Fridays are to us because without them I am sure I never would have come across this graphic to help me better understand legal immigration.
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How Do We Participate? – Week Two

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.

VERY FIRST FIND 7 SUNDAY! – Week One

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

AND SO IT BEGINS! – Week One

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.