The End is Just the Beginning

I sadly said goodbye to the best group of students I could have ever asked for for my pre-interning experience. Maybe they were excited, but little do they know that I will be back soon! Although it was not the most perfect experience, I am very grateful for every situation that came my way, as they will all help me in becoming the type of educator that I hope to become someday. I am well on my way, and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for me. I have a long ways to go, but I am developing more and more everyday. Just wait until my kids see me again in March and how much I have learned! Until next time, enjoy my last video reflection of the 2015 year.

iMovie is a Teacher’s New Best Friend

Education has gone full force into the new world of technology. iMovie is just one component that makes up this world. Just like any piece of technology, iMovie has its benefits as well as challenges. However, overall it can be an extremely engaging and worthwhile tool to introduce to your teaching as well as to your students.

Jen, Rehana, Amy, Brad and I got the opportunity to explore iMovie in more detail, just so we could share its awesomeness with you! Check it out here or up above! Also, check out the video trailer that we created:

What Do You Mean We Can Actually Learn on a Field Trip?

Nothing was better than when the words “Field Trip” escaped from my teacher’s mouth. It was a rare occasion to be able to go somewhere outside of the school, and when we did, it was more for an end of the year hoorah rather than an educational experience. Because of this, there was no clear connection to what we learned throughout the year, and I found myself

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Taken at the Royal Sask Museum

more excited by the idea of actually getting out of the school than the potential benefits that a field trip could present. Being given the opportunity to read through numerous articles and attending the Royal Sask. Museum on Thursday has provided me with the insight that field trips have the capability to be amazing educational avenues to developing critical and reflective thinkers.

Reading through articles before the museum trip was extremely beneficial, because it provided me with the idea of how valuable field trips can be if educators take the time and make it an experience that students can build off of prior to and after taking part in the trip. I particularly enjoyed the article: Transforming a Field Trip into an ExpeditionNothing is more appealing to a child than making something an experience in which they are given the opportunity explore, discover and reflect. Finding those connections to previous and recent learning experiences is crucial by planning field trips that can be extensions of the learning experiences done at school. By finding these connections, field trips become not only a fun day for the students, but something that they can really dive in to and discover their truest passions and thoughts on topics that can still be connected to the Saskatchewan curriculum. If approached correctly, field trips can be the avenue for inquiry, research projects or personal learning and reflection. Let’s make field trips a journey that leads somewhere further than the bus ride back to school.

Another article, from Edutopia, outlines 8 different ways to actively engage students in field trips by creating tasks that are of interest to them and which they are able to reflect upon. I absolutely love how this article focuses on making students the leaders of their learning. Moreover, finding that connectedness not only in making students interested in what they will be learning about throughout their field trip, but allowing them to express those learnings in a way that speaks most to them is essential. However, one portion of the article that I became concerned with after my own visit to the museum is #5 ‘e2’80ldblquote The Scavenger Hunt. Given the activity sheet at the beginning of our visit, I did not realize how much it would negatively affect my experience at the museum. After going through the entire exhibit, I realized that I did not take any time to look at the displays or the artefacts that did not answer the questions on the sheet. I barely even remember looking at the written portions that had the answers on it that I was looking for. When you limit a child by giving them specific pieces of information to look for, you are limiting their ability to fully experience and reflect on their own perceptions of the exhibit. You take all feeling away, because they are more focused on finding the right answer than exploring and discovering how what they see effects them as individuals. I would provide questions that motivate students to take the time to look at each display with critical and reflective eyes — to search for the answers that they want to find, not what they are told to find.

To allow our students to be critical and reflective thinkers, I had to look at my own experience as a student in the museum. We had a noteworthy discussion on whether or not we thought that the exhibit portrayed the First Nations history and culture appropriately. At this time, someone mentioned that they wished there was more written factual information

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Taken at the Royal Sask Museum

supporting the artefacts. However, I do not believe that is what would pay tribute to the past and present vital and dynamic culture of the First Nations’ people. Written language is a European way of learning; furthermore, all of the written portions of the museum are in English. Something that may be overlooked in any other situation, it is crucial to look at every aspect of the museum if we want it to fully represent First Nations culture. I thoroughly felt connected when I walked into an area where a story was being told orally in Cree. Although I could not understand it fully, it became a very personal experience for me to just stand and listen to the language. These two different viewpoints that were held are what can lead to further discussion and reflection — we were not told to look at how the written information affected us as learners, but that is what stood out to us, because we decided that it does. We need to provide our students with the opportunity to do the same — find out what they like and dislike and why they believe this is.

Overall for our museum trip, although there were numerous things that I could change within the exhibit itself, I could not help but notice the beauty and authenticity that it did bring forward. Sometimes we focus too much on what is wrong with something, rather than appreciating what is in front of us. It would probably be easier if the museum did not have an exhibit on First Nations culture and history at all. Although the displays are dated, the beauty within each display is that it tells a story. They represent the First Nations’ way of living and passions through working in partnership with the plants, the animals, and the earth in which they live. If we ensure that our students have a strong understanding of First Nations history, their culture and their contemporary lives, then they will have the tools to discover for themselves what they think of the exhibit. It is not up to us as educators to tell them what is right or wrong with it, but to allow our students to take the knowledge that they have previously learned and apply that knowledge. Let’s give students the opportunity to be critical thinkers in which they are able to find both the beauty and the wrong — from what they believe, not what we as educators believe.

sdrawkcab yb ngised — When it Comes to Reforming a Lesson

The challenge of creating a solid lesson plan has never been so evident until this past week when we were given the task of completely reforming a Grade 5 Social Studies lesson on Canadian Climates. It has always been easypencil 2 to pick out what is wrong with a lesson; however, trying to find out what will make it better is the real test. This activity was an extremely beneficial process to go through, and I feel as though I can move forward and now create a reliable lesson plan because of it.

Dustan, Shelby and I stuck with the same outcome; however, we decided to try a different indicator. Once getting into it, the process of creating the lesson was relatively simple. Having the “I can” statements, essential and foundation questions, and assessments at the beginning of the lesson plan are extremely beneficial, because it allows you to think about the end result right away — the most important component of a lesson. It was much easier to create an activity that matched the outcome and indicator once we specified how we wanted our students to prove their understanding on the topic. Sometimes when we create lessons, we often forget to reflect on why we think it is beneficial for our students to complete it. It also allows us to create a lesson that only focuses on the main ideas instead of putting more information into our lesson than we need to or that our students can handle without losing focus.

The main point that I noticed throughout this process is how easy it is to implement Treaty Education into the Social Studies curriculum. When one says that they do not feel comfortable teaching it or do not know where to start, little do they know that it is already laid out right in front of them in this situation. I often forget to make Treaty Education connections within my lessons; however, this template has it written right in with bold letters, making me realize the importance and benefits of implementing it.

Although I was hesitant at first, I am beginning to gain an appreciation for the Backwards by Design Lesson Plan layout. It is very easy to see what I walking.jpgwant to get out of my plan, and how I will accomplish that. This reformed lesson for Grade 5 Social Studies is nowhere near perfect; however, it is a start. I am excited to implement this lesson plan template into my three week block next semester in hopes that it will make my lessons more beneficial and worthwhile for my students.

Check out the new and improved lesson plan here.

The Big Debate

Week 5 could not have gone any better for Amie and myself. This was definitely needed after a few rough and busy weeks of being students ourselves. I am so blessed to have Amie by my side through out this experience. Check out our video this week to see what happened!

Teaching is an Amazing Thing

The further we get into it, the more we have to talk about! Enjoy this week’s video from Amie and myself about our week 4 pre-interning experience. It is tough to believe how quickly this semester is going by, and the countless stories that we are creating throughout this journey will be forever embedded in our hearts.