Indoor girl, finds connection to environment.

This blog post is a bit of a challenge for me to write. I very much related to Kimmerer’s students, and their explanation of why things layered they way they do. I don’t know more than the common terms for environmental species and really, I don’t care to. I am not an outside person in any way, shape or form.  I prefer to go from my climate controlled home, to my climate controlled vehicle, to my almost always climate controlled destination. Given that, you can imagine the difficulty I had coming up with a time I felt connected to the environment.  After some thinking, and beginning to believe that I would not come up with anything, I realized that my connection to the environment is water.

I very much love watching and listening to running water.  I enjoy looking at photos of pristine lakes, majestic waterfalls, and gently running streams.  I enjoy watching and listening to the rain, water running and slapping gently against the shore.

The one time my connection to the environment and water stands out is when I was fortunate enough to visit San Diego.  My husband and I spent a week there.  We had a long list of things we wanted to see and do.  The top of the list, an absolute must was to visit a beach and the Pacific Ocean.

We arrived at a, mostly. deserted beach only a couple of tourists and surfers to be found.  I was in awe of being at the ocean.  I just stood and watched and listened.  I felt instantly calm, and at peace, a wonderful feeling.  As I stood and watched, nothing else mattered, I heard no other sounds, but the roar of the waves.  The waves were very high, and came in fast.  My husband and I speculated that there must be a storm out in the ocean somewhere that was generating such waves.  Sitting at the shore we watched the surfers, making bets as to if they would get up and ride the wave.  When we tired we of watching the surfers we turned our attention to the waves themselves.  The power and force of the waves was so impressive.  It put into perspective, just how devastating and forceful waves can be.  However, the even with the realization of the destructiveness that water can bring there was something so mesmerizing about watching the shapes, and patterns the waves took.  The time just melted away from us, as we sat hypnotized by the roar and power of the water.  I have never had time slip away from me like that when I have been outside before.  I hope to someday go back and experience that calmness again. 20180114_185020


Common Sense; do we really need it?

Kumshiro describes “common sense” as something that everyone knows or takes for granted in a society/culture/community.  He goes on to describe how as a newcomer to Nepal, that he had to learn these things.  Things such as showering in a public place, learning that meals were only served twice a day in the shop, and how schooling was conducted, these activities were all common sense to the villagers but not to Kumshiro who had a different common sense.  It is simply what they do without any real thought as to doing them or why they do them. Common sense is something that has always been done without anyone really questioning why it is done.  Most of the time there is no questioning because it is something that isn’t even thought about.

We need to pay attention to the common sense because not all the common sense of a society is as simple as where and when people shower.  The common sense is often generated by those that have privilege and power in a society and whether purposefully or not oppresses those who do not hold the power and privilege in the society.  When we don’t question our common sense, we then assume everyone has or should have the same ideals as we do so we set out to change the common sense that isn’t like ours.  Kumshiro set out to help those in Nepal by bringing in the American methods of teaching, assuming the American methods were better.  When we stop, pay attention, we learn so much.  Paying attention to others common sense gives us a deeper insight into their lives, traditions, beliefs and values. We may learn about others and take some knowledge from them to improve our schools or ourselves.  When we pay attention to our own common sense we might be uncomfortable, because we just might see how our common sense is not the right way for everyone, including those that we interact with daily.  If we paid attention to our common sense, we would have to act to change it and change is uncomfortable.

ECS 100 Final Reflection

This my final ECS 100 Reflection.  I chose to make a star quilt patch to represent my learning.  The white background represents the perspective I come from.  I chose a patch instead of a full panel like in Every quilt tells a story because ECS 100 was more a refining of the big ideas I learned in ECS 110.  I hope you enjoy.  Like the one I designed for ECS 110, I hope to make these out of material and display them in my classroom.

Learning experiences

This space is to share what we learn in our field placements.  I am a bit conflicted about sharing my classroom experiences in a public space like this blog.  First I want to share everything about being in the classroom.  I don’t have the words to express how much I enjoy being in the classroom, watching the teacher, attending meetings, and observing and interacting with the kids.  I feel like I could write volumes about being in the classroom and share every detail.   Sharing every detail is what conflicts me.  I know enough to not use students or teachers names, or even the school name but I am concerned that I will share some little detail that will tip off my readers as to who I am referring or what school I am at.  Keeping the privacy of my placements is very important to me, as I parent I would be very unhappy if a student inadvertently identified my children on a public forum. Children’s safety, my own and my students, online, in the classroom, on the playground and anywhere I have influence is of utmost importance to me, and to endanger that even accidentally would devastate me. Why have this tab if I am so conflicted.

Well the easy answer is that it is a requirement of my e-portfolio for my ECS 100 class and will be nice for future employers to see.  The not so easy answer is having this here, forces me to address the conflict within and challenge myself to figure out the best way to share while upholding the privacy of my students, cooperating teachers and school.  So for now this maybe a space to share my end of ECS classes thoughts and projects.  I do know that I will grow and be come confident and use this space for its intended purpose. Stay Tuned.

First collaboration meetings.

In my ECS 100 placement the teachers at the school I am at have what they call collaboration meetings.  The meetings are held on a day 4, during the first period after lunch.  They find it easier to do these meetings during the school day, rather than having everyone try to fit a meeting in after classes.  The teachers are divided into junior(grades K-3), senior (grades 4-8) and Learning resource.  My placement is in an English as a Acquired Language(EAL) class and my cooperating EAL teacher has to attend all three groups so I tagged along to the junior and senior meetings.

One of things I found really quite ingenious was that in order to conduct these meetings during class time the classes did learning buddies.  The older grades would buddy up with a younger class to read to them during the 45 minute meeting.  If it was the junior teachers meeting the senior teachers would supervise both classes and vice versa.  Holding the meetings during class time was also a great idea because it ensured that it  the meeting moved in an efficient manner so everyone could return to their classrooms in 45 minutes. The topics discussed were quite interesting as well.

In the meetings I was able to attend the teachers discussed many things but reading and math were top priorities. They have one teacher who is really excited about math at all grade levels and is doing a presentation at each meeting on something math related.  I discovered the reason patterning is a big focus in math, it lays the foundation for everything else, it allows the students to see relationships in numbers rather than just formulas.  The junior teachers are working through the book Writing Strategies by Jennifer Serravello.  The school used some of their professional development fund to buy the book for all the teachers in the school.  The senior teachers are going through Reading Strategies by Jennifer Serravello.  Each teacher is required to pick a chapter,  summarize it, implement one of the strategies in their classroom and then share their chapter at the meeting. I was very glad I was able to attend a few of these meetings.  I am eager to get both books for myself and read them.

The best discovery from this first foray into professional development is that your more experienced colleagues are a wealth of knowledge.  I am looking forward to my next opportunity to learn.



Pre- K to Grade 5 books

On this page I will share books that I come across that I think will make a good addition  to a classroom library.  I am in the pre-k to grade 5 program so my book selections will focus in this area.


One by Kathryn Otoshi

Akilak’s Adventure- Deborah Kigjugalik Webster

Flowers for Sarajevo- John McCutcheon

Contributions to learning.

I find this post a little difficult to write because I find it difficult to believe, I contributed to others learning, when I know so little about technology.  It would be much easier to for me to write a post on how much I have learned from my classmate.

I posted my blogs and I hope that my classmates gained something from them to add to their knowledge.  I know reading theirs gave me plenty to think about.  I started out with a goal to leave at least one comment on everyone’s blog this semester, unfortunately that didn’t happen.  I did try to leave comments that would maybe generate a conversation like on Laura’s post Monica and Amanda. I left  tips and tricks on learning project blogs.

I also tried to contribute to the Google+ community, in any way I could.  I tried to make sure that if I didn’t have an answer and the poster didn’t have any other comments, that I left a response to such.  I guess I was prompted to do that because I didn’t want anyone to feel they were ignored, I wanted the poster to know that their post was visible and hoped that it would generate some new attention.

I shared very little tech on twitter but did try to share relevant things to education.  I also tried to share some topics that we specific to Regina and Canada.  I hope that the few contributions I made on Saskedchat and the Digciz chat added something for someone.

I tried to offer words of encouragement, because I know they meant a lot to me when they were offered, when I felt over my head.  I know I got a lot more than I gave.  So I made a short Youtube video of some of my contributions. Thanks for a great class.


Its been a stitch.

Let’s put this learning project out of its and my misery shall we.  This project ended up being way more difficult and frustrating than it needed to be.  What made it difficult and frustrating you ask? Several things actually.

Let’s start at the beginning.  In order to find resources, I went to trusty google and searched for hand applique patterns to find something I wanted to create and came up with this football banner.  I needed to know how make this so I searched beginner hand applique, beginner needle turn(alternate term for hand applique) and when those didn’t yield the level of instruction I was wanting and needing I switched beginner for learn to.  I came across this blog I didn’t read it depth but it looked like a good tutorial so I proceeded.  When I was scanning through I noticed this blog said to trace the pattern directly onto the material, I didn’t want to do that.  It is much cheaper to toss paper than fabric.  So I went in search for directions to create a freezer paper pattern and found this blog.  The pictures looked good and the instructions seemed to be clear on first reading. As I proceeded through using both blogs there seemed to be an assumption of a certain level of skill and understanding of applique.  That is when I should have stopped and moved on looking for other directions. But I didn’t and I got really frustrated and lost focus on the whole point of the project. Once I got back to the true purpose of this assignment, I took another avenue, looked at Youtube and found this lovely ladies tutorials lovely ladies tutorials and in a matter of two hours I was stitching the piece. Had I gotten out of my own head I may be close to having a great piece done, but oh well.

I didn’t learn as much as I wanted to about hand applique but I did learn something about learning online.  The first thing is that certain things are harder to learn online than others. I have had success in the past learning other things, so was a bit surprised when this was difficult.  I also found that for nearly all the resources for my project even though I found them under a learn to search there was an assumption of some skill and understanding.  I also found it difficult not to be able to ask questions because when I searched the comments to see if the question had been asked and answered, I discovered that both blogs I was using were no longer active.  I think if you are going to keep the information up and not deactivate the blog take a minute and put a warning that the blog is not monitored.  I think it took me so long to get to Youtube to search was because google didn’t for some reason have any Youtube videos in my initial searches.

In fairness I do like learning certain things online and will continue to do so mostly using Youtube for detailed instruction.  If it is a little more complicated I will be looking to make sure the blog is being monitored to answer questions.  I wish it had been more fun like my last 2 posts but I learned a few things, so it was not a fail.