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.




Physical Education  Lesson plans for phys-ed

Early Childhood Education

English as an Acquired Language

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.



Rethunk, Reset, lets do this, again.

Before I get into this post, I just want to clarify something.   My last two posts about this project were written and worked on 2-3 weeks ago.  They have been sitting in my rough draft folder waiting for me to figure out what to do.  So I have been mulling over my next course of action for that long.  I don’t want you to think that I am that good and got over and on with this project in less than 24 hours.

Now that you know I have mulled this over for a few weeks I had some clarity.  The big one was that I got so caught up in the project itself and got hyper focused on the end result of the project forgetting the true purpose of the assignment.  Once I refocused on the purpose, which was trying different avenues to learn the project, the light began to flicker.  My brain also messed with me and for some reason, I was convinced that turning to Youtube was some how cheating.  We will just attribute that flawed thinking to life circumstances colliding head on with school this semester and the end result a brain fart(maybe I shouldn’t write that).

With my new focus, and now under the gun to get a couple more posts in before midnight today, I turned to youtube.  I found some really helpful ones.  The first one was on how to use my seam gauge.  This handy little gadget found here and how to use it here.  Problem one solved.

My next and biggest issue was prepping the pieces.  The issue surrounding the pieces was how big to create the seam allowance(the part that is turned under in sewing, to prevent fraying) and how to measure it.  There has been some discrepancy between the seam allowance being 1/8 in and 1/4 in.  In this video, that I found the most helpful, she uses a 1/4 in, so that is what I am going to use as well.  The next issue was to create that seam allowance as close to 1/4 in as possible.  All the videos and blogs I have used have told me to eyeball.  We have seen what a disaster that is here.  I will measure the 1/4 in straight on to the fabric before I cut the pattern out. I did a brief video to make it a little clearer check it out.  I have a piece to work with and show you the next step. Stay Tuned.


Silence, a form of activism?

They say “silence is golden” but is it always.  In certain situations silence is a good thing but when it comes to online social activism it may not be.  Katia Hildebrandt talks about this in her blog post In online spaces, silence speaks as loudly as words.  As always what Katia had to say has given me some food for thought.

I do not consider myself much of a social activist online or in the real world.  When I came across this chart that describes the different types of citizens I definitely fall into the personally responsible citizen.  I donate food, toys, sign petitions etc as I feel inclined to or money allows but rarely do more than that.  When it comes to online activism I will share the occasional post about something I believe in but I often weigh how offensive it is to someone who might see that.  Since I have decided to come back to University and attempt to enter the Faculty of Education, I found that I have been even more cautious about what I share, like and comment on in regards to social justice issues.  Most of the time erring to stay silent.

Like Katia points out in the Online spaces blog post, many of her students tell her that they are fearful of the possible consequences for future jobs if they post controversial things.  They opt to stay neutral as possible.  I am one of those people and I am fully aware that there is no neutral.  Still I really cut down my sharing of things that I thought could cause me potential placings, jobs in the future.  I chose to stay silent on the things I supported and didn’t support out of fear.

Even though fear was/is the biggest motivating factor in my silent activism, I also try not to engage because I often feel that it is difficult to get a point across in the written word.  I don’t feel that I can write well enough to argue a point effectively. Also with the written word the tone is often misinterpreted or meaning twisted and you end up arguing about how you said something or what you meant.  In that way I don’t think discussions are very effective and often the lead to personal attacks on character which I don’t agree with.  As I write this I came to the realization that I don’t stand up against those personal attacks either.  That very thing happened to me today.  I realize my silence on the matter means that A) I agree with everything in the post or B) I didn’t see the post.  I saw the post.

So as I sit here and try to finish this post, I feel sick about my inaction as the realization about what my silent activism says.  In this particular case, I agree with the poster about the event but I do not support the resulting comments about the character of the people involved in the event.  I know what I should do am I brave enough to do it.  Am I willing to risk some of my privilege.