Lauren's Education Blog

Prepare to be enraptured by my educational journey

Video Edit

Today we went through some of the basics of iMovie. I used a short clip I took in grade 12 to edit and came up with this as my final product!

In just 15 seconds of footage, I was able to make a title, split the clip, add three transitions, use slow motion, and insert a sound effect.

Thoughts On Peer Assessment

Peer assessment (while beneficial in many ways) can be a daunting experience for many people. It requires students to open up to their classmates and be vulnerable to others’ thoughts, judgments, critiques, and praise.

Personally, I don’t mind peer assessment if I am allowed to choose who is assessing me, but being paired with someone  I may not be totally comfortable with, often makes me feel self-conscious and nervous. I know from conversations with my friends that this feeling is shared by others.

Before a teacher implements peer assessment, I think that they should have a conversation with the class about respect and consideration for others’ insecurities. Even a brief conversation surrounding this can help put people’s concerns at ease, evoke more constructive feedback, and create an environment that fosters positive communication and trust.

For this class, I feel that peer assessment can be very helpful since my peers can look over my work with fresh eyes, and even relate their own work to mine. This allows us to contrast and compare different ideas and approaches to writing and website design.

GOOGLE INNOVATORS 

History of Google

  • Founded in 1998
  • Created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin
    • Sergey went to Stanford and Larry was considering attending in 1995
  • The two started creating in their dorm rooms → originally called “Backrub” 

Our Inquiry

  • We intend to become certified Google Educators
  • As future teachers, we think it would be beneficial to be able to better navigate this technology and know ways to implement it in a classroom
  • We have seen  many Google tools being used in schools and hope to be able to contribute our own knowledge in any class we may be placed in

Our Inspiration

  • Emma, a practicing teacher and one of our seminar leaders from last semester, is a google innovator and encouraged all of us to pursue this educational pathway

Google For Education: Teacher Center

  • This website provides us with the information that we need in order to train for becoming Google Educators Level 1.
  • The Fundamentals Training part of the website will prepare us with modules and lessons that will show us how to integrate google into our future classrooms. We will go more in-depth into this section in our next blog post
  • We can study for the test using sample questions

Potential Downfalls of Becoming Google Educators Level 1

  • We could have tunnel-vision and only use google suite apps. By doing this, we may not explore other helpful apps and technologies.

Week Three!

SOOOO another week has gone by living a relatively vegetarian lifestyle… Of the past 7 days, I only ate meat once (and this was more by accident than anything)!

Out of habit, I ordered a chicken wrap from Mac’s one day when I had forgotten my lunch at home. Had I been thinking, I would have ordered a veggie wrap with hummus as the protein rather than chicken, but I fell into autopilot asking for the same order of chicken, spinach, onion and tomato that I always get on my wraps.

Even though that wrap was DELICIOUS, it’s a little frustrating knowing that that is the only meat I ate this week, and probably would have been just as satisfied with hummus.

When I went shopping for my groceries this week, I purposely didn’t buy any meat, so that I wouldn’t be tempted or feel compelled to cook with meat at home. This honestly worked really well because I made sure to buy other sources of protein and it pushed me to try a new recipe once again.

I made jackfruit ‘pulled pork’ and it was so good and so easy! The jackfruit comes in a can and all I did was cook it, add some BBQ sauce to it, and put it in a bun with coleslaw.

After the wrap experience, I discovered a challenge I hadn’t actually foreseen – eating meat out of habit, not just because I needed or was craving it. There are so many protein replacements nowadays, and ways that you can simulate meals that would normally require meat, that it is totally possible to follow a vegetarian diet. I am just going to have to be a little more conscious in the future.

iMOVIE

After a little group inquiry into iMovie, here’s what we found!

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iMovie Features 

  • Make a trailer or movie                                          
  • Choose themes                                                     
  • Add photos or video clips from your device      
  • Rearrange clips 
  • Can extend or shorten clips 
  • Add voice over
  • Delete audio from clips
  • Add audio clips
  • Add transitions 
  • Text and titles 
  • Import music from Itunes (be aware of copyright)
  • Add audio clips from the application 
  • Export to many places/ in many formats

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Examples Of iMovie Implemented In The Classroom

  • Book trailers (an alternative to book report projects 
  • News Report (current events)
  • Interviews (ex: family or community) 
  • Documenting experiences through clips they filmed during the experience (ex. Thoughts on a field trip)

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Benefits Of iMovie

  • Multimodal ways of sharing knowledge – videos, pictures, audio and words
  • Interesting to kids, spices up their lives !!
  • Teaches photography/ video skills 
  • Allows students to document experiences, which, in turn, can help teachers see the world through their eyes
  • Students can work individually or collaboratively

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Drawbacks of iMovie

  • The trailer format doesn’t leave a ton of room for creativity in terms of videos editing, which means projects can be completed quickly but will be relatively formulaic 
  • Students experiencing technical difficulties may get easily frustrated and unmotivated 
  • Not all students enjoy performing/ acting and may feel uncomfortable showing their video trailers to their classmates 

Initial Ukulele Impressions

Here on February 1st, I’m documenting my first experiences with the ukulele!

So far, I’m finding this instrument much harder to play than I was initially expecting! When I first started, I hadn’t realized how out of tune my ukulele was and honestly thought that the off-pitch sound was just my playing. Thankfully, we spent some time in class learning how to tune properly, and I now have an app that helps me double-check that each string stays in tune. The class collaboration time was also great for getting peer help, as well as for reassuring me that other people were, and are, experiencing some of the same struggles I am.

Since the start of this semester, I have learned the chords C, F, G, and Am. I still struggle a little getting my fingers into place quickly for G, but I know that with more practice it will happen more easily and smoothly. Alongside learning chords and tuning, I am practicing holding my ukulele in the proper position. I understand the importance of curving my wrist around the neck of the ukulele to avoid tendonitis, as well as holding the ukulele in the crook of my elbow, but none of this actually feels that natural to me.

I am super excited to start learning “You Are My Sunshine”, and I hope that with time, the different chords, strumming patterns, and proper holding position become more second-nature to me. ☀️

Field Trip to PSII

This field trip was such a unique experience!

Learning about the inquiry-based educational system was both intriguing and enlightening. Although I still have a lot of questions about how the school fully functions, the Principal, Jeff Hopkin, did an amazing job sharing some of the school’s main goals, principles, and methods. He was so visibly passionate about the school and clearly believes in its ability to better children’s education.

I found it intriguing to see how affordably budgeted the school is, how personalized all the students could make their learning plans, as well as how the teachers’ role within the school differs from regular schools. Coming from a traditional public school background, I was intrigued by the approaches used here and the different standards they attributed to education.

One of the students working near our presentation shared her views on public school teaching and described how PSII had embraced her learning styles and adapted to her needs in ways that other schools never had. It was neat to hear firsthand how the school was benefitting its students; however, I still wonder how PSII ensures all of its pupils are on task, achieving their learning goals in a timely fashion, covering all of the curriculum competencies that BC’s Ministry of Education requires, as well as how students with diverse abilities and needs are accommodated in the school – seeing as there didn’t appear to be any extra teachers or student assistants.

All in all, I had a great time here and would love to further explore the notion of inquiry in education.

Week Two!

So far so good😊

I made it through the week not eating meat four out of seven days, and it honestly happened without having to try. I did, however, have to make an effort to use tofu in at least one of my meals!

Before this last week, I had never cooked tofu, but it turned out to be a pretty unintimidating process. I began by pressing the tofu to get rid of the excess moisture, then cutting it into cubes, and eventually, marinating half of the cubed tofu in soy sauce. Once marinated, I cooked the tofu in a bit of oil and tossed it into my normal stir-fry mix of vegetables and rice. It was delicious, AND I honestly didn’t even miss the chicken that I normally incorporate in that meal. Even better was that I still had leftover tofu, so I decided to try out another recipe. This time I got a little more adventurous and decided to make tofu tacos. These consisted of tortillas, crumbled tofu, taco seasoning, salsa, cheese, and lettuce. Simple, but so good!

Here’s a quick photo of the stir-fry I made (my apologies for not taking a picture of the tacos, but I was so hungry by the time I’d finished cooking them that I didn’t bother).

I know it’s only the start, but I’d call this journey a success so far, and I’m looking forward to week two. I think I might attempt jackfruit ‘pulled pork’ as my new protein replacement this time.

Week One!

As I posted previously, this is the beginning of my journey to a more plant-based diet. I am really looking forward to feeling as though I am doing something that will make a positive impact on the environment, as well as myself.

Although there is a potential I won’t be consuming the same variety and quantity of vitamins and nutrients that I would in a meat/dairy-rich diet, I can always supplement these and I think the benefits will outweigh this drawback. I am hoping to see improvements in the quality of my skin – since dairy often has hormones that can contribute to acne and inflammation – to reduce my risk of cancer, to help lower greenhouse gas emissions, and to reduce the number of animals harmed to create meat and other animal by-products.

I’ve researched several meat replacements and found that tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, jackfruit, eggplant, lentils, beans, cauliflower, nuts, and beets are all full of nutrients and can be made to resemble many of the textures and flavors in meat. I’m super excited to start experimenting with some of these new ingredients and have already begun to look for new recipes I can make!

I’m hoping to start off my journey by dedicating myself to eating no meat at least three days a week, as well as making one recipe that involves a plant-based protein substitute. I often make stir-fries because they are quick and easy, so I might try to make tofu to go in a meal like that!

I’ll keep you all updated on how this first week goes.

Reflections On Inquiry Based Learning

Inquiry-based learning, like any concept ever, has both advantages and drawbacks.

I think a large part of what makes this learning approach successful or not is whether or not students are given the opportunity to study a topic of their own choosing. By exploring a question or problem that they find interesting helps to maintain motivation and engagement, which, more often than not, results in more in-depth, quality work than a teacher-chosen topic would.

In my experience, if a teacher is going to integrate an inquiry-based project into their curriculum, a level of trust between the teacher and students needs to already exist. Inquiry requires students to be somewhat self-directed and to be confident in their ability to acquire knowledge without direct teacher guidance.

This is definitely not a traditional approach to learning, and similarly, requires teachers to utilize less traditional methods of assessment. With inquiry, right and wrong is less evident than it may be on something such as a multiple-choice test and involves more interactive and thoughtful reflection towards the content found, the student’s efforts, and the processes used to support their learning.

All in all, I really enjoy inquiry-based learning, but it is definitely a method that requires both the student and teacher alike to be engaged and to fully invest themselves in the process.  ✍🏼 ✍🏼

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