Archive for February, 2010

How to use Puppets

Posted on February 27, 2010. Filed under: about me, educational |

I taught about how to use puppets in the classroom.  Here is the link to the live presentation.  (Click the button at the bottom of the page where it says recording.)  I also am going to attach my powerpoint presentation if anyone would like to view it.

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Community

Posted on February 27, 2010. Filed under: cultural, educational, personal, reflection | Tags: |

This post is a response to Dean Shareski’s post

Community. This is an interesting thought for culture and society as a whole. It seems that community is a value everyone wants, but it is hard to get.  I think of the church my husband and I attended until we switched this summer. I remember the pastor of our small group always saying that he was trying to build community, but honestly, it just never happened. The people weren’t meshing and it was not a culture of community. Just the way things happened to go, this summer, my husband and I switched churches and we are now attending The Compass (www.compassregina.com) I know it sounds like a little cult or something haha but don’t worry it’s not. It’s just a small church plant here in Regina. I can’t even tell you the community that is happening at this church right now!  I have never felt this close and unified with a group of people in my life. So, I ask, what’s the difference? What has made this church community “better” than the last one? Obviously the people make a difference- but I think it comes down to leadership and how things are run. Once a week there are small group Bible studies where single people, families, and couples meet together.  This is definitely an awesome time, but what has really amazed me is that once a month all the guys of the church get together for supper and drinks and call it “the league of ordinary men.”  They basically wrestle through life, talk about God, and share what they have been going through and support each other.  Us women have our own get together once a month as well. (We call it a league of our own :P)  I actually just got home from Starbucks where we met this morning.  Our group is very similiar, we chat about God, life, school, work, families, prayer requests etc.  But I have to say, in our society, it’s not unusual for a group of girls to get together and talk about life- where it is a little bit unusual for a group of guys to get together as a “community” and talk about life.  I have really noticed a big difference in my husband Jon- and I love that we are a part of the Compass community.

Thinking of the community in my church example also leads me to think about how I can create community in my classroom as well.  And ultimately, I still figure it comes down to leadership.  If I, as the “leader” of the classroom don’t create an enviroment where small groups can discuss, support each other, and share life together, there is no way my classroom will be a community.  Our society is just not built for it or around it.  I think there is a time in the classroom to come together as a whole group and share in a community circle, but I also think that we underestimate the value of small groups.  Reggio Emilia (in Italy) bases their early childhood programs around small group learning experiences, and they are rated the number one early childhood schools in the world.  Can it be replicated in a place like North America?  I don’t know, but it’s something to think about, that’s for sure.

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Aspirational technology, the future of search, and dinner with a stranger

Posted on February 26, 2010. Filed under: reflection, Technology | Tags: , |

This was a really great pod cast.  It was interesting because it was recorded right before Christmas, so they had a lot of chat about presents and techno-gadget gifts.  The part of the presentation that stuck out the most for me was when they talked about the future of search.  Basically our web based searches are changing, and they are getting more personal.  For example, a website called http://www.measy.com is made for searching for the exact gift or purchase you are looking for.  If you want to buy a digital camera, you go on this website and fill out a questionnaire having to do with the things you want in a camera, and by the end, it does the personalized search and gives you the answers.  This method is supposed to be faster then searching online and having to sort through the limitless options that would appear.

Another type of search that they talked about was the ongoing personal search.  The speakers were saying that eventually when the search engines start gathering enough information about you, it will know what kind of websites or stores to bring up when you search.  With the new portable online technology available these days, the presenters were saying that you can be standing on a corner, your smart phone will know what items are on your family’s shopping list, and it will tell you that there is a store around the corner carrying the scarf your mom wants for Christmas.  But it will also know the amount of money you have in your online bank account and it can give you another cheaper option that may be around the other corner.

The future of search blew me away! I mean I guess I knew that this was an option, because if you think about it, of course we have lists in our phones, GPS accessibility, access to online bank accounts, and it’s possible to “share” our shopping lists with other members of the family, but WOW.  I never thought to put it all together and have your own little personal shopping attendant.  This kind of technology is really intriguing.  It might be pushing the borders of a person’s privacy a little bit- but I guess people don’t have to use it if they don’t want.  Do you think it’s too invasive?

CC Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/2956365394/

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Response to Bradie’s ECE and play

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: educational, reflection, Technology | Tags: |

This is a response to Bradie’s post.

Wow it’s like our ECE class meeting all over again!  Thank you for your post.  Again, I really agree with you about play and what play should be.  But, like you said, It’s always about balance.  As I said in class, for the last how many years, everyone has been saying- oh these poor children “now a days.”  “If they had only grown up in my time, it would be better.”  As this world changes, the children change- and play changes.  No matter how hard we try to do things the way they used to be- it will never be the same and we can’t go back.  I really believe we need to embrace change and help the children understand effective play in their own “era.”  We won’t be able to change what kind of toys or technology the children are using at home- so we need to do the best we can to teach to those unique learners.  If they have never made a pretend fort before, or played with blocks, we can’t say, “poor children, they are so unfortunate”- we have to try to teach using tools that they know and understand- possibly DS’s, internet, blogs, Smart boards, Youtube etc. (Shocking, I know)  But then on the same hand, we need to teach them how to have explorative play in the physical environment that surrounds them.  This can be that hands on, interpersonal play we are used to.  It sucks that we can’t change how the parents are dealing with their children, but kids are kids, and we need to do our best to teach them and love them from wherever they are coming from.

Thanks for your thought-provoking post Bradie!

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Job offer!

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: personal |

Well, I went to an interview on Wednesday and I got offered a job for April, May, June!  This was really exciting for me- but also put things into perspective!  I could be teaching for REAL in two months.  The principal asked me to teach grade 6, 7, and 8.  This school has their middle years program set up kind of like high school where the students switch classes, so I would be teaching 6’s, 7’s, 7/8’s and 8’s at different times.  I am definitely an early childhood kind of girl- but I think this would be an awesome opportunity.  I’m not afraid of teaching this age as I have coached this age group and been a youth leader with this age group before, but- it is still kind of scary.  I haven’t decided if I am for sure going to take the job yet, but I am definitely interested.

Also, I went to the University yesterday to check out what I would need to do to graduate and get done as soon as possible.  I have learned that graduation is quite the process and there’s not a whole lot of stuff that I can do to speed the process up.  Did you know that an education grad’s marks and transcripts have to go through about 5  people’s hands (not including your professors) before you can be “official.”  Kudos to you University people who go through 300 of us a year!  I don’t envy you, that’s for sure!

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Horizon Conference

Posted on February 19, 2010. Filed under: personal, Technology | Tags: , |

Yesterday I was planning on going to a technology conference called the Horizon conference.  It was being held at the Science Centre.  McAfee and CA were going to present on computer security and protection and backup and recovery.  I was going to go to this conference to help my knowledge with my March teaching session for my ECMP class, BUT when I got there apparently it had been cancelled.  This was really unfortunate because I was really looking forward to this conference… and because I woke up early on the only day I was able to sleep in for reading week! Oh well, I will find other ways to learn about being technologically safe.

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