Saturday, October 24, 2009
Usually our assembly focuses on the past. The theme I chose for this year is: Remembrance Day: Past, Present and Future. One of our custodians is a transplanted American who happens to be a Vietnam vet. Until two years ago, he refused to be part of any assemblies, etc. Two years ago he came and sat in the back of the gym for our service. He was so moved that the next year he allowed us to acknowledge him and took part. This year he took it upon himself to help organize it. He is a member of the armoury in downtown Vancouver. He arranged for us to have some very young soldiers, just back from Afghanistan, to take part in the assembly. I was able to meet with two of them and they helped me design the program. They also provided me with pictures to use in our movie (which I had to make). Every time I watch the movie, I am moved to tears. These are young boys, barely older than our grade 8 boys. When I was in conversation with the soldiers, then talked about what they've accomplished. The mentioned that we never see on the news how they escort children to school so they can safely get there; or what it feels like to see a village have electricity for a week in a row; or how it feels to know that they are making a difference and that the people really do appreciate what they're doing. I was changed after my conversation. Now, when I see the news, I think of my boys (yes, I think of them as my boys) and how much they do and their compassion and commitment. God bless them.
I've included my movie for you to watch. Let me know what you think.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
As you all know, I'm back at SFU again. I don't think I've ever been so tired in my life. Here I am trying to start up a new classroom, set up a performing arts program, arrange a musical (Pirates of Penzance is slated for this year), create a field study, not to mention complete all the data and research for that major presentation, write reports, meet with parents, and oh yeah, raise a teenager who has decided that English is a class not worth attending. My SFU course is so incredibly crazy I'm thinking that maybe I'm not cut out for this. However, it has to be done. I have now resolved myself to the fact that I now have no life (not that I ever did!).
On the plus side, I am learning a whole lot. If I didn't have to read so many irrelevant papers and comment on them, I might actually enjoy myself! I promise I'll try to be a good girl and post more often.
Thanks for listening!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I was trying to take a picture of Justine and her friend Kyle tonight and couldn't figure out what was wrong with the camera. Duh! It was on the video setting. I kept telling them they must be vampires since it wouldn't take a picture! Justine tried to help me and finally figured it out!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
It was interesting to see and hear the types of groups entered in the festival. A number of my students remarked that everyone seemed to be from private schools. Hmmm...wonder what's going on here. In fact, after a conversation with one of the band clinicians, it came out that there were only two public school bands performing and go figure: both from Coquitlam. As far as the choirs go, there were only a handful of public schools competing out of a weeks worth of performances. Makes you think: what is happening to our public music system? Are we going the way of the dinosaur? I find it intriguing as I know there are excellent music programs in our district, yet so few take these opportunities. Yes, the festivals cost money. Yes, the preparation takes time. However, the benefits to the students far exceed the the cons. I think our students need to have the bar placed high for them. They need to know the discipline of preparing for such an event. I think that our music programs in the public system have become a little bit mickey-mouse (sorry to those of you in California!). Maybe that's why parents are removing their kids at alarming rates from our system and putting them in the private system. I definitely think that that's a scary way to go. Is all society moving to an elitist system? As public educators, we better pull up our socks and get out there. Our kids deserve these opportunities. Our kids are just as good or better then these have all institutions. We just need to give them a nudge.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Her name is Liz Purdy and I am one lucky teacher. She is bright and witty and loves kids. What more could I want? She's very capable and works so very hard. I hope she's proud of what she's accomplished because she should be.
On a selfish note, I don't know how I ever got everything done at this time of the year. I'm in the middle of doing articulation with all our elementary schools as well as many concerts. Without Liz, I think I would be a basket case! (I know; don't respond to that!)
Needless to say, I think I'll be getting another one next year!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Well, my last blog was very interesting. Little Miss Muffet decided that she was going to become a 'ghost writer'. However, all she wrote about was herself! We had a lot of laughs while she was writing it. I actually do enjoy having her around. Every age brings something interesting, that's for sure!
On another note, I've been busy with my university stuff again. I've purchased the program 'Adobe Premier Elements 7' and am hoping to use it for my e-portfolio. It is a very glorified digital story with all the bells and whistles. I think I'll enjoy working with it, although I have to be very creative about it!
I've been working a lot with digital stories lately. I absolutely love Photostory 3 and have been using it to make tutorials. You can check out my latest here:
Hopefully, it will work!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Well, another Easter is done and I'm still learning! Thanks to my amazing talented daughter. She sure is a smart teenager! Everyone just wishes they had a daughter as smart as her ! I'm enjoying her knowledge lately. especially since she got me reading Twilight. It's really good. We actually went and found the second Twilight movie set together in Poco. She was surprised when she saw a horse in Coquitlam! She also attempted to jump out of a moving vehicle when she found a cute security guard! I yelled "DUCK AND COVER" we drove by the security guards in a circle about 4 times ! Man was that embarassing! That native one was cute! As a matter of fact, my daughter is getting an A in her english class and her teacher looooves her! I'm so proud of my lovely daughter. She deserves the world thats for sure.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
When given this assignment, I really had to think about how and most importantly, why I would change an assignment. To me, this was a difficult task as in our school, it is difficult to have access to technology, period. We have three labs in the school. There is one in the library which is difficult to get into. Then we have the main computer lab where you're lucky if you have 10 computers that work. Finally, we have the tech-ed lab. Good luck getting in there as the tech-ed teacher always has it booked. Therefore, I decided to make use of my virtual classroom site. This has been one of my main goals for the first term of LTT. I have worked really hard and played really hard trying to get this set-up. If I was able to post this assignment on the site, my students would have to begin to explore it. As of that time, there were only a handful of students who had requested access to the site. This, to me, meant that I was not utilizing it very well. The kids just looked at it as a homework site. I posted a wiki on there and began to ask questions. Once I decided to post my assignment on-line, the kids really started to use the site.
I have a very rambunctious group of grade 6's who are very hard to motivate. In the fall, we did the novel Holes. I wanted to look at the character of Stanley in our final study. We spent a lot of time discussing his philosophy and how he grew as a character throughout the book. We talked about the social aspect of his character and how he fit in with all the other characters. I had the students complete posters to show their work. The grade 7's did an outstanding job. However, the grade 6's didn't get it. They had a really hard time putting together a proper presentation and were unable to think in terms of the character. We had been working on writing in first person, so I decided to do another character study just for the grade 6's. Before Spring Break, we had completed a lit kit on bullying. This was a perfect opportunity to play around with an on-line assignment.
The first thing I did was to do some research on the web as to appropriate sites the students would be able to access. I decided on Read/Write/Think. I really liked this site as it was extremely clear with it's instructions which was perfect for individual work at home. Once I decided on the assignment, I realized that I was going to have to do some sort of tutorial for the kids to remember instructions with. I decided to use Jing for this. I also used Jing to freeze a page on the web that I had found to use as a reference for thinking about characters in first person.
This is the page:
Here's the Jing tutorial I did so the grade 6's would remember what they were supposed to do:
The next task was to paste the link to the character profile I wanted the grade 6's to complete. I thought that this was an excellent assignment to begin an individual on-line assignment with.
Here's the link:
My next step was to take the students to the library lab to show them the assignment (it was actually available that day...also, the teacher/librarian wanted to see how I used Jing). I went through the assignment. Their initial reaction was very positive. They were very excited about working on their own on-line. Then they realized that there was no way they were going to remember everything. That's when I showed the Jing tutorial. After they finished laughing because I sounded like a stewardess, they loved it. I had pretty much the whole class send for requests for access to my site that evening. It was probably the first homework assignment everyone got in on time.
I enjoyed putting this together, simply for the fact that I actually could. If you had asked me in September to do this, there's no way I would have been able to. I am very excited at what I've learned in this short time and can't wait to learn more.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
For those of you who don't know what Twitter is, it's a social networking site. It allows you to converse in 140 letters or less, what's going on and share different websites that are pertinent to your areas of interest. You can follow different tweeters whom you think are interesting or who seem to be helpful. One of my favourite tweeters is a teacher from Boston who tweets the best free sites for teachers. If you have a question about something, tweet it; someone will answer it!
If you haven't discovered this yet, check out the Twitter site. It's a great place to learn things and hear things!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Now, I won't bore you with the lesson details but I got very excited when I actually figured out how to do something new. There was a page I wasn't able to copy that I needed for the kids. I took a picture of the page with Jing and then was able to upload that image onto my virtual classroom site. I was so proud of myself; for about five minutes. Then it started. The 14 year-old got up. When I excitedly showed her what I had done, she laughed and then said, "But mom, why didn't you just use paint? Everyone uses that!". Of course my answer was, "Paint? What the bleep is that?" Now, I've been spending an awful lot of my time exploring my computer and never come across 'paint'. Apparently, it's been hiding in my accessories section. The 14 year-old proceeded to show me that there's a button on the keyboard that takes a picture of the page. Then you open paint, copy the page in and voila! You can actually edit, draw boxes and other stuff. Then she wrote down in my notebook, step-by-step how to do this. Boy, was she patient and did I feel dumb!
Needless to say, I guess I'll be playing around with this program in the next bit. Who knew that teenagers actually have a purpose!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
- Lit to Go
- photo laboratory
- educational blogs
- google documents
- introduction to podcasts
And the list goes on. Have I really explored these? Of course not! Who has time for that. I've spent most of my time joining these sites; I haven't a clue what I'm doing!!!!!
Hopefully, in the next little while, I'll be able to actually try these out. I'll keep you posted on what I learn! Perhaps I'll even send you links to things like my e-portfolio that I'm supposed to have started!
In the meantime, hang in there! I promise I'll share!
Monday, February 2, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Anyways...when I asked my mom what was going on yesterday, she mentioned that my dad was at ICBC because someone claimed he had backed into him with his van and done damage to his vehicle. Now my dad, even though he's elderly, is a very honest man. He figured that maybe he could be responsible so he checked his van...nothing there. Upon further conversation with my mother, I discovered that this was not the first time this had happened. In fact, he had been accused of this once before (I didn't know...but we won't get into that now!).
So, my dad has to spend two wasted hours at ICBC with my mom at home with no help. This is ridiculous. There are actually people out there who are watching for elderly people to blame their stupidity on. I am so angry about this that I'm ready to go to the newspapers about it.
What do you thing?????? Should I????? Or am I overreacting??????
Let me know.