Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yesterday I bought 3 new books to add to my teacher's library...

The hunger games...... for my grade 7/9/10 ESL is suppose to be pretty gripping

Grade 7, 9, 10 students who are interested in Fiction/Fantasy novels

Grade 6 ESL student

Has anyone read any of these books? What do you think? I will try to start reading them during observation week (if I get a head on my school work).

I think what I'm going to do is get my grade 7, 9, and 10 students to write a book report type thing on a book they have chosen. That way I can start my Student Review Library which keeps reviews students have made of books they have read so my future students can have something to read to help them choose which book to read next!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photo Editing

Image from Danny Sullivan @ Flicker

Photo #1
Site used for editing was PicNik
Tools used:
Text added: Skating is life
Colour change
Change canvas size

Photo #2

Edited with Splashup
Tools used:
Added Text: I believe I can fly

I chose to use these two editors because I did not have to sign up in order to edit my pictures.
My favorite editor was the PicNik one because it was easy to use and quite basic. I couldn't figure out how to use very many of the tools on SPlashup.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Twitter in the classroom.... 2 ideas!

Today in our seminar class Noni, Philippe and I inatvertantly found 2 different ways you could use twitter in the classroom:

a) As a way to remind students about homework assignments (if twitter is linked to their phone number so they can get texts from twitter), since in high school you don't see everyone at the end of the day (unless you teach the last block), however, this can be too much hand holding but at the beginning might be a nice way to remind students of homework.

b) As a way for shy students to ask questions during class that they are too afraid to ask in front of everyone (again, it would be attached to a phone or something so everyone wouldn't know who said it and they feel less awkward)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I need to find a book about a skateboarder....

So, what is a good book about skateboarding or a skateboarder for a grade 4-6 level reader!???

So today I met my second set of students. Three family members. The Grade 6 boy is a very poor reader and I really want to work on his reading/writing skills so I want to find a good book about a skateboarder as he has a ton of skateboarding paraphernalia in his room! That being said, how do I find such a thing? I searched Amazon, google and the Greater Victoria Public Library website for the words 'skateboarding books' etc. but I couldn't find anything appropriate.

The grade 7 girl is super keen and so far has done really well on my testing. I'm not too sure what we are going to work on but we are probably going to start a book report or something.

The grade 9 sister is not so keen, in fact, I was pretty sure she did not want to be tutored. However, I will have to find something engaging enough for her to read (which I know from experience is hard because I don't love reading). She also is not doing any English this semester at school so she won't have any homework for us to work on...therefore I have to have a lesson plan ready for each 'class'.

I hate to say it but I kind of want to just get work books to go through for each of them... but how boring is that? Super boring... I'm not really sure what I am going to do or how to teach just one student at a time. Everything we have been learning in school so far is about teaching a whole class which seems almost easier because you have so many students to participate and it takes up much more time than 60 minutes one on one with a student.

Hmm.... what have I gotten myself into!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Time management...

Time management... a skill... a learnt skill.
As teachers, I believe it is important for us to teach our students how to manage their time properly. All schools give Agenda's or Daily planners in order to teach kids how to keep track of their homework.

I think it is important for teachers to lay out a 'study plan' or 'homework' plan when it comes to large projects so that students can stay on track and not get behind.

On Saturday I worked with my grade 10 ESL student and he hadn't even started his book report which turned out to be this tuesday. In order for him to get an A+ he had to do WAY too much work and had no idea how to plan his time in order to be able to do so. Needless to say, he is working towards getting 50% on this project now because he doesn't have enough time to do everything.

I think that if the teacher had of written out a plan (Monday/Tuesday do # 1, Wed/Thurs #2 etc.) on how to attain the A+, I think more students would be able to get a higher mark. I wonder how many of the other students struggled to get more than 50%?

I understand this may be seen as hand holding, but in High School, I think it is important to give our kids the chance at getting an A. Even in our University classes we are given a schedule of when to read certain books by. I think giving some guidelines for projects is acceptable when it comes to giving all our kids an equal chance at attaining an A grade.

What do you think? Is this being too kind? Or should work schedules be handed out along with big projects to grade 10 level students?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Learning from the comfort of my own living room!

Ahh technology. What an amazing thing.

Today I had a lot of homework to catch up on and it was just not feasible for me to come to class today. So what did I do? I caught up on my readings all morning, checked out the wiki for my 336 class, did the assignments (started an igoogle page/google reader page) and joined twitter! I also watched some of the video on You Tube that my fellow students were watching. I was able to tweet my responses, connect with others, meanwhile, watch the same thing they were watching! It was really quite amazing to feel like I was participating in a classroom even though I wasn't physically there.

I do understand this doesn't work every time, and sometimes there are just certain things you need a real person there to help you with, but today, I think it worked. Especially with the added twitter aspect to it (I was able to keep up with class comments).

I was also able to continue on with my other homework and then check back to my twitter account to see what was going on. For me, that is key to keeping me engaged. I like to multi-task and get bored easily, especially, if it something I have already herd or know about. Therefore, being able to flip through different tasks helped me get more things done in a small amount of time.

Yay technology!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First tutoring session complete!

The session went great. I think he learned a lot and I did too.

One of the things we worked on was his book report project for English 10. This taught me a valuable lesson: be very clear about what kinds of books kids can choose when doing a book report on a book of their choice! Sam decided to pick 'Harry Potter, the philosophers stone'. Of course, he has read it almost 7 times now in his native language--Korean. So there it is teachers to be! Make sure that you make it clear that students cannot pick books that a) have been made in to movies or b) that are widely read/known like Harry Potter, Twilight or Lord of the Rings etc.

So now, what do I do? I am not his mother nor am I his English 10 teacher so I couldn't rat him out ... instead I just advised him against it and told him it would be really hard to complete the assignments having already read the book and knowing what to expect. So, I will keep advising him to read the English version of the book and hopefully he will feel comfortable enough with the story that he might actually try re-reading it.

I also think this might mean I have to assign my own readings for him to really practice his English.

Another good thing about the session is that I was able to see how his teacher laid out the book report assignment.

For this assignment the teacher explained that the report was out of 6. He then explained how students could get their desired marks. For instance:

"The minimum you must do for this assignment is numbers 1, 2 and 3"
He then goes on to explain different things the student can choose to do in order to get 6 out of 6.
I really like this way of laying it out because it gives the students the chance to choose how much work they want to do and what kind of mark they want to get.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UBC is a YES!

So it turns out the UBC Masters of Education Program in Counselling Psychology requires some of the same courses that UVic requires... therefore I should probably take that 5 course semester sometime here at UVic or I can complete them (or equivalencies) at UBC.

I need your advise .... Thailand? Or School? Hmmm...

Today I had 2 important meetings with faculty members:

1. I spoke with the advisor for the Masters Degree program about getting a Masters of Education degree in Counselling Psychology. Now what does that mean? Well, it means that (as long as I do my internship in a school setting) I am eligible to be a school counsellor! Something I have always wanted to do! My options are as follows:

a) 3 intense course summer semesters (July/August) which I can do while teaching. Also, if I moved to Vancouver to teach (which is what I am thinking of doing--perhaps Surrey or Burnaby) I can still teach there and stay with mom for the summer while I go to school in Victoria.


b) I can do 2 full years of course work and take about 4 classes per semester.

I also plan on specializing in trauma and addiction.
However, in order to do the program I have to take 4 more specific classes so that means I have to do another semester of school before I can be entered in to the program. Furthermore, I want to take 1 class in Psychology course called "Drugs and Behaviour" so that means I have 1 5 course semester I need to do before I can do my masters program. ALSO, I have to take 3 of those mandatory courses within 7 years of doing the program so I have to plan when I want to take them.

I do plan on looking in to what is offered at UBC but right now I'm
just thinking about Uvic.

SO if this is what I want to do, I am thinking that instead of going to Thailand in January of 2012 when I have graduated with my Bachelors of Education, I might just take another full semester of courses (the 5 I talked about) and then go to Thailand in April/May, even though, the weather is said to be a lot better in January/February.

2. I had a meeting with the advising counsellor about my school placement for my practicums. I will be having a 2 week observation period, then in April I will have a 5 week practicum and then in September I will have an 8 week one. I have specially requested to be placed in an 'inner city school' and so I might be teaching at Parkland. I also asked if maybe I can do one of my practicums at Esquimalt High so we'll see.

The advisor and I talked about me being able to do a practicum in Psychology or Theatre. He said that during the practicum we only do 2 classes each time but there is an option of up to 4 except the extra 2 are kind of 'on my own time' type deal. So, I am thinking of taking on another class in Theatre, Psychology or even Spanish 9 depending on what is being offered and what the school administer will let me do... so cross your fingers!! Hopefully I can get some amazing experience!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nobody's perfect...

So... in one of my classes we had to write something to the instructor and I (inevitably) wrote the wrong word for two different things. Board vs. Bored. and heard vs. heard. Then I was told "You want to be perfect in front of your students."

Is it wrong that I don't agree?
Yes. I too feel that it is important that my students have a strong role model and understand the difference between THE SAME WORDS that are SPELT DIFFERENTLY (Thank god for the English language, right?). But, I also feel that it is NOT important that we should be PERFECT in front of our students! Yes, I understand, that it might be hard for us to gain the trust and recognition of our students if they know that we, also, make some spelling/grammar mistakes. But, I also feel that it is important to our students for them to understand that NOBODY IS PERFECT, even their INSTRUCTORS! And that sometimes perfection is not always obtainable! And that it is OK to mess up from time to time and to learn from OTHER PEOPLE (as well as your own mistakes) no matter what your age, degree level, experience level etc.! I feel, that it is important to teach my students that "No, I am NOT perfect, and that I CAN learn from them as well as they can learn from me!"
What do you think??

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Can I handle it?

September is going to be a big month: school wise, work wise, and teaching wise.
I have taken on 5 students, all of which are ESL students.
I have one male grade 6 student and one male grade 10 student.
I also have a female grade 7 student, grade 9 student and grade 12 student.
This should prove to be challenging! I have signed my self up for 1 semester with each student and then will decide if I can take on the same amount for next semester. Otherwise, I will have to slim things down a little.
Also, I am teaching a Hula Hooping class on Friday and Saturdays at Camosun College! I am really excited about this and it will help me to keep fit over the winter!

Yesterday I had my orientation at UVic for the Education program and it was really enspiring. One of the guest speakers talked about 'wellness' and how important it is to be well (not just fit). I hope that I have not taken on too much this semester but won't know until I try it out!
Good luck to me and everyone else in the program! It will sure be a fun ride!