Confessions of a graduate student

Graduate School, teaching

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It’s been a while since I have wanted to look at this website. I actually really like the interface and some of my posts, but really I did not want to write for a long time. With my newly appointed title as a recent graduate for my teaching credential and MA in Technology Education, I feel a weird sense of pressurized freedom. What does that mean? Here are a few of my takeaways from being a full time worker, student, mama and wife.

  1. It’s gonna suck. I’m telling it straight. You will miss birthday parties, beach trips, late nights out, that new drama everyone is raving about on TV, your sanity, sense of freedom. All to say it will be worth it in the end. The time will pass and you will be proud of the work you did to lay a path forward.
  2.  I love the saying, if it was easy, everyone would do it. This is not for the faint of heart. You will need everyone’s support to get you through not only finishing school, but also having a family and some friends who survive it with you. And not the people who say, give up, I didn’t go to college. Stay away from those people, they knew it was hard and they didn’t dare.
  3. Life after school will seem foggy. You may want to spend days scrolling through all social media, like a lot, because you have missed it for years. You find distractions in reading books you don’t even like, but you have time now. You might watch dumb shows that waste mindless hours of your life just because you can. Do it, you earned it!
  4. Teaching yourself to be a real human without the excuse of school may take some time. In the back of my mind I always feel like I have a looming assignment to do or a due date that needs attention. I’m not yet sure if this is a good anxiety or one I should cure with a glass of wine. I know I need to tune into relationships that can be nurtured and grown because I have time and a mental capacity at this point. It hasn’t been easy and I find myself looking around at functions that I should be enjoying simply because I have been so focused on the finish line that I didn’t spend time on much else.

I started late in the game. I started my BA in 2013 and pushed through to attain what I needed to become a teacher. I changed careers late in my life and I will never look back, but it is a balance between all the plates we have to juggle.

As I write this, I spent the last hour reading to my kids, something I missed dearly when I was at school or studying. The simple pleasure of having unadulterated time to ourselves, selfishly stealing every word. I am glad it is over and I graduated, but so very thankful for every hand that guided me and at times dragged me along.

What are you waiting for? Don’t take the easy road—

 

 

Google tools

teaching, technology

Google has to be one of the easiest and most helpful tools that a teacher can have at their fingertips. Gone are the days that a teacher is bound to their desk when creating presentations or word documents. Teachers are able to use Google apps through their laptops, tablets and phones. Teachers can merge projects seamlessly to produce engaging lessons for their students.

I have personally used Google apps for the last four years. I have used it for various purposes. Google forms is one tool that I have used in many ways for my classroom. I have created surveys for my students, colleagues and parents.

google

https://www.google.com/doodles/eiji-tsuburayas-114th-birthday

The survey below is still active. I wanted to poll teachers responses to reading in their own classrooms. If you have two minutes I would love to get your feedback. Imagine using this to do an end of the year survey for your parents on how they thought their child progressed.

Would you like to see the results of my poll? Click Reading in the classroom

Technology across the curriculum

technology

Technology can be utilized in all disciplines and to help students reflect upon their learning. I enjoy integrating technology during literacy time in my classroom. I want the students to experience deeper levels of engagement through online tools and apps. Students also have a unique audience when they use blogs, collaborative webpages and other peer to peer experiences.

GoogleEarthEiffel.0

https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/22/15387958/new-google-earth-update-tips-how-to-3d-maps

Imagine traveling to the country you just read about in a book through Google Earth. What if you could then have a conversation in real time with someone from that country through Skype. These tools alone are shaping our future generations to be global citizens and have empathy for those around them.

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http://www.starcraftvanilla.com/world-map-with-pins.html

Do you want to see how I use technology and literacy together in my class? Here is a presentation

Seesaw in my classroom

teaching, technology

I have chosen to share one of my favorite classroom apps. I started using Seesaw this year after our technology teacher recommend it to me. I signed up over summer and took some short professional development courses to get started. It was the best time spent over the summer.

Seesaw has been an amazing connection for school to home. My parents rave about how easy it is to see their child’s portfolio. This is similar to an Instagram feed. The parents only have access to their students work.

8thingstolookfor

https://georgecouros.ca/blog/?s=8+things+to+look+for+in+today%27s+classroom

We have used Seesaw to explain our learning and reflect on what we know in all subjects. Students can easily record their voice, take photos, create drawings and many other forms of reflection. Most importantly it gives students choice and allows them to share their learning with their peers, teacher and family.

George Couros has a great blog post Things to Look for in Today’s Classroom. One main point he states is, Voice – Students should have the opportunity to not only learn from others but also share their learning with others as well.  We live in a world where everyone has a voice and if we do not teach our students to use this effectively, they will definitely struggle.  To me, this is so simple yet so essential. (2013)

Leaves Galore

Children's Books

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This week we explored books with a Fall theme. I love reading through the seasons during the year. Although in California it is rare to have real fall weather in October. We can pretend and live through books for that fall feeling. Enjoy!

The Acorn and the Oak Tree

by Lori Froeb

A great book for learning about the life cycle of a seed. This sweet story tells of a small acorn that falls off of the tree, encounters rough times, and eventually sprouts into a big strong oak tree. The pages are each a piece in the larger picture at the end of the story.

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt

by Steve Metzger and Illustrated by Miki Sakamoto 

Have you sang the old song We’re going on a Bear Hunt? This story follows the same tune about three friends wandering through the woods to find colorful leaves. Students will enjoy the rhythmic pattern of the words and the motions you can create for each verse. Have Fun! Find the book here

The Little Scarecrow Boy

by Margaret Wise Brown and Illustrated by David Diaz

My students enjoyed seeing the many faces the scarecrow had to make in order to scare the feathers off of the crows. This story tells about a small scarecrow boy who wants to be just like his father. He is eager to become a real scarecrow some day. He learns a great lesson about patience and the value of wisdom from his father’s teachings.
The Little Scarecrow Boy

There was an old Lady who Swallowed Some Leaves

by Lucille Colandro  and Illustrated by Jared D. Lee

These stories are always a great way to get a laugh at the end of the day during story time. I love hearing my students repeat back the lines that build up to a fun ending. Each book creates a fun sense of surprise for all readers.
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves!

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

by Lois Ehlert

This is a beautiful book that will inspire your young artists. The pictures create a beautiful depiction of the life of a tree. This is a great addition to writing about trees and the reading of a nonfiction book about seeds.
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf