In the final class of the semester, we talked about coding, augmented reality, and QR codes.
QR codes are specialized barcodes that can be printed onto documents or posters. When scanned by a smartphone, provide the viewer with additional information. These can be used in the classroom in a variety of ways. They can be used by students to attach additional information onto posterboards/graphics. Alternatively, they can be used by teachers to attach video or audio tutorial links to assignments or homework sheets.
Augmented reality takes QR codes to the next level. We learned about an app called HP reveal that allows teachers to create hot spots on homework sheets (or any paper) that students can scan. When these hot spots are scanned, they bring students to different web pages containing videos, pictures, or audio files that can help teach them certain concepts. Virtual reality is a different form of augmented reality. This can be useful for older students as it allows them to be immersed in different places without actually having to be there physically. There are a couple downsides to VR, one of which is that some people experience nausea when using it. Another downside is that it has been shown to have some adverse effects on some parts of the brain, which is why experts say that children under 13 should not use it and adults should limit use to 30 mins per day.
We were also given the chance to explore coding briefly. Coding was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. To be honest, I am so lost that I don’t even know how to describe it in this post. There are several games available to help kids learn how to code including Move the Turtle. Although coding isn’t specifically mentioned in the curriculum, it could be added in to address a more broad competency.
Many of my classes this year have placed emphasis on creating informative and inspiring lesson plans. I have included some samples of my work below.
Physical & Health Education: Olivia Winther and I created this eight lesson unit plan on nutrition aimed at the middle school age range, specifically grade eight. Our unit plan strives to equip students with a foundational understanding of nutrition. Over the course of eight lessons, we address topics such as macronutrients, micronutrients, food advertising, food preparation, eating disorders, and community meals. This unit includes several assessment tools and inclusive episodes.
Sydney Reisig, Erin Fletcher, and I created this four lesson mini unit on basketball for grades three and four. This unit plan aims to give students the tools to develop fundamental basketball skills while learning how be a good teammate.
English Language Arts: The purpose of this lesson is to give students the opportunity to be content creators. Students will express themselves through art (making clay sculptures and painting), oral language, play, and the written word. By taking a multimodal approach, this project allows children to enrich their skills in different types of literacy (art literacy, oral literacy, written literacy, outdoor literacy, physical literacy) collaboratively and individually. By engaging in outdoor literacy, the students will begin to understand the important impact that the environment makes on their lives. By having a foundation of respect for the environment, students will be more open to learning about indigenous studies, geography, ecology, and biology. Before starting this lesson, students should have a basic understanding of the components of a story.
Drama: Maeve Poulin created the story drama, “Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type” in order to promote the development of verbal skills as well as to promote social responsibility. “Click Clack Moo Cows that Type” includes several repeated phrases throughout the book which allows students to practice saying them out loud. This also helps students gain confidence speaking in front of their peers.
I am fortunate to have had the chance to work with children in a variety of settings. It has been my privilege to have worked as a summer camp leader at the University of Victoria’s Track and Field Camp for the past six summers, the first two years as a junior leader and the following four years as a senior leader. My experience as a summer camp leader/track coach has equipped me with many skills that are transferrable to teaching including communication, collaboration, patience, organization, and confidence. I have also been the head coach of three youth sports teams at two schools: a grade 8 girls basketball team, a grade 8 boys basketball team, and a grade 6 boys volleyball team. I am thankful for the opportunity to share my passion for sports and active living with so many children.
My teaching philosophy is constantly evolving. I have been exposed to many new ideas during my first year of this program and all of them have given me insight on how I would like to teach. This new information, combined with my experience working with children, has created my current teaching philosophy. One important thing that I have learned is that not all children are the same. As an educator, one must adapt the activity to fit the child, rather than expecting the child to fit into a predetermined mold. This allows the child to learn through exploration and develop their own ideas. Allowing children to learn through exploration not only encourages critical thinking, but also nurtures their sense of confidence and a positive self-image. My goal is to invite my students to be empowered by their own ideas as much as possible. Specifically, during my practicum, I also hope to explore a holistic teaching approach by experimenting with different cross curricular activities in the classroom. By combining multiple subjects into a single lesson, I hope to break down the rigid idea that school is made up of strictly segmented subjects which do not relate to one another. I believe that a more holistic approach to learning is essential in order to equip students with the necessary skills to solve problems in the “real world”.
By now, if you have been following our posts, you will be an expert in graphic design (or at least very close)! As educators, we must ask the question- how can we use graphic design in the classroom?
Broadly, graphic design can be used to teach students how to visually express themselves so that others can understand their ideas. Graphic design can be found anywhere in the classroom- from posters to power-point presentations to info-graphics. It also can be used to set up our students for the future by helping them create resumes and cover letters for employers. If students are able to present themselves in a visually appealing manner, they are more likely to get jobs in the future. If an employer is deciding between giving an interview to someone with a poorly designed/unorganized resume or someone who is demonstrating organizational and design skills, who do you think they would give it to?
Graphic design can also be used by teachers to create concept maps and info-graphics to help enhance student learning. Teachers can also use it to create flyers for school events to send home to parents/guardians. Parents/guardians receive so many flyers from schools that they rarely read all of them. If you want your idea/event to stand out above others you need to design a flyer that does that.
Distributed learning: an instructional model that allows for students and teachers to be in different places and take part in learning regardless of place or time.
My experiences with distributed learning: I have never taken an online course. However, I know people who have and they have all said the same thing: that the online courses were much easier than the in class courses. Many people at my high school who took online courses did so in order to take the “easy way out”. I think that it was considered the easy way out because the system, SIDES, was not as sophisticated as I think it could be. Often, using this system, content was not focused on in as much depth as in the classroom. With all of the new technology there is today, we have the tools to make distributed learning more meaningful and accessible to all students. New technology coming out recently can help educators enhance their students learning experience regardless of where and when it takes place.