Today in class we did a mini EdCamp ourselves. In our group we discussed are we being too accommodating to our students? The question came from the example of students who are uncomfortable public speaking. Do we push these students to public speak or do we accommodate their stresses and allow them not to do it? While we did have a heated discussion on our thoughts on this topic, many different ideas and personal stories came up. Some believed that you need to accommodate every student, talk to the parents, and learn each student and how much you can push them. While I do believe this is all true, I do find this all theoretical. Having parents including in their child’s learning is extremely important and knowing the students needs and if there is any learning difficulties is a must for teachers. However, sometime you have a child undiagnosed or parents in denial that you can’t turn to for help. When I am a teacher, I want to accommodate my students and give them a positive learning experience but I feel like I need the tools to be able to accommodate each and every one of my students. One of the most beneficial classes I’ve had this year was with our seminar teacher Santosh where she gave us real life situations she dealt with as a principle and asked us what we would do. She never said one way was right or wrong but it was great to discuss with the class and hear what the actual teachers did in the real situations. However, this was a great exercise and I appreciated hearing everyones opinions and personal stories from this workshop.
As far as the professional learning goes, I love the idea. I think its such a great way to have educators discuss topics they are interested in. I would love to go to the next one and hear what educators say and hear some advice they would give up and coming teachers. I really liked how it was structured, I would use this type of exercise in my own classroom. I would like to do another one on technology strictly because I feel like I can really learn a lot from my peers and others about technology
Freshgrade is the new craze in schools that has allowed report cards to be a thing of the past. Freshgrade is an online portfolio for teachers to communicate with parents and students about a learners school work. This online portfolio allows teachers to upload assignments, grades and is a great tool to track learning. Many teachers find this tool a new and easier way to connect with parents about their child’s progress. Freshgrade is different than a report card because it is ongoing throughout the year rather than a few times. Also, it allows parents, students and teachers actually see a students work with the comments rather than just a letter grade. Having this aspect, shows the growth of a student over the course of the year. Now that we know what freshgrade is, what are some advantages and disadvantages of it?
There are many advantages to using Freshgrade as a professional, one being that teachers can use their mobile devices to document students learning. If you want to take a picture of something a student did, all you do is take a picture and post it to that students portfolio with some comments. Makes it easy and the student can keep their work because you took a digital copy. Another positive is you’re able to share information with parents instantly. So that image you took of a students work, the parents can see it right away and know what their child is learning in class and see how their work is coming along. Freshgrade also allows teachers to document the progress of students over the entire year. With images, comments, projects, etc. parents, teachers and even the student can see the progress from the beginning of the year to the end not based on letter grades but seeing how and what their work improved on. Finally, a huge positive for teachers is that Freshgrade takes away the stress of report card time. Instead of writing all report cards at once and having a deadline, Freshgrade has no deadline and is a continuous process so there is no stress at certain times of the year. While Freshgrade has many positives to its use, it also has some disadvantages.
Freshgrade is still changing and growing just like we are, so it still has some disadvantages. One being the lack of tools for creation, for example voice recording. Voice recordings to go along with a students piece of work or project can help teachers say what they need to say and even students in a different way than just pen and paper. Next, is it is an ongoing process for teachers which can be very time consuming and stressful. While it takes away from stress at report card times, Freshgrade is time consuming over the year because the teacher is always adding new information and updating parents whereas report cards were just 3 times a year. Finally, if parents don’t have access to a computer or mobile device, they will be unable to see their child’s growth over the year and be unable to access their portfolio. This is very common in today’s world but is still an issue that can be present in some families.
Freshgrade is a great tool for connecting parents, students and teachers together and see the progress of the year!
This week, there will be two poses! The first is balasana also known as child’s pose. This pose has so many great benefits for our bodies as it stretches our hips, thighs and ankles while stretching the back-torso muscles gently. This pose is known to reduce stress and tiredness as well as soothes and calms the brain. This is one of my personal favourites because I always have problems stretching my hips so every practice I start in this pose and I end in this pose just to feel how much stretching my body has done. At the beginning of my practice, I find I am very stiff in this pose but by the end of my practice, my body has warmed up so it becomes a calming pose. The steps to practice this pose properly are:
- Start on the mat on your hands and knees
- Spread your knees apart but keep your big toes touching one another
- Rest your buttocks on your heels
- On your exhale, sink your hips back and bow your body forward so your torso is between your thighs
- Your hands should be in front of your face extending with palms down
- Extend your arms as much as you can to lengthen from your hips to your armpits
- Stay in this position for anywhere between 5-100 breaths but do what your body feels it should
The second pose is downward dog. I love this pose because it stretches the backs of your hamstrings. Some of the benefits to this pose are; that it elongates the spine from planting your feets down and pushing your hands into the mat. It strengthens and opens the chest which reduces the pain and pressure on the shoulders and upper back that we get when we are sitting all day in a hunched position. It opens the backs of your legs that tense up in movements like walking and running. This pose also brings awareness to your breathing which is a key aspect of yoga. This pose isn’t too complicated to it allows us to slow down our breath. The steps to practice this pose properly are:
- Begin on the mat with your hands and knees. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips
- Spread your fingers wide and press your palms on your mat
- Exhale and tuck your toes under and lift your knees off the floor
- Send your pelvic bone up towards the ceiling and your hips towards the back of the room
- Draw your chest towards your thighs and push the mat away from you
On @cameranmillaryoga there are pictures up of the poses!
Having so many options for our first assignment, I wanted to do something that I was interested in and passionate about. I want to do my inquiry project on yoga. I was either thinking of making an instagram where I would post yoga positions or different yoga routines. Or, making a youtube channel where I can post how to do each yoga pose and its benefits for your body.
For our technology education group project I am with Amanda, Shayla and Sydney, I think it would be cool to do a podcast interviewing different people in the school system. superintendents, new teachers, retired teachers, specialized teachers, etc. would be really eye opening for us up and coming teachers and would be interesting to learn how to do a podcast.
As I start my yoga journey, I wanted to talk about a few essentials to a good yoga practice and a little about my own yoga experience
Firstly however, you will be able to find photos, videos and tips on my Instagram page @cameranmillaryoga for more insight on a different social media
Growing up, I was very much into team sports and they took up all my time as I was usually playing on multiple teams for multiple sports at the same time. Whether it was soccer, volleyball, basketball or field hockey, I was always busy with sports. However, playing all these sports made me extremely inflexible. So much so that I couldn’t even sit cross legged. As well as the stresses from school, I had a hard time coping with everything life was throwing at me from graduation, university, school, work, and a social life. My mom one day suggested I take up yoga to increase my flexibility but to also help ease my mind of the crazy world. So, after graduation, I started going to yoga classes at the yoga studio in my hometown. From hot yoga to restorative yoga, I did them all and worked on my flexibility. Yoga also really helped my mind and my anxieties about the world. While most people think about all the health benefits yoga gives a person physically, we often forget how great it is for the mind as well. I’m not going to lie, meditation is one of the hardest things I’ve done. They always say to focus on your breath and the sounds but it is impossible for someone not to be thinking about anything else. It wasn’t until recently when I met another yoga instructor where she told me that mediation isn’t about thinking about nothing, it’s about being conscious of those thoughts and letting them be. That totally changed my mindset on meditation and allowed me to practice my yoga better as what I am hoping to do for you reading. I am not a yoga instructor but I am hoping to get my certificate this summer so this is a stepping stone to reach that goal. I will be giving weekly poses and their benefits to the body as well as some tips I’ve learned along the way. I will also post videos on some of my favourite practices I’ve had.
For starters, one major essential is the mat. While I’ve used many different mats from different companies, one mat stands out to me which I highly recommend. The yoga mat from Lululemon called The Reversible Mat 5mm. This one is great because the material, Polyurethane doesn’t make your hands slide around when you start to sweat. During hot yoga I find this a major issue that interferes with my practice so finding a mat that absorbs the moisture was a major need. It also is easy to clean and comes in beautiful colours if you’re not already sold. Lululemon also has a great selection of equipment like blocks to help you with certain poses, and straps that you can use to stretch your hamstrings. One thing Lululemon does not carry is bolsters. This is a rounded pillow that we use in yoga for frog pose, savasana, etc. for comfort and relaxation but you can find them on Amazon for a reasonable price. As well as if you are practicing yoga you will need to stay hydrated especially if it is hot yoga. While any water bottle works, I prefer to use one that is insulated because during hot yoga it is not fun when you go for a drink of water and it is just as warm as you are. Swell is a great brand as well as hydro flask but you can find others for a better price.
You will need a playlist of music for your practice as well. Below I have added in a link to a playlist I made using Spotify.
Today in class we watched the film ‘Most Likely to Succeed’. This film was about a school in the states that was quite different from our normal public school. Here, students learn engineering, history, math, etc. but all together. There are no tests or textbooks but rather big projects where they integrate multiple subjects together. In the film they had one class do a play and another class did a big working mechanism that described how civilizations fall and rise. This was a super interesting film that made me think about my own teaching practices and how to make learning creative and unique. This taught students real life skills on how to work as a team, integrating ideas, etc. I found this to be a great film!