Group Lesson Planning

For me personally, I feel as though collaboration is one of the most important things that teacher can use as a resource. This past week in our ECS class, we were given a chance to work with individuals who we don’t usually get a chance to work with on a Group Lesson Planning project. I loved the idea of having different ideas and perspectives on achieving a common goal. What I noticed was that everyone does their lessoning planning differently(which is fine)however, the important part of any lesson plan is that the Outcome must be met. Indicators are a guide, but if you are choosing to use the indicator you must meet it in your lesson.

What I enjoyed most about working in a group for this lesson plan was that it made me more comfortable in knowing how exactly to lesson plan efficiently. While hearing other ideas and thought processes, I feel as though I am now better able to plan and take more into consideration. I also know am aware of how detail your lesson plans need to be. I learned from my group that there are many different ways to get an idea across, what I need to do is pick the best way to get the ideas to them. Picking a lot of information and resources is important as well. From my group, I have learned that it is important to have a wide range of resources to explain a concept. I also noticed that the other members in my group used different ways to engage and explain ideas in the way they do their lesson plans.

Realistically though, I know that when we become full time, working teachers, we won’t be able to have much of the partner lesson planning and that at some point I am going to have to do it on my own but, I feel that all the partner collaboration will help me lesson plan more successfully on my own. I hope that in the future, there are also some teachers who are still willing to collaborate on lesson planning so that we can pass idea on to each other and have a wider amount of resources and a move diverse look at how to go about doing different activities with the class.

If you’d like to check out the lesson plan I made with my fellow teacher friends, the link is posted below. It’s interesting how three different teacher brains can work together as one.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11aEc_oTnQlGylhexFwwXhlQZWJ1yne5f1Zhs6jheoD0/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

 

Field Trips to the Museum

In some ways, I am extremely upset with how far digital technologies has come in recent years. In some ways I feel like the “Human Touch” has gone away and that we rely too much on technologies to give us the satisfaction of some things that we know are irreplaceable. For me personally, maybe because I have a History Major and enjoy the arts and the “finer things in life”(is it really though? Can’t anyone enjoy it?), I think being in a space where past, present and future collide is such an exciting thought. What saddens me is that everything is now virtually available. You can literally take our classroom around the work in 90 minutes and pay peanuts to get them a first class seat to any exhibition. Cost Affective? Yes. Worth it? Debatable. Are you allowing your students to be exposed to a new place – let’s face it, not many parents are prone to taking their children to a museum on the weekend. For many students this might be only time they get to visit such an open space. Of budgets don’t have money to take every student in the school to a museum every month, but if we stop spending money on pizza parties for students reading 50 books, don’t you think something a little more educational might be the prize? Food for thought – literally.

Museums have always been given a bad rep. They’re boring, they’re filled with “old stuff”, there’s too much walking, there’s nothing “cool” are all excuses of students are uninformed, disengaged and haven’t had a chance to appreciate the fieldtrip entirely. There isn’t much a teacher can do to get everyone on board with such a fieldtrip, but there are things we can do to give students a chance to physically explore the space for themselves. I enjoyed the creativity behind the article ‘8 Ways to Liven Up the Museum’ and I think that there should be sort of fun way to engage your students throughout the entirety of the Fieldtrip experience. Why make students board with information they might not particularly care about and let them do their own exploring within the museum and have them report back to the class with a project where they are the curator and are taking the class on a tour of the art piece. We know students love their technology and lets’ face it, most of them will have their electronic devices out for the duration of the trip, why not allow them to use their devices to take a “selfie” with a famous art piece or some cool exhibit? Why not let them find out more information about something that interreges them as they move around? I also liked the idea of doing a scavenger hunt while at the museum. Instead of giving your class a boring worksheet similar to the(rather uhm interesting?) one that we got at the Museum, why not give students something fun the day before so they know what they are looking for and get familiar with what they will see when they arrive. When it comes to doing worksheets with your class, I would strongly suggest staying away from it. I find that student’s get too focused on the worksheets to actually enjoy the experience around them. Maybe allow them to have a have walk through of the museum or the space first so that they can see what they enjoy and maybe find things for themselves. If some students finish ahead of time allow those student to go back in the exhibition with the worksheet to find the answer. Sometimes it might even be better to have a very basic worksheet so that students can share what they learned with you instead of having them learn only what is on the page. This could be done one a simple sheet that they have to complete by participating in a scavenger hunt so they can “crack a code” to the topic of the reflection they are going to write about following the fieldtrip. Again, I would suggest that you allow the students to have their own time first and then to give the worksheet to students. I think one of the biggest problems is that we give students the opportunity to maybe see these things, but we never tell them what to do with this information – what was the point of taking this trip. Whether it be for Social Studies, English or even Science there is value in giving students a chance to explore a physical setting – what matters the most, is having students interpret their findings and showing them how to incorporate it into our learning’s. I think that even at the middle years level students need a guide to make the connections between the past, the present and future. When students are given clear directions and instructions they have more time to appreciate the work around them and to make their own bridges with the message in the fieldtrip.

Asides from the obvious problem of having students who don’t listen and having to pay an arm and a leg for the fieldtrip, I don’t see what reasons teachers can make for not bringing their students to on any fieldtrip. I noticed that even us as adults visiting the museum, we tend to get loud and somewhat distracted – it’s obvious that students will have it worst than that. Is there a proper way to gage the issue? I don’t know, but I don’t agree with the idea of not taking students on a fieldtrip to avoid management issues. We learn through exploring, we explore with our senses.

Never too cool for Middle School!

Well, since I’m typing this blog it means one thing – I survived my first day of Pre-Internship! The day started off a little rough for me, but as the day went on everything fell into place and I loved every minute of being in the school and around the students. Ms. Mahoney and I have been so extremely lucky to have an awesome Co-op(we honestly feel like what we won the jackpot! Especially because we feel that the teaching style and the relationship that our Co-op has with the students is one that we strive to have as well) and a group of great students in our 7/8 Class! We know this is going to be a fantastic semester with them.

The day was filled with great teachable moments and we took away a lot given that it was our first day, let alone have teach a mini lesson and we can’t wait to have some more knowledgeable experiences from here on in.

 

Here is a short Video that Ms. M and I did(it’s our first attempt at vlogging) to set the stage for our next 7 weeks. We will be posting one for you ever week on Wednesday with how our day went so stay tuned for that. You will see that Ms. M and I have come up with a catch phrase that we might be sticking to – keep an ear out for that at the end.

 

I have decided that from this point forward I will be Daily Vlogging about my entire Educational experience so stay tuned for that as well!

 

Happy Wednesday!

Ms. Kanij

Treaty Education – Then, Now, Forever.

Late last week, I was able to attend a Treaty Education Workshop at the University of Regina, needless to say that it was a big eye opener into my own previous stereotypes and misconceptions. This workshop was out on by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner and was led by many great facilitators and Elders from different parts of Saskatchewan. Since this was my first workshop as an Education Pre-Service Teacher, I went in not really having expectation but, knowing that it would be informative and inspiring.

By the end of the first day, I wouldn’t say I was disappointed but, I would say that I was let down in some way. Growing up in Alberta, I would have thought that what I learned there and what I am now learning here were much the same, however I was beginning to see that was in fact a huge difference. In my Elementary and High School career, I was not exposed to a lot of Indigenous studies or had access to First Nations Policies. It wasn’t until my University career where I took Canadian history that I was really amerced into the First Nations cultures and Traditions. I thought I was someone who knew a thing or two myself, but the very first day proved me wrong. Our first activity for the day was a class quiz where we were asked several questions to test our knowledge – I think I only accurately guessed a handful of the dozens of questions that were asked. I felt disappointed in myself, how in the world was I going to teach this if I myself has no idea what was going on. Unfortunately, as the day went on, I found myself drifting away from the discussions we were participating it. It wasn’t because the topic wasn’t interesting – I completely understand the importance behind it – and I loved the stories that where shared with us by the Elder who came in to share this experiences, but I think it was that whatever information I was given I already knew, or that it was too much information to grasp all in the moment. The message that was delivered by the elder was one of forgiveness. It was no doubt inspiring to hear about his battles in Lebret Residential School, but what I found most courageous about him was that he wanted to forgive and forget the bad, but learn from it as well. While in residential school, he was met with unfortunate circumstance of abuse that took him nearly 30 years to come to terms with. He gained strength and wisdom and was able to carry on. His entire life has changed because of residential school – this was a topic that was so sensitive to me being an adult; was it okay to share this story with my future students as well? I went home that night feeling somewhat guilty and let down.

The second day of out Treaty Workshop was a lot different from the previous day in that we were able to really try our own hand at incorporating Treaty into our own lessons. I found that the second day was more collaborated learning but that there was a lighter tone to the day. The Knowledge Keeper that came in had an entirely different outlook on Residential School. Similarly to our Elder from the previous day, this women had gone to Lebret Residential School for the same reasons but was appreciative of everything that had happened to her. She says she wouldn’t be the person that she was if it wasn’t for her experiences here.

I appreciated the honesty that was given from both days. I was able to get so much more information than I already had. I felt that I was given both sides of the story – first hand – rather than the mostly European one that I was given until now. I hope that when I become a future educator I am able to provide the same kind of information for my students. I want them to know that we are all Treaty people – we are all affected by it, directly and indirectly. Of course Treaty Education is a touchy subject, but it doesn’t have to be. The more we educate on it, the more exposure our students get from it and the more they can relate to it.