Am I an Innovator?

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As I began to look back at the semester, reflecting on tweets and blog posts, and comments, I was thinking to myself… Was I really being creative? I always try to be original and creative but then I would catch myself reading another post, and wanting to create something similar but in my own words. But I do feel like some of my posts were pretty creative, with my recipes and songs, and such.

When I think of being innovative in the classroom, I think of imaginary wheels above student’s heads, thinking. One should be able to use their own creative juices to work, but also not be afraid to reach out to get extra help.

“I listen and learn from different perspectives, because I know we are much better together than we could ever be alone. I can learn from anyone and any situation.”

I love this statement that Richardson made. I always like to think in perspectives, especially when it comes to teaching. There is ALWAYS more than one way to look at a situation. I once had  a professor tell me that even if you have to get down on your belly on the floor to check something out, it’s better than saying you didn’t try. I coach basketball, and I always tell my players that they are only as strong as their weakest link, in hopes of encouraging them to work together more as a team.

When I began to read the article on unlearning, I began to really think if I could actually unlearn something. But then I started thinking of breaking bad habits, or correcting myself.

“We need to unlearn the practice that teaches all students at the same pace. Is it any wonder why so many of our students love to play online games where they move forward at their own pace?”

There are so many students that get lost in the classroom bustle… Not every student is the same, we as teachers HAVE to keep that in mind. Sometimes they can’t help it if they lose interest or get too far ahead, but at the same time the students have to keep this in mind as well.

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ILP Wrap Up

There are so many things that I have learned from my ILP. I’ve expanded my music genre interest, I’ve tried recipes that I never thought I would, and I’ve also tried foods I never thought I would. But most of all, I’ve been able to make a connection between my cooking in the kitchen and listening to music, to the classroom.

When we were asked to choose a topic, the one I selected had me thinking twice. I was thinking that it was either going to be a huge hit or just the bottom notch kind of topic that everyone sees and just passes by. Hearing from positive remarks from classmates who were interested in my topic helped tremendously… I did a little bit of a happy dance.. *high-fives self*

As I begin to move forward, I think of all the ways I can incorporate a recipe into class… just the right amount of music here, not too much sitting time over there, and just a slice of giggle play time. I’ve always loved music and I’ve noticed more and more students are using music to help them focus, whether it be in high school, middle school, or even upper elementary. I’ve created several lesson plans for kindergarten/preschool age children and I’ve tried my best to create transitions using music, knowing that it will give the kids something fun to sing/dance to while moving about the classroom.

Digital Videos and Podcasts and Videos.. Oh My!

When I was in elementary school, technology wasn’t popular.. I mean we still had a dinosaur computer to play Oregon Trail.. So honestly online anything wouldn’t have appealed to me. I LOVED to read back then so I was more comfortable with actual reading material. Now that I have worked with kids in elementary school, I can definitely see the digital productions being more popular and used more. I can’t honestly say I’ve watched a podcast myself, so I guess I better get on that!

I think that I can handle creating a digital storytelling lesson for a young group of children, but if I was asked to do so for middle or high school students, it would be awful! There are so many things that spark their interests, it would be hard to focus on just one thing that would be an asset.

skippyjonjonesIn high school, I was in speech nerd.  One year for humorous prose, I decided to use one of my favorite books, Skippy Jon Jones. It was probably one of the most fun pieces I did in the four years I was in school. I think I could recite it again, using my different characters and voices, and maybe create some kind of digital story!

30 Days of Digital Thankfulness

today I am thankful
I began my 30 day challenge yesterday! Each day I will be updating my blog to share one new thing I am thankful for.

Nov. 1- Today I am thankful for agriculture. Without ag, our world would be incomplete! Ag feeds our nation, supplies us with plentiful life.

Nov. 2- Today I am thankful for my little dog, Star. Since I have gotten Star, being at home alone has become something I don’t mind, instead of something I dread. She keeps me company, and I might also add she likes to nap as much as I do!

Nov. 3- Today I am thankful for coffe, warm vehicles, and six man football!

Nov. 4- Today I am thankful for the cherished time with family.

Nov. 5- Today I am thankful for Spotify, keeping me focused on my last minute homework!

Nov. 6- Today I am thankful for the time I’ve gotten to spend with coworkers

Nov. 7- Today I am thankful for Snap Chat, as it allows for friends or family, near or far to share photos and videos with us

Nov. 8- Today I am thankful for my camera, it’s the best stress reliever ever!

Nov. 9- Today I am thankful for great horses to ride

Nov. 10- Today I am thankful for the beautiful Sandhills

Nov. 11- Today I am thankful for our meadows and pivots that help us to provide hay and feed for our livestock

Nov. 12- Today I am thankful for the opportunity to share my photography with the world. It is all about perspective.

Nov. 13- Today I am thankful for basketball. I have been in love with the game ever since I could play. Coaching helps me to share my knowledge of the game with others.

Nov. 14- Today I am thankful for new beginnings. In January I start a new educational journey, I am nervous but very excited.

Nov. 15- Today I am thankful for the ability to spend my days with animals. I have lived on a ranch my entire life. Spending time with cows, horses, cats, dogs, etc has been one of the best ways to spend my spare time.

Nov. 16- Today I am thankful for sticky notes. If anyone could see my desk right now, you’d see 500 sticky notes, each with some short little note, heck there’s even some that look like small stories.

Nov. 17- Today I am thankful for Pinterest. I love cooking and trying new recipes… Pinterest provides all sorts of recipes for me to try.

Nov. 18- Today I am thankful for small towns, tonight is the Merriman Volunteer Fireman’s smoker. It always warms my heart to see all the community members come together to show their support for our volunteer firemen.

Nov 19.- Today I am thankful for old and new friends.

Nov. 20- Today I am thankful for the job opportunities I have been blessed with. Working with students during and after school always makes me feel like I am making a difference.

Nov. 21 – Today I am thankful for my planner. Without my planner I know I would be very lost, I write everything down in it and I depend very heavily on it! It’s almost like a life line. 😀

Nov. 22- Today I am thankful for big gyms- we have a small gym and a big gym so that we can split up practices so everyone gets equal time… The big gym is definitely my pick.

Nov. 23- Today I am thankful for my puppy-Chewey (who is almost a week old)

Nov. 24- Today I am thankful that I decided to stay home and NOT go black Friday shopping, instead, I was able to get fresh out of the oven cinnamon rolls

Nov. 25- Today I am thankful for being able to spend time with all my family over the thanksgiving holiday.

Nov. 26- Today I am thankful for my mini sessions. I have created a mini session holiday-themed backdrop for my photo sessions… And I only spent $13!

Nov. 27- Today I am thankful for naps, I love to sleep.

Nov. 28- Today I am thankful for basketballs. I have always relied on the sport to keep me going, but a basketball has always had great meaning for me.

Nov. 29- Today I am thankful for my sister! Happy 13 birthday Kassidy!

Nov. 30- Today I am thankful because TOMORROW IS GAME DAY!

Using Technology Mindfully

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After watching the TedTalk about quitting the internet for a year.. My first thought was along the lines of Paul being brave for just jumping off the deep end and living with NO internet. NO social connections besides those face to face… NO emails, Facebook, Twitter, random homework-avoiding Google searches… NOTHING… I got to thinking myself.. I really don’t manage my internet time very well. In fact, as I am writing this, I have two shoe shopping tabs open that I most certainly don’t need open. I have a really hard time focusing, especially online, my brain sidetracks and the more I sidetrack the further away from my work I get. I am an all-online student, so being online is a must for me, so getting rid of the internet would be very hard!

Multitasking is a great thing.. If you can manage it well. I don’t mind having two-three tabs open while browsing, but as soon as I go to add another tab, I have to stop myself, or I will never return to what I was intentionally doing.

I think that the internet is a great thing to have, however, it is abused in so many ways that everyone eventually starts suffering the consequences. The internet brings us ways to share photos, memories, personal thoughts (not everyone wants to know), it allows us to communicate with friends, family, and co-workers who we are not able to see face-to-face.

As a future early childhood educator, I want to limit the amount of internet and technology that is used in my classroom. There are TONS of resources for teachers to use in the classroom, as well as those resources to share with parents. I’ve said this before… But as a teacher, I want to show the children that they can do both, learn from the internet and the classroom to learn. I do NOT want those children to become technology dependent.

I want them to be able to prioritize their lives.

“A Reflection” … Don’t worry I have a song for this too…

Reflecting back on the semester so far was kind of sad actually.. Why? Well we are already half-way into this semester! Time is going by way too fast. There are so many technology related resources that I have learned about this semester. I honestly thought at the beginning of the semester that I wouldn’t be getting anything out of this class.

As an early childhood major, I feel very strongly about having minimum technology resources in the classroom/care center. I want the children to explore on their own and not become dependent on a technological device. But what really amazes me is the amount of resources that are out there for both teacher and parent access. Using these resources as a teacher creates so many relationships and completes the puzzle piece-by-piece.

One thing I have really enjyed about this class are the Ted Talks we’ve been assigned, as well as discovering our own to watch. I think you could probably find a talk on anything if you really dug deep.

So in honor of mid term week, here’s a little jam for ya to celebrate making it halfway through the semester!

So, I Googled Myself

I always remember teachers telling us to watch what we posted on social media or anywhere else on the internet was free game to the rest of the world. So I was interested today to see what others would see if they were to Google my name.

I was expecting to find links to my Facebook and Twitter… But I also found the links to my photography website and my Pinterest account. I even found a basketball recruit profile, that I had forgotten I had created when I was a senior.. Clearly I thought college athletics were in my future! 😛

If one were to click on the Pinterest link, there would be many photography and food related pins! My Facebook account is full of cat videos and pictures of cows, and maybe a few posts making fun of the Huskers. I’d have to say that out of my social media apps that I am most active on Facebook.. And I have to admit I am that person that sees someones posts that has no likes… And I will be the first and maybe the only person to like it.

Images that pop up are some from blogs that I have posted, one was a senior picture from a local newspaper near my high school, and some pictures that were featured in articles that I may have been mentioned in.

It was kind of cool to “stalk” myself on the internet. Just to see what I could find, to see what ever74d2b8a7fc357cf91d76d82c3e6d6a23--dont-judge-internetyone else would find.

Don’t stop believing…. In hamburger helper

 

You can thank me already for getting this song stuck in your head!

Do you ever have those days when you get home from work, school, or practice and feel like doing absolutely nothing? And just yawn thinking about having to cook something for supper? ME TOO!

This was me just the other day. I was super tired and had zero energy and really didn’t feel like cooking a darn thing. I always try to make something homemade and zero energy really isn’t a factor when it comes to home-making something! So hidden on the very top shelf of my pantry I have a couple of boxes of hamburger helper, beef stroganoff it was. I have become quite fond of Velveeta brand, who can resist the cheese?

Also while in the pantry I grabbed my box of Bisquik, so I could whip up some little drop biscuits. So as usual I had to jam out while cooking… My choice that night? YouTube shuffle, starting with Don’t Stop Believing… You know, don’t stop believing in your cooking ’cause sometimes I worry myself. Cheesy peas were added to our meal at last minute, once again, who can resist cheese?

As everything began to mix together, melt, bake, etc., just as I was about to set the table, another classic jam began to play… Eye of the Tiger. How ironic is that!? I can’t be the only one who jams out to that song… Am I!? It’s like running the last lap in the race, YOU CAN FINISH!!

I was going to take a picture of my plate as I normally do, but I guess it was so good Andy ate all of it! No time to take a picture, so I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it. 😉

As I relate Don’t Stop Believing to the classroom, I can’t help but to think of when I student says, “I can’t do this!!” Sure you can! Don’t stop believing in yourself, success takes hard work, time, and a lot of patience. I just remind them to remain positive, if you’re a negative Nancy about your work, guess what? You’re going to get negative results!

Making dinner out of a box isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own twist and make it even better!

 

 

The PLN of a Future Early Childhood Teacher

Building connections and relationships as a student and as an educator is a major key in life. Your connections can not only help you, but your peers, students, family, and your own children. You never know when you might get yourself into a pickle and need help. PLNs provide us with resources for our classrooms and even our home life.

Creating these PLNs has been awesome for me, I enjoy reading what others may think of a situation, or how there are other ways to handle a situation. Getting another opinion never hurts anything, and some experts give the best advice as well as provide links for resources, and even other experts. PLNs can be trusted, something you can fall back on when stuck planning a lesson, or rearranging your classroom to fit your kids just right.

I am an early childhood inclusive major, so I was debating on what Twitter pages and blogs I should follow to build this network. I followed some special education Twitter pages, some for high school as well as some for early childhood. I thought that maybe following both education levels that I could use the advice and resources from both to make connections in homework cases as well as when I am in the classroom.

The one Twitter page that stuck out to me was Teach Preschool, this page is ran by Debora Stewart an educator for over 25 years. Not only is there a Twitter page, but also a blog to go with! This blog allows you to sign up for daily updates, special offers, things like that. So I of course had to type mine in! I was exploring her Twitter feed, she re-tweets so many different topics, it is just unreal! I’m so glad that I followed this page so that I too have access to those resources.

The Age of Aquarius and…. Duck Eggs?

For those of you who know the song, Age of Aquarius, you might’ve started singing the words. If you have not heard this song and would like one to be stuck in your head, here’s the link for a great song to have stuck in your head! Age of Aquarius/Let the Sun In

IMG_0490This morning, I had a breakfast guest, my little brother, and probably the biggest critic. He’s only 10, but a 10 year-old can have more opinions than a 90 year-old! So, I decided I’d maybe make him a nice breakfast and see what he had to say. This mornings menu included: a bacon or sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich on a biscuit or crescent roll. The twist? I used duck eggs! I was really hesitant at first to use the eggs, but then I got to thinking, well they are eggs, they really can’t be that different are they? Well, they aren’t, they have a slightly larger yolk than a chicken egg, but other than that there isn’t much difference. So,IMG_0489.JPG everything is cooked and ready to be served, I go to get the boys, as I walk in to the living room, I see that they’re both glued to the TV… Who knew Paw Patrol could be so amusing to a 23 year old and ten year old!?

So my brother fixes his sandwich, looks at me and goes, “Sissy this tastes great!” SUCCESS!!!! I’m doing a victory dance in my head but just give him a simple smile and a thank you.

What was I jamming to while cooking? My 60s radio station on Pandora. I am a flower child at heart. 60s music is so relaxing and “cool” for me. I’m instantly chill as soon as the music starts playing. It’s definitely one of those genres that makes you want to sway and sing.

My duck egg hesitation reminded me of something in the classroom, a lot of children are hesitant to try new things, so if we can help them to weigh the pros and cons of something, they will become more confident with their choices. They can spread that confidence with their peers and help them conquer fears as well.