Archive for the ‘Thoughts & Ideas’ Category

Social Media

I was exploring the Prezi website today as I was working on an assignment and I found this little presentation and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. It does a really great job of presenting the basics of social media. So, check it out!





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I decided to be adventurous and check out the “#edchat” hashtag on Twitter. As I began reading, only a few tweets down I saw a post about  TED-Ed.

The article from USA Today Education: TED-Ed: The New Way to Video in the Classroom introduces TED’s new Ed resource that captures the essence of educational video in one site. So, after reading the article I decided to look around on TED-Ed to see what I could find. I LOVED IT!  Exploring the four categories – featured, series, subject and YouTube, I found many different videos on many different topics. I really appreciated the “subjects” category because it allowed me to focus in on one specific subject. I feel that this would be especially useful for a classroom teacher looking to find videos for specific subjects in the classroom.

As I explored I came across this video… One is one… Or is it? I decided to watch it and LEARNED! What a great math lesson to teach students the importance of units and value.

If you click here and watch the video on the TED-Ed website, you see that on the side there are a few links to click with each lesson. Watch. Quick Quiz. Think. Dig Deeper. If the amazing video wasn’t enough, the extra lessons to go along with it just added to the awesomeness of this site. The QUICK QUIZ was a great tool to help reiterate what I had learned in the video and would be a great tool for students in a classroom as well. The THINK section provides excellent continuing lesson ideas for teachers to use to help students work with inquiry learning! And the DIG DEEPER section provides the teacher with an opportunity to make cross curricular connections with the learning from the video.


I’m not sure if others have found this site and blogged about it before but I just had to anyway because it’s so awesome. I actually couldn’t be more excited about a website and I can hardly wait to explore deeper into this website and find ways to use it in my classroom. I HIGHLY recommend that you all check it out because it’s definitely worth it. If you do take a chance to explore, please comment to let me know what you think and what you find during your exploring.

– Shayna

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I just wanted to write this as a quick apology for my absence in blogging for the past few days. We’ve been dealing with a sickness in our family so I’ve been a little absent from technology. However, I figure I might as well turn the situation into a learning/observational experience if I can.


This past weekend I spent quite a bit of time in St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon and as I watched the nurses work with the machines I couldn’t help but ask myself how different it would be if this technology didn’t exist. If they didn’t have the ability to run blood tests to give a diagnosis, or take ultrasounds to check out the parts of a patient that we cannot see from the outside. It’s incredible to think about how illness would have been handled without the technology we have today. It makes me think about all those people who are scared of technology and the advances that are being made in society today… Sure… Cell phones are taking over the world… But that technology is also helping Doctors and Nurses to treat our loved one everyday.


Just a thought that I had and wanted to share… I think that too often I think of technology for “entertainment” or “business” use, but forget that we use technology for much much more in society today and the more we can explore and use it, the more we can learn about it and advance ourselves.

– Shayna

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Well, I am so overwhelmed with happiness/joy right now that I figured I should let all my feelings out into a quick blog post. A friend of mine has been traveling in Thailand since May and was supposed to be coming home on Saturday. Turns out she got an earlier flight and is coming home TONIGHT! Today, for a few reasons, hasn’t been the best of days and when I got the text from her mom asking if I wanted to come to the airport, my heart was so happy it almost made up for the other things that had happened today. It’s funny how we can feel two emotions at once, isn’t it?

Regardless, I’m so very happy to say that I’m going to sleep now so I can wake up at 12:30 to be at the airport for 1:00 to greet this friend at the gate upon her arrival back to Regina. So, alas, I’m off to sleep for a few hours but am glad that I could share my joy with you all 🙂

– Shayna

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A Message

Well, a few days ago I saw a fellow “teacher friend” post this on Facebook. Naturally I watched the video and literally laughed out loud. I’m sure many of you have seen the video, but I wanted to share it for those who hadn’t because it’s definitely worth the laugh (in my opinion). Obviously the video is NOT meant to be taken seriously and I think it gives us teachers an opportunity to laugh at ourselves and the thoughts that I’m sure will cross some of our minds (maybe in a less “harsh” way). I love teaching and I love the kids I teach but I’m sure we will all have those frustrating days where we’ll want to say this. I plan on watching this video to make myself laugh on those days.


– Shayna

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Today while I was at work I was thinking of some training that I went through when I began my job with the City of Regina. We attended a Customer Service Training session in which they showed us the video called the “Fish Philosophy.” Now, if any of you have gone through similar training, I’m sure you have seen the video and gotten a little chuckle out of it because it’s quite crazy. The FISH! philosophy discusses the idea that by bringing energy and fun to the workplace, you can create an exciting and fun environment for employees and customers. In the full video you can see how the employees at the Seattle fish market have learned to bring play and fun into their workplace to help enjoy the day and make an impact in customers lives every day.

As I thought some more about this video and philosophy, I thought about how it could be applied into an elementary classroom. Being a pre-service teacher, I have seen many situations and schools where teachers, and students, are simply not having fun. I think that in our generation, the general idea is that work is work and play is play and that the two cannot be mixed together. However, throughout our university experience we have talked often about the importance of play in the classroom. And, while this is very relevant for students, I also feel that it is important for teachers to remember to have fun at their jobs and not take themselves too seriously. I think that it is very important for teachers to have fun with their students as well as the other members on staff. There is no scientific law that says when a teacher is having fun that they will not be teaching the students properly. In fact, I’m sure if someone studied it, teachers who had fun with the staff and students would be having a greater impact on students in the classroom and their learning. And so, as I did some more research I found that the ChartHouseLearning website for FISH! has an entire section devoted to using FISH! in schools (there is a whole bunch of videos, information and resources on this website).

I think that using the FISH! method in schools would be very beneficial to the learning environment and I am really looking forward to doing some more research on it to maybe put it to use in my internship classroom.

– Shayna

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On Monday I FINALLY had the chance to sit in on one of the live sessions for our ECMP355 class. This was a great night to sit in as the author of our textbook was here to talk with us (here is slightly incorrect as he was actually taking time from a vacation in Hawaii to be with us). We discussed many things during the time, but what stood out most to me was when we discussed how, as educators, we will adjust to the new way that schools are functioning and realize that soon we may have no need for “school” in the sense of organized classrooms with teachers. We discussed that much learning can be done outside of the classroom using the technology that is made available to us. We discussed that in today’s classroom we often teach students how to learn more than we actually teach them information in the classroom. At one point there was a very long and profound silence in the conversation and Dean asked us what that silence meant. In my case, as Dean called me out on it, my silence was strictly for processing… I feel that the idea and understanding of learning, unlearning and relearning is not something can be thought about and processed in one sitting. My understanding of this subject has been, and will continue to be, a process that I think about as I journey into my future career. As a future educator I find it difficult to look into my “future classroom” and see it as being similar to the classrooms that I was in as a student and this excites me. The idea that classrooms in the future will be drastically different from how we experienced classrooms is exciting to me because I feel that by changing classrooms we can also change the way our students learn and help them develop an understanding of themselves as learners, rather than simply shoveling knowledge into their heads every day.

small-business-blog.jpg from GoogleImages

We also discussed how, and why, blogging is useful and important in the classroom. Dean gave us many examples of teachers who have done exceptional things in their classrooms through blogs. An idea that I took away from this was that students need to see that teachers are also learners. This can be exemplified through blogging because, as I’m sure many of us are not comfortable with blogging quite yet, we can show our students that we are learners through the process of learning to use blogs and technology in the classroom. As we discussed in the session, being vulnerable is a huge aspect of the challenge of bringing blogging into the classroom. So far through this experience I have come to realize that my vulnerability is what helps other see me as a learner and helps others to see me as a “real person.” I feel that this will transfer into my classroom and to my future students and can hardly wait to start the learning process with them, whoever they are.  Something that I wholeheartedly agree  with is the fact that it is better to give students (and other teachers) the opportunity to explore blogging and have it “fail” or have the students not enjoy the process rather than not giving them the opportunity to try it for themselves.

– Shayna

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