Author: flymetothemoon2017

Inquiry-Based Project: Meal Planning

Before this project I never brought lunch to work and always bought in the cafeteria. This was not good on the wallet or on the weight…so with this course and not to mention getting married in May what a great opportunity to learn how to do this! Here is my presentation on this subject.

I had no idea where to start! So I sat down and asked myself some questions.

What do I want to know? After trying some diets that left me always hungry and unsatisfied I wanted to know what I should be eating day to day to fuel my body. I decided I should talk to a nutritionist or dietician, but which one? What is the difference? After some online research I decided to seek out a dietician for some advice. Once I had this information (which was a LOT of information) it was time to ask myself the next question.

What do I need to execute the dieticians plan? I need food! But I don’t want to buy so much it goes bad. So I figured I needed to narrow my scope to 1 week of meal planning and food. I got a great cookbook with tons of healthy recipes for all meals (Trim Healthy Mama cookbook!) and picked 3 meals to make over the course of a weekend.

I executed my plan by buying only the food I needed for the week and low and behold I threw out WAY less food. There was some improvising during the week and I didn’t end up following my plan 100% but that is ok! Live and learn, and sometimes learning something new requires a little bit of trial and error.

My second week doing this I did a lot better, it appears I have gone up the learning curve because it was not as much work and I am getting the hang of portions and serving sizes, the information is starting to stick and I refer to my dieticians info packet less and less often.

I have continued to do this even after I completed this project because I feel so much healthier and I am spending less money and I have lost a couple of pounds to boot!!! It is amazing how much effort you will put into something you actually want to learn!

Digital Story Telling – Can it work for a math course?

Although I am not teaching yet, I figured one of the subjects I may be teaching which I wanted to explore was math. I wanted to explore this subject because I figured this would be a difficult subject for incorporating digital story telling. After doing some research however, this does not seem to be the case at all! Which was great news for me!

I came across this link which I read and it immediately began sparking ideas for me. I would have my students create a digital story and I feel like there are two ways I could incorporate this.

One way is I could give each student a different math problem and they could tell a story about how they solved it. I would want them to demonstrate their logical thought process in solving the math problem as well as any resources or people they talked to for help in the subject (ie, myself the teacher or colleagues). I think this would really help them to learn what their thinking process is when it comes to solving problems, they will learn what works for them and can apply it to all other math problems in the future. This also goes back to the ‘thinking about thinking’ idea for metacognition.

Another way is I could give them a math concept to learn from the curriculum, even let them choose which one they want to learn. For example, one could be the quadratic equation and they could present the subject to the class in a story. I would want them to present the story of the quadratic equation; the history, how it was derived, what it used for and how to apply it to a real problem. Heck I could even create a webquest for this assignment as well!!

I would love to be able to test these assignments and how effective it would be for their learning and if it would help engage their interest in a subject that most students dislike while also helping them retain more of the information. I wonder if they would ever forget the quadratic equation after that assignment?

 

 

Flipping the Classroom and Handling Unprepared Students

As I am learning all about flipping the classroom, there seems to be a common concern/question that lingers. How do we deal with students who still don’t come to class prepared???? How do we as educators encourage them to be engaged? . I can only imagine how frustrating it can be to a teacher when some students come prepared and others do not, how do you improvise when not all your students are on the same page? This article (link) helps provide some answers.

Once I start teaching I think I can definitely use some of the strategies this article suggests. Maybe start out by some class monitoring, perhaps it will be the same two students all the time who come unprepared and it will only take a simple conversation with them to find out what is going on. I think it is important as a teacher to have empathy and realize that students have other stressors outside of school which may contribute to their lack of engagement or unpreparedness.

This article also suggests to proceed as planned and this will show the unprepared students just how valuable the pre-class work is. I would only follow with this strategy after speaking to those individual students as pre-mentioned and if their lack of preparedness is truly out of laziness than anything else. Until I could pinpoint those who are usually unprepared I would do a quick re-cap every class as the article also suggests so everyone is on the same page – but not something I would continue to do or get in the habit of.

So all in all I think this article has some really good suggestions that I for sure want to keep in my back pocket for when I start teaching. It lists out five strategies nicely and reading them I immediately start thinking how I would use each one and in what sequence to be successful at flipping the classroom.

 

 

Student-Centered Approaches

Student-Centered Approaches

 

When I first heard about flipping the classroom I thought it was such an ingenious idea. It seemed like a win-win situation for both the teacher and the students. The teacher can spend more time in active discussions with the students on a subject (less time lecturing) and the students can deepen their learning, feed off each other and most importantly…be less bored during class time. Then I came across this article which gives a different perspective on flipping the classroom. Possibly even against it? She goes as far as to say “I would never resurrect it”.

I have to admit, I was worried if I kept reading the article my enthusiasm for flipping the classroom would be shattered. However, the more I read on, the more I could start to appreciate the writers’ points. It turns out that if our intent is for the students to take charge of their own learning,  an entirely flipped classroom in itself may not achieve those results or as what happened with this writer your flipped classroom may fade away over time as your students take it upon themselves to do their own research and end up with a truly student-centered class!

In flipped classrooms where the teacher provides videos/lectures to watch at home, this isn’t changing much. Students are still being provided with lectures it is just in the form of homework instead. Although this still comes with benefits (they can rewind, re-watch as necessary and come to class prepared to discuss the subject), it can still be taken further to allow the students to ‘own’ their learning. We can also let students decide how they want to learn, do their own research and show us how they have learned the material.

I think there is something to the writers’ perspective, the thought that comes to my mind is that ‘we learn the best by teaching others’, and how we retain information better when we do this. This is exactly what the student is doing by showing the teacher how they learned something. Teaching the teacher, which is totally backwards and in my eyes is still technically a ‘flip’ after all.