This week, I would like to share some great tools for teachers that are fantastic to have in the classroom. Google Translate is a Chrome extension that can help translate words and phrases with a simple highlight and click. Once added to your Chrome, the translator will appear whenever you highlight words that are not in English.
Then, with a simple click, the extension pulls up Google Translate and automatically detects the language and translates it to English.
I would strongly recommend this tool for people who are educating EAL students or teaching any language. I thought that this was a great tool for me because I am currently learning Spanish for my learning project, which you can check out here.
I also tried out Skitch, which is another Chrome extension that allows me to screenshot and add in the orange square and arrows that you see above. I would strongly recommend this tool as well as it is such an easy way to create instructional photos.
Both of these tools help us utilize technology in the classroom in a positive way. However, they are both very small additions to our daily tasks, therefore I believe would fall under Augmentation in the SAMR model. They are both able to make a task much simpler and also create functional improvements to translating languages and editing photos.
Overall, it is so important to use technology to our advantage in the classroom. There are a large amount of resources out there for us, but we just have to search for them in order to benefit us and our students!
For one of my final assignments at the University of Regina, we created poster boards based on our volunteer experience. For the semester, I volunteered with the Moose Jaw Literacy Network. I was able to attend the Gus Bus, a strategic planning meeting, and many other events. Along with this, I wrote two of the newsletters about family literacy that were sent out to all of the schools in the city. Once I begin teaching, I will be able to utilize programs such as this in order to support and promote family engagement in the classroom.
For my last lesson with the grade 7/8’s at McDermid Community School, I was given the opportunity to teach another art lesson. Based on the artist Leah Dorion, I had the students create their own art that told an Indigenous story. It is important to attach artists to projects in the classroom so that the students are able to have visual examples. It also sparks their creativity in a way that can inspire them to create art that connects to them personally. After all, students will not enjoy the process of creating art if they do not have any motivations to do so. Overall, it was a great way to end my time at McDermid School and cannot wait to continue my journey in becoming a teacher.
This week at McDermid Community School, we learnt how to calculate sales taxes and discounts. After a short lecture with a few examples, I set up four stations for the students to work at. Now, getting grade eight students enthused about math stations can be a difficult task, but they were generally accepting of the idea. These were the stations that they were able to choose from throughout the period:
Station One: Questions on sales taxes to be completed independently or with a partner.
Station Two: Questions on discounts to be completed independently or with a partner.
Station Three: A version of Tic-Tac-Toe that included percentage questions. The group would collectively pick a question, and whomever got the correct answer first got to put their colour on the Tic-Tac-Toe board.
Station Four: A Build-Your-Own-Meal sheet that consisted of restaurant items. The students would pick their favourite foods and drinks and then calculate the total with a 15% discount and an 11% sales tax. They loved comparing who had the most expensive taste buds!
Overall, the students were on task the entire class and seemed to enjoy learning in an environment with their peers. I personally loved this lesson because it adapted to every type of learner. For example, some of the students went to all the stations, some stayed at the independent stations, and some just stayed at the games. Either way, they were getting to practice their mathematic skills in a setting that was most comfortable for them. I loved this lesson and will definitely continue to build off of this idea in the future!
(Note: the students were encouraged to use their technology as calculators in order to follow along with the lesson)
Bingo is another great way to get students involved and to have fun! I will be using this Bingo sheet for my English lesson this week. The lesson includes writing, drawing, online surveys and games, and the Simile and Metaphor Bingo. This works just like any bingo game, but depends on right or wrong answers. As I read out sentences or statements, I will give the students about 30 seconds to write down whether they believe it is a simile or a metaphor. Once I reveal the answer, the students who got it correct will be able to colour in a square that says the answer (ex. if the right answer was simile, they would colour in a simile square). This is an interactive way for students to share their intelligence with their peers and gives a competitive edge on the topic, without giving out prizes (which can leave students feeling left out). All in all, I am looking forward to teaching my first English lesson and hope that the students are as excited about this activity as I am!
Last week at McDermid Community School, my partner and I had the opportunity to teach a lesson on healthy relationships and support systems. As it was Pink Day (bullying awareness day), the students were able to connect the lesson to what they had already learnt in their assembly. To begin the lesson, we decided that we would use a fun activity to get the kids engaged (otherwise known as the set). The human knot activity is a great way to teach kids communication and teamwork skills, while having a blast in the classroom. In groups of five or six, have students hold hands with two different people in the circle that are not beside them. Once they have all linked hands, they must try to unwind their arms until they have a complete circle again, facing frontwards or backwards. This activity was very successful in this lesson and allowed the students an opportunity to get active in the classroom, which is always important!
This year, I went from assistant coaching junior girls volleyball to senior boys. The adjustment was difficult due to the fact that I have never worked with male athletes before. They are a great group of young men and fought hard in their season, although we did not make it to provincials. However, we had a lot of success throughout the season, ranking first in our city league before entering playoffs and finishing second in our very first tournament. Being mine and the head coach’s first year with the boys, we feel that the team improved in their fundamental skills and learnt a lot about the game. We are very excited for the years to come and what these boys will achieve with their hard work and dedication to the amazing sport!
Twin Lakes Ranch Ministries, located just outside of Moose Jaw, hosts a variety of rodeo camps for youth each summer. The camps incorporate Christian ministry through various activities and guest speakers, both in and out of the arena. This summer, I was able to help Twin Lakes out as a cabin leader for the girls during their annual teen camp. This was another great opportunity for me to gain experience in working with teens as well as being able to learn more about youth ministries. It was an overall great experience and I hope to be a part of it again.
Last fall I had the amazing opportunity to coach the Junior girls volleyball team at Central Collegiate in Moose Jaw. It was incredible to see the girls work together and push each other to do the best they could. We not only worked on improving our volleyball skills, but worked on our abilities in self-confidence, trust, and encouragement in order to truly come together as a team. This was a great way for me to gain experience with older aged students and to improve in my leadership skills as well.
Summer Success is now done for the year and we wish the kids well in their new school year. Literacy tests will be done with their teachers in the fall to see their final results!