Archive for October, 2007

ESL Tutoring

It was another week of ESL tutoring for me and it was good as always. I was working with the students in the first class who have basic English. The teacher I was working with set up a fun activity for the class that day. The interesting thing about this was that it doesn’t have to be used just for ESL classes but for any class. The activity that was done, was we had the class pair up and had one student face away from the t.v and had the second student face the t.v. We then played sections of the Mr. Bean show. The reason that this was chosen was because their was no conversations going on so the students could concentrate on what was going on in. We then would stop the video and have the students who watched the video, explain to their partners what was going on. This was an interesting activity because the students found this to be extremely fun and had a great time explaining to their friends what was going on. I found this to be very important because it helped the students put actions into words and be able to express what they see. Also this activity can be adapted in different ways to accommodate for students.


An odd question…

This question stumped me for the longest time! Finally one day a friend gave me the answer! For some people this may be frustrating and hard to figure out and others its just a breeze!

Try to solve this:

When asked this riddle. 80% of kindergarten children got this compared to 17% of university students.

What is greater then God?

More evil then the Devil?

The poor have it.

The rich need it.

And if you eat it, you will die?

Dove Commercials

Watching these two Dove commercials makes a large impact on how many people look at how people see the beauty industry. I find these commercials to be extremely true and give the message that women and even men should look at how beauty is betrayed and can affect many people. In the first video, Onslaught, the images of what people will do to themselves to make themselves “beautiful” is sad but true. Many of the images show at how people will try to do anything just to force themselves to fit a stereotypical view of what a beautiful person should look like. I for one am against this idea that every person should be rail thin with a size 0 waist because if you really think about it, that means that you should not exist since 0 means nothing. As a teacher this is important to acknowledge in classrooms because it is important for students to understand that forcing themselves to look a certain way can actually hurt them. I think it is important for teachers and parents to bring up these issues because children are getting younger and younger and becoming more worried about how they look and eating disorders are becoming more of a problem. If teachers and parents talk to their kids earlier, some of these problems of eating disorders may be eliminated instead of letting them hurt themselves. These two commercials bring up the important point of understanding some of the problems behind what is considered beautiful and can be used to bring up class discussions of how to avoid falling for these stereotypes and letting them affect students lives.

In the commercial Onslaught, there are a few images that may harsh for younger students. Viewer Discretion is advised.



k-12 Online conference (Building Online Communities)

The presentation that I listened to was Building Online Communities for Youth. This was a really interesting presentation because it brings together many aspects of teaching and involves the students. One of the things that I liked about the presentation was how they explained how they were connecting students from all around the world and helping them learn about other countries. This is a really good idea because it involves the students and helps them get a more in depth look at other cultures and help them understand what is really going on. Also this allows students to act more freely and be able to discuss issues with each other and other students. The idea of blogging in the classroom and allowing students to connect with each other in different forms. This is important because students can learn new knowledge by interacting with students who may live on the other side of the world. This also gives students the chance to understand that there is more to the world then just beyond their city. This idea can be used for many lessons in the class room because students can share information about their homes and lives and be able to learn from other students. An example of how this blogging was used was that one of the presenters talked about how he invited a guest speaker from Iran to share a chat with the students. The presenter was surprised to see that the students began to ask in depth questions. This is a good example because the students were able to connect to someone who has real life experience and can give detailed answers that books sometimes cannot supply.  As a student working to become a teacher, I find this to be extremely interesting because it helps students to gain a better perspective on the world and also make new friends from other cultures. This is important because it helps students understand about being multi cultural and how fun it can be to learn about a new culture and how it compares to their own. The idea of building online communities for students is a good idea because they can help connect them to people but also gain knowledge about using technology and understanding how it can help connect people together.



For the past couple weeks, I have been volunteering with two ESL classes in a local highschool. It has been an extremely interesting experience because I have learned about new teaching methods. The difference between these two classes is that one of the classes the ESL students have a basic knoweldge of English and can carry on simple conversations. The reason that they are in this class is to assist them to integrating into the classrooms. The other class though is a completely different setting and provides completely different challenges. The 2nd class has students that have just moved to Canada and have little or no English. This can make for a difficult process because the students need to learn but as teachers it is our job to help them to learn English.

In each of class, there are unique lessons which each teacher has for the students to gain a better understanding of English. In the first ESL class, where the students have basic English, lessons have been centered around helping them in writing English and learning things such as history, social studies and sciences. Though it is important for the students to learn English so they can work their way into regular classes, some lessons revolve around the students language. One lesson that was done during the class was when the students were learning about different rhymes. The twist to the lesson was that each student was asked if they wanted to share a rhyme in their own language and teach it to the entire class. This is important because it promotes students to keep their traditional languages and not lose them completely.

In the 2nd ESL class, the students are learning the simple basics that will assist them in life. This proved to be a somewhat difficult process because many of the students were confused about the concepts that were trying to be taught. The lesson that they were trying to learn was how to read calendars. Each student was given a work booklet which consisted of work sheets which broke down how understand the days of the week. This was a difficult for the students because many of them were not sure how to distinguish between weekdays and weekends. Also for the teacher, teacher assistant and I it was hard to try and explain to the students what the difference was and why it is important to know the days of the week.

As a soon to be teacher, this experience is very valuable because it prepares me for when I do go out into the real world and may have ESL students in my class. It is important as a teacher that we understand the importance of helping students to retian their first language without completely forgetting it. Also that it may seem difficult and frustrating to try and teach an individual about the days of the week, it is important that they recieve help and attention from the teacher.

K-12 online conference

One of the presentations that I have found to be quite interesting and I just found this one of my google reader thinger, was about motivating student writers through connectiving students through blogs, chats and videos. This is an excellant idea for any grade in any school because it doesn’t actually have to be students from another country who they can connect to but even just students from another city or province. This is an amazing idea because it connects students together and helps them realize that beyond their town or city there is a larger world that can be explored. In this presentation they talk about how they have connected students from different countries and how they have been able to form friendships between the kids and let them communicate and get to know each more simply through posts and comments. This would be an amazing thing to try out in a classroom because it helps students understand that there is more going on in the world then just what they see in the news or hear from someone. Also it helps students build friendships that even though they may be far away, there is a comfort in knowing someone new and when they get older they may run into that individual some where. The feeling of being connected is important for students because sometimes they may have difficultly making friends where they live but if they have a chance to talk to someone and slowly grow they may begin to feel more confident. This idea is also unique because it shows how different people around the world can show and teach people about how their lives are and how they may differ from another persons. This gives a better cultural understanding for students who may only see other cultures as they are betrayed through the media without understanding the details. In my opinion this is a great learning tool because it can cross over multiple subjects and brings the idea of connecting everyone in the world instead of making it seem like a strange world where no one actually knows anything beyond their own home.

Cyber Bullying

Since the creation of ICQ, MSN and emails, cyber bullying has become more of a problem I think. Its easier for kids to go online and attack another student through words, messages and now even videos and websites. Its the most frustrating thing because there is not really any way of stopping this and if someone accuses an individual of doing something they don’t have solid proof besides any messages or websites that they may have. The problem wiht the internet is its so easy to be anonymous or be someone completely different. Cyber bullying is just a easy way for kids to attack each other without the fear of parents and teachers getting directly involved because they may see it occur on the play ground during recess or after school or even in the class room. Though there are programs created to encourage students to stop this trend there is really no certain way that it can be done. It is easy to tell students that harrassing people is wrong and that what they are doing is inappropriate but there is no way to have solid proof that a particular person sent an email or created a website for the entire world to see by simply typing a few words into the a search engine.
From personal experience I have actually been harassed online by a group of people and things actually went completely out of hand. It started when I was in high school and a girl I was friends with for many years began to dislike the new group of people I was hanging out with so she befriended them also and then began to spread rumors and lies about me to them. This then set of a barrage of emails and msn chats harassing me and telling to go kill myself. It went so far as a few people found out my parents email address (which I still do not know how they managed that to this day) and began sending harassing emails to them saying that I was into drugs and alcohol, when I never have been. This was extremely hard for me because being only half done high school and suddenly having a supposedly great group of friends turn against you because the one person who you thought was your best friend decided that she did not like the way things were going. In the end I stopped speaking and having anything to do with any of those people. Also I set up blocks on my email and msn account so that they could not contact me anymore. Another thing that occurred that made the harassment stop was that my parents went to each persons house and spoke personally to all of the peoples parents. This did not go over well but I never received another harassing letter or MSN message from these people. I know I have a slightly more positive ending to my story then some people who do not have a way to get away from the harassment and have to be pulled from highschool. I personally think that cyber bullying is just a cheap way for kids to avoid saying their feelings face to face in fear of the consequences and actions of another person. Also I think it is just not fair and if someone does have an issue with a person they should just flat out tell them instead of hiding behind a computer screen and lettting words on a computer screen be there fighting words.

I found a few video’s that relate to this idea.

It’s Thanksgiving!

Well it was a really good long weekend for me!! I actually had pretty much the whole weekend off except for working sunday night for 2.5 hours. That was alright though! I was a little sad that I had to miss out on turkey supper at Jason’s house. I made it up to his mom though by dropping off desert for them before I went to work. Also I stopped by afterwards to get some turkey since my sister made a rosat for our thanksgiving supper. Pretty much the weekend has been spent sleeping (which feels like I haven’t done in forever!) and just hanging out with my friends. Its nice to have a short week this week and on the weekend my best friend Tara and I are heading up to Saskatoon to see our friend Leigh. So pretty much that has been my weekend besides studying and working on a group project!


RESIGNATION: I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year-old again. I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four star restaurant.  I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks.  I want to think M&Msare better than money because you can eat them. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hotsummer’s day. I want to return to a time when life was simple, when all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes,but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.   I want to think the world is fair.  That everyone is honest and good.  I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things.  I want to live simple again.  I don’t want my day to consist of computer crash,  mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.  I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.  So . . . here’s my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood.                                 And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, cause…                         …..”Tag! You’re it.”