Mariette through the Google lens

June 2, 2013

Tech Task #5,  part 2

I have always made a concerted effort to make sure I was not visible on the Internet, always believing that this lack of visibility would be an asset in a professional capacity. After listening to George Couros’ presentation I have a better understanding of the importance of creating a professional identity. The time has come for me to pull my head out of the sand, face my fears, learn from others who have embraced a public image and flourish!

This is easier said than done, because everything that I was told prior to taking this class is to fear the Internet and to protect myself and my identity. Thus, creating a digital identity is creating a sense of uneasiness, but the teacher within me see the value of creating an identity inorder to be a positive role model for students.

My google search of Mariette:

  • My Facebook Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 10.21.33 AMpage
  • Pinterest
  • WordPress blog
  • Twitter
  • ECMP 355 comments
  • Obituary!!!

As I suspected there would be little information about me; however I did not expect to find so many others with the name of Mariette Anderson (I thought my name was rather unique).

Now what? What can someone learn about who I am and what image do I create in the eyes of the person searching? I would have to say not really impressive.

I need to work on my identity, but I don’t want to separate the digital from the real world. So I embark on a new adventure to create an image of Mariette Anderson the professional. Stay tuned and watch the metamorphose as I emerge from my cocoon (back to image of the butterfly)

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Have I made the right career choice?

In light of the video “Everything I love about teaching has Become Extinct” posted by Swati Dixit, I find that I am asking many questions about my choice of career. Why are so many in the profession discouraged to the point of quitting? I realize that there are many challenges like changing technology, standardized tests, and the lack of student engagement, to mention but a few issues.

Today as I taught, I decided to read pioneer stories to the class. I choose individuals who had links to as many of the students as possible. I was really excited to share the stories with my students and I was unable to hide my enthusiasm and excitement with them. As a result, the students were engaged and attentive. I had a great time.

Focus on the positive and don’t dwell on the negative might be the way to go. I know this may seem naive, but with so much negative publicity surrounding the teaching profession, I risk falling into the trap of negativity. I will make an effort to align myself with other likeminded professionals, because I know that I have made the right career choice.

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Controversy Over Food Colour and ADHD

May 22, 2013

Today I stumbled across Adrienne Dechie’s tweet where she provided a link to an article called “Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD“. This article provides interesting comparisons between the North American and French ways of rearing children. I won’t get into this debate, but what stuck with me is the mention that a child’s diet affects behaviour. Specifically the consumption of food dye.

I raised a child who was extremely sensitive to food colouring, and whenever he ate food containing  food colouring his behaviour drastically changed. He was:

    • Extremely hyper-active
    • rough when he played and often broke his favourite toys
    • unable to sleep or very restless sleep
    • an inability to focus
    • short attention span

The difficult part of removing food colouring from a diet is that it is in almost every food. When Mark ingested food colouring it took 5 days to work it out of his system. On one  occasion Mark was given three goldfish crackers at school. His behaviour changed so much that a family friend, who had never seen Mark’s behaviour on food colouring, commented that if he hadn’t known Mark before, he would think Mark needed to be on Ritalin.

I dreaded Halloween and allowed him this day to eat all the food he could, because that would be it! And we would bunker down for a really difficult week and wait for the numerous phone calls that would come from the school.

I really believe that what a child eats impacts behaviour and learning.  We know that a healthy diet is important, but maybe we should examine the food a little more carefully. If it took a week to work through Mark’s system, imagine what his behaviour would have been like if I gave him one piece of candy every day (even a slice of cheddar cheese!) I too would consider drugs.

ABC news reported on the correlation between food colouring and ADHD in February 2013. I would like to see more research between food additives and behaviour in children, because I experienced it and I know in my heart that there is more to this topic then we realize.

Check out the Feingold Diet and see for yourself.

Food dye is actually a petroleum product containing lead, mercury, and arsenic!

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Technology in the classroom

Friday May 17, 2013

Earlier this week I watched a few TEDtalks featuring Will Richardson. I really agree with what he said about schools needing to change their approach and encourage students to utilize the technology they have to enrich their learning. So yesterday, during a grade 8 and 9 health class, I took advantage of an issue which the students raised during a discussion. They wanted access to the high diving board during phys. ed. However, as I understand it, the school division has made it a policy not to allow access tho this diving board. So remembering what Will Richardson said, I asked them what they could do about it. After a few minutes they decided to make a protest poster. But I also saw an opportunity to teach them how to protest in a different way, to write a letter to the school principal and the superintendent of the school division. In this school each student is fortunate to have his or her own computer with a gmail account. So I quickly created a doc in drive and emailed each student a link. None of them had ever used this feature, but it wasn’t long before they were clicking on each button, discovering the chat, etc. As the teacher I was going to offer them a tutorial! Boy was I off on this idea. They didn’t need me to teach them, and as they talked amongst themselves, I felt as though I had opened Pandora’s box. As a teacher and a parent I know they will benefit from this knowledge, but there is also a fear attached to this process of letting go. It reminds me of the day that my son got his driver’s licence and he went off on his own. I had similar feelings in the class. We talked about responsibility and the importance of making responsible choices. I have to admit that through the process of accompanying students in this type of learning it requires that I let go of the absolute control that I sometimes want and rather I should remember that these students are capable. So we are collaborating on a letter in google docs. Teachable moments!

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Tech Task #2 part 2

May 15, 2013

On Monday’s ECMP class our guest speaker presented the numerous ways to use google technology. I left the class feeling overwhelmed and wondering how I could ever learn all there is to learn. Today, I am really impressed with Google forms. I see that there are so many possible ways to use this tool in the school, not just in the classroom. The forms can be embedded into blogs or websites to broaden the sampling. In addition, I like about using forms is that they take advantage of cross-curriculum learning. Forms require students to think about the questions they want to ask, then they must compose the questions. When the data is compiled students engage mathematical thinking. But I think that the next step a teacher should take is to ask the question “so what?” What can we do or learn from this information? I want to explore in greater detail how to incorporate forms in the class.

This is only the tip of the Google iceberg, there is so much more to explore. As a teacher, I need to remember to teach students how to use these tools before we attempt to use them in a real lesson. Teaching one thing at a time will allow students to absorb and practice the skills prior to applying the knowledge to a real task.

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Task # 2

May 14, 2013

Inclusion

I am one of those people who did not have a great schooling experience. I did not always learn quickly and I sometimes found the pace of the classroom overwhelming. However, once I began to work in a school, it soon became apparent that the majority of students were not being served by the traditional classroom and teaching methods. Then came the question why? Often time I heard teachers say that the child was unmotivated and unwilling to learn. I am very uncomfortable with this way of thinking and I want to see all the students succeed. The question of how is what always stumps me. What can I do to help all students.

I was very fortunate to work alongside a very passionate and caring resource teacher who tried every approach she could think of to help  struggling students. However,it often felt as though we were losing ground rather than gaining. This winter I took a EPSY 400 class. I really enjoyed the content and everything I was learning and I often thought back to my former students and making connection. On a few occasions we watched videos by Rick Lavoie, a very educated man in the area of special education. The way that he frames the picture of a learning disabled student’s experiences in the classroom really hit home for me. I was relying too much on the resource teacher’s suggestions when there is so much that the classroom teacher can do him or herself. If you every have the opportunity to watch or read anything by Rick Lavoie I encourage you to do so. I assure you that it will be time well spent. You likely have an ah ha moment like I did and you will never look at students in the same way again. I would recommend the F.A.T City video to begin with. Recorded in the 90s, it is somewhat dated but the information still applies.

Here is a sample of F.A.T City

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Experiential learning

Experiential learning

Sunday May 12,2013
My pre-kindergarten and kindergarten class observed the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly. The students cared for the caterpillars and later on the butterflies. On the last day of school we set them free. However, the butterflies were not ready to fly away and the children were able to hold them one last time. What a precious gift (the butterflies too!).

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Welcome

Sunday May 12, 2013

My name is Mariette Anderson and I live in Gravelbourg an hour southwest of Moose Jaw.  I have just completed my 2nd year of  Pre-k to GrIMG_0312ade 5 and I am looking forward to completing my degree so that I can get back to work. I am a wife and the mother of a 2o year old son who is attending the U of A in Edmonton. I am on my third career and becoming a teacher was not something I pictured myself doing when I was younger. I discovered this passion when I accepted a teacher’s aide position. Eventually, I decided to pursue a degree in education, challenging and pushing me out of my comfort zone. I completed my first year through the distance program in order to continue to working and to be home for my son until he left for university.

This spring I have accepted a part-time teaching position at École Secondaire Collège Mathieu and École Beau Soleil. I am trying to apply everything that I have learned this last year into my teaching and I am looking foward to seeing what I can apply from this class as well. Technology is very challenging and I am hoping that I can broaden my knowledge in ways that will enhance my students’ learning experience.

I enjoy knitting, gardening and doing home renovations, all of which I have had little time to do in the last few years.

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