I tried to upload this video last night but it wouldn’t let me finish it and I wasn’t able to get back around to it until later this afternoon. I had so much fun with this project and I wish I would have been able to add more pictures but it wouldn’t let me! I’m even considering sharing this video on Facebook just because I love it so much! Anyways I hope you enjoy watching it 🙂 Teaching is a Puzzle
My overall experience with my Independent Learning project was great. I had fun making all the little art projects when I had the extra time. During this, I learned that if I sit down and make put some time aside, I can get things done. I also learned that the time it takes me to make a project is much longer for an actual classroom. For example, the scarecrow project took my first graders longer than 30 minutes to create and that was with me already providing them with the sticks glued together and the pieces drawn out. All they had to do was cut them out and glue them on the sticks. It was interesting to see how as a student wanting to be a teacher I didn’t have accurate time management. I had assumed that the cutting process would be much easier for them but I didn’t take into consideration that they aren’t exposed to using scissors all the time like when I was younger.
I feel like because I chose an easy project and I like doing crafty things, it wasn’t hard for me to get motivated or once I started it wasn’t hard to get going and finishing the hours I needed to do for the week. Sometimes though, I would think about having the whole week and wait until the last minute to do it and realize I would have zero motivation by the end of the week to get it done. The only challenges I faced were when I had a busy week with work and school that I just wanted to not do anything in the afternoon. Like I said, the other challenge would be waiting until the last minute to do the projects.
I think the best part of my project was that I had the chance to be a kid again and re-create some of my favorite crafts as well having the ability to use them for my future students. I also liked that I could teach the popsicle stick scarecrow to a group of first graders and they absolutely loved it! My project can be incorporated in my classroom; it will make it easier for me to get class projects done without having to look them up or think of one last minute. These are also fun to hang up around the classroom or on a bulletin board.
In terms of having my students do an independent project of their own I think it would be a great idea. I think I would leave it open to them like it was for us. I think that this project helps know our strengths, weaknesses, what we need to improve on, as well as what we learned overall. We learn what things went wrong and what things went well along with what could we do differently in the future.
This week I decided to mess around with the comic book app and canva. I thought that these two would be fun to check out just because I could relate them to my classroom easier. During my observations, last year, I saw how the second graders liked to make comic books in computer class. So, I thought I could check it out and get more experience working with it so I could use it later in my classroom one day. While I was reading more about the Comic book site, it said that you could print your comic book and I thought it would be a cute idea to have the kids make their comic books and then get them printed and give them each their own comic book as like an end of the year present or a Christmas present. I realize that this would cost some money, but I think it would be worth it in the end, and it would make the kids happy to get an actual copy of their comic book. I am familiar with Bitstrips; although I have never used them I knew of a lot of friends that used them on Facebook and come up with funny captions. I don’t see this as much as I used to but I thought it seemed cool at the time. This kind of reminds me of the bitmoji’s you can use on snapchat. I have never used those either but they seem like a lot of fun and the characters seem like the same characters used for the bitstrips.
For the Canva website, it had its pros and cons to it. It was very confusing and it seemed that a lot of the things you could click on weren’t working and it was making me frustrated. I had a hard time getting around the site without wanting to quit. On the other hand, though I think I can see this as a good site to use with the older grades. I just think I need to be able to know how it works to show the rest of the students so they don’t go through the same frustrations as I did. I remember for one of my classes in high school we would constantly be making posters and I kind of wish we would have had a website like this Canva site to get them done; they just seem so much nicer than doing them on word. I took advantage of this site and killed two birds with one stone and made an ad for a different class. Not that we needed an ad but I thought I might as well play around and make an ad with something I can use for a different class.
After reading the articles, watching the TED Talk and reflecting on my own life and how I use technology, I came to realize that my life is being consumed by technology and I hate it. There are days when I can be really productive and spend less time on social media than other days; but there are days where I feel like I spent the whole day on Facebook. After reading Why You Feel Terrible After Spending Too Much Time On Facebook it was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Like the article stated, I often feel like I spend too much time on Facebook and get nothing out of doing so. Spending too much time on Facebook always makes me feel like I wasted an entire day of being interactive and productive. That is why after reading all of the articles, I have decided to disconnect myself from Facebook, Instagram and after this class Twitter as well. I did however, leave Facebook messenger because I have classmates and family in Mexico that use messenger to stay connected with us. I also kept Snapchat but I might consider getting rid of that too for a while. I took the advice from the article Simplify the Internet and got rid of some apps and kept others. I hope that by doing this I can stay more focused on things that matter and gain back some of the communication with the some of the people around me. I don’t think I have lost communicaton as much as just wasting my time instead of being productive or spending my time doing other things instead.
One of the best times I have are when I go to Mexico either in the summer or in December. I think part of that is because I am completely disconnected from everything. I don’t have a phone; I don’t take a laptop because our house is out of town so there’s rarely any reception out there any way. I enjoy everything I do while I am down there, even if it is just sitting outside on my grandma’s sidewalk watching her feed her animals. I take my phone but I mainly use it for pictures and even then I still don’t take it out as much. There is so much more communication between all of us and the whole time I am there I never have the temptation to go get on Facebook. Here it is so tempting because I have access to everything!
This week I was looking through Pinterest and found a really cute art project idea that I thought I could do with the entire class. The project on Pinterest had a picture of a student working on a color wheel by gluing magazine pictures to the color wheel. The teacher had a giant circle color wheel made up by cardboard, and magazine cut outs. Taking this original idea, I made some modifications to the color wheel and tried to make it a little bit more of my own. Instead of having a circle as the color wheel, I made it in to a flower with six points to have the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet or purple. To save some time on this project and for this class I decided to make a small example of what I would do for my actual classroom. In my classroom I would make it be a much bigger flower and allow the kids to slowly work on it during their free time individually when they have time, or as a whole class if I set some time aside for them to work on it on Fridays, or maybe both! I used cardboard to make the flower and I luckily had a couple of magazines that I cut out the six colors from the color wheel and glued them on to the cardboard. This was a very tedious and time consuming project but I loved the end result. I think that this will be such a great project to teach kids about the results of working together as a team and helping each other accomplish something bigger. This will also give my students some bonding time to work together and get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I haven’t decided if I wanted to show the example to my students right away or to just give a brief explanation without much detail on what we are doing and have them slowly figure it out on their own. If I show them the example than they can see what the end results will be and hopefully they will work hard to get the color wheel finished and call it their own. On the other hand, I would like to just keep it a secret and leave the suspense of what the end results will be and keep them wondering. Any suggestions on what would be more fun for them?