I finished my 30 day challenge a few days ago and I almost forgot to blog about how it went! I enjoyed the little challenges and seeing what everyone else came up with was always fun too. Taking pictures and creating drawings are definitely still my favorite types of daily creates. Here are a few of my favorite daily creates.
All of them are pictures, photo shops, or drawings. They were a lot of fun and I didn’t realize how fun photography can be sometimes. My all time favorite one is the zen clock! I love making zentangles so making that zen clock was a breeze and it was so much fun.
I am glad I did the Independent Learning Project I did because I learned so much about trying to stay fit and the hard work and motivation needed to accomplish those fit goals. I learned that I need a little extra motivation when it comes to working out than I do with anything else. When comparing the two independent learning projects I did between this semester and last semesters; I found last semesters to be a lot easier. I think part of it is because I love art and love getting creative. It all came easy and natural to me. On the other hand, working out has always been a challenge since I can remember. I have never been athletic and never really been motivated when it comes to that aspect.
I would wake up some days feeling motivated and ready to run a marathon. On other days, I would just be exhausted from school and work that I was not motivated to go do anything that had to do with working out. I had a lot more days of having to drag myself in the gym than days where I actually wanted to be there. I find it so annoying that I do that to myself, because I feel great after a good workout, it’s just getting there and getting everything I’m supposed to be doing out of the way.
I found it to be pretty challenging for me to keep up with the project. Not just because the lack of motivation, but also because I like to see results quickly and this is something that takes time. I see myself as always on the run and getting things done as quickly as possible. So this was the complete opposite. I felt like no matter what I did I wasn’t seeing any results. looking back at it, I realized how much you must do to get those results and the amount of time they take, I just needed to respect the process. Another thing I found challenging, was trying not to eat so many sweets or sugary drinks. The drinks weren’t the hard part because I only drink water for the most part, it was the sweets that would get me in trouble!
The best part of the project was when I finally got to see some results. I weighed myself this morning and it was fantastic to see that I went from weighing 116 lbs. at the beginning of the semester to weighing 109 lbs. this morning. I know that’s not a lot but I could really tell that I did lose some weight. I like to go through my camera roll and just look at the pictures of myself from last semester. I find it crazy that I didn’t notice how much seven pounds can make a difference. I also really enjoyed seeing everyone else’s projects, their progress and also seeing how I wasn’t the only one struggling.
I think that an independent learning project is a good project for the upper elementary kids. I feel like they would get more out of it than the younger kids would. I like that it is so broad to what you can do. This would really get the kids thinking and doing something they have always wanted to do but can’t manage to find time or the motivation to do it. The learning project makes you really reflect on the project itself and the amount of time it takes to accomplish something. They can really see firsthand, that not everything in the world is just handed to them. Something else they can learn from this project is that anything they set their minds to they can accomplish. At a young age, I think it is important to put that in their brains and what a better way than to allow them to experience it on their own instead of someone just telling them. Even if they aren’t “successful” they can still learn from it. There are many other lessons that can be learned from an independent learning project. Overall, I had fun with both my ILP’s and even though the class is over, I am still going to continue to work out.
One of the biggest problems that was mentioned, is the fact that students do not retain the knowledge. The entire process is useless and a waste of time, unless we can get students to retain the material. Our system places the importance of memorizing material right before a test, then after that the student doesn’t feel it is important; mainly because it’s normally something they won’t use in everyday life.
We need to figure out a way to change the structure and help the students hold onto what they have learned. Another problem is the fact we do not teach in a way that gives long lasting vivid memories. The school and the classroom are suitable for this. People tend to learn what they want to learn, because they feel it is import. Every student or human being has their own interests. When you are interested in something it makes it fun and you can learn almost by accident. Students need some sort of say in their education. Maybe if we want to maximize the educational process, we should give more school choice. We should let students follow their interests. Maybe let kids choose their future work path early, and build around it. I think once we figure out a way to harness a student’s own unique interests and abilities, we can start doing very special things with our education system. We can have a level of success we could have never dreamed of in the old system.
It is also no new secret that most of the stuff taught in school can be seen as useless. Based off the article and from my own personal experiences, a lot of the stuff we are taught can’t be applied to real world applications. Technology has lead to some amazing things. Although I still think it is important to teach simply math; today everyone has a phone, so they can just pull up the calculator instead of doing it on paper or in their head. You can access information fast and easy today as well. Just one press of a button and Siri is there to answer any question. The cold hard truth is we are needing old teaching material less and less by the day. The curriculum has not moved along with technology, and that is where I think we are really making the mistake.
We need to place the value in what students learn. We need to keep them learning and forget about the grade. The grade means little in the big picture. I would rather have a student at least learning what he is interested in, than having him cram for a test and forget it all. At that point you are just wasting time, and we could be having them learn something at least.
I really enjoyed reading both of the articles, “the Mindset of an Innovator”, and “The Unlearning curve”. I found it super easy to relate to the things we learned during block this semester to these two articles. I think I have become a more innovative learner and thinker. During my block class, we had to take different kinds of personality test that tell us what type of learners we are. Those articles really helped us reflect upon what our learning style is and personality as teachers. We are introduced to all the multiple intelligence and ways that we can meet those requirements for every student. We just have to be open towards what is out there. Sharing our results with the class was a huge reflection moment because of the different types of learners we have. It really got us thinking how we could accommodate for all those students that will one day be in our own classrooms. Some of the girls said they had a hard time being open to new ideas and after they saw the different learning styles they slowly started changing their minds.As a learner, we should also be open to trying new ideas even if it bends the rules of how things used to be done in the past. “I actively reflect on my learning, as I know looking back is crucial to moving forward” (Couro’s). I chose this passage from the article because as teachers we can never stop reflecting. Being a reflective teacher means you learn from the errors but instead of dwelling over them, you use those mistakes to improvise and better your lesson next time. Innovation in learning looks is basically, what the teacher finds best for the student not what is easiest for her as the teacher. As educators, we are always finding ways to help the students, I do believe that is what makes us innovators, we also never quit or “conform” to what they have done in the past, simply because that’s the way it had been for x amount of years.
When I first read the title of unlearning things I was so confused and wasn’t sure what to expect. But as I continued to read the article I found myself getting more interested in what it was about. I agree with a lot of the points the author brought up. There are a lot of things that we need to unlearn, and that doesn’t necessarily start with the students, it can start with us, the educators. One of the biggest things I unlearned this semester during block, is that we need to unlearn that every child is the same and that we can’t teach every child in the same manner. It is so easy to incorporate other ways or forms of multiple intelligence’s in our daily lessons. By doing this we can reach every student, because every student is NOT the same. Another quote that I found interesting was “We need to unlearn the practice that teaches all students at the same pace. Is it any wonder why so many of our students love to play online games…” (Richardson).
Both of the article were really interesting, and something to keep in mind as we go through out careers. I start student teaching in the fall so these two article are two that I will keep in my binder for “someday when I teach”.