Tomorrow is my last final and then BOOM! I’m DONE! :D How great of a feeling is this?! To all of you who are finished your education degree like me, congratulations! And to others who will be finishing in the future, best of luck! It goes by super fast! Have a great summer everybody!
I took ELIB 216 this semester, and developed the skills I need to evaluate children’s literature and recognize high-quality selections. I also learned how to choose books that connect with outcomes and indicators for all subject areas in the Saskatchewan Curriculum. I recommend this class to ANY elementary, middle years, or secondary education student who plans on incorporating rich and varied literature to meet the needs of diverse students. Here is a list of the top ten picture books I read this semester:
- Say Something by Peggy Moss – The protagonist is a young African-American girl who witnesses many episodes of name-calling and teasing in and around her school. She does not initiate the bullying, but plays the role of “bystander” and chooses not to get involved. One day in the cafeteria, her role shifts to that of “victim” when she becomes the target of laughter and cruel jokes. She is heart-broken and furious when her friends and classmates do not stand up for her. Say Something has proven itself to be a work of true value and relevance, as it teaches young children to “say no” to a bully, “say hello” to a victim, and “say yes” to making a difference.
- You Can’t Rush a Cat by Karleen Bradford – You Can’t Rush a Cat tells the story of a young girl and her grandfather who try to get a wild cat’s attention. The young protagonist changes the food and water bowls, sings songs to the cat, rubs the cat’s ears, and eventually, provides a home for her. Young readers are reminded on how to act responsibly and patiently around wild animals. The illustrations provide the reader with warm colour tones and a flavor of real Saskatchewan scenery.
- For the Love of Autumn by Patricia Polacco – Danielle Parks loves her new kitten, Autumn. She cannot wait to live with her companion by the beachside house and tell her students all about her. However, Autumn goes missing during a violent storm. Danielle feels guilty about her lack of responsibility for Autumn’s safety and plans a rescue search for her poor little kitten. Penciled and watercoloured illustrations accompany the text to convey the changes in the protagonist’s emotions.
- Marigold’s Wings by Vlasta van Kampen – Marigold is excited to become a beautiful butterfly. She remembers her mother’s story about growing gigantic wings and flying to Mexico at the end of summer. This is a tradition carried on by all the butterflies in her community. When Marigold undergoes remarkable transformation, she remembers her mother’s story and travels an incredible journey. Young readers will realize that they have a huge responsibility in listening and obeying their own parents. Their safety and well-being may depend on making the right decisions.
- Squawking Matilda by Lisa Horstman – Aunt Susan writes to Mae, a young farm girl, asking to provide a home for her chicken, Matilda. Mae loves new projects and decides to make her the happiest chicken in the barn! However, Mae is known for never finishing her projects. For example, she never finished that special litter box for Cat, the fabulous hat for Dog, or the clubhouse for the sheep. In the end, Mae learns that she needs to persevere with a task before she finishes it. Lisa Horstman creates beautiful illustrations by designing puppets with stainless steel, wool felting, polymer clay, paint, and digital imagery.
- In Abby’s Hands by Wendy A. Lewis - Abby does not have much faith in her stubby hands. However, she still takes on many responsibilities around the farm, such as caring for her grandfather, looking after her pregnant dog, and finding a suitable tire swing for the newborn puppies. When her mom and grandfather leave for the hospital, Abby is left with a huge responsibility—Opal is in labour! She stays calm and attends to the first newborn puppy. When her mother comes home, all seven puppies are born. The paints and photography allow the audience to can gain a true observation of Abby’s accomplishments.
- Waiting for the Sun by Alison Lohans – Mollie, a young farm girl, is waiting for her new baby brother to arrive into the world. She is so excited to gain responsibility for her brother’s safety and well-being around the house and barns. For example, she cannot wait to show him the tadpoles, chickens, dragonflies, and stick pictures that she drew in the dirt. However, she realizes that Benjamin’s growth and maturity will take much time and patience. The paintings portray characters, emotions, and nature in a realistic manner, and provide a glorious sunset to end the story.
- First Painter by Kathryn Lasky – Young Mishoo is a Dream Catcher of prehistoric time. Like her mother, her duty is to catch a dream to bring the rain. Mishoo’s younger sister, Erloo, is on the brink of death and will not survive the winter without food and water. Since Mishoo is a caring and responsible older sister, she begins an adventure to “find” the rain. As she collects thoughts from her mother’s spirit, she realizes that special cave drawings will cause large, grey clouds to form. In this original book about the first cave paintings, readers learn about the importance of family and responsibilities of younger family members (such as siblings and cousins). The illustrator uses a combination of paint, chalk, photography, and digital imagery to provide her own unique perspective of the story.
- One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss – This book addresses the importance of the availability of “one well”—all the freshwater we need to survive as human beings. Animals and plants need this “well” to survive and reproduce for generations to come. How can we keep our water fresh and safe for citizens of the future? By reading about pollution, a growing population, and saving water, children will learn to become responsible water users of the global “well”. Rich and natural earthly paintings accommodate the text and draw children’s attention to vital information.
- My Little Car (Mi Carrito) by Gary Soto – One day, Teresa receives a carito (little car) from Abuelito Benito (Grandfather Benny). She pedals around the city and shows it off to others at school. With her father’s help, she learns how to take care of her new carito, until one day, she leaves it out in the rain. It starts looking older everyday until she finally decides to fix it up. With Abuelito’s help, Teresa learns that she needs to take better responsibility and care for her belongings. The book uses many Spanish terms, and young readers can look up English translations above the publishing history.
I was “Shy Girl” in elementary school and most of high school. I never really raised my hand much in class, and when I did, I was sooooo quiet that most people probably had trouble hearing me. However, I was still very likable in school and people accepted my shyness–they never bullied me or tried to change me. Looking back, I think I was very lucky to be accepted amongst my peers! However, I came to a point when I did not like my shyness and wanted to change it. Why was I being so quiet all the time? I didn’t really have a reason to be so withdrawn from participating and expressing myself in front of the class.
If you know me well, you know that I am definitely NOT shy now. I mean, I don’t raise my hand in class ALL that often, but it’s mostly because I have nothing to say. If you give me the chance to talk, I can offer my opinion, express my thoughts openly, provide descriptions and explanations that are clear and coherent, and offer help or suggestions to a close friend or family member. Most of you are thinking, so what? But to me, this was a huge step in my school and social life. I can admit that I have very strong communication skills and use these skills to my utmost advantage.
The following has helped me overcome my shyness, and I do not regret any of these experiences. (If you are comfortable, please share any relevant comments, questions, or personal experiences that may be similar to mine.)
- Technology! In grade ten, I started using MSN and chatted on a regular basis. I got to know some of my other classmates very well, and expanded my “circle of friends”. While chatting online, I would type MANY more words than I was used to. I would ask questions about life…school…get-togethers…music…television…sports…etc., tell stories, and share jokes. (All of this applies to Facebook as well.) Technology helped me realize that I had no reason to be so shy. Even though I felt more comfortable using the computer to communicate, I obviously had a voice that was waiting to be shared at school and with the world.
- Volunteering! I have done so much volunteer work throughout high school, and still try to give back to the community when I can. By volunteering at such places as Chili For Children, the North Central Family Centre, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission, and the YMCA, I realized that I can make a huge difference in the community. I can also share my faith and love of God with younger children at my parish by being a Children’s Liturgy Leader (something I still enjoy doing every month). Volunteering helped me become more confident, while meeting others who were battling shyness as well.
- Finally, I just TALKED! I remember seeing a lululemon water bottle for the first time, and admiring some of the inspirational quotes that were written on it. One that stuck out for me was: “Do one thing a day that scares you”. So, I did. In high school, I sat with a new girl in class (we eventually became really good friends), I raised my hand more often, and I volunteered to perform a duet in choir. At the end of grade eleven, I went on a Unisong choral trip to Ottawa and sung in front of Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself…life-changing! It was these “scary” decisions that helped me overcome my shyness, and in turn, I chose a profession that allows me to use strong communication skills to the fullest!
This is my Personal Summary of Learning for ECMP 355, which can also be viewed here. In this class, I learned so much information that will benefit me as a networked teacher – a teacher who can access curriculum and deliver it through advanced tools such as digital media, photo sharing, wikis, blogs, podcasts, and video conferencing. However, there is so much more to learn about educational technology, as it is always growing and evolving. As a student myself, it was so interesting to learn about and “play around” with all of these tools, but now I know about their relevance in the elementary classroom. Through the use of these tools, young students are engaged, motivated to learn, interact with the topic under study, and in the end, can become critical thinkers in a technologically-advanced society.
As you can see, it was difficult to decide a “starting point” for this project as I have learned so much information that has benefited my teaching for a lifetime. So, I thought that presenting my knowledge through the alphabet would be a great way to get my points across in a 5-minute video:
A – Animoto - Animoto is a tool that allows you to make video slideshows with personal photos, videos, music, and a hint of creativity. This is a tool that I will definitely use in my personal and professional life!
B – Blog – For me, blogging was a great way to stay updated with current information related to the field of education and technology. Blogging has really helped me develop as a more insightful and reflective student teacher and lifelong learner.
C – Cyberbullying – How can we teach our students to use these tools responsibly? This is a question I’ve been asking myself quite frequently, and I don’t think the answer is very easy. However, I really think that my own modeling and personal use of these tools will give students an idea of what I expect from them.
D – Diigo – Through Diigo, you can organize online information so easily! By using bookmarks, highlighting, notes, and screenshots, information becomes easier to navigate and understand.
E – Elluminate – I can attend virtual presentations that allow me to communicate and collaborate with my peers. Audio and visuals are included to support students’ learning and growth.
F – Facebook – This is a well-known tool that most people use quite often. However, a future employer may search you through Facebook to find out who you are, where you’re going, and who you want to become.
G – Google - Before this class, I had only used Google for searching and browsing. Now, I can stay connected with other bloggers through Google Reader. I can also work off of Google Docs to see what others have been writing.
H – Honesty – As future teachers, we always need to be honest about content that we post online. If we are dishonest about ourselves, then we are not using technology responsibly or to our best advantage.
I – Identity – As a teacher, there are two identities that I would like to develop…my digital identity and my professional identity. As a networked teacher, my digital identity should not get in the way of my professional identity. It should only strengthen it.
J – Job – Since my blog and digital footprint are a positive image of my growing interest in teaching, I hope that a teaching job is the result of my online presence.
K – Kiva – Kiva is a non-profit organization that helps alleviate poverty all over the world. This website has helped me realize that technology can help people connect with others in such a meaningful way.
L – Learning – Technology can be integrated into many aspects of students’ learning and development. Technology is becoming so much more advanced and important in our society. I would be doing a disservice to my students if I didn’t include technology in the classroom.
M – Media Literacy – Media literacy involves reading and analyzing the information we see and hear in the media – for example, to assess whether content shows forms of discrimination or bias. Media literacy can also involve the creation of one’s own media.
N – Networked Teacher – As a networked teacher, I continue to use (and learn more about) many tools that will engage my students’ learning. I need to be aware of these tools, so that my students are ready for 21st century learning and living.
O – Open Thinking – This class has allowed me to think in an endless world of technology and online collaboration. I should not limit my teaching to “how I was taught”, but openly think about what the future holds for my learners.
P – Prezi – This is a fun tool that can make your presentations come to life! This is something that I will definitely use in my classroom, as a means of engaging my students and helping reluctant readers.
Q – Quest – Essentially, learning about technology is a never-ending quest. I have only started to learn about educational technology and I know that there is so much more out there…not to mention that technology is always growing and evolving.
R – Resources - There are so many online resources that are at my fingertips and just waiting to be discovered. These resources can allow me to become that networked teacher who is willing to share and collaborate with others.
S – Screenr – Screenr allows you to develop screencasts in five minutes or less! Nothing needs to be installed and videos can be uploaded in a variety of online spaces.
T – Twitter – Before I took this class, I had only heard of Twitter. Honestly! Now, I know that I can connect with teachers from all over the world, receive lesson plan ideas and resources, and even follow Charlie Sheen. Just kidding!
U – Understanding – Even though we have so many tools to discover, we need to understand how to use them as teachers. This involves understanding how you and your students can benefit from these tools.
V – Virtual Choir – This is a video that really caught my attention, as I have sung in many choirs myself. In this video, the choir sings together even though everyone is from all over the world. Technology is the one thing that connects them so well.
W – Wikispaces – I developed a wiki last semester for a grade five social studies unit. Through Wikispaces, teachers can organize lessons and information in an organized and creative fashion. Parents can also visit the wiki to get homework or additional learning resources for home.
X – ???????? - X was just way too hard…but ECMP 355 is definitely an Xcellent class to take. In fact, I believe that it should be a requirement for all education students.
Y – YouTube – This class allowed me to think about YouTube on a much deeper level. It is definitely a space where I can learn and discover more information related to the teaching profession. However, I need to be Internet-savvy and only search for reliable information.
Z – Zeeeeee End!
As I end the last couple weeks of the semester, I start to think about my own digital identity and footprint. Now that I am about to start my career in the teaching profession, I am continuing to be very conscious of any materials that I post online. If employers were to Google search, “Danielle Degelman”, what would they see? What would parents see? How about my students? Everything that I do online is “out there” for the world to see, whether it be positive or negative. So beware! I guess this is why I deleted my Facebook account permanently. Why would I want pictures, status updates, and wall posts to ruin my reputation of becoming a teacher? Why would I want to take this chance? The digital footprint I leave on the web says a lot about who I am, where I am going, and who I plan to become in the end. When I had Facebook, it didn’t tell the world that I am a well-rounded and creative person, a dedicated student teacher and lifelong learner, or an individual who loves children. So, Facebook went “bye-bye”.
Many employers are starting to follow in the digital footprints of their applicants–and this number is increasing drastically as technology becomes more advanced. Here, learn about how you can change your digital footprint so an employer is encouraged to hire you!
Now, this blog is a different story. My posts and pages remain strictly professional and positive. They outline specific ideas, thoughts, and questions that help me grow as a lifelong learner and educator. And when potential employers Google search, “Danielle Degelman”, they are going to see MANY of my experiences and areas of personal and professional growth. THIS is the kind of information that I want to be “out there” in the digital world–a positive and collaborative space that helps me grow as an educator and lifelong learner. When (and if) I get a job, don’t think that this blog is going to go “bye-bye” as well. When I gain new and improved experiences as a future teacher, I would like to share my development and stories with others. I would like my digital footprint to grow as I experience growth of my own. I would like to learn about the many technological tools and advancements that will help my students grow as well. This is the digital footprint that I would like others to follow.
So, go ahead…Google search your name. What has your digital footprint left behind? Is there anything you wouldn’t want others to see?
***Would YOU hire yourself?***
Here is my ECMP 355 Major Project that I created with Brittney Blakley and Vanessa Hipkins. We used iMovie HD in the Mac Lab to create our masterpiece. It took much time and effort to complete the filming, record our voices, and add in transitions and music…but we made it! It is DONEVILLE! Enjoy! :)