Together Is Better

The focus of EDTC300 was building an online community and learning together. We learned together in a variety of ways. We used Google Community to stay connected as a class. Google Community was something I had never used before and is definitely something I will use in my future classroom. It is easy to navigate, post and the responses are quick.

We also posted two blogs weekly and were to comment on three blog posts of other classmates. I commented on three weekly. I tried to comment on three different individuals each week as I wanted to be connected to what everyone in the class was doing.

I also had conversations on my blog and on other peoples’ blog posts.  Some of these conversations allowed me to share resources I had learned about, both inside and outside this class, as well as share personal knowledge on others’ Learning Project posts.  For example, I offered advice to one classmate on American Sign Language as I teach Baby Sign Language classes and provided some tips and tricks to another classmate that I found helpful when I was trying to learn French in an intensive immersion course.

Twitter was another huge aspect of this course. At the beginning of the semester it felt overwhelming to post twice daily.  However, as the course progressed and I was introduced to Feedly, I easily succeeding the twice daily tweets.

I had conversations with classmates

As well as with others not in the class

I also, participated in three different twitter chats. I had never even heard of twitter chats before this course.  I had no idea that there was a different platform to use for twitter chats labeled TweetDeck. Twitter chats allowed me to connect with educators close to me (#saskedchat) and educators all over the world (#engagechat) both offering immense value in my personal professional growth.

All three of these aspects allowed me to grow my personal professional learning network (PLN) considerably. I have had a twitter account for a long time however, I really had no idea that it has become such a professional platform. It is a great way to connect with others from all over and build a professional tool kit and PLN. I gained so many useful resources that I have saved for future reference. Katia’s reminder in lecture that you can’t read everything was very useful as I felt that I should be trying to read everything I found and retweet/reflect on it which is just not realistic.

Another aspect of this course was building on our e-portfolio. I was able to get feedback on my already created e-portfolio as well as add to it.

Also, throughout in my Instant Pot Learning Project, I connected with many Facebook groups that are worldwide. I was able to ask questions on the Facebook pages and receive answers in literally seconds. As well, I was able to lean on my friends and family who are also Instant Pot users with questions and concerns that I encountered.

This is just a snap shot of the ways I contributed to others’ learning so I also created this google doc of screenshots of all the interactions I had throughout the course. It includes all the weekly comments on others blogs, conversations I had on my blog, various twitter conversations and screenshots from three different twitter chats I participated in.

Having an online community reinforces that in learning there is, “no I in team” and “that you are not alone.” There may be times when you encounter problems that you are unsure how to solve.  I can now go to my online PLN. What seems like a major issue can be solved with a reasonable solution by just working together. This course has truly taught me to lean on others and not to try to do everything on my own.

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We’re All In This Together!

Julia Papic, Melissa Kazymyra and I collaborated to create our EDTC300 summary of learning.

In our video we shared what this class personally means to us as well as changing the lyrics to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and We’re All in this Together to truly “sing” to you what we learned! The video shuffles through various twitter and blog accounts that we have found along the way and some of our favourite resources, tools, apps that we have learned about throughout the semester!

Enjoy! High School Musical has got nothing on us, right!?

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Song Lyrics

Now, this is a story all about how

Ed-tech flipped my life upside down

And I’d like to take a minute

Just sit right there

I’ll tell you how I became an expert of ed-tech this year.

At the university of Regina, raised and trained,

In the classroom was where I spent most of my days

Stressed out, maxed out, but still so cool

When we realized that ed-tech took place outside of the school.

 

Students, teachers, together everyone

Parents, families, come on let’s get online.

Together, responsible digital citizens!

Together, together, come on let’s do this right

 

Here and now it’s time to fight off trolls

We finally figured it out (yeah yeah).

That all the trolls have no limitations

That’s what they’re all about (yeah yeah).

 

Everyone is responsible for their actions.

We should build each other up (when we are online).

We’re all in a way

Connected to each other.

Together’s where we belong

 

We’re all techy teachers

We all know

That we have

All the apps  

And resources.

We’re all techy teachers

And it shows

When we teach

Human beings

With technology.

 

Together, together, together everyone

Together, together, come on, let’s have some fun

Together, we’re there for each other every time

Together, together, come on, let’s do this right.

 

We’re all here

Tweeting out with hashtags

We’re learning twitter chats (YEAH YEAH!)

The chat is on, TweetDeck makes it easy.

Come on tweet it out!

 

Feedly helped to find ed-tech articles.

We hashtaged and tweeted them out.

 

We’re all techy teachers

We all know

That we have

All the apps  

And resources.

We’re all techy teachers

And it shows

When we teach

Human beings

With technology.

 

We’re all techy teachers

When we teach

We can show

That pencils

Aren’t the only way.

We’re all techy teachers

Once we learn

Of the apps

that redefine

Technology.

 

Teachers sing along

Yeah, you got it goin’ on

Educators in the house

Everybody say it now

Teachers everywhere

Wave your hands up in the air

That’s the way we do it

Let’s get to it

Time to show the world

 

We’re all techy teachers

We all know

That we have

All the apps  

And resources.

We’re all techy teachers

And it shows

When we teach

Human beings

With technology.

 

We’re all techy teachers

When we teach

We can show

That pencils

Aren’t the only way.

We’re all techy teachers

Once we learn

Of the apps

That redefine

Technology.

 

Teachers everywhere

Wave your hands up in the air

That’s the way we do it

Let’s get to it

Come on everyone!

 

I looked at my future career,

I was finally there

To sit on my throne as the Queens of Ed-tech this year.

Instant “Pot User” to an official “Pot Head!”

With EDTC300 coming to a close, it means that my Instant Pot learning project is also coming to a close. Before I began this learning project, I occasionally used my Instant Pot and was not very adventurous.   However, I am now using my Instant Pot 2 to 3 times a week and don’t even care if I have a recipe to follow, often just throwing things in! This learning project has not only allowed me to connect with classmates but also with people outside of class. I would like to think that the near 700 blog hits means that people generally want to follow my blog but I know that the majority of hits are from friends sharing my Instant Pot blog.  Despite this class coming to an end, I do want to continue sharing my “Pot Head” adventures as I have enjoyed blogging.  Probably easier said than done, right!?

To recap my weekly progress:

Week One: Instant-Ly Becoming a Pot Head

–          Introduction, plans for learning over the course, meal ideas

Week Two: Shredding It!

–          Making frozen chicken in 20 minutes with sauce

–          Shredding it with a hand mixer

Week Three: Instant Pot Lingo 101

–          All you need to know about the Instant Pot (tips, tricks, tools, language used, etc.)

Week Four: Go Bananas!

–          Baking banana bread in the Instant Pot (step-by-step process with pictures).

–          All my learning is done online mostly through the Instant Pot Facebook pages. This post outlines how I feel about learning this way and the tips and tricks of how learning this way differs from using a cookbook.

Week Five: Let’s Get Cracking!

–          Hardboiled eggs using the 5-5-5 method.

–          I featured Julia and her keto journey in this post.

Week Six: Say Cheese(cake)

–          This week was my dad’s birthday so I made him an Instant Pot New York Cherry Cheesecake with an Instant Pot Cherry Sauce.

–          This post also features a Peanut Butter Cup cheesecake that I made for my mom’s birthday

–          This post includes the rave reviews from not only my family but also classmates (include comment screenshots).

Week Seven: Nobucks Starbucks

–          A step by step process on how to make the famous Starbucks Sous Vide Egg bites.

–          It is all the rage right now on the Instant Pot Facebook pages.

Week Eight: Ravioli to Rave About (but not a time saver)

–          The first and ONLY post where I admitted cooking the old fashioned way would have been faster.

–          This ravioli was full of cheesy goodness but a lot of work for ravioli! But who doesn’t like cheesy goodness!?

–          I talk about the downfall of learning online and through the Facebook pages. Also, touching on what I will do differently in the future and how failing is all part of the learning process.

–          Regardless of what I felt like was kind of a flop I still received encouraging feedback from classmates. (include screenshot)

Week Nine: Cracked The Code!

–          This post features a video of the process of making yogurt in the Instant Pot.

–          I had been working on making yogurt since the first week of my learning project and had no idea that it would take me five attempts to perfect yogurt. I also, break down each attempt step-by-step.

–          I stepped out of my comfort zone and took videos of the process and used iMovie to put together and edit the video. I talk about my learning process of stepping out of my comfort zone and diversifying the types of technology I use. What I found easy, hard and what I would do differently next time.

Week Ten: Do you find zoodles in the zoo?

–          This week I feature a step-by-step way of making zoodles. I even tell the secret of just going to Costco and buying the already spiralized zucchini and squash. Huge time saver but one day I would like to say I spiralized my own garden zucchini.

–          I also feature Julia’s keto zoodles in this blog.

I clearly loved my learning project way too much as I completed two more posts than the required ten posts ha!

Week Eleven: Easiest Lasagna Ever!

–          Displays a step-by-step process of lasagna making.

–          Discusses how it is a cooking game changer. Takes way less time and less tedious.

Week Twelve: The Full Meal Deal

–          As I mentioned earlier, my family and friends have been following my journey. My mom and her friend got it in their head that I should do an Instant Pot three course meal. They both have Instant Pots and could easily do it themselves however, they just wanted an excuse to not have to cook ha!

–          This is my last Instant Pot cooking post and I thought it would be a great way to wrap up my learnings.

–          I planned a three course meal using a blog I discovered (link).

–          I described the process of cooking.

–          I made a video again on iMovie to practice my skills and perfect/learn the things that I did not figure out in making the yogurt video.

–          I described the process of making my second video. How I took the videos differently on my phone. What I liked and disliked about how I did this the second time and how much learning I still have left to do.  I talked about using it in my future classroom and the vast potential that it has for students.

Final Thoughts

Throughout all my posts I included several links that helped to enhance my learning with my Instant Pot and also with technology.

I believe that too often people are afraid to fail.  However, when learning a new skill, it is inevitable to fail some times. The importance of picking yourself back up and trying again is crucial and something that students need to experience. This is one reason why I think incorporating a learning project with my students is important. Not only does it allow them to be engaged in deeper learning in an area of interest but also allows them to experience risk, failure and success.  In addition, they will experience support from people outside the classroom as well as from their peers and understand how valuable this help is.   A learning project also allows students to experience first-hand the benefits and downfalls of learning online. They will learn how to share on a blog, twitter, what hashtags do, what helpful resources can be found online, other tools to use and so much more. Most importantly, students will see proof of how important maintaining an appropriate digital footprint is.  They will see how their footprint sticks with them for life and the importance of internet safety. Nothing is ever erased, even if you can’t find it anymore.

This learning project taught me so much more than just becoming an Instant Pot Head.  It introduced me to many tools, skills and techniques that I can take with me to my future classroom.

The Full Meal Deal

My mom and her friend had been “bugging me” to cook a three course meal with everything done in the Instant Pot. Their “reason” was that it would be a great way to end my learning project.  This is true however, I think that their real reason was just not having to cook.  Both of them have Instant Pot as well.

Throughout this learning project they both have been following my weekly progress and waiting for me to try new recipes first.

On one of the Instant Pot Facebook pages a person shared a blog where they compiled and organized tons and tons of Instant Pot recipes. I could spend hours on this blog as there are so many recipes and ideas that I have never seen before plus the organization makes it easy to look through.  Each recipe is in a category such as chicken, beef, desserts, etc. plus they have sorted the recipes further under each tab. For example: in the chicken tab they have a heading with whole chicken, chicken breasts, etc. This makes the blog very user friendly.

While looking through the blog I found many recipes I want to try and eventually will. After spending lots of time looking, I decided on the following recipes for the Instant Pot three course meal.

Appetizer: Spinach Artichoke Dip with baguette and nacho chips

Main Course: Bacon Honey Mustard Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

Dessert: Oreo Cheesecake with homemade whip cream

My intention was to cook the bacon and make the cheese sauce in the Instant Pot. However, as a time saver and to get the bacon crispy, I cooked the bacon in the oven and cheese sauce on the stove. Looking back, I am just not sure why I didn’t use real bacon bits for the bacon instead. I also then kept the oven warm so, as each dish was done, I was able to keep it warm.

I have read that it is best when a cheesecake has sat in a fridge for 24 hours after being cooked. Therefore, I made the cheesecake the day ahead. This was also a huge time saver on the day I made the actual meal. I cooked the meal at my parent’s house using both my Instant Pot and my Mom’s Instant Pot.  I felt like a serious “pot head” at that moment ha! I also discovered that the Instant Pot is by far the easiest way to cook potatoes.  So easy and they were cooked perfectly!

I am not the best cook in the world nor do I enjoy cooking that much. In fact, in my video you see my brother opening a can for me! That is because the can had an “easy opening” tab which I somehow broke off and then dinted the can when trying to then open with a can opener.   He made fun of me but he is no better at cooking- he can just fix my mistakes ha! However, I love my Instant Pot and use it so much as I find it so easy and such a time saver.  It allows me to make nutritious meals without having a lot of cooking skill, pre-planning or preparation time.

To document making the meal and of course eating it, I chose to use the Time-Lapse setting on my iPhone camera. The meal was made over two days and took a total of fourish hours when all said and done (including prep, cooking times, etc.). It is amazing that I was able to show you my entire process in under five minutes. I chose to try the Time-Lapse setting as I knew it was going to be a long process and that many clips would be combined. I also, wanted to compare the iPhone setting to the one on iMovie. Last time I sped it up on iMovie my video was not  nearly as long as I only was documenting one thing. I chose to stick with iMovie as I wanted to improve my skills using this program and to try to figure out the things I couldn’t last time in my yogurt post. This time, I was able to successfully add title headings and audio. Now that I have used this program two times, I feel much more confident in my abilities to create and edit a video.  I think it will be another go to source to document learning in my classroom as well as having students do projects creating videos.

The meal was a huge success! I even got a good review from my brother who, needless to say, is a little hard to impress. He said my spinach artichoke dip would have been as good as Boston Pizza’s if I baked it with cheese. I said I would take that under consideration for next time ha! He doesn’t really like potatoes or steamed broccoli but said the potatoes were edible and just didn’t eat the broccoli but put the creamy cheese sauce on his chicken! My mom and her friend declared the meal a success and that they will now make all of these recipes themselves. My mom said the Oreo Cheesecake was better than her birthday peanut butter cheesecake.  This shocked me as she is a huge peanut butter lover! My dad was just happy this meal wasn’t low carb ha! When growing up the saying was, “the cook never does the dishes!” I finally was able to benefit from it!

What did Laura and Maple learn this semester?

For this video, we looked at the blog posts each of us wrote throughout the semester and incorporated the major points into the lyrics of this original song.  Writing this song allowed us to include many of our blog ideas and “points” into our video, and to recall the information that we learned throughout the semester. In particular, we focused on common sense, treaty education, curriculum, single story views, Inuit mathematics and being a treaty person.

Common Sense: We learned through readings and discussions that common sense ideas can hinder opportunities for growth and improvement in our schools and in society. An example of this would be the “common sense” idea that, in our society, school should start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. What if children work best between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. instead? Our common sense ideas often hold us back from trying new things. Challenging these common sense societal ideas and our own personal beliefs, will allow us to grow and become better teachers.

Treaty Education: We felt that a huge learning in this class was that treaty education is not about teaching the Indigenous culture; it’s about teaching true and real Canadian history. Therefore, if a parent or student has a problem with learning about treaty education, then they have a problem learning about Canada. Through reading journal articles and discussions, we learned that without reinhabitation, our country and people cannot appropriately attempt decolonization. This means that we need to learn about the land from Indigenous elders, and learn the stories of this country from them. Indigenous people need to be at the forefront of the decision making process on how to best decolonize, or else there is no point in doing so.

Curriculum: We learned that the politics of our country have a huge impact on what is written in curriculum. This is because the government chooses the curriculum writers, and the people elect the government. It is assumed that elected government officials reflect the majority of people’s opinions therefore resulting in curriculum mirroring the country’s wants/culture/and desires for the future generation. However, we question this process and wonder if the best interests of the next generation are truly represented. For example, the majority of voters could very well vote against anti-oppressive education…. But is that what is best for our minority students? It’s not, and that’s why we need to be aware of how the curriculum is written and who it might benefit and/or leave out.

Single Story Views: We focused on this topic as we discussed and reflected on the harm that can be caused if working from only one person’s (or a small group’s) specific perspective. Single story views refer to our perspective on events and life issues. The way things have affected us in the past influence the way that we think they should happen in the future. To quote our song, “When you are raised a certain way you take these learnings into your future classrooms”. We included these lyrics as we wanted to send the message that an individual’s perspective, like common sense, can hinder them. There is more than one story to be told, and more than one perspective to be shared in every situation.

Inuit Mathematics: We chose to reflect on this topic because we both find it interesting.  The Inuit language, Inuktiut, is not being valued in the northern Canadian communities in schools. This limits Inuit students’ understanding in many subject areas, especially in Math. It also limits the use of Inuit knowledge and ways of knowing. For example, the Inuit people use different tools than settlers would for measuring, and different words for the months. They also have a different way of keeping track of the changing months. We need not see things methods as wrong; we need to see them as powerful and useful. This is part of decolonization.

We Are All Treaty People: To quote our song, “We need to respect our land and understand that history did not begin with us”. We believe that this is a large part of being a treaty person, in addition to respecting the treaty agreements and the other people who live here. We are both settlers and this aspect of the course made us rethink our identity. We find it empowering and we are proud to say, “We are all Treaty People”!

In our song’s “Bridge,” we quoted Michael Cappello and Nelson Mandela. The quote from Cappello was, “If Rip Van Winkle woke up after hundred years of sleep what would he recognize—schools”. Cappello wanted to express that schools should not be exempt from progress or adaption. Maple used this quote and reflected on it in one of her blogs. Laura included this Mandela quote in one of her blogs, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. Laura used this quote to reflect on the power of educating young people. The world would be a very different place without the tool of education.

Song Lyrics

ECS 210 this is what we learned in our classes.

Common sense rationale, treaty ed and curriculum studies.

First Verse

We learned that common sense can really hinder proper education.

You gotta challenge status quo, you can’t just stick with what you know, it’s not right.

We won’t be able to reach our goals of anti-oppressive education without change.

ECS 210 this is what we learned in our classes.

Teaching Treaty Education is about the history not about culture.

Second Verse

Treaty Ed is a tool we use to break down biases and single story views.

Decolonization can’t happen without re in ha bi tation.

By following indigenous ways, we are on the path to reconciliation.

ECS 210 this is what we learned in our classes.

Common sense rationale, treaty ed and curriculum studies.

Third Verse

Our countries political views influence our curriculum studies.

Voters don’t know the ways that they can influence our education.

Should curriculum focus what’s going on inside the class or making good people?

The way we teach our students will set the tone for the rest of their lives.

So stand up for anti-bias education, don’t work under a disguise.

We believe in challenging common sense and including minority views.

Bridge

 If Rip Van Winkle woke up after hundred years sleep what would he recognize (echo) –  schools.

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the (echo) world.

ECS 210 this is what we learned in our classes.

Single story views, Inuktiut math and we are all treaty people..  

Fourth Verse

When you are raised a certain way you take these learnings into your future classrooms.

We need to shed our biases or else were not teaching proper education.

Stereotypes are ingrained unconsciously and we need not provoke them.

ECS 210 this is what we learned in our classes.

Don’t forget about the ways of knowing from the Inuit people.

 Fifth Verse

There are many ways to learn a subject, certain cultures have found their very best methods.

An Inukshuk has many uses including helping with directions.

You don’t need a ruler or an abacus you’ve got ten toes and ten fingers.

ECS 210 this is what we learned in our classes.

We all made a promise to stand together for the rest of our lives.

Sixth Verse

A marriage takes two people and living in harmony takes unity.

We need to respect our land and understand that history did not begin with us.

We are all treaty people and we need to start acting like it!

Inquiry Learning: What path do you choose?

Through my group’s inquiry based project I learned that:

1) There are many ways that people view inquiry pedagogies

2) Some cycles look very complex, however, they all have the same general meaning and goals.

For my visual I created my own version of, “The 5 “E”s of Inquiry” that is featured in the Inquiry—based Pedagogies PowerPoint from lecture. After viewing and researching inquiry cycles, I liked the simplicity of the wording of this one. As well, the wording has room for different interpretations and growth by the person viewing this cycle. This hit home with me as that is the purpose of inquiry based learning. We want our students to become the researchers and question their personal understandings and findings. The cycle does not have to be completed in a circular motion. There is no right or wrong way to investigate one’s learnings. This is what the tree branches depict in my visual. The branches show that there are many routes one can take to complete the Inquiry cycle. I chose leaves to represent the individual “E” words of the cycle as falling leaves float through the air landing where they may. I think this is a great metaphor to learning. Depending which route one takes while learning you never know what findings you may gather however, you will be able to grow from any of the research. It all depends on the path you choose to take.

I personally never experienced inquiry-based learning during my schooling. With that being said, as an Early Childhood Educator I have implemented inquiry based learning with my students several times. I have witnessed first-hand how crucial inquiry based learning is to students of all ages. During Dean’s presentation he said, “Open inquiry gets pushed too much and students do not know how to function with it all the time but we do want to incorporate so boredom does not set in.” I related to this statement in so many ways. As an Educator, I did a few open inquiry projects but the majority would have been considered guided inquiry. Open inquiry was done with students who I knew could handle this type of learning and needed this type of learning at the moment. My guided inquiry learning was done with younger students who needed that little bit of extra guidance from the teacher but were very capable to be the director of their learnings at various stages.

Here is an example of a guided inquiry-based project with the 5 “E”s of the Inquiry cycle.

The students were interested in everything about the farm. (Engage/Evaluate)

Found out what they knew, what they wanted to know. (Engage/Evaluate)

Explored many different areas of a farm such as: (Explore/Explain/Elaborate/Evaluate)

  • Different types of farms.
  • Various types of grain sample- what they are used for on the farm, in what types of food we eat.
  • Various animals found on a farm, purposes, etc.
  • Various machinery and uses.

Field Trips:  (Explore/Explain/Elaborate/Evaluate)

  • To a farm where they could ask their questions to a grain/livestock farmer. As well as experience first-hand the various aspects of a farm such as: feeding grain to cows, heavy work of the machinery, horses (how they can be used for work and play).
  • A trip to the local farmer’s market where they could ask questions and research on what ingredients goes into the food they eat.

Combine their learnings and share with peers, teachers and families.

Throughout the entire process I documented all of their learnings in some way. Utilizing pictures, anecdotes as well as the drawings, 3D creations, etc. the students produced. (Explain/Elaborate/Evaluate)

Thinking back to the Inquiry based learnings I have facilitated, no group of students were ever the same nor was the cycle taken to gather the knowledge the same. This made me think back to the Ontario article, Inquiry-based Learning (Ontario) philosophies where it asks, “Why now for student led inquiry”? Pauli says “If we are only teaching what we know, our children can only do as bad as we are doing, and this is the challenge we are facing- we have to go beyond it” (Pauli, 2009, TEDx). Through all of the inquiry-based learning I never once taught them what I knew. I found out what they already knew, what they wanted to know and together we built the learning from there. As well, I learned alongside my students, observing and documenting their interests and the knowledge gathered on the topic. I believe, this is a great start to “going beyond” and fitting well into the “Engage” phase of the inquiry cycle pictured.

Our job as a teacher is to meet the curricular outcomes.  However, we need to go beyond the status quo of meeting these curricular outcomes and provide deep and meaningful learnings to our students. As someone who did not experience Inquiry-based learning through my schooling years but have facilitated it numerous times since, I truly believe in its’ importance and benefits to students’ (of any age) learning. However, we need to remember not to overwhelm them with too many inquiry-based projects but to incorporate them sporadically. This will also grow as we grow as teachers and get to know our students’ needs.

Code Zero

This week I learned coding is definitely not my thing.

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I first started to code with Elsa and Anna on Hour of Code. When I first began it was simple and fun. However, it quickly progressed and got much harder. After 75 minutes I had only made it to level 11 and was not making any progress…at all.

Level One

Level Eleven

I decided to switch and make my own code on Scratch. I enjoyed this a lot more as I was able to make adjustments and problem solve on my own to make my code work.

It makes a lot of sense why I do not enjoy or am particularly good at coding as I do not consider myself “good” at math or solving problems.  I found it way easier to make my own code as I was just problem solving why it was not working and able to make the changes myself and see visually the result. This was very nice as I am a visual learner and could see how to fix it right away. Whereas, with the hour of code it was problem-solving what someone else had coded and I just had to keep trying. I have never been a great math student and at have been frustrated many times trying to solve problems. This is exactly what I experienced again when working 75 minutes and only making it to level 11. My personal frustration is why I would use coding in my classroom. Coding offers many benefits to students. I truly believe if a teacher had taken the time to find different ways to teach me math thatI would have been more invested in my learning and become better and more confident in math. I believe coding does this on many levels for students and benefits students of all ages. However, coding is not the be all and end all. Not every student will gain the same benefits from coding and will need to be supplemented with other ways of learning.  However, we need to move past the textbook and paper and pen to benefit all students.

Easiest Lasagna Ever!

I made Instant Pot Lasagna and I am just going to say it is way less time consuming to make with the Instant Pot.

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Ingredients

1 lb ground beef

8 oz cottage cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese – divided in half

1 cup an Italian cheese blend

1 egg

Italian spices

Salt and Pepper to taste

No-boil lasagna noodles

1 jar pasta sauce

1) Brown the ground beef. I did mine in a separate frying pan.

2) Mix the cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, Italian cheese blend, Italian spices and egg together.

3) Spray Springform pan with pam

4) Line the bottom of pan with no-boil lasagna noodles

5) Cover noodles with pasta sauce

6) Add a layer of ground beef

7) Add a layer of cheese

8) Repeat two more times

9) Place trivet into the Instant Pot pot and add 1 ½ cups of water.

10) Cover the lasagna with tinfoil and use a tinfoil sling to lift lasagna into the pot

11) Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes with a no pressure release for 10 minutes

12) Broil in oven after to brown cheese

I hated making lasagna before as I found it tedious and very time consuming. This was so easy and took WAY less time to prep.

I think it would be yummy to substitute the no-boil noodles for zoodles.

Krazy for Kaizena

This week I tried out a tool I never heard of before called Kaizena.

Kaizena is an add on specifically for google docs. Before I read anything about Kaizena I wanted to see what it was all about for myself. I added Kaizena as an add on and started exploring. The two things I noticed were that you can audio record to give feedback as well as type in feedback.  You can also search for skills and lesson plans. I tested it out on a practice document.

After doing this, I found two Youtube videos on the Kaizena site that were very helpful.  From these videos I learned that Kaizena is so much more than just an add-on that provides audio and text feedback. It allows students to, not only submit their assignments, but allows feedback to be given on assignments before they are due.  In addition, peers can review each other’s work. Groups can be created allowing feedback to be given to individual students and/or to a group.

In addition to being a feedback tool, Kaizena allows for lesson plan creation, sorting, storing and reciprocal sharing amongst teachers.  Student skill progress can be tracked over time and sorted by skill name or date

I read a variety of reviews of Kaizena done by teachers and students on various sites. Almost all  reviews were positive, stating again that it can actually be used for so much more once one becomes comfortable using it. The only negative comment was that, depending on the length of the audio recording, it can take a while to process.

From testing out Kaizena and everything else I learned about it, I believe it is definitely a tool I will use in my classroom. In lecture we discussed students having google accounts, etc. and the easiest way to make them for students.  I will definitely set up each of my students with a google account if they do not already have one as I feel this tool is a huge time saver in terms of marking and giving feedback as well as for assessing student skills.  It allows the teacher to view student work before completion and for the students to view and provide feedback of peers’ work. The audio is a nice addition as feedback can be more personal and not as easily  misinterpreted which can sometimes happen with written feedback.  Nice feature to have the option of doing both.

All in all, this would be a useful tool that I would want to explore more and become comfortable with to eventually make my life easier. I live by the phrase “Work smarter. . .Not harder!” In a few of my previous classes profs have shared that there is no point in reinventing the wheel, utilize what is out there for resources. I truly don’t know what I would do without technology!

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