I Believe You

…instances where an adult saying “I believe you” would have changed their lives. Imagine the difference across race, across class, across gender if we would say “I believe you” to one another instead of “really?” or “well, actually . . .” It is no small thing we do when we structure our classrooms around respect and empowerment — our words can make all the difference in the world.

 

As a teacher, I commit to using language with my students that will create a trust and allow students to see me as a safe place. Using the statement “I believe you” for small issues in the classroom gives students the opportunity to feel safe and understood if they have bigger issues at home. When a teacher responds to a student’s concerns with “I believe you” and then gives a opening to discuss a solution students feel accepted and gain the skill to talk issues out with their peers. People sometimes use other statements on students that try to make the student see things differently. The problem is these statements do not have the safe effect on students, they make students believe that the teacher only believes you if they agree with you. In these statements student’s declarations are questioned leading them to assume they will not be believed in the future. I commit to using the statement “I believe you” whenever a student comes to me with a problem they are having.

Faith Haberstock- I SEE YOU

I am a little scared about how good I am at finding information on the internet. My first step to looking into Faith Haberstock was pulling up an incognito tab on google. I am friends with Faith on all social media so I figured I should make this a bit harder on myself.

When I first googled Faith, I looked at google images. I quickly found that Faith was a dancer, played in a trumpet quintet, performed in speech arts, and got a $100 scholarship for Souris Valley Theatre Camp. Faith also graduated with Principal’s Distinction in 2020. This would lead me to believe that she was born in about 2002, which means she is about 20 right now.

When I looked at Faith’s eportfolio I found that she has an iPhone. So if I had the skill, need or knowledge on how to hack Faith, that’s where I’m guessing I would start! I also found out that Faith plays the French Horn, she’s learning to play the guitar and her favourite artist is Alec Benjamin

I started to take on the role of a super sleuth. I found the obituary of Faith’s grandfather and found her mom’s full name. When I googled Faith’s mom, I was able to find videos on YouTube of Faith performing poetry and speech arts.

It was very interesting looking at Faith online however I think it is time for me to hang up my sleuthing hat (at least for now)! I felt a little funky looking for the information about Faith, but it is clear to see how people who stalk others online can take the littlest piece of information and run with it until they know everything.

I Have Been Humbled

I have been doing my placement in a grade 4 classroom, where students are about 10 years old. When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to get any social media until I was 13 but students in today’s world use social media as a communication tool. My cousin had to get Snapchat as a way to communicate with her volleyball coach and team. Students need to be literate to understand things that are appropriate and inappropriate to post on social media as well as who to add. Snapchat is a tricky subject because someone can add you on “Quick Add” and all you might see is their first name and their Bitmoji (if you are confused about what a Bitmoji is you can find an explanation here). The quick add section is where someone can add you because you have mutual friends. Snapchat thankfully tells you when someone added you on quick add or if they have searched up your username. The image below is from my personal Snapchat account. I have had a person try to add me 4 separate times using 4 different accounts.

This is from Snapchat, a few days later, she added me again using a different username

Something I have learned, and I will try to teach my students is actually to look at the name. Do you recognize the name? No? Well then don’t add them! Why do you want some stranger texting you or seeing your Snapchat stories? Sometimes someone’s username can come in handy as well. Some people have parts of their last name in their usernames or recognizable words. This is another tool to help your student think clearly before they add strangers on Snapchat.

Learning about online safety would build on the health curriculum in grade 4 and make connections to developing new relationships.

The scores you see below are my results to the quizzes “Can you spot the fake news headline?”, “Spot the troll”, and Break the fake. As you can see, I am not the best detective to when it comes to determining if an account is real or fake. However, I still swear by the method if you don’t know them, then don’t add them. You don’t need to be best friends to add someone on Snapchat but it is good to at least have an idea of who you are adding.

Can you spot the fake news headline?

Spot the Troll

Break the Fake

These quizzes have humbled me and my ability to spot a fake account. People on the internet have been getting very good at faking accounts and news headlines. This is why it is so important to fact-check your information including the site the information is coming from.

 

Thanks for reading,

You’re a gem ☺️

Cheese Puffs and Cake!

Coding is hard!! I understand that this coding isn’t what people who are in computer science take but I must say that I had a really hard time understanding it. I took on more than I could handle with this task. When I started, I wanted to do a task that had a cat who needed to jump on a milk carton, for the milk carton to crush, and then for the cat to shoot a ball into the basketball hoop. After about 2 hours of working on this cat jumping, moving, and crushing, I wasn’t making enough progress. However, I found a video from scratch linked here that explained how to make a simple jumping game. If you want to give my game a shot, feel free to click here! My game consists of a bowl of cheese puffs jumping over a cake. Scratch was very interesting to try. I think that having a basic knowledge of computers would be helpful because I found it difficult to use the different actions, and then when I thought I had an action that worked I would click the green flag, and nothing would happen! I also spoke to a few friends who have used scratch and they mentioned that they had trouble using it in school. I think that if I were to use Scratch in the classroom I would give the students the freedom to choose their characters and background, but then project the game onto the board so that the students can participate with the teacher while also using the program themselves.

Thanks for reading!

Read My Blog. Read My Blog!

From punctuation to cyberbullying and MySpace to Instagram digital citizenship has been here from the beginning.  In school, there is much to remember when it comes to digital citizenship.

In a time when we use the internet for many different parts of the school, we need to be aware of our student’s digital access. When school was totally online many students needed to have school, computers brought to them because of their digital access. If this is not an option schools need to be aware of what needs to be available for students. Just because they have a computer doesn’t mean that they have wifi to use their computer.

Digital literacy is something that many students need to learn, and school can be a great place for them to begin their journey. When I was in school, I learned that lots of writing come with biases. If you were to get your information from a very conservative website, it will give a different view than a liberal website.

I had to learn digital communication in school along with many others. There are so many ways to miscommunicate in a text message. First off, a period will change the entire conversation.

If a conversation went

  • “Are you okay?”
  • “Yeah! I’m fine!”

Both people in the conversation seem very happy, however this conversation…

  • “Are you okay?”
  • “Yeah. I’m fine.”

The periods give the idea that the person answering the question is in fact not doing fine. There is so much that we need to learn when it comes to digital communication. I think that Jimmy Kimmel hits some key ideas in the video linked here. Texting requires lots of context as well as assumptions but the meaning behind the message can very easily be misconstrued.

Thanks for reading!

Final Cut Pro- Yes or No?

It has been a week!

I needed help this week. To be real with everyone, I didn’t want to work this week. As I walked back from class my friend told me she would come downstairs and do homework with me. This is all I needed because having someone with me helped, I was able to focus, and I actually got a lot of work done!

This week I decided to show my piano progress through a video on Final Cut Pro. If you want to give it a watch, that would be great!

Final Cut Pro has some very cool editing tools. It is important to note that the program that I am using requires you to buy it, however, my dad already has this application, so it was no cost to me. Also, Final Cut Pro is the more intense version of iMovie, for little editing projects iMovie works perfectly.

While using the program I found the “rename clip” very helpful. With this tool, it was easier for me to organize my clips with the different songs I played. This week I played

“You Belong With Me” and “Love Story” by Taylor Swift,

“Hey There Delilah” by The Plain White Tees,

“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond,

“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, and

“Mama Mia” and “Dancing Queen” by ABBA.

Needless to say, there were a lot of clips that needed to be labeled and organized so this tool was helpful.

The highlighted section says “Rename Clip”

Another tool that saved me was the blade tool. This tool helped me cut a clip at any point. I played for about 2 hours on the piano so there were times that I had to cut parts of the video. Sometimes I needed to cut the clip because I messed up my song and I went back and improved.

The highlighted portion says “Blade”

So, when making my video I chose the clips that best exemplified where I am at in my piano process. The piano I play on is in the basement of my residence and it is a place where many people like to hang out, this caused a few problems when I was recording. The image below shows a clip that is labeled “TOO MUCH SOUND”. I had to cut this clip out because there were people playing pool in the room beside me, so the blade tool made it easy to cut out the times that they were really loud.

The clip on the bottom is labeled “TOO MUCH SOUND”

The final tool I used in this program was to increase the speed of my piano playing. I was learning this week on YouTube how to play different songs. The video ex. linked here was of the song in the regular tempo, but this was a bit too fast for me. My solution was to play the YouTube clip at .5 or .75 times the speed. This was very helpful but because I was playing slower the song is not as easily recognizable. The first minute or so of my video is of me playing the song at .75 times the speed but when you hear it, it sounds very slow. Final Cut Pro allows me to increase or decrease the speed of my clips.

The highlighted portion is the video being sped up to 125% times the speed of the original clip

The image above is of me setting the speed of the clip to 125% times the speed. This counteracts what I am playing at .75, and ends up with the song sounding similar to the tempo it is meant to be played.

Different video editing softwares would be a great tool in the classroom. Students can use this to make a presentation rather than using presentation tools such as PowerPoints. Students who do not like speaking in front of the class would be able to use this to do a presentation without having to stand in front of the class.

Overall, I would recommend video editing softwares as a classroom resource. However, for students who are using this to make videos for class, I think iMovie would be a better tool to use because it is simpler as well as cheaper!

Tune in next week, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing but I know that it will be a blast! Thanks for reading, you’re a gem! 😊

Maybe I Should Have Started With This

This week I decided to do a bit of theory. As I began moving towards harder songs, the notes I needed to play were WAY too low and WAY too high on the staff (maybe link an image of what the staff is). Even when I tried to count upwards using the handy dandy mnemonic. Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (E, G, B, D, F) I couldn’t seem to get the song to sound right. I got really frustrated with myself I thought to myself “What the heck Meghan! You’ve been reading the notes that are on the staff with no problem, why is this so different?” Then it hit me! Cue the flashback memory music…

When I was in high school I played the trumpet. I liked to think that I was really good but I don’t think this was necessarily the case. I was a second trumpet, for those of you who are unaware in my school we had a band with first trumpets, second trumpets, and third trumpets. The first trumpet players most commonly played the more difficult higher notes, the second trumpet players played music that was less difficult than the first trumpet players, and the third trumpet’s music was less difficult than the second trumpet players.

Other than the subtle brag that I was an average trumpet player I realized that I never really had to learn the notes very high above the staff or far below the staff. This was my chance!

My first step was to understand why my fingers wouldn’t work when I was counting up the scale. Then I came across this photo

Image retrieved from https://socratic.org/questions/how-do-you-read-the-music-notes-above-below-the-staff-in-piano-sheet-music

I thought that the scale was based on the staff. I figured that E, G, B, D, F, and F, A, C, E, was

Image retrieved from: https://socratic.org/    questions/how-do-you-read-the-music-notes-above-below-the-staff-in-piano-sheet-music

the pattern that all the notes would go in, this is not the case. After the last note on the 5 lined staff (an F), I assumed that we would then go up again starting with E then G, B, D F. But in reality the notes go on from F to G then to A, B, C, D before they get back to E. After learning this it was time to get started on learning a new memorization tool. I saw a memorization tool online that went Good Boys Deserve Fudge Always, I think that this saying would work in some situations but because I already learned a similar saying for the treble clef I decided to come up with my own saying! For the bass clef, I came up with the saying Gary Buys Divorce Frosting After. I think this saying will stick in my head much easier.

Also not to mention, I didn’t realize that the bass clef was just an extension of the treble clef. This is a zoomed-in version of the image above. This is something that messes me up! The B on the bass clef is the same as the B on the treble clef however, they are totally in totally different places on the staff.

 

I used a great website called MusicTheory.net after I figured out how the music staff worked. Linked here is the website. The website had a section called note identification, this section gave

This is a G flat

you a note on the staff and asked you to label the note’s letter. This section was very helpful, and even though I am going to have to practice more, I am feeling confident with my progress thus far.

So that was my week! Lots of thinking to finally figure out music theory (a little late but better than never).

Thanks for reading, you’re a gem 😊

I Scare Easily, Other’s Do Not!

We watched many videos in my school that were used to scare us!

I also was shown the video about Sarah a girl who had unwanted images released. Everyone in her community then asked her creepy questions about when she was going to post more pictures or the colour of her underwear. This video was shown multiple times in school to deter students from taking or sending revealing images to others. If you want to take a look at the video, it is imbeded below.

The next video is of a girl who posted a photo of herself on a bulletin board. When the photo is taken by one student another one pops up in its place. Before long the entire school has this photo. When the girl decides that putting the photo on the bulletin board was a BAD idea, she takes down the image but another one pops up in its place. Then we see the terror in the girl’s eyes because she can never take the image off the bulletin board. This video definitely deterred me from taking and sending revealing photos of myself.

We also watched a video in middle school that unfortunately, I cannot find. The premise of the video was to show that in the 1980s if you took a revealing photo it would take 1 min for the image to develop whereas if you were to take it in 2014 the image could get around the world in the same 60 seconds. This video was meant to show us how quickly one decision can change your life however, again, I do not think that in one minute of posting a photo it would necessarily get to other countries.

The goal of the 3 videos was to scare us, and it worked for me! I think that many students were not affected because of the probability of this happening. In the video with Sarah, there were multiple old men asking her very uncomfortable questions, which is something that is unlikely to happen given that the adults (including a coach at her school) would be admitting to looking at child pornography.

Overall I wish that we watched videos that were meant to inform us rather than scare us. Why would posting a revealing photo be a bad idea? Who can see the photos you post? What are some solutions if you are feeling pressured into sending photos to others? If you do send photos what are ways to keep yourself safe? I think the last question is very important because although everyone in my class watched the same videos there were still students that sent revealing images of themselves to their peers. If we teach older students how to keep themselves safe this may be a better tactic than just telling them that they are not safe.

Thanks for reading!

Double the Hands, Double the Fun

A few things happened this week, so where is what you missed…

  1. I started playing the piano with 2 hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I don’t know if that is enough exclamation points to show how excited I am).
  2. I started playing two notes at the same.
  3. I was able to sightread “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto
  4. Sadly, I unsubscribed from the app Simply Piano

But all of this will be covered shortly.

First off, I wanted to give everyone a visual representation of how my playing went this week.

I swear this is what I looked like

Tickling Classical Music GIF by David Firth - Find & Share on GIPHY

But in all reality, this is what I actually looked like

Game Forum GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Back to what you missed! Yes, you read that right! I played with 2 hands this week! I used the Simply Piano app again this week. The image below is from a video on this app. The pink highlighted note is the “middle C” and the blue highlighted note is also a C but it is one octave lower than the middle C. These videos and similar videos are provided by the Simply Piano app, you are able to pause and restart the videos when you need time to figure out your finger placement.

Your pinky finger is labeled number 5, that finger plays the C an octave lower than middle C

Something I learned this week was that there are times when you might play two notes at the same time with the same hand. The first image below shows what the note looks like to play a low F and low G together. It kind of looks like a flower, that’s how I remember it, anyone else has an idea of what it looks like? Also, when you look under the first note you can see a 1 and a 2, this is probably the most helpful tool of the week. The 1 and 2 tell you what fingers to play the notes with, in this case, you will play with your thumb and index finger. This is so helpful when the notes are coming quickly, and it takes a minute for your eyes to adjust to the notes you are meant to play.

These notes will be played with your left hand.

Although last week I was playing with chords and more pop songs, I decided it was time to go back to the basics. I practiced my scales and my notes. The app has fun little games that you can play throughout the learning process. One of my favorite games was when I played flash cards with notes. The app would give me a random note like the one below and I had to play the note on the piano.

This is one of the flashcard notes, the note on the screen is a D.

As I said above, I was able to sight-read the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and after about 10 minutes I got 3/3 stars! The app is really encouraging to make me practice because I wanted 3/3 stars and on the first round, I only got 2 ½ stars out of three so I decided I better keep trying until I got better.

THREE STARS!!!!!

I know last week I recommended this app, and I still do, as long as you have an extra $150 a year to spare. As a university student, I am not ready to spend that much on an app! However, if this were used in a music class where multiple students were able to work using the same account, the price wouldn’t seem as high!

Also I am on the hunt for other piano teaching tools, if anyone can fill me in on other resources I would greatly appreciate it!

 

Thanks for reading, you’re a gem 😊

I Love Hashtags!

Before I took this class, twitter was the furthest thing from my mind. Some first thoughts that came to mind when I heard Twitter were politics and reading. As someone who only went on Instagram, I was expecting twitter to be so much reading. Suffice it to say, I was wrong. I have learned that unlike other social media platforms Twitter has a character limit. I have been enjoying posting on Twitter for the last month!

Twitter has been helpful in my classes thus far so I am confident that it will help me in my future classroom. One activity I saw on Twitter was about the game spoons. The article suggested that students can make fraction cards and find equivalent fractions regarding their cards. The students will pick up the cards and pass them on if the card doesn’t match what they are trying to collect. I was able to use this idea in my EMTH class. If you want to check out the Twitter post I’m speaking of it is linked here

So far, my favorite part of Twitter, aside from all the interesting articles I’m finding is the #hashtags. Every time I post get excited because I get to think of fun hashtags to use! My favorites thus far have been #takecareofyourself #learnthroughmistakes #practicemakesbetter. My friends even call me the hashtag queen because I have started to use hashtags in my daily life. When I am ready to get lunch I will text my friends #lunch or when I finish an assignment I’ve been working really hard on I will say #finallydone. I get a kick out of thinking about different hashtags to use!

My friends call me the #hashtagqueen because of all the hashtags I use!

Twitter will also be helpful to create relationships with other teachers and even reach out for advice from other teachers. I wouldn’t be posting on Twitter using the students’ names or posting about their home issues; however, I could post questions similar to “my class is learning fractions, any good ideas for lessons” this way the lessons and ideas can come from other experienced teachers.