Scrolling Through Twitter

I have had twitter for many years, however, until this class, I had never actually tweeted. I used to scroll through twitter when I was in High School, and by the time I got to University, I still had the app but never went on it. I never really liked it and didn’t understand the purpose of it. I also tended to follow people at random, rather than following them for a purpose. After participating in #saskedchat on Thursday night, I think I am starting to enjoy twitter quite a bit.

I love how the #saskedchat brought many education students and educators together to discuss on different educational topics. This is a great way to share resources and just get advice from different people. I also love how each week’s discussion is based on a theme. In the future I am hoping to participate more in #saskedchat as well as a few other ones such as #elemchat, #edchat, and #teacherwellnes. I think the #teacherwellness chat will be good one for me going into my first year so that I do not get any teacher burnout. This type of professional development experience can be incredibly valuable because of easily it is accessed and the multiple viewpoints that you can get.

I think twitter can be a great tool to use in your classroom, especially with older students and parents. It can allow communication to flow easily from place to place, and most students or parents already have this free app. You could create a classroom twitter account for them to follow and post important dates for students to remember. It could also be a place where you share pictures and videos of what students are doing in the classroom with parents.


Blogging through Feedly

This week I got the RSS reader Feedly. When I was looking through different blogs to choose the ones to follow I really thought about which blogs will help me as a first year teacher the most. I want to follow blogs that will give out articles about activities to do in the classroom and lessons that those teachers have tried, rather than articles about current events in education, although I did follow a few of those so I can stay connected that way. Next year I will be teaching a grade 3 class, so it was very important for me to follow teachers that have experience in an elementary setting. To find these sources I looked up words such as education, elementary education, and grade 3. As of right now I am following 14 blogs about either elementary education, education technology, or news involving education.

One blog I am following that I think will be very helpful is Cool Cat Teacher. This blog sends out about 6 new articles a week. The blog is split up into many categories including: technology, trends, cool stuff, what do you do?, grade level, 10 minute teacher podcast, and subject areas. I love how this blog has a little bit of everything. I really enjoy how it breaks down the grade levels. In the elementary sections (Grades 1-5), it has appropriate entries that are helpful for teachers in that range such as incorporating play into the classroom and creating classroom libraries. To me these are incredibly helpful going into the new school year. I also love the trends section that includes advice on things like digital citizenship, social emotional learning, and game based learning. I think this section will give me lots of new ideas and trends that I can incorporate into my classroom that I may not have thought of before.

Another blog I find very helpful is The Teaching Oasis: A Teacher’s Paradise. This blog has a lot of posts about very relevant elementary topics. Some of these topics include classroom management, guided math, guided reading, interactive notebooks, and there is even a section with free resources that the teacher has made. Where I am it in my teaching career, this page is incredibly valuable, as it has lots of information that will help me become a stronger first year teacher.

My Blogging Adventure Begins

Welcome to my blog! I am Alexa Westby and I was born in raised in a small town in Saskatchewan. I grew up with my two parents, two brothers, and we now have a dog named Winston. I have just recently finished my Bachelor of Education Degree at the University of Regina. During my time at the U of R, I specialized in Elementary Education. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to become a teacher.

Photo Credit: DaPuglet Flickr via Compfight cc

I had my internship experience in a Grade 2 classroom and pre-internship in a Grade 4 classroom. I believe I have had lots of experience with different types of technology for teaching during my experiences. Some programs that I have used are Seesaw, Mimio, Smart Technology, GoNoodle, ClassDojo, Prodigy, Mathletics, and RAZ Kids. Most of my technology experience is with Apps or websites that I would actually use in a classroom with my students.

I do not have much experience with myself blogging, however I have followed various educational blogs before. I find these blogs give me lots of great tips for all areas of teaching. Since I will be a first year teacher next year, I think educational blogs are another great resource of support that I will want to access. One blog that I have been looking at a lot is Core Inspiration. This blog has lots of great information about setting up a classroom, classroom management, classroom resources, etc. I look forward to my adventure blogging this semester!



Strumming Through the Semester

Over the next few months, I am going to be learning how to play the guitar for my personal learning project. I am a very musical person and have wanted to learn how to play the acoustic guitar for many years. When I was in High School I was given a guitar for Christmas. I learned how to play a few basic chords and was able to play some songs in slow motion as well. Once I entered University I quickly became busy and my guitar started to collect dust. I haven’t played the guitar in about 4 years and I was a very basic beginner level when I did play. I would like to relearn how to play the guitar because I would love to bring music into my future elementary school classes.

I think the most challenging aspect of learning the guitar again will be the muscle memory that it requires for switching between chords. This is something I really want to work on so that my transitions can be nice and smooth.

To try and narrow my learning project, I am going to focus on learning the song Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. I will focus on learning the chords, the strumming pattern, learning the verses, learning the chorus, playing the whole song, and finally being able to sing and play at the same time. Throughout all of these sections I will concentrate on playing at the appropriate speed.

I am very excited to start this journey and hope you enjoy! 🙂