Check out this article I found on Pinterest with workout playlists:
Week 1 (Feb 8-15): I blew the dust off my sneakers and hit the gym consistently all week. February 8, 9, 11, 14, and 15 I was at the YMCA in Encinitas, doing a combination of the elliptical machine and strength training. I quickly realized that, if I was going to tolerate after-school workouts on the elliptical machine and in the weight room, I had better get some more workout tunes uploaded onto my iPod. The best songs for getting pumped up? Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” Pink’s “Get the Party Started.”
Check out this article I found on Pinterest with workout playlists:
Week 3(Feb 23-March 1): This was a more difficult week. My son was sick and home from school on Monday and Tuesday, and I had to stay with him. I also had an exhausting day on Thursday at my school site. And I did manage to get in two workouts, on 2/25 and 3/1. This time I added a Zumba class for fun. I love Zumba! Here’s a great example of what I love about Zumba (yes, this is pinned to my Pinterest page)!
Look out YMCA zumba class! (YMCA Encinitas studio shown below.)
Weeks 5 & 6 (March 9-22): These two weeks were extremely emotionally difficult for me. I was facing numerous professional challenges and deadlines all at once, and I felt like I was drowning. I did not work out once. Worse, I started eating and drinking more. I did not add anything to my Pinterest page, but I did read this article to help me improve my motivation.
Next week's goal: work with kettlebells (see below).
Week 7 (March 23-29): My dark mood started to lift, and I felt more energized. Still, I felt that I needed to stay focused on meeting all of my work deadlines, and I worked long hours on school work and classroom planning. I didn’t do any heavy workouts, but I did get outside and do some walking. I’m feeling the need to get out and enjoy SoCal. See Moonlight Beach at right.
Next week's goal: work with weighted bars (see below) at the Y.
As a new teacher with a prior career, I feel misunderstood. When I tell people I was a litigation attorney before entering the teaching profession, they assume certain things about me. They imagine that I am a dazzling public speaker. They feel that I must have powerful persuasive skills and be able to win over any audience. They believe I am a fearless person with an outgoing personality and natural interpersonal skills. They seem to imagine that teaching will be a breeze for me with this skill set.
Unfortunately, none of those assumptions about me is correct. I was a successful attorney mostly because of my strong research and analysis skills, and my attention to detail. In other words, I can write a darn good brief. I also am able to collaborate on team projects, because I am easy to get along with. I am naturally introverted (but not shy), and, although I have argued in courtrooms on many occasions, I don't relish the spotlight. And, although I am brave, I'm not fearless.
Teaching high school students is more challenging than I had imagined it would be. I have found student engagement a real challenge. Every day I wonder, how do I get 80 students aged 15 or 16 to care about world history? Many of them are just trying to get through high school with average grades and go on to community college, and they don't care one whit about history, current events, or reading books. Many of the readings in my EDSS530 have discussed the issue of student engagement. I use technology where I can, but I have to find ways of engaging them with conventional means as well. As a reflective practitioner and a life-long learner, I constantly think about how to improve my teaching. My Instagram Storify (below) documents part of my journey.
In an article in Edutopia , Heather Wolpert-Gawron writes about 10 things that students find engaging:
1. Working with their peers,
2. Working with technology/learning by doing,
3. Connecting the content with the real world/project-based learning,
4. Having teachers who clearly love what they do,
5. Getting out of their seats!
6. Seeing visuals,
7. Choice (of projects, levels, etc.),
8. Having teachers who understand, connect, and listen to them,
9. Mixing up the activities, and
10. Having teachers who are human and have fun themselves
I am already committed to using many of these strategies regularly in my classroom, such as having students work with their peers, use technology tools, address real world issues, see videos and pictures, and mix up the activities. I’m also working on increasing student choice and showing that I love what I do through more energetic presentations. Showing my more human side and connecting with students is something I have been working on a lot lately; these don’t come naturally due to an introverted and private personality. Finally, having students get out of their seats has been a real challenge; I like the idea in principle but worry about the classroom management problems inevitably arise when my 40 tenth-graders started roaming around. I’m constantly reflecting on things I could do better to make for a more engaging class—fewer PowerPoint slides, shorter lectures, a wider variety of technology tools, etc. I never stop learning!
Instagram ELE Challenge
On this webpage, a Connecticut-based Spanish instructor describes how she created a photo challenge together with a Spanish instructor in Spain. Like similar photo challenges on Flickr, the ELE challenges require students to take photos that represent a word or series of words, upload them to Instagram, and hashtag them to create a collaborative project. The interesting twist is that the words and phrases are in Spanish, and the users are across the globe. This is a great tool for preparing students to participate in a global society, because they must use their foreign language skills in the context of an international community of Spanish speakers and must share their thinking in a public digital space. I’d love to try this out if and when I teach Spanish!
Instagram Scavenger Hunt
This article documents the most creative use of Instagram I have seen for classroom purposes so far. A San Francisco teacher took a group of students on a field trip to Chinatown in connection with a unit on the Joy Luck Club and Chinese history studies. Students had to find and photograph a number of items related to Chinese-American history for the scavenger hunt, them upload them to Instagram. I would absolutely love to use the Instagram scavenger hunt idea in my classroom! In my world history class recently, students learned about American consumer goods manufacturers that rely on child labor overseas. I could have had students take their phones down to the local Wal-Mart (or JCPenney, Best Buy, etc.) to document just how ubiquitous these products are!
3 Ways Colleges Use Instagram
In a U.S. News & World Report article, reporter Ryan Lytle writes about several ways colleges and universities are using Instagram. These include presenting “exclusive access” photographs on campus, creating nostalgic photos for alumni, feeding other social networks on campus, and using photos to encourage participation at major on-campus events. The emphasis of the article was on colleges using Instagram as a marketing tool. However, Instagram could clearly be used to generate school spirit and a sense of community at the high school level. School yearbooks are an obvious place where those photos might end up. The only problem is that current prohibitions on photographing minor students without signed permission slips may prevent more widespread use at the K-12 level.
All these articles support the idea that Instagram and similar digital tools can be used to support 21st century learning goals such as collaboration, project-based learning, global networking, and technological literacy. I agree that tools like Instagram are transforming instruction and boosting student engagement, and I am excited to try them out.