Week #9- SMART Goals

For my open inquiry project, this week I am going to challenge myself to meditate for at least 5 minutes every single day. This can be a S.M.A.R.T. goal because it is…

  • S- specific
  • M- measurable
  • A- attainable
  • R- realistic
  • T- time-bound

My goal is specific because I know exactly what I need to do to accomplish it, it is measurable/time-bound since I have challenged myself to meditate at least 5 mins/day for 1 week and I believe that it’s realistic & can be attainable! I find that using this acronym is very helpful when setting short-term goals & I encourage you to use it as well.

Since I am new to meditation I decided to use a guided meditation like this one to help me keep my mind focused. The main reason I haven’t been able to meditate consistently before is because my mind always wanders when I try to mediate. As soon as close my eyes I start worrying about my long list of to-do’s or I randomly start to recall an embarrassing memory from years ago. This is why I challenged myself to try to meditate every day for a week because I know that with practice I will be able to settle my mind.

If you feel confident enough to meditate without a video but don’t know where to start, here are some tips from goodlifezen.com:

  • Find a quiet place & make sure that you can stay there with no distractions for 5-10 minutes
  • Keep your spine upright & your head up
    • The mind & body are intertwined so a poorly-balanced body will result in a poorly-balanced mind
  • Focus on your breath
    • I find that saying “In/Out” in my mind helps me focus on my breath & stay in the present moment
    • This also helps when thoughts come up, just let them slip away & refocus your attention on your breath
    • Don’t force your breaths to a certain pattern- just breathe naturally
  • Embrace Emotions
    • If emotions come up as you are meditating, just focus on how those emotions are making your body feel, then release all these feelings one-by-one
  • Ending the session
    • At the end of the session open your eyes, stretch & stand up slowly
    • Tell yourself that you are proud of yourself for completing a meditation practice- they are tough!

Happy meditating/goal setting!

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For week six of our graphic design inquiry project we focused on the importance of layout & composition in a project. We watched this video on how to properly organize the different components of graphic design projects & here are the 5 points we learned!

  1. Proximity- using visual space to show relationship
    • make sure related items are grouped together to make work easier to read/understand
  2. White space- helps define & separate different sections
    • don’t be afraid to use it!
    • makes sure your work remains uncluttered
  3. Alignment- how each item in your design lines up
    • inconsistent alignment makes your work look messy
  4. Contrast- difference in text, colour, proximity, size…
    • helps catch the readers eye & emphasizes important items (& make these stand out)
  5. Repetition- every part of a project should have a consistent look & feel
    • Makes your work easier to read because the viewer knows what to expect

Paying attention to details like these is what will make your graphic designs stand out among others! For more videos on graphic design, click here!

Tech Blogpost #5

Today, we decided to experiment with PicMonkey. PicMonkey is a photo editing and graphic design tool. It is easy to use and offers users tutorials to help them achieve their specific design needs. PicMonkey gives users the option to being with either a template or blank canvas. It also allows you make specific searches based on your needs.

PicMonkey is easy to use and all of us could definitely see using it in the classroom. However, PicMonkey has a massive downside: it costs money. We took advantage of the 7 day free trial in order to test it out. However, it is not realistic to pay $7.99/month for a graphic design tool as a teacher. It is much more reasonable to use a free tool like Canva or Adobe Spark for any graphic design opportunities in the classroom.

Here are some designs that we made:

Tech Tips/Jesse Millar Presentation

Also on Tuesday, my EDCI 336 class was lucky enough to have Jesse Millar from Mediated Reality give us a presentation about using social media and mobile technology as educators. I found his presentation to be very eye-opening and educational. There was a lot of information regarding technology use in schools and with students that I wasn’t aware about before that Millar was able to address. Some of my take-away points from the presentation are listed below…

  • Healthy use starts with leadership so always model good technology/social media behaviour for your students
  • Myth- Tweens are too immature to use social media appropriately
  • Fact- It is biased to judge a whole age group as having the same social media habits
  • When you become a teacher make a separate youtube account for your classroom to avoid embarrassing recommended videos
  • Understand your school’s expectations and policies for technology when you are hired
  • You ALWAYS need consent from who is responsible for a child when you’re taking a photo of them
  • If you are wanting to create a Teacher Instagram you need a separate consent form to send home to parents/guardians & inform your administrator about it
  • As educators we are responsible for educating a future generation where most of the job opportunities will have to do with technology- we should be embracing technology in the classroom to adequately prepare them for this

For more about Jesse Millar…

Verena Roberts Presentation

Today my EDCI 336 class was able to observe a portion of Verena Roberts’ open education presentation via video chat. In her presentation Roberts discussed how we can expand learning beyond the classroom walls.

Roberts describes open education as an intentional design that expands learning opportunities for all learners beyond classroom walls by collaboratively & individually sharing & building knowledge & encouraging networked participation by interacting with others from multiple cultural perspectives. Although most of open education is happening online, it can also be found in face-to-face learning interactions.

Some indicators of open education practice are:

  • intentionally designing digital artifacts to share publicly
  • participatory learning
  • Community involvement
  • Safe learning spaces
  • Expanded learning environments
Roberts’ example of how to conduct an Open Learning Project for Grade 10

More information & resources for open education…

Colour-Tech Inquiry-Week 4

This week we chose to focus on colour as an aspect of graphic design.

By watching this video, we were able to learn that colour is an important aspect of graphic design and that colour is all around us. Colour can evoke a certain mood or emotion and therefore it is important to understand the basics. Colour theory is something that we learn from a young age. Colour theory is primary (red, blue, yellow) and secondary (orange, green, purple) colours.

The main components of colour to consider are:

  • Hue → the colour itself (ex. blue)
  • Saturation → how intense the colour is (ex. turquoise vs. navy)
  • Value → how dark or light a colour is on a scale going from white to black
Image result for colour wheel

The colour wheel is a key element to learning about colour. By using the colour wheel, we are able to achieve colour harmony. There are several different types of colour harmony:

  • Monochromatic – one colour/hue, these colours will always match (ex. red and pink)
  • Analogous – colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel (ex. red and orange)
  • Complimentary – colours that are opposite on the colour wheel, this adds variety (ex. blue and orange)
  • Split Complimentary – three colours using the ones on either side of the compliment, to form a triangle (ex. red, green yellow, green blue)
  • Triadic – three colours that are evenly separated, creates a sticking effect (ex. orange, purple, green)
  • Tetradic – four colours that create a rectangle on the wheel, two complementary pairs, often one will dominate and the others will serve as accents (ex. purple, orange, yellow, blue)

Here are some final tips for working with colours:

  • make sure your colours are readable and letters can be seen
  • too much colour can be overwhelming
  • balance colours with white, black, and grey
  • consider the tone of the message you are sending (less saturation can be more professional looking)

Some colour palettes:

Visit to the “Inquiry Teacher’s” classroom

On Tuesday my EDCI 336 class had the opportunity to visit Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt’s aka the Inquiry Teacher’s classroom. Rebecca is co-author to Inquiry Mindset, a book about fostering curiosity in the classroom, runs the popular instagram account @inquiryteacher, and teaches kindergarten full-time! I was really inspired by how accomplished Rebecca is for being a young teacher and I know that I want to adopt her teaching methods into my own classroom one day.

Rebecca stressed that one of the most important roles as a teacher is to bring the inquiry, wonder and curiosity out of students. Here are some of the ways that she does this.

from Rebecca’s presentation

Growing up with the old BC curriculum, I am very unfamiliar with the inquiry mindset but I love learning about it! I think that fostering creativity and curiosity in students is very important because I know so many people who have never been able to find their passions in life. With the new curriculum, we get to help students find what they find interesting in life!

One of my favourite methods that Rebecca uses in her classroom is called the wonder-wall. This wall has pictures of all of her students with thought bubbles beside them and inside the bubbles are questions that her students are wondering currently. Her students were wondering about skin tones to why people think differently. I love when young learners surprise me with what they are capable of thinking about! As I continue with my education I need to remember to have a growth mindset so that I never underestimate my students’ abilities.

For the privacy & safety of the students, I have blurred out their faces because I do not have permission to share pictures of them. This is something you should always be checking before you post a photo!

To keep up constantly with Rebecca & all of her inquiry ideas I recommend following her on twitter @rbathursthunt

Creative Commons

If you’ve been through a North American school system then you are probably familiar with how plagiarism was highly frowned upon when completing projects. For this reason, students are shown exactly how to cite an author’s original work. However, what many students are never taught is that plagiarizing is not only wrong because you aren’t completing an assignment yourself, but because you are taking credit for someone else’s hard work. Outside from classrooms, Creative Commons is an excellent way to make sure you are giving the author the credit they want for their work. Creative Commons is a website that creators can use to generate copyright licenses.

screenshot of the creative commons website

I decided to generate my own Creative Commons License for this website to see how easy the process is! I was able to create a license in a minute that shows users that I do not want adaptations of my work to be shared and I don’t allow commercial uses of my work.

my license! can be found at the bottom of my blog

Week #8- Vision Board Workshop

On Sunday I completed a vision board workshop to help me with my goal setting for 2019. I had a general idea of what goals I wanted to accomplish this year after journalling for the whole month of January, but this workshop helped me solidify these goals. To start, the workshop instructor discussed the benefits of goal setting and how manifesting your goals can actually help you accomplish them faster. The instructor believes that if you envision your goals every day, for example on a vision board, then you have a greater chance of actually completing those goals. They believe that this method triggers your sub-conscious brain to start guiding you towards taking the necessary steps to make your dreams a reality. I am always interested in learning new things and working towards becoming the best version of myself, so I am excited to see if this method works for me.

Next, the instructor took us through a guided meditation to help us envision our goals. At first, I had difficulty getting into the meditation mindset, but I really tried to use the tips that I have learned and listen to the sound of my instructors voice and block out all other thoughts. As the meditation progressed, I found myself truly listening and envisioning exactly what she was asking us to.

After the meditation it was time to create our own vision boards! Before the workshop I printed out a few mantras that I wanted to manifest and photos of my goals for 2019. After the meditation I realized that there were a few more goals that I wanted to add to my vision board so I just printed out those photos at home after the workshop and added them to my board. The only thing left to do was glue everything onto a poster board like a collage! I personally love arts & crafts so creating the vision board was so much fun for me.

If you want to create your own vision board at home here’s how!

  1. Pin point goals that you want to accomplish for a certain time period! I decided to do my goals for 2019 but there is no rule as to what you have to create your vision board for. You can do a monthly vision board, a seasonal vision board… the opportunities are endless. To do this you can look up a guided meditation like this one
  2. Print off photos that remind you of your goals. Try to make your goals specific to the photo so that it’s the first thing that you envision when you see that photo. I also printed off a few mantras that I want to help shape my mindset.
  3. Get crafting! Simply glue your photos down on the poster board and decorate it however you would like! I added a border, a title & a few 2-D shapes to mine.
  4. Put your vision board in a place that you will see it every day & start manifesting your goals! Look at your vision board at least once a day & imagine how it FEELS to accomplish your goals & how you would complete them. Put yourself into the mindset of achieving your goals & eventually you will.
my vision board

I encourage you to make your own vision board! Remember you & your goals are allowed to change so if there’s something on your vision board that doesn’t interest you anymore, just change it! Also, I would recommend putting something on your vision board that you have already accomplished just to get the ball rolling 😉

Good luck!

Week #7- Social Media Break

Last Tuesday I decided to go on a 1 week social media break to challenge myself and see how an absence of social media would contribute to my spiritual development. For the first couple days I found myself going through a withdrawal… I would constantly reach for my phone to realize that there was nothing on it for me to look at. Taking this break has allowed me to realize how much time I spend just aimlessly scrolling through instagram or closing & reopening snapchat to see if anything had changed from the last time I opened it. As the week progressed, I found myself feeling a lot happier knowing that I was accomplishing this goal that I had set. My mental health also got better because I was not comparing myself and my social life to others on social media, something that I had done a lot in the past. I am able to track my screentime on my phone and over the course of the week, my screentime decreased by 37%. I went skiing on Friday and I felt the need to post a photo but I wasn’t able to because I deleted instagram. Instead, I thought to myself “well why do I want to share with everyone that I am skiing? Is the world going to stop spinning if I don’t? No!”. This allowed me to re-evaluate why I think posting a photo every time I do something is necessary and if it’s actually worth my time. The only good thing that came from social media was when I lost my dog on Saturday morning. I decided to reinstall instagram to post a photo of my dog and help with the grieving process. From that post, many people reached out to me to express their condolences and it made me feel the tiniest bit better about losing her. Social media can be very toxic but it also makes the world a much smaller place and brings people together. I do plan on reinstalling most social media platforms after this week is over, and I will continue to use them. However, now I will be more conscious about the amount of time I spend on each of them and what I am using those apps for.

I encourage all of you to challenge yourself and give social media a break for a week. I believe that it will really open your eyes as to how much time you spend on social media, and what you can be doing otherwise to benefit your life.