Common Sense

Kumashiro defines common sense as the “unwritten rules” of society. This means that certain actions go without being questioned. However, different places view different things as common sense. In this article, the United States is compared to Nepal because the author had the opportunity to teach in Nepal. As they prepared for the school year, they noticed that there were significant differences between how the school functioned compared to what they were used to. Often when people try to swim against the “norms” or common sense of society, they are questioned or seen as different. When Kumashiro tried to challenge the way of Nepali schools, they were questioned and the students told them that the way they were being taught was wrong. They were not used to a different way of teaching other than lecture style teaching. It is shown that when trying to go against the “unwritten rules” of society, people resist change because it is not the same way that things have always been done. 

It is important to pay attention to common sense because everyone might have a different definition for it in certain situations. It also limits your opportunity for growth and expansion because you only ever do things one way and never consider how doing things differently could change things for the better. 

For teachers, it is important to pay attention to common sense because students come from all sorts of backgrounds and homes. Only using common sense in the classroom can limit the success of  students you are teaching. A classroom structure with the teacher as the dominant in the room, students sitting quietly at their desks, and assigning homework every night doesn’t benefit most students. As a teacher, you can find ways to alternate your classroom and try introducing new ways of learning into your classroom to accommodate more students. For example, when teachers are the dominant figure in the classroom, students are only listening to them all day. However, this is not always the best way for everyone to learn. Some students need to have more hands on practice, some may need to watch videos, and others might need to work with partners and discuss in peer groups. By going against the norms or common sense of how a classroom should work, teachers can better benefit all of their students.

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Contributing to the Learning of Others

Throughout the course of the semester we were tasked to contribute to the learning of other through technology and the internet. My main source of contribution was twitter. On twitter I would retweet, comment, like, and ask questions to help my fellow educators expand their learning. Here I will include screenshots of twitter were I have contributed to other’s learning. This was one of my most popular tweets that got lots of people buzzing about. Shell Shockers is a game that is played online and from what I observed from students in my field placement and what they told me about it, it is a game that you can play against you friends or other users online and the 

goal is to shoot the other eggs. During the month of February there was an indoor recess almost every single day. The students had access to computers during indoor recess so they said they would often play this game. My first thought was “you’re allowed to play this game?” and their response was simply “why  not?” as if the fact that guns were in the game didn’t phase them. This interested me and I decided to take this to the world of twitter and here are some of the responses I got in return. 

Another post on twitter hat I made was one that would be a good resource for other teachers. It was the instructions on how to paint an Ojibway self portrait. I had a lot of fun participating in it and I thought that it would be a good way to integrate Indigenous learning in the classroom.

Finally, I contributed to the learning of others by speaking up in class discussions and in small break out groups. I really enjoyed using technology this semester and building my own personal network. Twitter has been a go to for me for a lot of things this semester and I know I will continue to use it in the future.

My Last Hurrah

Throughout the semester I decided to tackle learning how to knit! This was quite the learning journey and has given me tricks that I can carry on beyond knitting. Most of my learning was done through the world of YouTube. There are so many instructional videos out there that are easy to follow and provide useful tips to my learning. I tried to follow picture tutorials, but I found that it was very difficult in the beginning because it was confusing, but once I understood knitting better I went back to look at them and they made more sense. When I first started knitting, it was difficult for me to cast on. I kept dropping stitches and my tension on my needles was way too tight so it was very difficult to fit the other needle through it as well. But before I could even start my project, I had to get my supplies which was an entire learning curve in itself. I thought I could just walk into the craft store and walk out with some yarn and needles. Little did I know, it was not exactly this easy for a beginner.

First I had to do some reading on the sign posted about what yarn is the easiest to work with and what size needles go along with it. I found that I needed weight four yarn and needles that were US needle size 7-9 or 4.5-5.5mm. After finding my perfect colour of yarn and weeks of practice I was finally able to get my motions and knit with ease. I later discovered that bamboo needles would make my life much easier. I found this information while watching a video on YouTube.

After completing my first project I decided to test out different yarn weights and change my needles from aluminum to bamboo. I moved up to weight 6 yarn meaning I needed to also upgrade my needle size to go along with it. This presented the same challenges as when i first started on my knitting journey. I had to get to know how the yarn moved differently and how it slipped off my needles easier. Even the easiest part of knitting which is casting on, was difficult again. This project I wanted to work towards making a blanket, although while trying to tame new yarn I needed a few practice runs. 

Finally, I decided I was ready to begin knitting my blanket. As the snow began to melt, and the sun started shining more I began knitting outside more. The tactic I was going to do to make my blanket was making individual squares and sew them together. However, I made the mistake of leaving my knitting project on the back deck table and when I woke up the next morning there was a surprise waiting for me. For those of you who don’t know, I have a beautiful yellow lab who is 2 years old named Tucker. He is my best friend and apparently he just loved watching me learn to knit, that he wanted to try it himself.

Although he destroyed the beginning of my blanket, I won’t give up. I have developed a deep love for knitting and have found it to be very enjoyable. At times, it can even become very addicting. Once you pick it up and get into your groove, it’s hard to put it down. Throughout the semester, knitting taught me a few things that I can take beyond some yarn and needles. That list includes:

  1. Life can pass you by, so take time to sit outside (or inside) and enjoy the things you do and the life you have.
  2. Things can be incredibly frustrating at times, so take a step back, a deep breath, and binge some Netflix before getting back to it.
  3. Never ever leave anything valuable within reach of a two year old lab because they will find a way to eat it or play with it no matter what it is.

Thank you so much to knitting for teaching me these things about life and myself, and thank you to this semester for giving me the opportunity to learn how to knit! Hope you all have a wonderful summer!

iMovie & Time Lapse

I decided to record a time lapse of myself knitting this week. It was very easy to use and it was a great way to document my progress os learning. I also used iMovie to upload my video and slow down the time lapse because it was very fast on my phone.

Setting up a time lapse is incredibly easy. All you do is go to your camera on your phone and swipe at the bottom until you reach the mode of time lapse. Then, you upload this video to your computer and import it into iMovie. In iMovie you can add music, slow down or speed up your video, and add captions. Both tools are great ways to document my learning progress!

Screencastify How To 

 

 

This week I decided to tackle Scratch! After watching many tutorial videos, I discovered a way to make my name come to life. It took multiple attempts to get something I was somewhat happy with, but overall it was a fun process! I learned how to make my letters change colour, size, rotate in different directions, make sounds, and say hello! I even discovered how to change the colour of the background. I think Scratch was a very easy tool to use if you watched the tutorials and practice. I found a lot of my learning was trial and error. I would try one thing and see how it works and continue to adjust it depending on how well I like the action it was doing. For example, I have two of my letters continuously rotating. I first tried changing the degrees it would rotate by, that didn’t work. Then I tried putting a bunch of the rotating controls back to back and that also didn’t work. Then after watching a tutorial, I figured out that if you put the repeat button and the rotate button in between it, you could rotate your letter. I think Scratch and coding is important because technology is growing and I think it is important that students know these skills. They could be useful in school projects and even be used as a fun introductory activity in school.

Scratch Link