Monday, September 18, 2017

Back to school, one again...

Me and my Grandma, on my first day of elementary school.
Looking at my Tweeter profile, I define myself as a lifelong learner, so no surprise that once in a while I am back again "taking my seat" in a classroom. It was a few years that I was pondering the option to enroll in the M.Ed. Learning Design and Technology, and finally this year I found myself in the "perfect storm" for dusting off my red messenger bag, ironing and starching my blue ribbon, polishing my black shoes, and head out to my "latest" first day in a classroom. Well, this time I did not have the tactic haircut I had back in this picture, indeed I learned not to play with gum with my brother... but this is an all different story, good for another occasion.

Honestly, I find it refreshing being a student. First I know all too well how much I need to learn about being an online Language teacher, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to have some formal training specifically on what I have been doing for the last 9 years on a "swing it" mode :)
Second, being back to the desk, helps me relate more empathically to my own online students. I have to admit, I am one of those people who FREAKS OUT for tests! Oh yeah... the sweaty hands, the grumbling stomach, lost of appetite but for chocolate, the sense of the incoming end of the world...well, that's me still today every time I have to take any sort of test. This self-awareness allows me to relate to my kiddos and try to do my best for making them feel comfortable and safe at the time of assessment so that we can really assess their mastery level and not their panic level.

Overall this new beginning is already great and I am excited to join a group of current educators in pursuing this common goal.

Now for the sake of sharing something true and false about me, here we go:
I have been teaching online foreign language for 9 years in Kenai. I used to live in Haines, and I miss very much the Southeast rainforest and PEOPLE! I do not know why, but people are just more friendly down there. In my free time, I love to do many activities such as making pottery, sewing, crocheting, kayaking, boating, fishing, skiing, reading a good book or two, and walking my dog and my cats in the woods. English is not my first language and I learned at school when I was a child. Although I love to have friends over for dinner parties, my husband has to do the cooking because I am quite challenged in that department...  :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Arduino Coding with AT Tiny

We are almost at the beginning of a new school year and it is time to get going planning what I want do with my students, which new and exciting  learning experiences I want to offer them, and how I am going to share with them the latest knowledge I have acquired during this summer at the Kodiak Virtual Learning Conference.
I have 2 plans I want to implement this year:
  1. Integrate paper circuitry activity in my Italian language online course.
I have decided to use my Italian 2 course for this integration because it is my smallest class and it will allow me to test this plan in a easy to handle environment. The Italian courses I am offering this year are not using any pr-canned curricula, but I have developed  on my own using some principles of TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) and other second language acquisition strategies. One element of my courses will be weekly creative writing, in which students will be asked to write reflections in the target language building up writing skills that will enable them to create short stories.  I want to use these short stories to be the environment for introducing paper circuitry. Depending on the response of the students I will see how far we can go with the complexity of the circuits and possibly to the coding.  
For these storytelling with paper circuitry I want them to use a blog for sharing their work and give them the opportunity to have an exposure and interact among them commenting and providing critical feedback.
The idea is to integrate Italian scientific vocabulary in the course and build up from there the use of tools that correspond to the language learned. The integration of paper circuitry will also allow the creative expression enhancing student creative writing and storytelling.
My plan is to have students create a monthly story with paper circuitry.
  1. Develop an high school level 1 semester course on Paper Circuitry & Arduino coding.
This is an idea that I have been discussing with Jeannine Huffman, David Cole, Nicole Fuerst, and Dr. Lee Grahm. The plan  is to be bale to create a course for introducing students to coding in a fun and playful way. It would be great if we could create a CTE course with dual credit, high school and college credit as well. This idea does not have a specific planning yet since it involves several people, however  I am looking forward to collaborating with all of these amazing individuals.
I would like to use this coming year for defining this course so that we could offer it to students next school year.
I believe that this course will be a valuable resource for our students for approaching coding in a fun way. At this time my school district does not offer any coding courses, however they recognize the important of this need for our students. My goal is to offer this course statewide so that all our students will have equal opportunity to accessing this resource and develop important skills for becoming 21st century global citizens.