Rose Couture

Aspiring teacher. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ― William Arthur Ward


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Philosophie d’enseignement

Après avoir complété mon préinternat durant la session d’hiver, j’ai eu l’occasion de revoir et de retravailler ma philosophie en enseignement. Bien sûr, celle-ci change selon les expériences que nous vivons, il est donc nécessaire de réévaluer notre position et nos valeurs régulièrement.

L’enseignement et l’apprentissage sont deux éléments qui vous suivront dans plusieurs aspects de votre vie. Que vous soyez un enfant ou un adulte, en tant qu’être-humain, vous enseignez et vous apprenez à tous les jours. Ainsi, toute personne décidant de faire carrière en enseignement doit constamment se remettre en question et travailler envers une amélioration personnelle et professionnelle dans divers domaines. De cette manière, l’enseignant aura en possession les outils nécessaires quant au développement de ses étudiants.

Personnellement, je crois qu’il est important que mes étudiants apprennent de leurs propres expériences. C’est pourquoi je donne souvent priorité au travail d’équipe, car les élèves développent plusieurs habiletés et il y a des preuves que le travail en collaboration leur permet de mieux retenir l’information. De plus, l’apprentissage interactif avec leurs pairs est plus intéressant que d’avoir à écouter une longue leçon présentée de façon traditionnelle, sans vie et remplie d’information difficile à retenir. Par exemple, lors de mon préinternat, j’ai organisé beaucoup d’activités où les jeunes devaient travailler en équipe, comme ma leçon de mathématiques sur les fractions. Effectivement, ils étaient en équipe de trois à quatre élèves et avaient à construire un objet a exposer dans un musée à l’aide de Legos. Par la suite, ils devaient déterminer les fractions pour chaque couleur utilisée dans la réalisation de leur œuvre, avant de les réduire sous leur forme la plus simple. En encourageant le travail d’équipe, je permets à mes étudiants de développer leurs habiletés sociales et je leur donne l’occasion d’exprimer leur opinion sur différents sujets. De cette manière, ils contribuent à la construction de leur représentation du monde extérieur tout en enseignant de nouvelles connaissances à leurs coéquipiers et en apprenant d’eux à leur tour. Il est important pour moi que mes élèves aient la chance de jouer le rôle du professeur et de l’élève qui apprend, de se sentir valorisés. Le socioconstructivisme promeut la construction de l’élève et le développement de leurs interactions sociales.

En tant qu’enseignante, j’influencerai un nombre indéfini d’élèves, et j’ai pour mission de rendre leur expérience d’apprentissage la plus agréable possible. Ainsi, il est important de fournir à l’étudiant une multitude de ressources qui l’aideront à faire ses apprentissages, et qui contribueront à une construction informée de sa perception de l’environnement. À l’école, l’enfant possède plusieurs ressources telles que des enseignants, du matériel de construction et de manipulation, des livres, en plus de ses camarades de classe. Mais que sont des ressources si elles ne sont pas adaptées au niveau de l’enfant? Inutiles. En tant qu’enseignants, nous jouons un rôle clé dans le développement de l’enfant et nous devons être en mesure d’identifier les besoins de ceux-ci et d’adapter notre enseignement de manière à faciliter et à enrichir les apprentissages de l’élève. L’évaluation formative nous aide à identifier les habiletés qui doivent être travaillées, mais aussi de suivre le progrès des élèves. Dans le même ordre d’idées, il est important de viser les différents types d’apprenants pendant la planification et la réalisation des leçons. Certains étudiants ont besoin de manipuler des objets, d’autres ont besoin d’aides-visuelles et ainsi de suite. C’est pourquoi lors de ma planification de leçons, j’essaie d’avoir des activités qui touchent plus d’un groupe d’apprenants. Par exemple, j’ai utilisé du matériel de manipulation lors de mon activité sur les fractions équivalentes, j’ai écrit des directives et des exemples au tableau, je me suis servie du projecteur et du tableau blanc pendant l’étude des postes de traite en sciences humaines, j’ai même fait imprimer des listes de vérification pour la composition de texte en français. Parfois les élèves travaillaient seuls, des fois en équipe ou en groupe-classe. Bref, il est important de connaître les besoins de nos élèves et de tenter d’y répondre à l’aide d’outils et de ressources touchant une multitude d’apprenants.

Dans un autre ordre d’idées, la gestion de classe est un élément clé dans l’enseignement, et ce à n’importe quel niveau. Si nous n’avons pas de systèmes mis en place afin d’avoir le contrôle et de prévoir les incidents qui pourraient se dérouler dans notre salle de classe, les élèves pourraient ignorer l’autorité, créer le chaos ou même leur enlever le goût d’apprendre. Ainsi, il est important de mettre en place des procédures qui aideront les élèves à construire des routines pour réaliser les tâches données par l’enseignant. En ayant des procédures et des routines fixes auxquelles les étudiants s’habituent, les élèves sont conscients des attentes de l’enseignant et sont portés à rester attentifs à la tâche qui doit être réalisée. Par exemple, on peut enseigner le procédé d’écriture aux élèves pour les aider à se familiariser avec les éléments nécessaires à la composition d’un texte de qualité. Avec plusieurs occasions de pratiquer ce procédé, les élèves suivront les étapes sans même s’en rendre compte, car les procédures seront devenues routinières pour eux. Pour donner un exemple, j’ai pris l’habitude, pendant mon préinternat, d’écrire les étapes visant la réalisation d’une tâche au tableau après avoir expliqué le travail aux élèves. Habituellement, je n’utilise que trois à quatre étapes pour ne pas compliquer la tâche et pour garder l’objectif général en vue. De plus, j’ai pris l’habitude d’expliquer un procédé et de faire répéter ce procédé par un élève, avant de l’écrire au tableau. Tout dépendant du nombre de mains qui sont levées, j’ai une idée générale du nombre d’élèves qui ont compris du premier coup et je peux ainsi adapter mes procédés. Bref, en instaurant des procédés simples et clairs, les élèves seront conscients des attentes et ils resteront concentrés sur la tâche qu’ils doivent accomplir.

Finalement, je crois qu’il est important d’avoir des expériences d’apprentissage de qualité, privilégiant le travail collaboratif et adaptées selon les différents types d’apprenants. Parallèlement, les méthodes de gestion de classe employées influenceront aussi la qualité des apprentissages faits par les élèves.

 


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Hashtags, Tweeters and Bloggers

After spending amazing family time in Quebec during the holidays, I am now back in the Prairies. The routine is slowly starting back for everyone; going back to work, back to school, back to doing the activities you might of put aside for the holiday season. Unfortunately, I am not going back to the university this semester. I say it like it is a bad thing, but it is actually pretty amazing to have a little more time to breathe until fall comes around.

Since I will not be in school, I will have more free time and want to use it wisely. I want to follow up on hot education topics, follow my tweeters as well as participate in #cdnedchat, and I want to keep writing blog posts about topics that interest me. I noticed that my Twitter was kind of hectic, people I follow are not in specific categories, and I would like to organize people I am following in lists. This will be a long task but it will then be easier to organize my TweetDeck once this is done. I have started to add columns to my Deck with the hashtags (#) I want to keep an eye on during my time off such as: #cdnedchat, #regteach, #skteachers, #edchat, #edtech, #frimm, #langchat and #elemchat. Not quite sure this is the perfect list, but if you have any suggestions feel free to comment on my post or tweet me!

Furthermore, I would love to take the time and read more educational blog posts and write responses or reflections related to them. Reading and learning is important to me, it is important to shape the future educator I want to become. I have recently been offered a casual position as a special educational assistant with Regina Public Schools, and I am very anxious to see what I will learn from this experience. This is a great opportunity for me to learn, as I am not necessarily familiar with all the requirements needed for this position, and it is also a great opportunity to create more connections with students, teachers, principals and the community. Keep checking up on my blog, posts will come, and if you do not follow me on Twitter yet, do it right here. Wishing you all the best for 2014, cheers!


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Happy Holidays!

The stress of final exams is now over and I am back in Quebec to spend the holidays with my family. I plan to eat a lot of food, see my friends and go to the ski hill! I just wanted to say a little “hi” since I will probably not be posting anything relevant during my vacations, but will be back at it when January comes around. I want to wish all of my readers a happy holiday season and I hope that you will take this time to enjoy all the precious moments you spend with friends, family and loved ones. I wish all of you health, love, happiness and that all your wishes come true!

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Final Learning Project Assessment

As the semester comes to an end, many projects are due and the majority require reflections and assessments on the acquisition of knowledge. For my ECMP355 learning project, I chose to learn the Italian language. I planned on doing so with the help of a Google App named Duolingo, in addition to trying to connect with others online to find more resources. For the most part, I used the application weekly and went through the learning units like a “good” student would. I cannot say that I have learnt how to be fluent in Italian or that I  know how to have a conversation with someone, but my vocabulary is broader than it was when I first began and I can pick up words and general meaning when listening to Italian “conversations”. With Duolingo, I learnt:

  • To conjugate a total of 48 verbs from andare (to go) to volere (to want);
  • 56 markers of dates and time such as: months (dicembre, gennaio, febbraio), days of the week (domenica, lunedi, martedi, mercoledi), seasons (primavera, l’estate), hours (ora), time of the day (mezzogiorno, mezzanotte), etc.;
  • 82 words that have to do with food, including how to say lunch (pranzo) and dinner (cena);
  • A total of 28 animals, my favourites are penguin (pinguino) and turtle (tartaruga);
  • 28 words to describe clothing so that I can now say: Io porto un capotto e i guanti a l’inverno (I wear a jacket and gloves in the winter);
  • 26 preposition words, 13 question words (che, come, perché), 13 colors (arancione, giallo, grigio), 13 conjunctions as well as 12 common phrases (arrivederci, grazie, ciao)
  • For a total of 375 words

I have learnt quite of bit of vocabulary with Duolingo, but I realized at the end that I needed to “hear” it more. Yes, the lady recited the sentences as many times as you wanted, in addition to giving you the correct answers/translations, but they were for the majority short sentences that always had the same structure. I read that one of my classmates Ashley also had a similar dilemma (she was learning ASL) where she learnt a lot of vocabulary, but not enough sentences and/or discussions. One of my readers suggested that I look online for Italian radio stations where they play the “typical pop music”, but where all the commercials and dialogues were in Italian. I made a quick Google search on these Italian radio stations, but did not find anything right off so I decided to stop digging. Bad move. Today, while I was summarizing what I learnt with Duolingo, the vocabulary discussion question came to me and I remembered the comment from my reader. So I went and looked again for Italian radio stations, in addition to Italian podcasts, BINGO! This is when I fell upon this News in Slow Italian website, which I really wish I would have found way before today (I made a post about it too) as it seems to be an incredible learning tool. Maybe after listening to conversations for a while and increasing the speed, I will be able to finally watch a movie in Italian without thinking about how fast they are talking and how I cannot understand anything.

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I was the most happy to have completed my Prepositions unit, as this was my biggest challenge and I did have to dig on YouTube to find additional resources to completely grasp the material that was making me flustered. I completed a total of 16 units like the ones in yellow you can see above, that were made of a total of 73 lessons. I had to try each lesson at least twice, if not more in the difficult ones to unlock the following lessons, which in turn unlocked the following units. One of the things I liked the best was that I was able to practice the lessons as much as I wanted to if I did not feel confident with the material, and I was able to learn at my own rhythm, without fearing a test or having someone quizzing me on the spot about Italian expressions, words or verbs. It was not a stressful experience and this is one of the reason why I will continue learning the language so that I can achieve my dream to one day visit Italy and its thousands of treasures!


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New Italian Ressource

While browsing the web for Italian podcasts and radio stations, I fell upon News in Slow Italian. I found this website to be a little more helpful than Duolingo in some ways, because you are able to listen to the news in Italian, and it is done slowly so that you can read and follow at the same time. I tried watching a movie in Italian thinking I was ready to attempt such thing, but they talk way too fast for me to understand anything. A lot of content on this website is free for beginners and you can subscribe for a fee when you get to the intermediate level or if you want to have access to the flashcards, grammar, expressions and the quizzes. All the News Stories are free to listen to and there is text that accompanies the voice. You can scroll over the red parts in the text if you do not understand what they are saying and it will give you the English translation, which is fantastic. I am not certain of how many news stories you can listen to until you need to subscribe, but I am definitely going to give it a try and attempt to get the most out of it. I enjoy learning with Duolingo, but I want to listen to actual conversations, as I believe I will learn and understand better that way, so this is a great discovery I have made. What about you, do you learn better with visuals or speech or a combination of both? Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 13.03.45


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My Summary of Personal Learning, A Learning Experience

For the past week, I have been debating what I would do for my final summary of personal learning in the course of ECMP355. I saw that many students decided to list the medias and programs they used or discovered during the semester, and described them, while other chose to do a screen cast type of project. I thought I would be original and draw a concept map, but it did not really touch everything I learnt this semester and I was a little nervous that I barely used any technology for my summary of personal learning. So I went on the hunt to find a program with which I could build beautiful concept maps and I fell upon iMindMap 7. I found the presentation video beautiful and I wanted to give it a try (they offer a FREE 7 day trial). I was a little discouraged at first because I did not know how to work the program and there was not too many tutorial videos for the iMindMap 7, but I was able to find one for iMindMap 6, which is basically the same as the new version, minus a few features. With this program, I was able to make a very appealing concept map and it gave me the option to turn it into a presentation. In presentation mode, you can delete the slides you do not want, you can move slides from left to right to change the order, and you can even switch from 2D to 3D! I had a lot of fun with it and I am considering buying the program as it is a nice presentation tool that is different from Prezi and PowerPoint.

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My Original Concept Map Idea

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My Final Concept Map

Since I have been using QuickTime to record my screen for different purposes this semester, I thought I would give Camtasia or Screenr a try, but it did not work so well. Every time it would tell me that I needed a Java plug-in and that it would not work with Google Chrome. So I downloaded the plug-in and tried it with my Safari browser without any success, I then opted for QuickTime. I also noticed that with Screenr I could only record for 5 minutes and I do not think it would have been enough time to cover everything I wanted to say (it took me a good 10 minutes).

I made a few mistakes during my presentation, but nobody is perfect. I would like to specify that Coursera does not only offer education classes, but rather a wide variety of classes, from English to Science. I noticed that I say “sweet” and “cool” a lot, nervous habit that I need to work on. I also froze when it came to the financial…. MEANS or just the money in general that some schools do not possess to go on constructive field trips. Overall I had a great semester and I have learnt things in ECMP355 that will follow me for the rest of my life, including a personal learning network!


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Communication And Students Are Key to Change Education

As I was reading Students Ask: Why So Few of Us at CEA’s Calgary Conference?I was shocked. Why wasn’t I aware of this Canadian Educators Association? Of course I knew there were teacher federations for each province in the country, but I had never heard of this one association. And they had this gathering in Calgary? So close to me. I would be interested in participating in such event, but their online upcoming events calendar does not seem to be working, so I am unsure of when and where the next events will take place. It was very interesting to find out that people who attend the conferences have name tags that only display their names. The titles and surnames of individuals are left out so that participants can have meaningful conversations about education matters without feeling judged or left out for where they stand in society. At each table, students, educators and others are mixed to have different perspectives and ideas. I really like this aspect as it represents really well the current approach in teacher education at the University of Regina about how important social justice is and how we are still far from this in today’s society. Everyone has an opinion and can bring meaningful insight even if they are not an important director of a district, board or school. Individuals are given the opportunity to have a voice and to bring ideas to the day light and discuss them with amazing educators, directors, teachers and students. I would personally love to attend one of these conferences as I would have the opportunity to grow and learn, even if I’m “just” a student.

The CBE (Calgary Board of Educators) students also mentioned the important lack of students at the conference. This poses some problems as students are in “training” to become open-minded and socially just educators that will bring change to the country’s current education system. The majority of students in the classroom hope to make a change, they want to change education for the best. Yet, most of the time they are not at those “important” conferences that focus on changing education and communicates these issues. Some students are not as privileged as others and unfortunately, are not informed about the importance of the changes that are made to improve the education system. I do not like to brag, but we are the future of education, we are important too. Tell us about these conferences, tell us about the changes, give us feedback, have meaningful exchanges with us. I have said it before and will say it again, feedback is so crucial! Feedback helps us improve ourselves, we learn and grow from it. Change can be scary, but who said it was going to be easy? Students need to be more involved in these meaningful events that take place all over the country. It might be a bit intimidating to go to one of these conferences, as you might not know anyone, but it is good to get out of your comfort zone and to make changes, you will definitely need to cross some lines and be uncomfortable. But guess what.. When we are uncomfortable, we learn. We all have a role to play into changing education for the best, we all have the power to make a difference, even if you feel you are insignificant. Things take time, but if we all get together and work together, we are powerful. We really can make a difference. Be involved, inform yourself, connect with educators (Twitter is great for that
) and do not be scared, your opinion matters.

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