Meta-Reflection: Reflecting on Reflecting

Blogging.

Where do I begin?

As I sit here listening to the song Fancy, by Iggy Azalea, that will forever remind me of Jillian, Jessica, and Ceb, I reflect on the great group of individuals I just left. I reflect on how I got to know these individuals, and how we all share the unique experience of growing, learning, and preparing together to be future teachers of science. I’m reflecting because that is what blogging makes you do.

I would like to reflect back to before the class, Integrating Science & Literacy, actually started. The time when I received an email from Jo Ann, letting me know I had an assignment that was due before the 1st day of our class. This made me slightly nervous. I could tell, based on the instructions of the assignment, telling us to check out the blogs of cohorts in the past, that I was going to be expected to maintain a blog.

I had never blogged before. I had read many blogs, but I never personally created my own blog. On the blogs I have read prior to this class, all I did was read them. I didn’t interact by posting any comments.
So, what was there to be nervous about? Blogs are very personal. They are like little windows in to your mind, and they let people know your inner workings. I have always enjoyed seeing the way others think, and their intriguing perspectives, even if they didn’t mirror my own. However, allowing others to peek in to my window was an obstacle I had to get over.

Before moving to Rochester 3 years ago, I was an open book. I would have had no problem blogging, and probably would have blogged a lot more than what I did for this class. However, when I moved to the Rochester area, due to experiences, situations, and lack of family and friends close by, I kept to myself. I didn’t have people whom I could express my love of science to, or debate on new topics and ideas.

When I did my first blog, and I knew my classmates would be able to read it, I was uneasy. What were they going to think? I knew I was one of the oldest, and I assumed I was the only one with kids, so I felt out of place. I didn’t think I had anything too interesting to say, that anyone would really care about.

Fortunately, I was very wrong. In class, I realized I was part of an awesome cohort, who shared very similar interests, as well as concerns. Blogging introduced me the unique and amazing individuals of the cohort. It allowed me to see how they interpreted matters of science, as well as discussions in class, which at times really helped me out, and gave me new perspectives on ideas, and topics.

Integrating Science & Literacy, was a great building block to start my path of becoming a teacher of science. The class really opened my eyes to the true meaning of scientific literacy. Through blogging, I was able to reflect on these meanings and lessons, see how they integrated in to my life, and think about how I could possibly use them in my future classroom. I was also able to get ideas through others’ blogs.

Blogging has also allowed me to get to know the individuals of our cohort on a different level. Their ideas and overall character really stands out in their blogs, and in each one, I see individual characteristics that will make them powerful teachers.

I look forward to working with you all. Enjoy your 3 day vacation.

pier

Different Ways of Thinking

For the Summer A Semester, I am taking, of course, EDU 487: Integrating Science & Literacy, and ED 447: Disability and Schools. With only 3 classes left for each class, I would really like to dedicate a post to something I think about almost every time I have these two classes, or do homework for these classes. Every week, I contemplate blogging about it, then something else comes up. So here it goes:

The material, principles, and ideas for these classes, very strongly relate to one another.

Many times, while I’m reading assignments, or when I engage in class discussion for one class, I am reminded of the other. There have even been times when I bring up readings in one discussion, only to realize the reading was for the other class, and no one knows what I am talking about. This does make sense, since in ED 447, we discuss how the struggles of individuals with disabilities is very similar to many other minority groups, and in EDU 487 we talk about how we want to reach ALL students, and discuss ways to do this.

Today we watched a video in ED 447 that I feel really relates to the Cohorts trying to find innovative ways to bring science to every student. Alanna reiterated this thought, when she said in class “I know how I think, but I want to learn other ways of thinking.” I hope this helps. The following is a TED talk by Temple Grandin, a well-known livestock handling designer who has autism. In this talk, Temple goes over different types of thinking. She really advocates for science and technology, and keeping kids interested and engaged. She makes some really good points, on how language tends to cover up visual thinking, which is something to really think about. One of my favorite things from this talk is the idea that “the world needs different minds to work together (TED, 2010).”

I hope you all enjoy!


http://www.ted.com/talks/temple_grandin_the_world_needs_all_kinds_of_minds#t-695507

Reference
TED. 2010. Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds. Retrieved by
http://www.ted.com/talks/temple_grandin_the_world_needs_all_kinds_of_minds#t-694883

Never too busy for lessons…

It was a busy, busy week. I am very excited about all of the different investigations going on in our Integrating Science and Literacy Class. I can’t wait to see the final outcomes! I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but I really enjoy every second I’m in that class. Not only do I really like the subject material, but our cohort is awesome. What a great group of individuals. Anyway, besides coming up with investigable questions, and reflecting on the best tools to use in my own classroom someday, I attended my oldest daughter’s Pre-K graduation, and my youngest daughter’s first dance recital. Amongst our busy weekend, we had I guess what you call a life lesson, or maybe a lesson about life, and human interaction with nature.

We go to the library a lot, and I let both of the girls pick out books. A couple weeks ago, Emmie, my youngest, grabbed a book called Where Once There Was A Wood, by Denise Fleming. It was a great book, which paints a beautiful description of all of the happenings in a wood, and then in the end it is destroyed by developments. (Sorry for the spoiler, but it is a 5 minute read) This of course got Mia asking 100 questions before bedtime. I ended quickly with it going back to us always needing to be conscious of the impacts of our actions, and who/what they impact, whether it be how we treat/talk to people, or what we do to the environment.

Well two days ago, we heard a constant bleating from the fenced in area of our yard. We went to check it out, and it was a fawn, maybe a week old. Mia was concerned. I explained to her that the fawn was calling to its mom and not to worry because the deer always go in and out of that area. We made sure the gate was open on both ends. However, the fawn is still in there. No matter how many times it walks past the open gate, it can’t figure out how to leave, and it is constantly crying. Tonight before bed, Mia brought up the book, and told me she was really going to start thinking about her actions. She said she never thought a simple fence, with open gates, would keep a baby from its mom. A little sad, I told her to carry that lesson with her, but I am sure the baby will be OK. We don’t hear it cry at night, so maybe the mom goes to it at night.

I realize I mention my girls a lot in these blogs. I think it is because, as much as I relate my everyday life to science, I also relate it to teaching. My girls are obviously my everyday life, and I feel I learn a lot about teaching from them. But that can be another blog, at another time. Have a wonderful week!