Adventures in ECMP 355 2.0

Tenille and I worked together on our digital story. We had a lot of fun creating it, we used iMovie and Touchcast. At times we wanted to punch the computer but I think it turned out pretty well! We summarized our experiences and thoughts throughout the course. We look real good by the way.


I like yoga

It’s all over folks! I must say this was an awesome and rewarding experience. I got the opportunity to learn to learn something that is practical and useful for me. For almost a year now I have been really focused on nutrition and exercise. Learning yoga was a great compliment to my “new” lifestyle.

For anyone who needs a refresher on what yoga and vinyasa yoga is check out this post, I recommend this type or practice to anyone who wants to work up a sweat. Being a newbie at yoga and technology I tried to step out of the box. I remember doing this first video and feeling like “oh god what did I get myself into”. I totally forgot I did a Sun Salutation post earlier in this class and at night for that matter! There has a been a definite improvement from my first few sun salutations till now. I still use Feedly for most of my yoga resources. These blogs also give great tips on creating a healthy lifestyle. I love Twitter and Pinterest but Pinterest was way better in finding resources to use. Unless I was looking in the wrong place for yoga tweeters I only found one person I enjoyed. With Pinterest I created a whole board of great ideas. The second last week in May was the tipping point for me. I hit a point in my yoga practice where I knew I was making progress. Yoga and a T-rex is probably my favourite post. I was getting super confident in myself and the title just gets me ever time. Ahh the Full Moon week from hell, I laughed when I found these poses and thought it was a great fit to our awesome class we had. Wine just makes everything better. It is great after a long day or hanging out with friends. Pairing it with yoga makes it a match made in heaven. Tara Stiles is the one yoga person I enjoy on twitter. These videos were probably my favourite. I have used them the most because I great a workout. I feel like this should have been probably posted earlier but better late then never. If you can master these poses you are set.  So this was my previous post and I got a little angry. I was looking forward to showing you all what I have learned but technology sucks sometimes.

Overall, I had a great experience learning yoga online but I wouldn’t do it again. I like the face to face contact and someone motivating me. I really don’t know if I was doing the poses right all the time. All of these teachers that I found are inspiring and I wish I could take a class from them. I did enjoy all the resources I found and those really made a difference. One setback I found was being able to post myself doing my practice. I will be honest some these poses are quite awkward to do in front of people and knowing the whole internet can see this is weird. So I wish I was able to show myself more to see all the improvement I have made.

Sorry Team

Today I despise technology. I had created a lovely and entertaining yoga video on the Sun Salutation but it is gone and never coming back. I am ticked and frustrated so I will hopefully give you all enough information on how to do this sequence. This link to Pinterest is great because it breaks everything down for you. I enjoy doing sun salutations because they wake you up and stretches everything out. If you are a newbie to yoga try this! All of you folks can do this it is super chill and made of stretches we do all the time. Here is another resource that breaks down the importance and reasons why sun salutations are key to having a great day. You can also jam out to these tunes to get you wide awake and centred. My favourite pose is the Chaturanga, it works all your muscles but it is hard. I apologize to all of you who I knew were anxiously waiting for my yoga awesomeness.

Speak up and Stand out

Social Justice has been a recurring theme throughout my education. This article for Edutopia teaches students how to deal with moral conflicts. I like this quote that the author brings up:

As teachers, we are given the charge and entrusted with preparing students intellectually, ethically, emotionally, and socially. The latter three meaning everyday we are guiding and nurturing students into helpful, altruistic, empathetic citizens — and we expect them to act according to this creed while on school grounds and within classroom walls.

This great read also gives you examples of activities you can do in the class. They deal with bullying, looking into their communities, writing letters to politicians, and looking at Political Cartoons from history that vilified a specific group, have students analyze why these depictions are morally wrong and the detrimental effects they have on both the group and society as a whole.

Another great Feedly find is New Resources on Race & Racism. This article touches on my a Navajo actor will never wear war paint or feathers again, the whole Rachel Dolezal ordeal, and the awesome Jon Stewart. We all need wake up call once in a while.

This article I know will definitely cause an uproar but it does bring up some important points. Are we taking this too far? Check out this Mcleans article Why are schools brainwashing our children? These are some of the some of the things the article complains about.

In May, a Grade 3 class in Toronto took to the streets with signs and an oversized papier mâché oil pipeline to protest the laying of an actual pipeline in western Canada.

Last year, in Toronto, first-graders brought home student planners marked with the international days of zero tolerance on female genital mutilation and ending violence against sex workers, a means to spark conversation on the issues.

a six-year-old boy was disqualified from a teddy-bear contest because a Ziploc was found in his lunch instead of a reusable container.

the Durham Board of Education in Ontario came under fire for discouraging the terms “wife” and “husband” in class in favour of the gender-neutral “spouse,” and the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” in favour of “partner.”

Yes, the classroom has changed to incorporate Social Justice into our programs but when does it go too far? I realize we are teaching more then just outcomes and subjects nowadays and I want my students to know about world/national/local events.

I will leave you to ponder this statement and I would love to hear your thoughts.

 “You can’t use children as cannon fodder for your cause,” says Grille. “How do you know these young kids aren’t just parroting what their teacher is telling them?

Class Dojo in the Classroom

Tenille and I recently had a mock conversation as a teacher and administrator that looked into the debate on whether or not to use Class Dojo in the classroom. After reading our discussion, please vote at the bottom for whether or not you would use this app in the classroom.  Sharing your views and opinions are also welcomed in the comments.

I have been hearing some discussions among the staff members surrounding this new classroom management app, Class Dojo. It appears that staff members have conflicting views, which led me to do some research to help form my own opinion.  I soon noticed that this a widely used, yet controversial app, that acts as a behaviour reward system for classroom management.  This article mentions many of the benefits and problems that teachers and parents are seeing.  I know that you have been using this app in your classroom and believe that you obviously have done some thinking to determine that this is beneficial to your teaching.  Why have you chosen to use it? More importantly, how is it helping your students?

Yes, I have been trying it out in my classroom. As you know this year I have a rowdy class with 21 boys and 6 girls who constantly like to talk and move around. Most days we can work great together but lately transitioning from class to class, lunch, and recess seems to get the students all in a tizzy. I have been using Class Dojo as a classroom management tool to give them instant feedback on their behaviours. I like how I can use this a visual tracker so the students see right away how they doing. This keeps our classroom expectations in track. Jason Shirff is a classroom teacher who feels the same as I do.

I recognize that it would be helpful in managing your class’ behaviour, but have you considered that it may potentially be the wrong type of motivator? We are motivating the children with external rewards, rather than teaching them the value of being respectful and working hard.  This article mentions that extrinsic motivators, such as this app, will only gain short term compliance from our students instead of self regulated behaviour and authentic engagement.

I understand what you are saying but my goal is to foster teamwork within my classroom. We create goals for the class as to how many points we want to reach. This has added to the excitement of every student earning individual points and students are encouraging others to succeed. Students work together to figure how many more points they need to reach their daily, weekly, monthly goals. Some students do lose points for not following classroom expectations, but when this does occur these students have a positive support system behind them. You can check out the Class Dojo Blog for other success stories like mine.

Another problem that I see with Class Dojo, is that it lacks complexity.  Students are simply ranked and judged, without any thought to the reasoning behind their actions.  As Joe Bower stated, misbehaviour from students is generally caused by a much more complex, underlying problem. Rather than contributing to points being awarded or taken away, these should be seen as teachable moments.  Class Dojo allows teachers to make one-click assessments without considering why children are acting the way that they do and what supports they might need.

Well I know I would never do something like that. I make notes of students who deserve positive and negative points. If I am concerned for a student I may talk to him/her later and address the issue. I only want to use Class Dojo as a communication tool, where students can see their daily experiences right in front of them. I can then have a more specific look into the student’s behaviours and the skills they are learning. If the same “negative” behaviours keep popping up I would then address those. I like how these reports can be saved and used for parent-teacher conferences and weekly emails to the families. You can check out more information here.

Finally, I have some concerns that have come from the parents regarding the privacy of the information being stored about their students.  The New York Times’ article “Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo and Other Tracking Apps for School Children” outlines some this concerns.  The data stored about students can lead to potential labelling of them by future teachers as “problem students.”  The article also stated that Sam Chaudhary, the co-founder of ClassDojo, said his company recently updated its privacy policy to say that it does not “sell, lease or share your (or children’s) personal information to any third party” for advertising or marketing.  Even though the data is owned by the user, as a teacher we must be cautious that the data is not displayed publicly.  We also must acknowledge that parents do not want labels put on their child as early as Kindergarten.  Students should be learning from their actions, not simply being awarded a point or having one taken from them.

Here is is the updated terms and privacy. There is now a 3-step Student Data Protection Policy where Class Dojo only stores minimal information on students, there are no permanent records stored on this app, Class Dojo deletes inactive accounts after a year. Another great feature is that there is no advertising, Class Dojo doesn’t send any personal information to third parties. Parents and teachers are also in control they can remove any information at any time.  I realize we don’t want our students to be labeled as problem children and I think in avoiding that is how you label your goal behaviours keeping them broad but attainable. Students would be able to achieve these goals easily.

Scritch Scratch

Here is Hot Mess
This was ridiculously hard! I was honestly just playing around and I was like okay this is kinda cool. Scratch I think is quite user friendly for people who are into coding and somewhat tech savy. I would introduce this site to me students if this was something that they were interested in. I like how Doug Belshaw broke down coding for me. I agree that coding can teach problem solving skills because I had to play around with tools to get my desired effect. This could definitely build digital confidence if you have a passion for this kind of of thing. But I also think this could also frustrate students and discourage them. Okay this is cool, I know this Frozen theme would definitely interest many younger students. I didn’t know there were so many influential people supporting code like Barack Obama, Shakira and Karli Kloss.

I think coding could be great for learning digital literacy, problem solving, and incorporating math and arts education. I would have to become a lot more confident before I would introduce this to my class though.

Yoga Poses

I have been doing all this yoga but have no idea what the poses are named and what they are good for. YogaJournal has been killing it with great articles. Check out these poses for strength, you boys can do these as well. Common ones that I find myself doing are Downward Facing Dog, Extended Side Angle, Extended Triangle, Four-limbed staff, Plank, and Warrior (1-3). These poses are great for all abilities and stretch parts of your body that you didn’t know could be stretched. I have learned so much and had a ton of fun learning vinyasa yoga online. With this project winding down I think I am going to finish off with teaching a yoga class online!

Downward Facing Dog

Unsaved Preview DocumentPhoto Credit: B.Hbers via Compfight cc

One of yoga’s most widely recognized yoga poses, Downward Facing Dog, offers the ultimate all-over, rejuvenating stretch.

Extended Side Angle


Find length in your side body, from your heel to your fingertips with Extended Side Angle Pose.


Extended Triangle


Extended Triangle Pose is an important standing pose in many styles of yoga.


Four Limbed- Staff


This pose works on your core and triceps and is frequent in sun salutation practices.




Nurture your love-hate relationship with Plank Pose. A beginner’s best friend, it’s the perfect precursor to more challenging arm balances. This pose it great for your core.

Yoga Sesh

I have been feeling so blah lately and wanted to spice up my workout routine. So I found Tara Stiles, she is a model turned yoga master. She is the creator and owner of Strala, a movement system that ignites freedom. This practice is used all over the world in studios, gyms and clubs. I just came across her videos on youtube and tried a couple. I liked that they were short and sweet. 8 minutes for a full body practice, 10 minutes for lower body, and 5 minutes for core everybody has time for that! I was worried that I wouldn’t be challenged or it would be too advanced for me but it was great. I did these videos consecutively and actually worked up a sweat. I guess my only concern is these videos don’t really break down the poses for you so you have to know what they are going in. These videos would be more for intermediate to advanced people.

Yoga and Wine

This is a combination of champions. Here are the reasons why these we need wine and yoga.

1. It’s all about doing what feels good.

Part of a yoga practice emphasizes focusing on what feels good for the body. And learning what type of wine to enjoy contributes to the same process. I also believe that the perfectly paired wine compliments a meal in a way that nothing else can. It’s all about finding a balance and doing what feels good.

2. There’s an opportunity for exploration.

I enjoy everything about a good glass of wine. The process of choosing a bottle of wine for the evening is like choosing what style of yoga to practice during the day.

You could choose a vigorous vinyasa and a full-bodied Bordeaux. Or a Yin or restorative class that’s more mellow like a glass of Grenache. There there is a lightly heated intermediate style practice and the flavour of a well-balanced Pinot Noir.

3. You feel connected to the energy of others.

One of the ways to practice yoga is with a family member, friend or loved one on the mat. This is also a favorite way to enjoy some vino!

Similarly, to share in the enjoyment of a beautiful wine with others only enhances the experience. To connect with others through the pleasures of life, be it yoga, wine, or amazing food, is to contribute positively to your own life and theirs.

4. A healthy lifestyle is established.

It’s well known that yoga helps foster a healthy lifestyle. From building strength to relinquishing stress, yoga can contribute to your wellness. There is plenty of research that indicates a glass of wine can contribute positively to your health. Studies have shown that drinking a glass of wine promotes longevity and is also good for your heart. Science also says that red wine consumption can help you lose weight. Everything in moderation helps contribute to your health, so practice yoga without going overboard and drink wine without doing so in excess and you’ll achieve a life well-balanced.

5. You can enjoy yoga and wine just about anywhere!

It’s fun to travel and experience different yoga studios, classes, techniques and instructors around the world. It’s also wonderful to go on a wine tasting or try different regions and varietals while abroad. Always recommend yoga first, hydrate second, enjoy food and wine third.

When traveling either for business or pleasure, we can continue to live healthfully, happily and balanced by seeking out new experiences in the world of yoga and that of wine. Be inquisitive, adventurous and explore both! There’s actually no real rule that says to be a yogi you can’t enjoy the pleasures of wine, so stop and smell the grapes!

Photo Credit: C. VanHook Images (vanhookc) via Compfight cc19crimes

Videos You All Need to Watch

tv screen

Check out these videos because I love all of them. They are classified as the best videos of 2015 so far, what do you think? I think that these can help teacher and students. My favourite ones are the Plato’s Cave, Growth Mindset, and the one where the professor fights with himself on the projector. Are there any videos that you have found? Any past goodies you’d like to share?

Photo Credit: cainmark via Compfight cc