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School for the Homeless

14 Apr


I absolutely LOVE Ellen and watch her videos on YouTube every once in a while when I miss the show. The other day I came across this video and was completely inspired. All the children at this school are homeless in some way, shape or form. This is a huge risk factor that children have to deal with and a lot of schools do not take the time to help the students in the way they need. Even worse, a lot of school may not even know if a child in their class is homeless. However this school is different from the norm. They provide needs such as clothes and food for the children so that they can have the opportunity to have an education without having to worry about where they will find their next meal. This school is so amazing and I hope that in the future there will be more like it.

Tech Task #7

14 Apr

Hello everyone – I know, I know, this is very late! I made it a month ago and forgot to put it up…oooops!! Anyway, it is VERY silly and goofy!! Don’t feel that you need to listen to it unless you have to!!

Final Review of My Learning Project

11 Apr

This learning journey was a lot harder than I expected it to be…learning a new language is no piece of cake! I am nowhere near fluent in Spanish, but I am so glad that I chose this as my learning project because I now know basic words and phrases that will help me on my trip to Ecuador this summer which was my goal! I am also taking a Spanish Emersion class which I found out about on the internet in the first week I am there which will help me increase my ability to speak Spanish. Anyway,  as a final post about my learning project, I want to list everything I have learned thus far!

At first of course, I started with the most simplest of things: The alphabet! Spanish uses the same letters as us but they have different pronunciations. This was an easy first step into Spanish.

I then learned my numbers. This is also a pretty basic step, but very important especially when I will be buying items from the local merchants in Ecuador. Here are the numbers I learned:

  • 0 – cero
  • 1 –uno
  • 2 –dos
  • 3 –tres
  • 4 –cuatro
  • 5 –cinco
  • 6 –seis
  • 7 –siete
  • 8 –ocho
  • 9 –nueve
  • 10- diez
  • 11 -once
  • 12 -doce
  • 13 -trece
  • 14 -catorce
  • 15 -quince
  • 16 -dieciséis
  • 17 -diecisiete
  • 18 -dieciocho
  • 19 -diecinueve
  • 20 -veinte
  • 21 -veintiuno
  • 22 -veintidós
  • 23 -veintitrés
  • 24 -veinticuatro
  • 25 -veinticinco
  • 26 -veintiséis
  • 27 -veintisiete
  • 28 -veintiocho
  • 29 -veintinueve
  • 30 -treinta
  • 40 -cuarenta
  • 50 -cincuenta
  • 60 -sesenta
  • 70 -setenta
  • 80 -ochenta
  • 90 -noventa

I also learned a lot of general phrases I would be using on my trip such as hola (hello), adios  (goodbye), por favor (please), gracious (thank you), de nada (you’re welcome),  lo siento (I’m sorry), esta bein (it’s OK),  buenos noches (good night), buenos dias (good morning), señor (sir/mister) señora (madame), señorita (miss) and hablas ingles? (do you speak English?).

My one online lesson taught me a bunch of Spanish adjectives. These can be useful when trying to describe something in my volunteer work or during the adventure part of my tour. I cannot yet remember all of them on the spot, but I have posted them around my house so that I get better practise! These are the ones I have been practising…

  • antipático- unpleasant
  • bonito- pretty
  • bueno- good/well
  • cómodo- comfortable
  • contento- happy/glad
  • enfermo- sick, ill
  • feo- ugly
  • grande- big
  • limpio- clean
  • malo- bad
  • nervioso- nervous
  • simpático- pleasant, nice
  • sucio- dirty
  • tranquilo- calm
  • viejo – old

During my stay in Ecuador I will be staying in a local families home for a week. I thought because of this that it would be smart to learn a few names of places and things in la casa (the house) so that when they are showing me around I will be able to recognize the names or in case I need to ask directions to a certain room like the bathroom. I learned la cocina (the kitchen), la cuarto de bano (the bathroom), el telephono (the telephone), la mesa (the table), la peurta (the door) and la silla (the chair).

I also learned colors in Spanish! This was more for fun than anything! The colours are as following:

  • negro- black
  • blanco- white
  • verde- green
  • azul- green
  • cafe- brown
  • gris- grey
  • rojo- red
  • rosado- pink
  • amarillo- yellow
  • anaranajado- orange

Although all these words are helpful, they do not help me to make a complete thought. In order to do this, I had to learn verbs! The first and most important one I learnt was estar and ser. Both these words mean “to be”. You must be thinking what I first though when I saw this…how can two words mean the same thing! Even thought these words mean the same thing in English, they have distinctly different meanings in Spanish. Ester is used when describing temporary aspects of objects whereas ser is used to describe things that are more permanent. The conjugations of the verbs are as following:

  • ser – to be

  • yo soy -I am
  • tú eres- you are
  • usted/él/ella es -you (formal)/he/she is
  • nosotros somos- we are
  • vosotros sois- you (familiar plural) are
  • ustedes/ellos/ellas son- you (formal plural)/they (male)/they (female) are
  • estar – to be

  • yo estoy- I am
  • tú estás- you are
  • usted/él/ella está- you (formal)/he/she is
  • nosotros estamos- we are
  • vosotros estáis- you (familiar plural) are
  • ustedes/ellos/ellas están-you (formal plural)/they (male)/they (female) are

After learning these complicated (for me!) verb forms, I was ready to make sentences! I was so excited to do so that I was texting my mom and sister Spanish sentences for the rest of the day! Of course this is only the present tense so my sentence making abilities are limites, but I now know enough to be able to get across simple thoughts to the local people  in Ecuador which was my goal! Here are some of the sentences I like to use the most:

  • Hola! Yo soy Brenna! – Hello! I am Brenna!
  • Soy de Canada. – I am from Canada.
  • Mama, tú eres bonita! – Mom, you are pretty! (My mom especially liked this one!)
  • La ceuro de bain está en la casa- The bathroom is in the house.

This is not everything, but a basic run-through of a few of the things I have learned. I hope to keep increasing my Spanish vocabulary slowly by steadily.  I know it will expand greatly while being forced to use Spanish in Ecuador! This was a great idea for a project and I am so glad that I chose to do option B because it helped prepare me for my trip plus I learned skills on where and how to self teach using technology. I want to thank Alec for this awesome opportunity!

Below are a few of my favourite resources. I guarantee they will help you if you would like to learn a few new Spanish words!

Race Controversy in “The Hunger Games”

1 Apr

I’m sure that if you have been watching any sort of social media lately that you have heard about the hit book trilogy turned into a movie called The Hunger Games. I am a HUGE fan of the books (yes, some of you may roll your eyes!) but these books are more than just a teen craze. These books teach a lot about how society and media can control us and puts the topic into an interesting perspective that children and adults alike can understand. I have even heard of some schools using them as a novel study in the classroom because of these reasons. If you have read the books, please feel free to comment on how you think these books could be either detrimental or helpful teaching resource in the classroom.

What I really want to talk about however is the recent controversy that has come up over the movie. One of the most sought over scenes of the movie was when Katniss and Rue become alliances and Katniss tries to save Rue from an almost inevitable death. This scene is definitely a tear jerker, but apparently the casting of  Amandla Stenberg made it not so much so. After watching the movie, the following was tweeted on a Hunger Games fan page: “Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad. #ihatemyself.” Yes. That’s right. This girl is saying that a twelve-year-old girl being killed by the government by the hands another child is not sad because she was BLACK!! This was only one of many other comments made about the movie casting black actors, even though the novels clearly states that the characters have dark skin and eyes.

I know this is just a movie, but it shows the racism that is still rooted so deep in many individuals. This makes me so sad to think of my future students who will be of many backgrounds, races, cultures and beliefs. I want to create a classroom where everyone feels welcome, but this task seems to be a huge one with comments like this floating around in the air. I know that everyone has stereotypes. It is something that we are raised to believe, however posting these racial comments publicly takes the hate to a whole different level. What is your take on this issue? If an issue like this was brought up in class how would you handle it?

If you would like to read more about the issue, I would suggest reading the article in the link below.


Connected Learning

1 Apr

So I have finally gave in and got Twitter!! (Better late than ever) One reason I finally decided to get twitter was the help it gives me on my learning project! I am following Learn10Spanish which tweets ten new Spanish words for me to learn every day! Unfotunetly it stopped tweeting a while ago, but I still have lots of words to catch up on.I wish I would have done this sooner, but I am glad that I have done it now! If anyone has any other Spanish pages for me to follow let me know!

For now, here are my 10 words of the day!

no:no (wow, good word Learn10Spanish…..)










Tech Task #10

29 Mar

For this tech task, we were asked to explore two similar yet incredibly different internet teaching tools: Edmodo and Schoology. Both tools have a Facebook feel where teachers can post assignments, grades, polls, and discussions for the students. I had fun exploring these tools with my class partner Rachel and feel that they could really benefit me in my future teaching career!

We first looked at the website Edmodo. Our first impression was how much it looked like Facebook! However, this website was much safer than Facebook because the student could only join the group with a code that the teacher gives them. It was a simple design which made it easy to use. We felt that this would be a better option for elementary students since it was simple and only allowed one teacher to the group. The parent option was also great; each parent would be given a code that would allow them to see their own child’s grades, due dates and school functions. (Although the students may not like that their parents have such easy access to their grades!) However, we did find it very hard to find the parent code which was hidden quite well! Over all, Emodo was a useful tool.

Schoology was similar to Edmodo, but a bit more complicated and it also offered a few more options. The best thing about Schoology was that it had the option to add multiple courses, which was something that Edmodo did not have. This is a great option for somebody in highschool or university who would have multiple teachers. We also liked how when joining Schoology, a guided tour was given so that we knew how to find a majority of things on the website. This was also something that Edmodo was missing. Overall, the other options such as getting codes for access and parent options were similar to Edmodo.

As an elementary teacher, I prefer Edmodo just because it would be a lot simpler for younger students to use. I also would not need the option of adding other courses since I would be teaching them the majority of the courses myself. I really think I could get some use out of this in the future, and the best part is it’s free!!

Making Progress!!

20 Mar

Seeing that I have found it hard to sit down and learn Spanish on a daily (or sometimes every weekly!) basis, I had to do some creative thinking on how I could learn better. I decided that I have to multi-task! My res room has become a Spanish room. I spent some time making labels in Spanish for things around my house so that every time I pass them I am reminded of what they are in Spanish. For example, my room is labeled as el cuarto and my door as la perta. I also posted lists of words and numbers in places that I spend the most time. My mirror has the numbers uno tonoventaneuveon it so every time I do my hair I have to recite the numbers. This makes it a lot easier in this busy month to find time! I still do not know as much as I would like to, but slow and steady wins the race!

Here are some pics of where I posted the words around my appartment.