G.Y.M. (Growing Young Movers)

23 Jan

Hello again everyone!

Tonight I had the wonderful experience of participating in a night of Growing Young Movers and I must say that I had the most wonderful time! I am not even trying to be cheesy; this program is excellent for teaching young children to manipulate their bodies and move towards control. A lot of children in the program are children of educators which goes to show that they believe the program is worthwhile, too. After tonight, I would definitely enroll my own child (if I had any…) in a program like this.

You may ask “OK….what is it that is so good about this program you are bragging up anyway?” The number one thing I loved about the program itself was the way it took actual sports that these children will grow up to learn and modified them into a game that was developmental, age appropriate and most of all fun. For example; one of the games we played involved a gym mat being placed standing up between two students who were between the ages of four and six. These students then were handed a balloon. The aim of the game is to volley the balloon back and forth with one another over the matt as many times as possible. What a great way to introduce and build skills that lead towards the sport of volleyball! These children are learning to use hand-eye coordination with the slow-moving balloon, volleying by passing back and forth and teamwork by working with the person on the other side. This is way better than handing a volleyball and a regulation net to a group of young students and expecting them to have fun or be successful with a game that is way above their level. This game had the children laughing the whole time while still teaching the critical movement skills outlined in the Saskatchewan curriculum. Plus, it was so easy to set up and monitor; any teacher could do it. AMAZING!

G.Y.M. has inspired me. I am hoping I will get to teach phys.ed. in my classroom so I can use not only the things I saw tonight but also the many more at the G.Y.M. website. With fewer children getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day, we need more programs like Growing Young Movers to not only motivate students but to teach them these critical movement skills so that they can be active for life.

I hope the rest of you have as much of a blast as I did tonight 🙂

Fitness Goals for the Year

18 Jan


In the new year I have decided to get back to the gym and works towards the fitness goals I seem to have forgotten in the past four months. However, as most of you know, starting over again is never easy. Especially when the choice you have is either getting an extra hour of sleep or dying in a pool of sweat…Anyways, my friend and gym buddy Karissa showed me the little quote you see above. It not only motivated me but also put things into perspective: you are never going to see results immediately. Sure, I feel great after I work out, but it can be frustrating when you can’t see dramatic results right away. So when I saw this quote it kicked my butt into gear and so far my fitness goals are standing strong:)

I also thought this quote could work quite well for physical education. When we teach our students a new skill we can’t expect to see results right away. It can take weeks before we might see them improve, but the important thing is that they are learning a skill that will help them in a life time of fitness and being healthy. We as their teachers are responsible for motivating them and one way of doing that is being a role model when it comes to fitness. We ourselves need to demonstrate that we think keeping our bodies healthy is important. If we can show them this positive attitude they might just adopt that positive attitude as their own. It might take time, but we just have to keep pushing through.

So to all of my colleagues out there going through a hard time, whether it be in physical education, your own fitness goals, or anywhere else in life, keep going. One day soon you will see the results you have been working so hard towards. I believe in you!

Outcome Based Curriculum

16 Jan

In this past year I have learned tons about the outcome based curriculum and have also heard lots of opinions on it as well; it’s great, it’s frustrating, it’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard…as I said the opinions are endless. My opinion on it, however, is more at a neutral stance seeing that it is the only curriculum I have known as a pre-service teacher.

I find the outcome based curriculum structured yet free at the same time. It gives you instruction on what you need to be able to teach your students(the outcome) yet it lets you as the teacher decide in what way you are going to do this (the indicators). I love how the indicators give you direction on different ways you can go about teaching the outcome and how you can tell if the student in understanding, yet you can create your own indicators if the ones in the curriculum do not fit with how you want to teach the outcome. It gives us the freedom as educators to put a bit of ourselves and our originality into a lesson.

The one thing I do not like about the outcome based curriculum is the language it uses. A lot of the outcomes seem wordy and a bit cofusing to me at first read before I take a deeper look. Also, the language within the outcomes and indicators mostly look for knowledge and comprehnsion based learning. The language the curriculum uses rarely shows support towards other types of learning such as application, analysis, synthesis or evaluation. So the question I have is what is the otcome based curriculum asking of our children if all it is directing us to do is to teach knoweldge but not how to use it?

Back to Blogging!

16 Jan

Well hello there world!

Yes, the news you’ve been hearing is true…Brenna is back to the blogging world! I know it has been a long time (almost a year…how embarrassing…) but I have finally sat down to wirte another post! Well I guess I should be honest with you…the reason I am back blogging is because of the EPE (Elementary Physical Education) class I am taking. It is a class requirement. However, this does not mean that I am not excited to be back! I am actually super glad that this is a class assignment because the truth is lately I have been wanting somewhere to talk out some thoughts and here on my blog is the perfect place to do it! So let’s hope that this time it lasts longer than a semester!

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!