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Jun 25, 2013

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You Tube Discoveries

My oh my. I never knew You Tube could be so informative! I always used it for just music, but these past few weeks, I’ve discovered a treasure trove of documentaries, learning videos and informative material. This is definitely a wonderful addition to any techie teacher’s resources! I found a couple of videos that I can use for my psychology classes. Lucky for me, our classrooms have wifi that can stream the videos on demand! Woohoo.

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Jun 25, 2013

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Lady Luck’s Best Friend.

Last week, I kinda lost my temper in class because my students were, well, being students.  There they were again being rowdy and noisy and at the end of the day, they found a way to push me to my limits. It wasn’t the noise that got me, but really the attitude and the way they look at working for their grades.  Sometimes it feels to me that they don’t really care much and that they expect some stroke of luck to just shine down on them and make them learn all the things they need to learn and get good grades. I keep telling them that while luck is a great charm to have, they need to make friends with lady luck’s best friend: hard work. After all, even if you have really expensive us gold coins or even certified mints for a coin toss, you can only push your luck so far.

yes, this is a random teacher rant that probably doesn’t make clear sense. haha

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Jun 20, 2013

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The Benefits of Mixing Technology and Education

The following is a guest post by Ted Levin.

Image Source – educationnews.org

Image Source – educationnews.org

Despite my youth I find myself to be quite an old soul who rebels against eReaders in favor of paper books. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology’s innovations through online media, blogging, and the instant information available.

But there’s no better feeling than holding a book in your hands, the fresh smell of crisp pages, and the ability to write little notes in the page margins. Yes, I write in my own books. In college, one of my favorite professors emphatically told me, “You must write in your book to own it! Write in it, interact with the text, and learning will become easier.”

Experience lends me with a natural distaste for online reading, but due to technological advancements in today’s age I have surprisingly found myself more open to growing trend of online education. This sounds impossible, but let me explain.

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May 25, 2013

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Welcome AY 2013-2014!

It’s just about that time of the year again, at least here in the Philippines, that most students are getting ready to head back to school. Schools utilizing a trimestral system, such as the University I teach in, start classes on Monday, while other “regular” schools start out around the second week of June. Nonetheless, as early as now bookstores are filling up with parents and their students buying school supplies already, the department store displays all carry the theme “Back-to-School” and the students I teach are starting  to take their belongings out of student storage and are starting to head back to their dormitories or condominiums.

It’s an exciting yet anxiety provoking time for students and teachers alike, I’m sure! I would think this is especially heightened for incoming freshmen who will be moving away from home for the first time to live nearer campus or in the dorms. Here are some suggestions to help make the transition easier:

  1. Come into the dormitories/on campus housing a few days before classes actually begin. This can provide the necessary time one needs to settle in and get a “feel” for their new home.
  2. Take time to explore. Check out the different facilities and nooks and crannies of your new environment. See what you connect to and where you can go when you need space or time for relaxation, etcetera.
  3. Join a club/gym/center. Depending on your interest, find a center that will cater to that hobby or interest. Like yoga? Sign up for classes in a studio near by. Having this space to take care of yourself and get to know other people will allow you to create a support system for yourself.
  4. Set up your dorm/room to feel homey. I think this is pretty self-explanatory :)
  5. Invest in a good internet provider. Why? Not just for homework and research, but so you can contact family via Skype/Facetime :)

Any other suggestions you can think of? Feel free to comment. Have a great school year ahead!

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May 21, 2013

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Oh Dropbox, You’re Amazing :)

I have recently rediscovered the amazingness of Dropbox :) I’ve had an account for some time now, but because I still was on the first generation iPad and my classroom didn’t have such a great internet connection, it was frustrating for me. However, since I upgraded to iPhone5 and my school’s system is much better, I am beginning to really enjoy the wonder that is known as Dropbox. It has allowed me to be more efficient with sharing files with my students and colleagues, and allows for access to my personal files anytime, anywhere :) I even got to use it to share photos with a friend of mine that I took on my phone when we went to the beach. It was easy, peasy sharing! As compared to email, which takes a long time to attach, this was quick. Sure there were a few delays when my internet signal dropped, but all in all, it was great :)

As a teacher, I like how dropbox makes file sharing and storing very simple. The space allotted for a free account is good enough too, although if you really want to keep your files there for long, you may want to follow simple steps to upgrade your storage allotment. Most of them are free too :)

Dropbox is definitely another one of those tools for the techie teacher! :) Check out and sign up for dropbox here: http://db.tt/ehxlNVEP

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May 21, 2013

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Tools for the Techie Teacher!

I think I have written about several tools for the techie teacher in the past, but I can’t remember what they were anymore! Haha. As such, I shall make this a new category on my blog to be able to help out other teachers like me.

For today, my featured tool is the headset microphone from musicians friend. I’ve tried different versions of headset microphones with portable speakers in class, and it really helps, especially when my classes are large. I even used it for a yoga class once. It saves me from having to exert too much effort to speak up especially in rooms where the acoustics are not that great. These kinds of microphones are definitely an amazing addition to any teachers arsenal :)

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May 8, 2013

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Summer Activities

Summertime is usually one of the busiest times of the school year. While the students may be on vacation from their regular classes, this is when they are enrolled in a whole bunch of other extra curricular activities. While some still come in for reading and math tutorials, many of the younger ones come in for trial runs for the upcoming school year. Older students come in for summer camps, some of which can include art, music an movement activities. Here are a few great ideas for summer activities:

1. Clean and Green – environmental awareness. Can include planting, composting and recycling activities
2. Rainbow Art – this can be done through tie dying projects (and the summer heat is perfect for drying up these art works easily even when you need your dryer repaired like I did hahaha) or paint popsicle art (freeze some poster color into popsicle crayons and let the kids loose on the sidewalk!)
3. Treasure Hunt – check out my previous post for map sample :)
4. Animal Parade
5. Seed art

These are pretty straightforward and simple activities :) Any other suggestions?

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May 8, 2013

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Treasure Hunting!

In my last kids yoga class, we went on a treasure hunt. I hadn’t planned on making a map or what not, but five minutes before class this suddenly came to fruition! Not the best drawing, but the kids loved it :) I was able to incorporate a quick math lesson, a science exploration and even a language building activity in the yoga class. This, my dear, is what a preschool teacher is all about :) I’ve missed it!

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Apr 3, 2013

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The Sounds of Summer

The summer heat is beginning to scorch and it’s that time of the year again where kids have no more classes and their parents are starting to scratch their heads thinking of what to do with them for the next two months or so.

One of the many suggestions I give parents for their kids is to enroll them in an activity that does not have anything to do with academics. After all, they have a whole school year of that. I tell them music and movement classes, for one, is a really good thing for their kids to explore. They can even gather up a few kids from the neighborhood hire a tutor or teacher to come to the house or to the clubhouse and they can do whatever lessons or activities together. All they really need is space, a music player (such as an ipod with a portable bluetooth speaker) and makeshift instruments (they don’t really have to be the real deal or be the best percussion instruments). This has the makings of a great summer.

So, allow your kids to explore the sounds of summer :) In the next few days I will give other suggestions for activities for kids :)

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Mar 30, 2013

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Congratulations, Graduates!

It’s just about that time of the year again when we congratulate the students who move on to the next phase in their lives as they graduate from whatever level they are in :) For those in college (then again for all levels, I guess) this is a major turning point.

One of the things I wish for this years graduates is that they find what they really want to do in life. As I said in my positive psychology class the other day, I wish they find what makes their hearts sing. Whether they want to pursue a career in the field they finished or if they want to become one of those dj mixers, or even a stylist or what not, I wish they find that connection and pursue what makes them happy.

Here’s to the graduates :)

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