Inspiration

Recently, as part of one module – we had to look at religious stories and how they are portrayed in the media.

Though the module has ended one story which has since caught my eye and attention is Stephanie Kurlow, a 14 year old from Australia who is wishes to become the first Muslim Hijab Ballerina.


 

Why this news report caught my attention was down to Stephanie dedication to become a ballet dancer despite the difficulties encountered while wearing her hijab.  The dedication involved in perfecting ballet is one of awe.

Seeing how even from the above picture how physically demanding ballet is – it’s inspiring to see how people can love their passion despite the hardships involved.


Students are currently preparing and undertaking their mocks. Additionally, the students not in examination years are preparing for their next major exams – summer.

While reflecting on the dedication and passion of ballet dancers – it is good to remind students similar to ballet dancers to do a little everyday. This means going over topics which may not have been revised in a while.

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Key skills – Being Creative

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One of the key skills on the Junior Certificate is Being Creative.

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The key elements in regards to Being Creative are:

1.  Imagining
2.  Exploring options and alternatives
3.  Implementing ideas and taking action
4.  Learning creatively
5.  Stimulating creativity using digital technology.

Keeping this in mind – I want to look at Web 2.0 tolls which might fit into this theme of Being Creative!

 


 

@PowToon

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1.Imagining

4.Learning creatively

5.Stimulating creativity using digital technology.

 

Powtoon is a creative tool which I think fits this category of the Key Skills perfectly! Though I have only been using @PowToon recently – I find it has allowed be to be very creative and interactive with my lessons.

I have made three Powtoons so far and each has been easy to create and use in the classroom. No ads, no huge long trail, easy demo and best of all engages the students!

So far, it’s been a huge hit with the students as they are amazed that they can create a shirt video and have different elements come in at certain times. (Santa waving has been a huge hit with 1st years)

Additionally, I feel it’s also a great starting point if you are doing multimedia with a class as sometimes they are overwhelmed using Windows moviemakrer and other editing online products.


 

@historyepics

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These are two web 2.0 tools I would highly encourage use of if trying to embrace the key skills into the classroom if teaching history.

According to the Key skills document:

Photos can be used in language classes, History, Geography, and lots of subjects to develop students’ capacity to imagine what it would be like to be in that moment. You might use historic images of people and events, or current images of people who are experiencing challenges or triumphs and ask students to imagine what they would think, feel and do if they were in the picture. Students might choose a character from a photograph and take on the role. Other class members can then question them in role. Or each group might be given a photo mounted on a large sheet of paper and then write what they think the character in the photo might be thinking and feeling.

Fiat Chrysler is Giving Free College Tuition to Employees’ Spouses and Kids

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This image provoked many raised eyebrows. For those of you who don’t know the background to this image is of graduating students displaying how much debt they are in upon graduating from an American university. Though they may have had the best education in the world – the debt they are in is questionable.

However, on the flip side – Starbucks and Fiat Chrylser are giving free college tuition to families which can offer a lifeline to some students.  Source: Fiat Chrysler is Giving Free College Tuition to Employees’ Spouses and Kids

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with the cost of American tuition here is a blog on the top 10 most expensive colleges in america. Source: https://blog.4tests.com/top-10-most-expensive-colleges-in-america-are-they-worth-it/

 

Christmas?

Another airport blog about Religious Education! No shortage of inspiration today while waiting for planes.

@HeathrowAirport there is a sense of Christmas in the air with seasonal Eggnog and gingerbread flavoured lattes! There is also a hint of Christmas with the beautiful modern twist on the classic traditional Christmas tree!

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@DublinAirport there is Santa and Rudolph!

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This reminds me of the current debate of the new Starbucks cups released for the festive Season! However, this has caused a lot of controversy and backlash! (if you have not heard about the this current debate http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/35232/20151121/starbucks-holiday-cup.htm here you go!)


 

The link between @HeathrowAirport, @DublinAirport and @Starbucks for this post and Education is – how do we respect Religions in the public sphere?

Christmas is one of the biggest commercial times of year and one of the most well known times of year for Religious reasons. Yet, there is always controversy around this time due to the cross over between commercial Christmas and yet it’s foundations lay in Religion.

This has promoted me to question should we say Happy Christmas as opposed to Happy Holidays?

This is an age old debate since the phrase has come into existence. We acknowledge how Christmas has come about through this comment and we can see it as a positive phrase where

 

Christmas Music

Christmas Music

Many schools are beginning to prepare their Christmas Carols.

If you’re starting to prepare and unsure of what could be used here a few suggestions you may find helpful.

 

If you have students who are interested in pitch perfect – maybe try and encourage them to do a Christmas acapella version of Christmas classics!

Additionally, this modern twist may attract some shy singers who don’t want the limelight. Also, it will spice up the usual Christmas Carol and give an interesting twist to those Christmas Concerts and Masses.

 

Resource

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New resources I have been trying out which I recommended any teacher to try out!

-studyclix (free upgrades for teachers)

-wordpress.com

-powtoon(there was an offer on for a free account, not sure if it’ still going)

-edmodo(connect with classes and save time photocopying. Also, I’ve found putting up the clips or powerpoints I have used in class is helping students revise and create discussion outside of the classroom.)

-21classes (blogging sphere for students. Mixed feelings on this. Look for a post on it later in the week!)

Winter foods

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Today 2pm looked like 11pm. Pitch black darkness.

Winter is defiantly here – the little bit of Indian Summer we had is well and truly over now.

However, how do you keep healthy during these cold darkening months?

Food plays a huge part of our lives – especially when in school. Teachers and students alike are in school usually from half eight in the morning until four or five in the evening depending on how long it takes to return home thus food is important!


Healthy Foods to eat during winter!

greens

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens, such as kale, chard and collards, thrive in the chill of winter when the rest of the produce section looks bleak. In fact, a frost can take away the bitterness of kale. These greens are particularly rich in vitamins A, C and K. Collards, mustard greens and escarole are also excellent sources of folate, important for women of childbearing age.

citrus fruit

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, are at their juiciest in the wintertime and can add sunshine to the dreary winter. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C—one medium orange delivers more than 100 percent of your daily dose.

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Winter Squash

There are many varieties of winter squash—including butternut, acorn, delicata and spaghetti squash—and they are all excellent choices in the winter. One cup of cooked winter squash has few calories (around 80) but is high in both vitamin A (214 percent of the recommended daily value) and vitamin C (33 percent), as well as being a good source of vitamins B6 and K, potassium and folate.


Mistakes happen!

Recently we were looking at how mistakes can occur in the classroom and it is normal for them to occur. More often than not people fret when mistakes happen. However, we are human, mistakes can happen. It is how we deal with them that is important.

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How we “hang on” in these crisis moments defines us as people. For example, the dreaded moment as a teacher when you’ve realised that those handouts you made for the class are sitting on a desk in the staffroom. Do you risk running back to fetch them or continue on? You have seconds to decide what to do. (However, hindsight is a wonderful thing when realise you could have sent a student to get the handouts.) You take action and plough on – however inside your hanging on for the whole lesson hoping everything will work out well. This, however, does not always work out as smoothly as you would wish. It is those moments feel like an eternity. You start to question will this class ever end? Both you and the students come out of the class restless and exhausted.

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However, everybody deserves a second chance to pick themselves up as the quote goes: It’s not how many times you fall that matters, it’s how many times you get back up.


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Links to other blogs which explored how mistakes in the classroom are normal. Even if you do not wish to read blogs (you should though!!!!!!!!!!!), look closely at the titles and you can see how failure and making mistakes are not to be viewed as negatives – they are a chance to learn and grow!

  1. Loving this blog on how failure can lead to success – great resource!
  2. Mistakes are a learning curve! Important to remember.
  3. Mistakes an Opportunity to learn.