Please Participate

Happy snow day!!! I am sure we have all heard of the freshman 15. Well I certainly surpassed that when I was in college. It wasn’t until I was working as a third grade teacher and the school I was working in decided to have a weight loss challenge, that I realized how I lost control. I am 6′3 and at the time I weighted over 270 lbs (that’s being kind). I never realized how overweight I was until I stepped on the scale for my official weigh in. It was eye opening. From then on I started working out more. I started out by focusing on weight lose. Over 6 months I was able to get down to 200 lbs. I always lifted weights in high school in college, so now that I was down to a reasonable weight I focused on lifting. It has been 3 years, and a few herniated discs, but I am still exercising. I realize now how much better I feel about myself, and the energy I have because I exercise. I know we are all busy with work, family, and class but I would ask everyone to participate in exercise this week. It could be running, walking, rowing, or lifting weights. I could barely run around the block when I started, or do a push up. Challenge yourself and don’t just walk on the treadmill. Try high intensity intervals. Alternate walking and running for one minute intervals. I remember reading that someone does triathlons so maybe something a little more challenging. I attached a link for a workout called The Murph. 

http://themurphchallenge.com/the-workout/

Interest as a young student

When I was a child I always had a special interest in dancing. I had a strong interest in dancing because it was a form of nonverbal communication, an opportunity to express my emotions without verbally communicating. It was an outlet to relieve any stressors or anxieties that I may have been facing. I remember when I was in middle school, I would not communicate as much as I should have in my classes. Although, I was an honors student, I lacked the social skills that I needed to grow as an individual.

One day, my teacher asked to speak with me after class. She heard that I enjoyed dancing and wanted me to help her form a dance group. At first I was apprehensive, I knew I can dance but I was not sure how I would be leading a group. After forming and helping lead the dance group, I became more sociable and through my teacher’s mentorship I began to develop leadership qualities that helped me become a better student.  I appreciate her taking the time to identify my gifts and interest, because of her believing and trusting in my leadership capabilities, many doors of opportunities were opened that I may not have had if I was not exposed to that experience.

The morale of my story is that, as educators if we take the time to invest in children and spark their interest with something they can relate to, we can reach more students and become more connected in our learning environments.

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Interest as a young student

When I was a child I always had a special interest in dancing. I had a strong interest in dancing because it was a form of nonverbal communication, an opportunity to express my emotions without verbally communicating. It was an outlet to relieve any stressors or anxieties that I may have been facing. I remember when I was in middle school, I would not communicate as much as I should have in my classes. Although, I was an honors student, I lacked the social skills that I needed to grow as an individual.

One day, my teacher asked to speak with me after class. She heard that I enjoyed dancing and wanted me to help her form a dance group. At first I was apprehensive, I knew I can dance but I was not sure how I would be leading a group. After forming and helping lead the dance group, I became more sociable and through my teacher’s mentorship I began to develop leadership qualities that helped me become a better student.  I appreciate her taking the time to identify my gifts and interest, because of her believing and trusting in my leadership capabilities, many doors of opportunities were opened that I may not have had if I was not exposed to that experience.

The morale of my story is that, as educators if we take the time to invest in children and spark their interest with something they can relate to, we can reach more students and become more connected in our learning environments.

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Seek 7 Sunday

1.      Since this is my first time utilizing the various social media outlets required for this course, I wanted to learn more about blogging etiquette. I found a post that was very interesting and informative. It explains the main steps needed to kick of a successful blog. http://amylynnandrews.com/how-to-blog/

2.      I would like to learn more about the connected learning experience, the information on the site is very informative and worth reviewing as it relates to our course. http://connectedlearning.tv/what-is-connected-learning.

3.      Another good website to learn more about connected learning was through the Connected Learning Alliance. The site clarified and defined the six principles of connected learning. Utilizing these principles can help bridge the gap in education. http://clalliance.org/why-connected-learning/.

4.      Since I work in higher education I was curious how connected learning principles are utilized in higher education. This video clip is about an hour long but it is worth taking a few minutes to view. One of my takeaways from this video was that trust is a major component in connected learning environments. http://connectedlearning.tv/higher-education-trusted-environment-learning

5.      As I read this blog I realize the importance of gaining as much knowledge as we can to effectively teach those who are impacted by our contributions. “Education is something that we create for ourselves” (Downes, 2010). https://teachinginthewild.wordpress.com/

6.     I aspire to one day help close the education and opportunity gap, I was intrigued by this blog as it focuses on connected learning as a pathway to equity. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2013/02/connected_learning_and_the_unclear_path_to_equity.html

7.      I enjoyed watching Dan Meyer’s Ted Talk posted in Tom Woznicki’s Find 6 Saturday. Working in higher education I see a lot of students who are not prepared to take college level math.  Meyer’s illustrations gave me a new perspective on teaching math.  https://tomwoznicki.wordpress.com/author/tomwoznicki/

Seek 7 Sunday

1.      Since this is my first time utilizing the various social media outlets required for this course, I wanted to learn more about blogging etiquette. I found a post that was very interesting and informative. It explains the main steps needed to kick of a successful blog. http://amylynnandrews.com/how-to-blog/

2.      I would like to learn more about the connected learning experience, the information on the site is very informative and worth reviewing as it relates to our course. http://connectedlearning.tv/what-is-connected-learning.

3.      Another good website to learn more about connected learning was through the Connected Learning Alliance. The site clarified and defined the six principles of connected learning. Utilizing these principles can help bridge the gap in education. http://clalliance.org/why-connected-learning/.

4.      Since I work in higher education I was curious how connected learning principles are utilized in higher education. This video clip is about an hour long but it is worth taking a few minutes to view. One of my takeaways from this video was that trust is a major component in connected learning environments. http://connectedlearning.tv/higher-education-trusted-environment-learning

5.      As I read this blog I realize the importance of gaining as much knowledge as we can to effectively teach those who are impacted by our contributions. “Education is something that we create for ourselves” (Downes, 2010). https://teachinginthewild.wordpress.com/

6.     I aspire to one day help close the education and opportunity gap, I was intrigued by this blog as it focuses on connected learning as a pathway to equity. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2013/02/connected_learning_and_the_unclear_path_to_equity.html

7.      I enjoyed watching Dan Meyer’s Ted Talk posted in Tom Woznicki’s Find 6 Saturday. Working in higher education I see a lot of students who are not prepared to take college level math.  Meyer’s illustrations gave me a new perspective on teaching math.  https://tomwoznicki.wordpress.com/author/tomwoznicki/

Find 6 Saturday

  • I found this personal story from Ian Gonsher on the connected learning website very interesting and inspiring.  The post does a great job in showing the need to connect to students to their work through projects, and building in the opportunity for students to flex their creative muscles.  I really like this quote:  “My teaching style isn’t so much about imparting knowledge (although that’s part of it), but about creating conditions where the creative process can occur”
  • I really liked Paola Ricaurte Quijano’s story, focusing on different ways to rethink technology in the learning process.  Its particularly interesting for our #ED677 classroom, as we are building a collaborative online environment here with our blogs.  Similarly, Paola’s students work is exclusively found online, and purposefully and conscientiously create content for a broader audience than their own classrooms.
  • I spent a ton of time on Dan Meyer’s blog over the last couple days.  I am working towards a career in secondary math education, and his work and insights have been very valuable.  His entire approach to revitalizing the math classroom is refreshing to read about and certainly includes a lot of ideas I will use in the future.  His TED talk is a worthwhile watch too.
  • I’m really interested in how education reform looks around the world, and think that there is a massive ongoing experiment in comparative education happening.  The internet, and connected-ness in general has made it easier to see what education looks like in all sorts of different contexts, and how different systems deal with equity in education.  Maha Bali’s entire blog, and this post specifically was a fascinating read.
  • I was reading Ryan’s Kindergarten Cop blog and found his interests as a child were pretty close to my own.  Sports are such a great mechanism for social interactions, collaboration and teamwork.  I think the role of sports can sometimes be complicated and at times problematic as we grow older, but that feeling of playing games in the street with friends is a feeling I really connected with.
  • Chris Lehmann’s blog Practical Theory really struck a chord with me.  I completed my undergraduate work in political science, so Chris’ thoughts on the intersection of current political movements and the classroom were right up my alley.  He has posts in response to racial justice issues and the role of unions, just to name a few topics.

Interests and learning

Describe an interest that you had as a young person, whether or not that interest was recognized as learning in school. Write or make something about it that you can share with others … Tell us about what might have piqued this interest. How did you pursue that interest or what did it make you think about? What and who supported you as you dove deeper? In what ways were your interests connected to school, or not? What were the implications?

As a young person, I was obsessed with any and all types of games.  When I could, I would play any sport that was available to me.  Unfortunately, growing up in Connecticut, there were about 5 months of the year when the weather forced me inside.  This allowed me to focus on video games.  In a lot of ways, games and school felt at odds with each other, especially when I was young.  Video games were certainly in competition for my attention when I had homework, and sports, though they were considered less of a distraction, had little to do with my learning at school.  Looking back, sports and video games were one of the best ways I connected with my family and friends.  My father coached me in various sports, and the time before, after, and during practices and games are very important memories.  Video games were a great way for a fairly awkward young person to connect with my siblings and have fun without destroying any furniture or landscaping.

As I grew older, sports took on an even larger part of my life.  Early in my high school career, it became clear that I could be good enough to play football in college.  My family continued to support me, by helping my train and travel.  When my school was unable to videotape my games, my mother stepped in and recorded the games herself.  My support system also grew to include friends and community members, but still, my athletic career had very little to do with my academic career.  I had teachers who urged me to focus my college interests away from sports.  For a very long time, it felt as though my most passionate interest was still at odds with my schooling and learning.  The ultimate irony was that only through football was I able to attend the school I did, and my life has been better for that experience.

Reflection on my own personal experience forced me to rethink learning and schooling from a much wider lens.  Student interest can be easy to discount as frivolous or unrelated to “serious classroom learning”, but active engagement in the classroom can make a big difference.  Beyond sports, teachers and community leaders should be careful when dismissing student interest.  Modern learning is changing very day, and jobs and communities that will be important in 2025 may not even exist today.  The important takeaway for educators is that inclusiveness of ideas and interests, even if they seem silly, can help students learn more passionately and hopefully, accomplish more.


Interest as a young student

I would say that as a young child I was not like most children. Most children when they wake up on a Saturday morning they go downstairs and turn on the morning cartoons. My mom told me by the time I could work the TV remote, around age 4, I would come down and turn on ESPN. I loved sports and it didn’t matter what sport it was. Depending on the time of year I was outside with my friends playing football, baseball, basketball, or hockey. I lived in a neighborhood with dozens of boys around my age, and we would all meet on the street behind mine to play. We would drag basketball nets from houses and put them in the middle of the street so we could play full court (two nets) basketball. In the winter we would play hockey with two nets and two goalies. During the summer we would find a parking lot to play “lotball.” (This is probably why I love the movie Sandlot.) As a student my mom told me I was always in the reading room. From kindergarten until third grade. I passed all the reading test, but when I was in the classroom I wouldn’t read. I could read, I just had no interest. It wasn’t until third grade that I had a teacher that understood me. She allowed me to read the books I was interested in. She knew that I wasn’t going to read the required text because I wasn’t interested. I could read it, but there was no way I would. Instead of reading the books that everyone else had to read, she assigned me a different text. All books she provided me were sports related. She had special test for me because I was reading different books, and she finally understood me. Instead of trying to force me to read the required text I was provided with my own. I still completed the same book reports and assignments but it was with a book I enjoyed. I credit this teacher with being one of the reasons why I wanted to become a teacher. She worked with me instead of trying to transform me. Later when I graduated from college, she was still working at the school and when I returned to the district as a teacher she still remembered me. All of those years had passed and she remember the reports, what I looked like, and how I was “all boy.” She was passionate about her job, she loved her job, and you could tell. I wanted to be like her. I wanted to make that kind of impact that she did on me. This is a teacher’s blog that reminds me of my teacher. Inspiring the kids, using technology, student centered… Really cool to see what she is doing.

http://mscassidysclass.edublogs.org/

About Me…

About Me…

My name is Khaliah Sproul, this is my last semester of coursework in the Educational Leadership Doctoral program :).  This is my first online course here at Arcadia, I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge and connecting with everyone this semester.

On a personal note, I have worked in higher education in Financial Aid over the last ten years. As long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for helping others and I believe everyone should have equal access to college. My goal is to one day help at-risk children achieve the dream by helping them obtain a college degree. I have two handsome boys who I love and cherish, and they are my motivation. I enjoy reading, teaching ballet, and spending time with my family.