The Power of Progress

This week’s session was just like any other. We started with the alphabet; however, rather than taking over ten minutes to pronounce all of them correctly, I finished this week’s alphabet in record time (probably, I didn’t actually time it). Although Eli was jokingly bragging that it was only because he was such a good teacher, it was so great to see progress! We then moved on to the bathroom terms again. I found that I was able to remember more words and meanings than our last session. We moved on to phrases using some of the bathroom terms, and we ended this week’s session going over a few new words.

Eli and I have also begun greeting each other in Spanish. Although these conversations are very brief, it is great to have to have to think on my toes about what each word means. It sparks conversations with those around us as well. People seem really interested in the fact that I’m learning Spanish! I also like the way my name sounds with a Spanish accent better than the way I say it (the Spanish version sounds like “Theemee”)! Today, in a class Eli and I have together, he asked me what I would say if I needed to use the restroom and was very impressed that I remembered, “Necesito ir al banol.”

Something substantial I noticed from this week’s session was a gain in confidence. After reciting the alphabet (almost) perfectly, the rest of the session was completely different. I was more confident in reciting words as well as their meanings. Moving on to phrases, my accent was smoother, and I think it was because I was more confident in my Spanish-speaking abilities.

After our session, I began thinking about my future classroom and the importance of progress. Not every student will be an A+ student by the end of the year, but I as a teacher need to recognize the progress they do make to build their confidence. Being a positive role model for my students will inspire them to do the same for other people in their lives. As students, teachers and just as humans, I think we too often focus on what we didn’t do; however, we must always remember the power of progress.



I also included two pictures of notes I have taken from our most recent sessions. At this point, the bathroom terms are review, and the phrases are becoming more familiar. The terms in the last picture are new to me.

Finding New Ways to be Creative

Ds106… Did even the name sound intimidating to anyone else? Personally, it sounded out of my technological league. However, after putting some time into researching the topic, ds106 really sparked my interest. First, I learned that it stands for digital storytelling. According to one website, digital storytelling “is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories.”

Digital storytelling can take many forms. For this class, we will respond to thirty consecutive daily creative challenges. Although this task seemed quite intimidating at first, the challenges shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes to create, and they all seem really fun! Yesterday’s Daily Create Challenge was to put music behind a James Bond scene. At first, it seemed a little past my technological knowledge level; however, the website provides a link to another page, so everyone can do it, and all of the videos are in the same format.

Today (February 23) I took the leap joined the challenge. Today’s Daily Create Challenge is all about mixing quotes. The directions are to “Find an image of a well-known figure, add to it a famous quote by someone related in some way to the figure in the image and then attribute the quote to a third, related figure.” I made my challenge about poets and chose a picture of Edgar Allen Poe, quoted a poem by Emily Dickinson, and attributed it to Walt Whitman.

What I especially appreciate about digital storytelling is that it puts a whole new spin on being creative. While I was in primary and secondary school, the only two outlets students had to be creative was in art class or occasionally in English class. I stopped taking art class after elementary school, and I didn’t start enjoying writing until late in my high school career. For a student like me, trying to access my creative side was a rare occurrence, but I think students should be constantly using creativity in school!

Digital storytelling would be a fantastic tool to use in my classroom. Where is a better place to tell a story if not in an English classroom? I think students would find it less intimidating than the more conventional approaches of being creative and appreciate that some methods require minimal time as well. Technology also gives students more options for being creative. For example, if students are focusing on poetry, they could first write a poem, then record themselves performing a poetry reading of their piece, and finally put (appropriate, applicable) music behind it. This assignment would mix conventional poetry writing with technology and another subject (music) as well. While this is the first assignment I could think of, there is endless technological opportunities to allow students to foster their creativity digitally.