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Chelsey Sharpe

Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace. -Confucius

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ECMP 355

How I contribute to Others Learning

Throughout ecmp 355 we were asked to contribute to the learning of others by exploring the internet and creating a PLN. This blog post is about how I accomplished this task and how this experience has changed me as a teacher.

Commenting On Others Blogs

When it comes to commenting on others blogs, I would be the first to admit I did not comment as much as I should have been. I did, however, read the blogs. When I am learning I tend to absorb as much as possible before commenting.  lI do have some examples for when I did leave a comment:

Here Amy and I have been working on a learning project, we were just congratulating ourselves on a job well done.

I was commenting on the Social Activism and how having the conversation with our students is very important.

Lastly, this comment was about a Learning project on how her leopard cake will be the talk of the staff room at her future school.

I have learned from the comments that I have been receiving on my blogs. It is very important to give comments that are constructive to the conversation. When commenting it should be thoughtful and positive, even if you do not agree with the author’s post. Being negative is never ok when commenting.

 

Interacting with Others

This is one of my strengths, I love to meet new people and learn from them and their experiences. I commit to this by using Twitter as my go-to professional social media platform. I follow the hashtags: #Saskedchat, #edtechafterdark, #edchat, and  #slowedchat . Out of these four hashtags, I do participate with #saskedchat the most. I like #saskedchat because it is Saskatchewan-based and I can connect with teachers in my area. With the other three chats, I mostly trolled the conversations.

 

I also interacted with others with our Google + community.

Through asking questions, answer others questions and yes having some fun too. I interacted with my classmates in a positive constructive matter. I still feel that I have more to learn but I helped out where I could.

Here are some examples of my interactions:

 

 

 

Also went beyond the internet and took what I learned with me to my school I currently work at. Through conversations with other teachers my students that I work with benefited. I was able to show some of my students with autism how to use Hour of code and code academy. I also was able to help them edit their movies for Commercial Media class. With teachers, I shared my new knowledge of Google Classroom, Powtoon, and Screencastify. In all, my coworkers and students benefited from what I have learned.

Writing Posts in Response

There were a couple of times throughout this semester that I read about educational technology and had to blog about it. The first was my blog about virtual reality being used in classrooms and blogging in the classroom being beneficial to students. In both cases, I decided it was beneficial to my readers to explain what was being said on the other blog and what my personal take was on it. I also wrote a blog post on writing APA style to help others that do not know what technology is out there to help in writing papers.

Through my experiences over the last semester, I have learned that it is important to connect with other whether that is through a PLN online or in person. Other teachers have the acquired knowledge that can help one out when you simply do not know. Through ecmp 355, I have been able to see technology and teacher networking is important in the classroom.

 

A Close to My Learning Project

Throughout the last semester, I have been working on this knitting learning project. It is hard to believe that the time has come to end it. I chose to knit because I did not have a clue to how to knit. Many people throughout my life have told me that knitting is too hard for a Lefty to learn or that you need a left-handed person to show you how. However, this is not the case anymore, throughout my learning project I have learned to knit using Youtube and various other websites to get me started. I now can say I’m a knitter for life.

During my journey, I have learned how to hold the needles, what a knit stitch and purl stitch are. The stitches I have learned:

  • Knit stitch
  • Purl stitch
  • slip stitch
  • knit, yarn over, knit
  • pass one over stitch
  • knit two together
  • purl two together
  • garter stitch
  • increase by a stitch
  • decrease by a stitch
  • stitch one below
  • zig zag

I have joined knitting a knitting community through Ravelry, I now post my questions and get feedback from my peers. I also learned that Youtube is a valuable tool when it comes to learning. Not only did I watch Youtube video to learn how to do different stitches, but I have also posted some videos of my own.

I have tried many different patterns, most of which have failed. I have completed 4 different patterns that are used for making dishcloths and I have started a scarf. Through these patterns, I have learned to read the language of knitting (which is mostly abbreviations). I also learned to gauge and find the right tools that are needed.  Having the right tool important to be successful in any learning project. I have learned that short needles are not the best for what I make and that the size (width) of the needle really does matter.

Lastly, I have been able to pass on my knowledge through this blog and twitter. I hope that my readers are able to pick up knitting as easy as I was able too. Here is a progression of my work:

 

 

Purple- K1 into stitch below
Multicolour- K1, yarn over, K1

 

Photo credit: Me

 

How to do a Knit stitch and a Purl Stitch

The knit stitch and the purl stitch are the two basic stitches that all pattern start with. The knit stitch you start with the left handed needle going under the stitch on the right-hand needle. With the purl stitch, the left-hand needle goes in front of the right-hand needle with the yarn also in front, you then hook twist and pull through the yarn. I have created a video to help with the instructions. Please excuse the bad camera angle, my camera man was not listening to me.

* Unfortunately my video is not uploading to Youtube at this time, as soon as it is available I will post it*

This Lefty Learned to Zig Zag.

I finally pulled off a pattern that looks like there is a zig zag to it but honestly I just knitted in rows. This is how I did it: knit 3, knit forward and back in the same stitch, knit 4, slip stitch one, knit two together, knit 4, knit forward and back in the same stitch, Repeat. It was so simple, I love the new design of my dishcloth that I am making.

During this pattern, I also learned to add different colors which I thought would be super hard but it was a breeze, all you do it pick up the next color while stitching. So instead of going green on the next row, you stitch in blue. Make sure to keep at least 6 inches of yarn as a tail and you are set.

Here is a pic of my latest work. Click here is you want to try this pattern for yourself.

 

Photo credit: Me

There is also I typo in the pattern only cast on 40 stitch not 43.

Learning to Read a Pattern

Last night I was struggling with a new pattern and thought I could not be the only beginner struggling. When teaching in a classroom, we are helping different languages all the time. Some languages we teach include spoken language, the language of math and the language of code.  If the student does not understand the language, they then get frustrated and shut down. That was my reaction last night, I could not understand the language of the pattern I was trying. I got frustrated and stopped doing what I was knitting. After awhile, I decided that I would try again. That made the difference when I came back to the pattern with a clear mind I was able to figure out what was being asked.

I have found the abbreviations are popular when it comes to knitting patterns. Some abbreviations that I have come across include:

  • inc, an increase
  • K1, Knit one stitch
  • P1, Purl one stitch
  • Sl1, slip stitch
  • psso, pass slip stitch over
  • P3tog, purl 3 together
  • K1 YO K1 knit one, yarn over, knit one.

Confusing right, that is what I thought. I have been learning the language of knitting by doing a copy and paste of the abbreviation into Google. Google usually produces an explanation and a video to watch.

Here are the pattern instructions that confused me last night.

Instructions found at:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/spinrite/LILY-SnC-K-ChangingColorsKnitDishcloth-WEB.pdf

The highlighted area is still confusing to me, although, my project is starting to look right. If you understand this language please comment below and tell me what I am supposed to be doing. Do I just increase 2 stitches or do I increase 42? What is the stand alone 42 stitches?

 

Summary of Learning

In Ecmp 355 we were asked to create a summary of learning of what we have experienced through the semester. Amy Klassen and I decided that we have become technology superheroes. Here is our video, keep in mind that I could not say the words “digital citizen” for the life of me that day and our acting is extremely bad.

I would like to add that we used iMovie to produce this film. I was extremely frustrated with it because of a glitch in the platform where the audio does not match the visual. Apple says that there is no fix until they come out with an update. We tried our best to fix the lag.

As you can see we have learned so much. I can say I’m not as nervous to have technology in my classroom. In fact, I’m pretty excited to use my new knowledge to make engaging lessons for my future students.

Online Social Activism, the New Way to Protest

Social justice is a subject that is prevalent in education. As teachers, we have to learn to look at world issues outside our privilege. Our classrooms are diverse places of learning for all, so we have to educate our students of what is happening. Some teachers shy away from social justice issues because they do not want to get involved. I, however, feel that it is my duty to advocate for those that do not have a voice.

It has become easier to be an activist because of the internet. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been the sites where activism happens. #idealnomore, #blacklivesmatter, and Taiwan’s student protest shave started as online protests and have caused changes to the world.

#idealnomore starts as a hashtag on Twitter as a movement to make Canadian’s aware of what was happening to the lives of First Nations people in Canada. Through social media, people came together to protest and make the Canadian government aware that the living conditions of First Nations people on reserves are not acceptable. Although the hashtag has lost some steam in the last few years. Canadian’s are now aware and living conditions of First Nation people gotten the attention on mainstream media.#Blacklivesmatter was started by an activist in Oakland California and has become a grassroots movement that stops racism again black people in the United States. Lastly, Taiwan’s student protest started with students taking over the parliament building in Tapei.  During their 23 day, occupation of the students released an app called FireChat. FireChat is a mesh network that allows phones to connect to one another without the internet or cell phone connections; it quickly became #1 on app chart in twain that year.

School age student have also started to become activist online as well. The Buddy Project and #1000blackgilrbook were started by students. The buddy project was created by an 11th-grade student in Pennsylvania, to prevent suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders. The #1000blackgirlbook was created by a student that was tired of seeing stories only about white children in her classroom. She tweets about different books that have black characters are the main character.

So how can you become involved with social justice online? For me, it is becoming aware of different social movements online. That does not mean that you have to go and follow every movement but to see be aware and have these discussions with your students is important. Online activism is the new way to have a voice, so why not speak out.

Photo credit: Essam Sharaf
creativecommons.org

Tips for starting to knit (left handed)

I have been think of how can I help other left-handed want to be knitters to knit. I struggled and still am not the best at knitting but I have come up with some tricks and have found so extremely useful websites that can help when you are struggling.

First trick- cast on and then rip it out several times. I find that if the cast on is not how tight you want the stitches to be, ripping it out and starting over gain is extremely helpful. Now, most people would not agree with me but I think of it this way. The cast on is the most important part of your project. If the cast on is too loose or too tight then the rest of the rows will not turn out right. Plus there is something that is satisfactory when it comes to ripping out stitches.

 

Second- Learn the codes for the pattern. This sounds silly but if you don’t know what K1 or P1 means then you have no chance to understanding the pattern. I found that just putting the abbreviations into google is extremely useful. Since google knows everything it comes up with the term and videos that show how to knit that way.

 

Lastly, There are many websites out there to help you learn to knit but you have to be extremely picky on which ones to follow. WikiHow has a page on left-handed knitting but not videos (I need the videos to learn). Knitting Left-handed for dummies looks good but it only gives you a start then wants you to buy the book. Finally, LearningtoKnit.com is a good, However, once again there is only pictures and instructions. At least the pictures should you set by step.

 

Remember like everything practice makes perfect, my projects look scary but I’m just learning and moving at my own speed. You don’t need to be the best, everyone started somewhere.

 

Ps. I found a machine that you can buy that knits for you, because why not.

 

What there is Math in Knitting?

Many people do not realize how much math goes into knitting. Math is in every pattern, for example, there is counting involved in casting, counting the number of rows and the length of the pattern is given in inches. Lastly, math is used to increase or decrease the number of stitches in a row.

The website is called How to Increase Stitches Evenly Across a Row created by Lucia, helps take the math out of the pattern for you. The author set up the website to automatically figure out where to increase stitches when to insert them evenly, Brillant!  The website requires the number of stitches in the row and how many to increase by, It then does the math. Lucia even tells you two different ways you can increase. Taking out the work of figuring it out.

Photo Credit: Garnstudio Drops design via Google Images

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