Innovation as a Learner

I think that in the learning process I have been going through this semester, in all my classes, I have learned how to step out side of my comfort zone a little bit in order to do what is necessary to improve my learning and the learning of others around me. I have been more creative about the projects that I have had to complete this year. One of my classes we had to create lesson plans, but without using Pinterest. We had to come up with these ideas without getting them from someone else. I thought it was going to be a huge challenge at first, but the further I dived into my creative mind the more fun I was having coming up with these lesson plans from scratch.

I think that George Couros makes a lot of good points in his blog, The Mindset of an Innovator . He says that as an educator he is an innovator because in education he must create and design learning experiences with the question, “what is best for learners?” in mind. He also says that in order to really improve himself as an educator he can’t just focus on the things he needs improving on, but looking at where he is strong and improving those further. I think that is such a good point to make when thinking of innovation.

Will Richardson brings up a lot of good points in his blog, The Unlearning Curve . He brings up the ideas that because a classroom can be anywhere none we need to get away from the idea of learning taking place only in the four walls of a classroom. Learning can be so much more than a classroom if educators push the boundaries a little bit and trust our students to take on the challenge. That is the biggest thing that I have unlearned this semester is that learning is not just in a school. I don’t know why I never thought about it until this semester, but I think it just takes looking at many different ways that it is done to really see it.

Learning outside of a classroom is almost better than being stuck in a classroom for eight hours a day, five days a week. That can make any adult go stir crazy let alone a child. Children need to run, explore, jump, play, and not be sitting all day. A child’s attention span just isn’t as long as it should be for the traditional education system of sitting still and taking in all the information, and retaining all of it. Children should be outside learning and playing and using their hands to help them learn. I think the thing that I have most enjoyed about learning this semester is hacking education. I think that the ways that of educational innovation and breaking free from a typical classroom setting can be so amazing for children as learners.

Something that I would like to continue to unlearn as an educator is how to get students to open up about what they want to learn about. I think by asking kids what they are interested in is a good first step to unlearning the traditional sense of education. Kids are smarter than a lot of people give them credit for, and I think if educators learned how to really listen to them we will help them stay interested in learning.

Daily Create 24-30



Hi all this is my final stretch of Daily Creates! Sorry the images are so small, but I was having some technical difficulties with getting my original photos to show up here so I put them on a PowerPoint and exported the whole thing as a photo! I hope that you can get the general idea of the photos. 🙂

My Happiness Project

My independent learning project was a reflection of my own personal happiness project. The project went pretty well for the most part. I think the hardest part for was finding the time and consciously getting myself to think about what makes me happy in the moment and how I should relate that to the others around me.

Something that I have learned about myself is that I am generally very happy on the outside, but not all the time on the inside. Being happy means more than putting on a smile and being nice. Don’t get me wrong, that is an important part of it, but being happy comes from the inside. I sometimes go around pretending I am happy so people around me will be happy too. It is a fabrication of happiness.

The best way to make other people around you happy is to be truthful with them. Being truthful about your feelings is the best way to make yourself happy, and then in turn making others around you happy. Bottling up feelings of sadness and anger just so you can pretend to be happy is a slippery slope to hate and depression.

The hardest part about this project was sticking to all the things I said I was going to do to help me with my happiness. I said I would do yoga everyday (didn’t happen that often), meditate everyday (happened about three times a week), the smile challenge (I smile all the time at strangers), dieting (I don’t like diets, but eating healthy is easier when you don’t limit yourself), and reading books that help me find what makes other happy.

Image result for I love smiling-elf

The best part about this project is all the things I learned about myself. I learned that I need an accountabilibuddy when I diet and exercise. Excising is much easier when you have someone to do it with so I have been enjoying group fitness classes. I am also that way with eating healthy. The thing that finally made me realize that I need to change my eating habits is that I was running out of breath with walking up the stairs. I work out frequently and I still had a hard time with heart health, it is because of bad eating habits! I have also learned that I love to make people happy to the point that is almost in danger of me becoming a doormat. I have always been a people pleaser, but lately it has translated into me being a little spineless. That has changed a little now that I know what makes me happy.

Image result for I am not a doormat Image result for I am not a doormat

I think independent learning projects are a great idea for students in any grade to do! They help students learn better and learn about themselves in the process.

Daily Creates #18-23

Daily Create #18: The Onion’d Article:

This is the link to an article in The New York Times explaining that children who drink whole milk are healthier than kids who drink low fat milk.

This is the article that would appear in the Onion Magazine:

Cows on Strike!

Cows in Canada are now on a milk strike due to the information that humans are refusing to drink whole milk. These cows believe that their milk should be drunk as is, without processing the fat out of it. The information that Canadian cows are on strike has traveled to the American cows where it is rumored they will soon follow suite if there is no change.


Daily Create #19: A Story in the Alphabet:

A Bumblebee carefully drove elephants far, going higher in jam killings. Little mammals never opened postcards, quickly running, strongly trying, under various wealth, (e)xamining young zebras.


Daily Create #20: Dream it… Write it:

How did I get here? Hmm… There is a pink tree… Seems normal. What else do we have here? More pink trees start forming along with a very interesting looking city. All the buildings look as if they are made of jello, they are moving up and down and jiggling in a very whimsical way. A horse appears in a street and tells me to follow him so of course I do. The horse leads me to a door and we go through it to a land that is green and lush with foliage. I look at the horse again and he has transformed into a pure white flying horse. I hop on and he swoops up into the sky and off we go! Just like that though I lose my balance and begin to fall off down as if in slow motion. The world is moving so fast, but I am going so slowly. Before I hit the ground the world is jerked away and I am laying in my soft bed.


Daily Create #21: Recipe Haiku:

Add the milk and egg

Whisk sugar until fluffy

Add the rest and bake.


Daily Create #22: Your Very Own Face:

Looking in my modern day mirror… Snapchat, I see my face is a bit on the oval and square shaped. I have a small dimpled chin, and Cupid’s bow lips that are dark pink. My nose is small and has a button quality to it. I have smile wrinkle lines on my cheeks and small ears that don’t stick out very far. My eyes are almond shaped and today they look dark green, my dad always calls them Lake Dallas Green. My eyebrows are think and full, dark brown. My eyelashes are long and dark, I have no makeup on. My hair is dark, slightly wavy and long, today it is pulled back into a bun as it is most days.


Daily Create #23: Instagram is Done… Describe Your Lunch:

Today my lunch is a salad with mixed greens, red and green lettuce dark green and purple colors sitting in a creamy white colored bowl. The toppings are pomegranate seeds, a dark magenta color. Also some grilled chicken giving a splash of light whitish color. Avocado is piled on top cut in thin slices a bright, vibrant green color. The last topping is the dressing, a balsamic vinaigrette, the color is a pleasing grey color covering the rest of the food.




Daily Create #10-#17

#10: The Way It Should Have Been:

What if on that fatefully cold and sad Halloween night Peter Petigrew stayed loyal to his friends, the Potters? Voldemort wouldn’t had found them and they would be free to raise their child, Harry Potter. Their best friends Sirius Black and Remus Lupin would have been in Harry’s life in happy memories rather than in sadness. Harry would not have known that harsh childhood of living with the Dursley’s. The Potter’s could have continued their work with Dumbledore and the rest of the order of the Phoenix to defeat Lord Voldemort. The wizarding world could have been peaceful. Harry would get accepted to Hogwarts with full knowledge of who and what he is, he wouldn’t be famous for something he didn’t remember, something that brought him so much pain. He would be normal and happy. If only the Potters weren’t betrayed by their “friend” Harry could have had all this.

#11: Favorite Historic Character Meeting:

In light of what is happening in the world today the famous person in history that I would like to have a meeting with is Martin Luther King Jr. I would talk to him about fighting hate, and keeping peace even when everyone wants you to turn violent. How do you solve a national problem of hate? If I meet him on the street today I imagine the scene would be a peace rally protest for equal rights and as a peaceful protester I would bump into him on accident due to my natural clumsiness. He would offer me a hand to help stand up, I would take it not realizing who he is at first, then with a second glance realization would dawn. He would walk with me and explain that all the fighting and hatred is what tears a nation apart, and we need to remain strong and together.

#12: Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction:

Take two television shows and combine them into one story.

Grey’s Anatomy and the Walking Dead.

The scene is a hospital room. The music is somewhat upbeat with the characters of grey’s Anatomy walking through the halls of Seattle Grace Hospital. The chief comes rushing in saying there has been another case of the virus. A man is carried into the hospital on a stretcher, clutching his arm. He claims that someone bit him on the street, the woman who bit him was rabid and he couldn’t get rid of her so he did the only thing that seemed logical, he took his concealed weapon and shot her in the chest. She didn’t slow down just came at him faster. The man shot again and again until he hit her in the head and she went down. The wound where she bit him was starting to get pretty bad so he called an ambulance. The man is shaky and he has broken into a sweat. The residents of the hospital look at one another, trying to figure out the best way to treat this patient. The virus has been confirmed that it is passed through biting and scratching from an infected host. The man on the stretcher has been ignored while the doctors have been talking, something is happening to him… he is starting to convulse and in a moment he is dead. His hand starts to twitch and his eyes open, unseeing and angry. The man steps off the stretcher and slowly approaches one of the doctors with a low growl. The doctor unsuspecting, can’t move out of the way fast enough. She gets bit in the shoulder by the man, releasing a bloodcurdling scream. The rest of the doctors take notice, but it is too late, the virus has broken out in the hospital. The virus moves fast and has no known cure. Chaos has ensued and there is no stopping it.

#13:   Haiku it up!

Image result for the ocean

Sharp teeth, big black eyes

In the depths, misunderstood

Just want to say “hi”

#14. Quote Me On That:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” –Albert Einstein. I love this quote because it explains the problem with the public school system and the amount of testing students are required to do throughout school.

#15: Your Last Words:

The last words I think I would say, pending the situation, in this case a weirdly funny, unexpected death. I’ve been taking skydiving lessons for a while now, and I’m allowed to do my first solo jump! Everyone says not to but I say I’m going for it. The parachute of course fails and the only thing I can think to say is… “Shoot!”

#16: Dear Diary: A Disney Villain’s Diary:

Scar from the Lion King:

Day 45 of the little cub watch, more like babysitting. I can’t wait until my evil plan can be carried out and I can take care of my brother, convince the cub to run away and finally get the girl! I wish people would realize that I’m not a bad guy I’m just in love with this one lioness. I overheard her one day she likes men in power, I thought I was in the clear with her being the king’s brother and all, but she keeps rejecting me. The only thing left to do is kill the king as a grand gesture of love! Gotta go, the little brat is here, talk after the plan is finished!

#17: Twister Tweet:


Words and Pictures

This week has been about digital creations, and we were able to play around with some creation tools; Canvas and Piktograph. The site I explored was Canvas, I was able to make two cool posters that I think represent the happiness project I have been working on this semester.



The most challenging part of this was trying to create a poster that looked good, got the point across, and didn’t have a lot of clutter. I think that when creating a poster or something that has limited space but has a message then less is more.

When I see a poster on the street that is cluttered I loose interest, but when I see just a single image with a small amount of text I’m more intrigued.

I think these would be great tools to use in the classroom. They are (mostly) FREE! I love when I see the word free, and there are so many different layouts and graphics that are free. It is also really easy to use, I think kids would have a really fun time creating a classroom poster or some other type of project.

I think when presenting ideas in this visual way the information gets across in different ways rather than just words on a screen. It makes the information being presented seem less intimidating.

Digital Storytelling

After the readings and videos from this week I am more convinced than I was before that using digital tools in the classroom is such a powerful way to get students interested in the topic.

The podcast “Serial” is such an interesting and entertaining podcast, I listened to it when it first came out and was hooked I didn’t want to do anything else besides listen to it and try to figure out the mystery! It is like being immersed in your favorite law TV show or movie.

I can see myself using this method of teaching in a classroom if I was planning on teaching an older grade, but in a younger grade level the use of audio books and podcasts is still a great option. It helps students maximize their listening skills which helps with their literacy skills, which helps with almost every other learning subject.

Audio tools used for learning are also great for students with learning difficulties because it allows them to gain the information in a different way and it could possibly be the way that works better for them. Some students get discouraged when they struggle with their reading, but when they have the chance to hear the book read aloud then they may be more inclined to read on their own.

Some disadvantages to using podcasts or audio learning tools is that it might be difficult for students to follow along or stay interested without something in front of them to see. This just goes back to the idea of differentiated education, everyone learns differently and we as teachers need to have plenty of resources available for all the learning styles we will encounter.

I viewed some of the digital stories from the links provided and I was in tears because some of them were so emotionally powerful. Videos that are only 1-5 minutes long that are generating that much emotion is incredible, and I would love to have students see how much of an impact some stories can be if they are told in the right way. Digital storytelling is a great way to allow students to explore their own powerful storytelling skills.

The digital stories that I watched are:

These stories are very different but they all produce some really powerful emotions and give me courage to pursue my dreams, love, happiness, and find the meaning of my life.

Daily Create 2-9

Daily Create days 2-8:


Day 2: Fan Fiction Picture: Favorite Song: Rocky Mountain High by John Denver.


Day 3: Car Lust: The car: Ferrari, red, convertible. This is my dream car. Backstory:

One day when I was wandering through Monaco I ended up outside of the Monte Carlo casino. I saw a deep red Ferrari convertible, I couldn’t help myself as I walked up to the driver’s side door, like I was in a trance. I reached for the door and to my disbelief the door was unlocked! I got in and turned the keys that were miraculously in the ignition. I drove out of the casino, raced down the streets, and was off on the highway of the French coastline.

Image result for ferrari 458

Day 4: Love in three frames:

My adventures as an aunt: True unconditional love

Day 5: Surreal Panorama:


Day 6: Your Dreams out the Window:


Enter a caption

Day 7: Selfie with your pet

Day 8: Disney Icon: Create a Disney icon as the center of attention


Daily Create 9: Colorize it! Create a photo with surreal or interesting colors


Project Happiness Check-in

Image result for the happiness project

For the last few weeks I have been reading a book called the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin in order to find out what can help make people happy. The main thing that I have gotten from the book so far is that when are happy it makes the people around you happy! In this book the author has twelve happiness commandments and they are:

  1. Be you
  2. Let it go
  3. Act the way I want to feel
  4. Do it now
  5. Be polite and fair
  6. Enjoy the process
  7. Spend out
  8. Identify the problem
  9. Lighten up
  10. Do what ought to be done
  11. No calculation
  12. The is only one love.

The author also has some secrets of adulthood:

  1. People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think you
  2. It’s okay to ask for help
  3. Most decisions don’t require extensive research
  4. Do good, feel good
  5. It’s important to be nice to EVERYONE
  6. Bring a sweater
  7. By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished
  8. Soap and water remove most stains
  9. Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch
  10. If you can’t find something, clean up
  11. You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do
  12. Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy
  13. What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while
  14. You don’t have to be good at everything
  15. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough
  16. Over-the-counter medicines are very effective
  17. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good
  18. What’s fun for other people might not be fun for you–and vise versa
  19. People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry
  20. You can’t profoundly change your children’s natures by nagging them or signing them up for classes
  21. No deposit, no return.

This list of adulthood secrets is pretty brilliant. I highlighted #12 because through this ILP I have been doing things that are in theory supposed to make a person happy, but I haven’t been feeling happy all the time. One that also stands out to me is the one right below that, #13. Doing something every day makes more of a difference than doing something once in a while. That is so true because when you say you are going to work out every day and then just do it once a week you won’t see results. The same goes for dieting; if you have a cheat day once a week or twice a week then you are starting from square one every time.

The beginning chapters of this book have been very enlightening and informative. I am looking forward to continuing reading this so I can continue my own person happiness project!