Being an Innovative Learner!


Photo by Al Shep

After reading the article, “The mindset of an Innovator” I was thinking to myself whether I have been that type of learner this semester. Some of the things I could relate too. Like the quote, “I believe that my abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed, leading to the creation of new and better ideas.” That one really stuck with me because this has been the hardest semester yet and I have tried my best to keep a positive attitude. And by doing so, I believed that my abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed. I worked hard to find those traits in myself and use them in my classes.

I think that innovation in learning looks like having an open mind. I think you need to not get so up tight and think things have to be done this way or learned this way. I think you need to have a positive attitude about everything. You also need to learn from your mistakes and use them to better yourself and your learning.

While reading the article, “The Steep, Unlearning Curve” I couldn’t help but think of my job when I read, “We need to unlearn the premise that we know more than our kids, because in many cases, they can now be our teachers as well.” I work in an after school program and the school I work at has started implementing common core math. Common core math is a whole new ball game for me that I struggle with. When students ask me for help on their math I try to help them and I can’t. I try and do it the way I was taught and they have no idea what I am talking about. They then teach me the things they are learning and I am finding new ways to do math problems. So that is something I have unlearned this semester, is students can teach us just as much as we can teach them.

Something I think I need to still unlearn is, what the article mentioned, thinking that students need to learn the same content, when really they just need to learn to self-direct their own learning. As a future teacher, you think you just teach from the books and what follow the curriculum. However, we need to remember that students are different and maybe we need to focus more on getting them to that self-direction of their own learning rather than just expecting them to do it themselves.




Learning is Dancing! Digital Story Telling

I chose a Wevideo and my metaphor for learning is Dancing! Using WeVideo was very easy to use and was a lot of fun! It you have used IMovie before, it is very similar to that. All you do is pick pictures or videos you want to use, download them into the website and then drag them to the place you want them in the video. You can then click on the picture or video you dragged in the box and change the length of time you want it to be played and can even add text to it. Once you have all the pictures and videos in place, you can add music to your video. That is the same as the pictures and videos added in, you just download it from a song you already have and it will be added to the video! Super easy and fun! I really liked how I was able to use some of my own videos and even my own music. It was also free which was great!

As for my metaphor, I chose learning is like dancing. I think it is like dancing because you start learning as soon as you are born. Just like once a baby starts getting bigger, they start dancing. Even if it is just bobbing of the head or throwing their arms up. As they get older, they eventually start using their feet to dance, then their legs, before you know it they are jumping and running everywhere. Sometimes, when children are old enough, they join dance lessons. Where they learn actually dances and work to get to a dance routine. That is the same as learning for kids. As they get older they learn a little at a time, but then they can join preschool and even get into elementary school where they are learning to achieve something. As we turn into adults, we dance for fun with partners and have meaning to our dances, like a first dance at a wedding. I feel like that represents college because we go to college to learn a specific thing and what we are learning means something to us. We want to be there and we (hopefully) have fun while doing it!

I think the song I chose for my video went perfectly with it. “Life’s a dance, we learn as we go.” Learning is a dance too because we do learn as we go and the learning becomes more complex as we get older.

What I have learned from my Independent Learning Project!

After doing my independent learning project for the semester, I have learned that I can have a lot of discipline and motivation when I want to. However, with the end of the semester approaching, I have also found out I have to work really hard to get my motivation to finish! It helps that it is something I enjoy learning and doing though! Other wise it could have ended a lot worse!

I found myself looking forward to doing my independent learning project. I chose to learn about new recipes and try to make them. Some were huge successes and others, not so much. Whether they turned out how I wanted or not though, I always enjoyed doing it. The process of searching the website or books for a recipe, then going to the store to get the ingredients, and then coming home to make it was a lot of fun! I also enjoyed waiting for my fiance’s reaction of what he thought of the dish.

It was challenging though when I got caught up in my other class or I had a busy week and wasn’t getting home till late. With that, I found it hard to find time to make a meal. Especially late at night, I didn’t feel like cooking and cleaning so late. I tried to just wait and do my projects on the weekends so I would have the whole day to do it.

The best part was tasting new food and learning new recipes! I tried to pick recipes that I normally wouldn’t make or have never heard of. Some didn’t turn out though, so I don’t know if I will be trying those again. However, a lot of them did turn out and I have actually used them again for dinner.

I think independent learning would be great to use in the classroom! I think I would incorporate it by letting students learn what they want and then make a journal, powerpoint, poster, etc about it. I would allow them to work on it when they had free time or if they got done with work early. I think it would motivate them more to want to get their other work done and will give them something fun to do while they have free time. That way it will eliminate distracting other students and getting into trouble.

Overall, I loved my Independent Learning project and will continue to try and learn new recipes once this class is over!


For this week, I chose to do the piktochart. I did a poster representing food since my Independent learning project deals with trying and cooking/baking new recipes. I thought that putting together a poster was pretty easy to understand and do. I really didn’t have any trouble doing it. When I wanted to type in text I simply double clicked in the box and typed. When I wanted to add a picture I just went to the tab that said “photos” and typed in what type of picture I wanted to use. Then I just dragged the picture to the box.

The poster example was kind of like an introduction to the topic. It was mainly pictures and was to just draw people in. So I built mine based on what the example was. I just posted a bunch of different picture and fun lines to use to get across I am talking about trying new recipes. I would use this in the classroom for many things. Whether is is talking about a certain subject: science, social studies, art, etc. It is a lot of pictures so anything where you would want to use pictures to explain what you are talking about. It is also useful because is also allows presentations, report, and infographics. You could use that for a lot of things in the class and it gives the students flexibility to choose how they want to present a project.

I think this type of project would be really fun in a business class where students can make up their own businesses and use it as a way to advertise. When I started mine the example was of a clothes business. I think for an elementary class, which will be my area, I would maybe use it for a way for students to talk about themselves. Including their hobbies, favorite food, favorite color, favorite time of year, etc. They can show all that by just using pictures and we can hang them up or present them to the class. There are a lot of fun things you could do with this instead of making it for business purposes. Teachers can also use it for advertising a play or a party that the elementary class may be having and wants to invite the community or other classes. This type of technology can be used by pretty much anyone! Teachers, students, and even people outside of education!

My piktochart!

30 day challenge-Days 23-30!!

I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed my 30 day challenge. Taking a picture of something special in each day made me appreciate the day even more!

March 28: day 23-  I took a picture of the sunny, cloudy sky because it was a Monday and nobody (including me) enjoys Monday’s. I thought I would start the day off good with the nice sky and the beautiful, sunny day!


March 29: day 24- Tuesday is taco Tuesday!! It’s special because Cole (fiancé) and I have started the tradition of doing some sort of taco on taco Tuesday. We love Mexican food! I really love how we have started such a special tradition together!


March 30: day 25- this is obviously a picture of my couch. I took it because I had ANOTHER snow day! I got to relax and do nothing all day! And thankfully, we had electricity!

imageMarch 31: day 26- Today was special because I have an amazing man who knew I was extremely busy with homework, so he cooked me dinner! Of course, he is special to me everyday, but cooking me dinner made it extra special! imageApril1: day 27-  Friday was special because we were invited to a bowling party for our friends, daughters birthday party! I haven’t bowled in a long time and it was so much fun! I also loved the company I spent it with!

imageApril 2: day 28- any day I get Olive Garden is a special day! Cole and I decided to just take the day to go to Cheyenne and have Olive Garden! Olive Garden is my absolute favorite place and I always look forward to making a trip to Cheyenne for it!

imageApril 3: day 29- just a little Sunday fun day with my favorite pup! Today was special because cole, doc, and I took a nice Sunday drive! There is nothing that is more relaxing than driving through the hills on a sunny day! Makes me appreciate where I live!

imageApril 4: day30- today is a beautiful day!! I also happen to not have my class today, so I spent some time outside TRYING to play fetch with Doc. He doesn’t quite get the bring the ball back part, but he sure seemed happy!


And that is my 30 day challenge! Thanks to everyone who read about my 30 days! Feel great to have this complete!

Podcast and Digital Story Telling!


photo by Calda de Sistema

This week we were supposed to explore podcasts and digital story telling. I have never listened to a podcast before or done one myself. I have done some types of digital story telling in some classes though! I think out of all of this I was most intrigued by the podcasts! It was something new to me and I couldn’t have been more excited about the “serial” podcasts!

I think there are a lot of benefits to podcasts and digital story telling. It opens up a lot of new types of technology that students can experience. It also opens up a lot of doors for creativity. I think that a lot of students can have fun with the digital story telling. I did it for a college class and I had fun with it. So, I think that is a great learning tool. It is a good way for students to use their own creativity and make it their own way. It also makes it more fun because it isn’t a boring story on paper.

I think podcasts are also beneficial. I think these are more beneficial to Jr. High-High School students though. It is a good way for them to just sit in their desks, relax, and listen. Instead of having to listen to their teachers or actually do busy work, they can just listen. Once it is over it is a great way to have discussions over what they just heard.

Some disadvantages would be some students aren’t paying attention at all to the podcast and can just pretend they are. As for digital story telling I think it could be a disadvantage for students to work at their own pace in their own way and some of them can just surf the internet and not get it done.

Since I want to be an elementary teacher, I will probably do digital story telling. I find it very fun and I think my students will also find it fun. They will get to make their own story, using their own techniques, and doing it their own way. I think they will also enjoy showing them to their class. As for podcasts, I probably won’t do that for younger students because they won’t know what to really talk about or how to run it, or understand the point of it. I also think they would get bored listening to them.

I was honestly surprised to read about the article where students were listening to the “serial” podcasts in class. I listened to the first podcast and it had a lot of cuss words and violence. Besides that though, I found it very interesting and I would have loved to have listened to this in high school. They can relate to it and find it interesting. I think it would make a lot of kids want to listen.

My biggest take away was all the different ways to do digital story telling and all the different types of podcasts there were!

30 Day Challenge- Days 16-22

My 30 Day challenge is take a picture of something special about each day.

March 21, day 16: LAUNDRY! Today was very special to me because I got all caught up on laundry. When my fiance wears about three different outfits a day (work clothes, casual clothes, then pj’s) plus my clothes, I get behind very easily! Our room was a complete disaster. I was running out of space to put all my dirty clothes. Wasn’t surprised we were running out of clothes to wear too! So I dedicated my day and night to doing laundry and got it all done! What a great feeling!



March 22, day 17-

This day was special to me because my dog is finally using his dog bed! I bough this bed around Christmas time and he never once used it! I thought I wasted my money. For some reason today though, he thought he would go ahead and use it. And he took a pretty long nap on it!


March 23, day 18-

Today is special because I had a snow day! I knew a big snow storm would come as soon as it was officially spring! I got to spend the day doing absolutely nothing! and when I say nothing I mean it, we lost power at about 2am and didn’t come back on till about 7 pm that night. So I didn’t do anything but sleep all day and it was much needed!


March 24, day 19- Today was special because I was able to make it to class safely! Due to the storm the day before, I was stranded at home and was also surrounded by closed roads! Luckily, the roads were clear the next day and I got to class! As you can see, it didn’t snow much in Scottsbluff…my car is the only one covered in snow.


March 25, day 20- Today was special because not only did I not have work or class due to Good Friday, but I got my reception area completely paid for and met with the consultant! Walking around the building and talking about the little details gets me more and more excited for my big day!


March 26, day 21- This day is special because we got half of the flooring done in the kitchen! It has been awhile since we started working on the floor again! We have been so busy lately. We finally decided to get back to work though. I am so happy with how it is turning out and can’t wait for it to be completely finished. Unfortunately, the saw broke so we had to quit. But we should be buying a new one soon and can finish it up!


March 27, day 22- Of course this day is special because it is Easter! I always look forward to Easter. Even though my family is all adults now, my grandma still hides Easter eggs and baskets and expects us to find them! We then enjoy a nice lunch together and catch up! I always cherish my time with my family!



Mississippi Roast! Independent Learning Project


This week for my independent learning project I made roast! Not just any roast though, Mississippi roast! I was scrolling through pinterest one day and saw a picture of a roast that had those yellow pepperoncini on it and I love those! I eat them plain all the time. When I saw them on a roast though, I knew I had to try it. I clicked on the roast and read the ingredients. At that point, I wasn’t sure about it. The ingredients were, a pack of Au Jus powder, ranch powder, a stick of butter, pepperoncini, and of course, a roast.

“My first reaction was, I don’t put any other liquid in there like water or something?!” I was a little confused about that, but then when you think about it, a melted stick of butter, okay that is enough liquid I think. And a lot of fat, but oh well! Is is pretty simple really!

All I did was put a roast in a crock pot, pour the powdered au jus over it, pour the ranch powder over it, and then place a stick of butter on the top of it! Then place some pepperoncinis on it and around it. Then let it cook for about 4 hours. After about an hour in there, my house smelled AMAZING!! I could not wait to dig into it!

When it was done, Cole (my fiance) and I dug in! It was seriously the best roast (and maybe even meal) I have ever had! I can’t even describe it to you. Cole is also the type of person who does not like those pepperoncini peppers, but once they were cooked and soaked in the butter and the powdered au jus and ranch, he loved them. I honestly wish I would have put the whole jar of peppers in. As you are laying the peppers int he crock pot when you are preparing, you think you have a lot in there. However, once it cooks and soaks in it doesn’t look like as much! So when making this, always add more peppers even if you think you have plenty! Trust me! When you place them in at first, it looks like a lot, but then when they cook, it doesn’t look like there was that much. So next time I will be putting more peppers in! We ended up sharing this with Cole’s whole family and they tried it themselves. It was also a success for them as well! Not a typical roast, but for sure one you all must try. YUM!


What am I really missing around me?


Photo by Giga Paitchadze

I found this weeks reading very interesting! I think I was so intrigued in it because I can point so many things out that I do myself. It really makes me think that I should change ways myself. One thing that actually made me laugh was while I was watching the TEDtalk video, I caught myself on my phone! Honest to God not even realizing what I was doing! I laughed and looked at Cole (fiance) and said, “Am I really on my phone during this video right now?!” As I am saying this to him, he is on his phone as well! When he was supposed to be watching a basketball game. It really is sad how much we depend on our phones these days!

I honestly think that I am on technology too much. It doesn’t help that I have a smart phone and can get on it with just a click. It is so hard not to do when you are bored. Sometimes, I am not even bored, it is just natural for me to do it. It is in my nature now. I really do need to work on my technology time. I could definitely start leaving my phone in my purse when Cole and I go out to dinner. I could also start putting it away when I go to bed. When other people are around and you are enjoying a nice day outdoors, I think we need to start putting away the technology. We are missing the things around us.

I think we need to stop multitasking when we should be studying or doing homework! I don’t know how many times I am trying to do some studying and I decide to open another browser and type in Facebook. It gets me distracted and I end up not getting my homework done like I should. I also think we need to stop trying to scroll through Facebook and text while we are talking to someone. I am guilty of this! Not only is it rude, but many times I have typed what I was actually saying to the person I was talking to. My text didn’t make any sense!

If we learn to take some time away from our devices, I think we will notice a lot more things that are right in front of us! Just the other day, we lost power from the storm. I had no TV or internet access. Yes, I was a little bored (and extremely cold, but that is a whole other story!) but I spent a lot of time playing with my puppy and just hanging out with Cole. I also went through a lot of old pictures that brought back a lot of great memories!

Independent Learning Project- Spinach and Artichoke dip, Take 2

For those who read my last Independent Learning Project, it was a spinach and artichoke dip I had make from the crock pot. I was not the biggest fan of it for a few reasons. One reason was it had more artichokes than spinach and I have an issue with too much artichoke. Another thing that was a little different to me was the type of cheese used. I used feta cheese which surprised me. So, I decided to make a different recipe that I found that may be more liking to my taste buds!

For this recipe, I only used one jar of artichoke hearts instead of two like last time. And instead of feta cheese, I used Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. I also used mayonnaise, where as the last time I didn’t. It is a very simple recipe there is nothing to it! Just mix together the ingredients in a big bowl: artichoke hearts, spinach, mayo, cheese, sour cream, and even some garlic and onion salt I added.


Spray the crock pot with nonstick cooking spray then dump all the ingredients in! It does not matter what order you do it. Once it is poured all in, I did exactly what I did in the first recipe I tried. I took a block of cream cheese, cut it into smaller blocks, then placed it on top. I then let it cook for about 2 hours on high. About every thirty to forty-five minutes I came in a stirred it though because then it gets a little crusty on the sides. I also wanted it to be mixed well.


After two hours, Cole (my fiance) and I dove into it! I liked this recipe better because it was more creamy and not as chunky from all the artichoke hearts. It was also better just because of the fact that there was less artichoke hearts and mayo. I think adding seasoning to it helped the taste as well. This may just be my picky side, but it still was not as good as I am wanting! I just can’t get it to taste like Applebee’s spinach and artichoke dip. I got the green light from Cole though, who ended up eating all of it!

Here is the recipe for anyone who wants to try it! I look forward to hearing if any of you did and what you thought of it!