Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project, Uncategorized

Sharing My Knowledge With Others – Update on my #LearningProject

My Sister and I

Last week I was struggling to find motivation/direction of where to go next with my #LearningProject. Learning how to sign a song was a huge milestone in my journey to learn #ASL. I started to think of different ways that I could integrate #ASL into my learning journey. I finally came up with idea to teach my little sister, Rose, how to sign. I chose her because she has never been subjected to #ASL before and I wanted someone who did not know a single thing about it. Also, when I began my #LearningProject my sister took interest in my journey with me and would be excited to see what I learned.

Now that I had someone in mind to teach #ASL to, I needed to think of something relatively easy to teach her. So I thought back to where I began learning #ASL. My first #LearningProject consisted of me signing, “Hello, my name is Rebecca. What is your name?” Since my sisters name is only four letters teaching her how to sign her name was pretty easy and she caught on quick. I got her to practice this several times over and over again.

I then had to decide what else I should teach her. I looked back to my second #LearningProject, which showed me learning the alphabet and numbers from 1-20. Rose and I started of by going through the alphabet a few time together. I noticed that she was struggling and decided that we would just focus on the alphabet rather than making her learning numbers 1-20 also.

The last step was to teach her simple words to make a sentence such as “sister,” “teach,” “sign,” “going,” and “my.” I showed Rose how to put the words together to create a sentence and explained that not all words are signed in #ASL.

After a lot of practice her I felt Rose was time for a video. Here is her progress!

NEXT WEEK: Teaching my sister to sign is very rewarding and got me thinking about my future students in my classroom. Next week I want to focus on how I can use #ASL in the classroom with my future students.


Posted in EDTC 300, Uncategorized

No Red Ink – App Review

As an English educator grammar lesson can be a bore and often leave students fast asleep in their desks. There is a website available to make these problems go away; the website is called NoRedInk. Teachers are able to make a profile and so are students. It is super easy to sign up for free! All you need is an email, username, and the name and location of the school you teach at.

As the teacher, you are able to create section for each of your classes. Once you have created a class it takes you to the dashboard of the website. On the left hand side there are four steps to get you started:

1.  Watch the welcome video.

2. Create a diagnostic.

3. View NoRedInk as a student.

4. Add students to your classes.

Watch the Welcome Video: 

This video walks you through step by step how to get started. It shows you what the four columns at the top are for (Assignments, Student Data, and Curriculum) and what you can find under each. For instance, under the Curriculum tab there are over 500 skills that you can teach your students from grammar and mechanics to argumentation and composition. Therefore, this website can be used for middle school – high school. The Curriculum tab is also linked to state standards to help teachers meet several different outcomes. Although, this is a site issued by the United States, but there are several outcomes that overlap. A lot of the concepts that are under the Curriculum tab are associated with lessons all students need to learn their English education career. The video highlights the importance of starting with a diagnostic assessment and then working towards summative assessment. It explains that the website is able to track student’s progress and collect data pertaining to the areas of struggles.

Create a Diagnostic:

When you click on “Create a Diagnostic” on the left-hand side of the screen it allows you to take pre-made diagnostics or create your own. There are three steps to creating an assignment:

  1. Select your assignment type:
    • There are three choices you can chose from on the free version and one for premium.
    • The three free assignments are diagnostic (diagnostic tools to gauge understanding at the start of a semester or unit), practice (Mastery-based, adaptive exercises that guide students through a scope-and-sequence), and quiz (Summative assessment to evaluate learning of the end of a unit).
    • The premium version is writing cycle (A four-step process where students draft and revise their own writing).
  2. Select Content:
    • You are to pick the topics/areas you want your students to learn such as active and passive voice, adjectives vs. adverbs, MLA Citation, etc.
    • You are then able to pick how many questions you want for each topic/area.
  3. Assign
    • You are able to assign the assignment to a particular class.
    • Pick a start date, due date, and due time.
    • Name the Assignment name and chose if you want to allow students to hand in late submissions.

View NoRedInk as a Student: 

At any time you can view NoRedInk through a student’s eyes by clicking the link on the left side of your home page. You are able to:

  • Preview any assignments you create.
  • Explore content, lessons, and tutorials.
  • View results and mastery.

Able to see the assignments that have been assigned to the students. The students are able to see the due date of the assignment and how many questions it focuses on. Shows how many topics the student has masters, the practice average, and quiz average.

Add Students to Your Class:

Lastly, you are able to add students to your class by sharing this a code with your students when they sign up or log in. You are also able to add students manually or give students a link for students to join with.

Strengths and Weaknesses: 

  • Strengths:
    • Diagnostic – Formative – Summative assessments
    • Authentic assessments
    • Collective date
    • Connected to the curriculum
    • Students can do at home or during class
  • Weaknesses:
    • Question based
    • United Stated curriculum standards


Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project, Uncategorized

Where To Go Next? – Update on my #LearningProject

Good afternoon!

This week for my #ASL #LearningProject I’ve decided to take it easy and do part two of Sign Language 101, “Lesson 8 – Verbs & Directions.” I already mastered part one, which showed my progress with verbs. Now, I’ve decided to finish the video and learn directions and show my progress.

Learning directions was a little more difficult than I expected it to be. Verbs contained simple gestures and body language, whereas directions were harder to master. I also think that they were more difficult to learn because there were so many different directions to learn; whereas, the verbs there were less to learn.

NEXT WEEK: I want to find new motivation for where I want to go next.

Posted in EDTC 300, Uncategorized

The Price of Shame, Is It Worth It?

Jim Makos Flickr via Compfight cc

We live in a society where majority of people have a social networking account. There are multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and many more. People live to be online and immerse themselves in this digital society that we now live in. The new generations are being born into a society where the majority of people rely heavily on the internet. This was not the case in the past and the dynamic of the internet has changed over the past decade. Monica Lewinsky goes on to talk about the change in the dynamic of the internet and what the price shame has to offer to individuals such as herself in her TED talk, “The Price of Shame.”

Monica was just like any other 22 year old and made a terrible mistake that she now regrets. Unfortunately, Monica’s mistake was falling in love with her boss, the President of the United States. This mistake cost her, her dignity and her privacy. The new age of the internet caused people to judge her based on the information they received and Monica was branded as a “tramp, trat, slut, whore, bimbo, and of course, that woman.” Monica states, “I was seen by many, but actually known by few,” which explains the disconnect people see between judging people online or cyber-bullying and not recognizing that someone actual lives behind the screen on the other side. Which brings me to talk about Amanda Todd’s story.

Many people might remember watching Amanda Todd’s YouTube video. This video goes on to explain the detrimental struggles and cyber-bullying that Amanda Todd went through from doing one mistake that ended up taking her life. Due to the change in the dynamic of the internet Amanda was not able to get away from her mistake, but rather it followed her. My EDTC 300 class had the opportunity to talk with Amanda’s mother, Carol Todd. She was able to talk with my class and give us a few tips on how to control the conversation and talk to our future students about internet safety. It was interesting to hear how Carol has used her daughter’s story to help others and instill kindness in this world of chaos. In this world where one photo took a teenagers life. Which brings me to Jon Ronson’s TED talk, “How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life.”

This day in age it is so important that someone thinks before they post. In Jon’s TED talk he discusses how Justine Sacco tweeted a mindless Tweet that ended up costing her, her identity. What Justine thought was a harmless joke ended up igniting a Twitter frenzy. People started to take their social justice beliefs into their own hands and began to discriminate Justine for her mindless joke. It brought up the issue of white privilege and people made it their job to get Justine fired from hers. Although the joke that Justine made was not right neither is what happened to her.

We all need to understand that people make mistakes and once they are aired online it leaves a long lasting imprint on that person’s life. People need to be aware of the impact social media can have on others and realize that there is always someone on the other side of the screen.

Be kind always! (:

Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project, Uncategorized

Sign a Song – Update on my #LearningProject

Good afternoon!

In my last post, I mention that Hayley posted a video, called “How I’m Learning Sign Language!” on Twitter that inspired me to learn to sign a song. The girl in the video suggests learning to sign a favourite song of yours to quickly learn how to sign. Needless to say it has been an adventure. I continue to struggle with the fluency of signing #ASL. I struggled with signing the words fast enough to be able to follow with the lyrics. Although I struggled I persevered and honestly if it weren’t for the website, “Signing Savvy” I would not have learned as much as I did.

Please see the video below for my progress. P.s. learning to sign a song is very difficult but also very rewarding!

NEXT WEEK: I am going to pick up where I left of last week and continue with Lesson 8 – Verbs & Directions from Sign Language 101 and learn directions.

Posted in EDTC 300

Cell Phone Use During Class

suzyhazelwood Flickr via Compfight cc

There has been a in-depth debate on whether or not children should be allowed to use their cell phones in class. There are many reasons to support it, and many reason to not support it.

I personally think that cell phones should be used within the classroom for educational purposes. I think that many teachers shy away from using cell phones and other social media platforms because of all of the risks technology brings into the classroom. Although, teachers should educate their students on the risks technology has rather than shying away from it. I believe that cell phones should be used to help differentiate for students and be seen as a tool rather than a hindrance. I believe that students should be allowed to listen to music if they feel it will help them focus.

My colleague and classmate, Sydney Wall, and I  created a video using Screencastify to show the different sides to the cell phone use in classrooms argument. The video encompasses a conversation between an upset parent, who has been told by their child that cell phones are never allowed in the class, and a teacher who doesn’t allow cell phones in the classroom unless they are being used for educational purposes.

This isn’t necessarily how a conversation would go, we are by no means stating all teachers are against technology in the class, nor are we saying this is how all parents would act.

Here is a list of the resources used within the video:

  1. Cell Phone Harassment
  2. Why you should listen to music while you work, according to scientific findings


Here is a list of extra resources for the ongoing debate about cell phone use in classrooms. Feel free to make your own opinion on whether or not cell phones should be used in the classroom.

Technology should be used:

  1. 4 Benefits of having mobile technology in the classroom
  2. Advantages of Using Cell Phones in the Classroom
  3. Pros of Cell Phones in School
  4. Cell Phones at School: Should They Be Allowed in the Classroom?

Technology should not be used:

  1. Cell Phones at School: Should They Be Allowed in the Classroom?
  2. Why Phones Don’t Belong in School

  3. Cell Phones Should Not Be Allowed In School

Posted in EDTC 300, Learning Project

Sign Language 101 – Update on my #LearningProject

This week I have decided to take a look at the website Sign Language 101. It is a website that is comprised of ten individual videos that each are a lesson teaching beginners how to sign. I started by watching the first video called, “Lesson 1 – Gestures & Body Language.”

The video show the instructor signing while a narrator does a voice over to interpret what the instructor is signing. Within the first minute of the video I felt very overwhelmed. I could not follow along with the video and needed to turn on the subtitles to be able to comprehend the instructors signing. This gave me a whole new insight on what it means to be deaf and the struggles people who are deaf or hard of hearing face.

Since I’ve already started learning sign language I already knew several of the signs introduced in the first lesson. I’ve decided to skip a head to the video, “Lesson 8 – Verbs & Directions.” This video begins by giving the audience a little insight on deaf culture. The instructor asks the frequently asked question, “how do deaf people communicate in the dark?” The instructors goes on to tell a joke about a deaf person to give insight and to make fun of ignorance people have. People who are deaf just figure it out. People who are hard of hearing or deaf need to be able to see in order to communicate. Their eyes adjust to the light that allows them to see better at night. They use any little bit of light they can to help. For example, when deaf people go to a movie they use the lights in the isle to help them see to communicate.

Lesson 8 I’ve decided to split this lesson into two parts. I started to with verbs and did not find them difficult to comprehend and master. Since I have been watching the TV series Switched at Birth I have seen these verbs used before. Please see the video below of my progress.

NEXT WEEK: After collaborating with a few classmates on Twitter I have decided to learn sign language through another means – that being music. Hayley shared a video on Twitter and after watching the video, “How I’m Learning Sign Language!” I felt more motivated and ready to take my signing to the next step. For next week, I will learn how to sign a song. Tune in next week to see how it worked out.

Wish me luck!

Posted in EDTC 300

My Digital Identity – What Does Yours Look Like?

wuestenigel Flickr via Compfight cc

If I were to think about my own digital identity as a teacher a couple years ago I would have cringed. In the past, I would post to social media platforms for social interactions rather than to use as a resource for others to learn from. I was behind everyone else when it came to getting social media platforms but in the past couple of years I would like to say I have become pretty techy.

Internship really pushed me in the right direction. During pre-internship and internship I started to use social media platforms as a resource to find new ideas.

Where can you find me?


Today I have Facebook memories to remind me that it is important to think before you post. My Facebook is used for personal use to stay in contact with relatives. Since starting university I have become more engaged with creating a respectful online presence. I have began to use Facebook to share online resources with other teachers. For instance, I have joined groups with other colleagues in the English Language Arts Secondary Program called “English Educators” and a group called “Saskatchewan Grade 10 ELA Teacher Resource and Ideas Exchange.” These groups allow me to collaborate with other teachers to run ideas by and find new resources.

Majority of my Facebook posts are about motivational posts related to my dream job – becoming an educator. Here is one of my favourites!

Twitter: @misshitchens 

I did not find twitter until I started my internship. I strictly use Twitter to build my digital identity as an educator. I follow other educators to be able to seek new resources. I often use Feedly to share new interesting resources on Twitter. Majority of my tweets favour English education, inclusion, students advocacy, and many other educational topics I am strongly passionate about.

If a person was to follow me on Twitter they would see my bio, which explains my passions, who I am, and a little about myself. I have linked my blog to my Twitter to allow people to view my online education portfolio along with create a better understanding of my beliefs and values as an educator. I strive to post on Twitter frequently to create a digital identity on this social media platform. I have also contributed in an #edchat and want to continue to do so.


I was introduced to the world of blogging my first year university during an Education Core Studies class. During the four years of my degree I have created a total of four blogs for several different class. (Please feel free to look under the “University Courses” tab to explore my other blogs.) These blogs consist of my beliefs as an educator and show my growth throughout my university career.

Pinterest: @rebeccaapril1

I found Pinterest when I became a Early Childhood Educator a few years back for a local Daycare. I created a board dedicated to my Daycare. I pin lessons and activities I could do with the children. I also have a board dedicated to Pre-internship, Grade 9 Surviving and Conquering Unit, and Education (Internship). All of my professional boards are public for other educators to use for resources and to run ideas past. Feel free to check out my boards and give them a follow.



I hardly post on Instagram and I use it for personal use. Although, I do follow some teaching pages such as “everything_ela”, “weareteachers”, “edutopia”, and many more. I recommend giving some of these pages a follow.

When a person looks at my Instagram they will find a little bit about myself. They will find out that I am Canadian, have a heart condition, and am striving to become a teacher. I feel like this all gives my profile a little character and differentiates me from others who may have the same name as me.

What happens when I google: “Rebecca Hitchens Teacher”?

  1. My Twitter account.
  2. My blog account.
  3. My profile picture on my Twitter Account.
  4. Yorkton Regional High School – Staff Directory