Brush Lettering Training Wheels: Learning Project Week Two

This week for my learning project my goal was to attempt every letter of the alphabet in brush script. When I set out to find practice sheets I discovered that there are millions of variations on hand lettering and once an artist gets good they often will develop their own variation of a popular style and then their words become a type of calling card for them. Going into this project I had no idea that there was so much variation.

So in order to narrow it down for myself I went to Pinterest and found some free hand lettering practice sheets that looked like what I had pictured as hand lettering. Turns out what I imagined is called brush lettering and it can be done with brush markers and if you get really good at it you can use paintbrushes and watercolors to create beautiful pieces of art.  The website that I took my free (woohoo!) printable practice sheets from is a blog called One Artsy Mama Creations and there were tons of awesome resources on there. I highly recommend this website and will likely come back to it for further resources.

So like I mentioned last week I bought calligraphy markers and a calligraphy pen. This is how they look on the paper:

After a bit of practice I have decided that the flow of the calligraphy pen makes it much easier to write the letters smoothly and makes it look more elegant. Now just a bit of a disclaimer here, I do not have nice handwriting and so this is going to be a bit of an adventure. I am starting with the upper-case alphabet just to try it out.

Practicing the letters was eye opening to the fact that this is a much more technical skill than I imagined. Next week I will do lower case letters and then attempt a new style. Stay tuned!

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Food for Thought on Feedly

This week in EDTC 300 we were introduced to RSS readers like Feedly. Prior to class I had never heard of an RSS reader before. It stands for Really Simple Syndication and what it does is it allows you to follow and categories the materials that you read online and it stores it all in one place. You get to select different topics that you want to appear in your home feed and when certain blogs and websites get updated they pop up in your feed. Instead of scouring the internet for content it gets all conveniently stored in your feed.

When I set up my Feedly account I wasn’t sure it was going to be all that useful. I generally don’t spend much of my free time reading online. But since creating my Feedly account I have already used it more than I anticipated I would. When I was first getting set up I decided that I would dedicate my account specifically to educational content. I have had a Pinterest account for years and when I go on there to look for resources or educational content I inevitably get sucked in by tantalizing recipes or possible DIY projects. So I selected a variety of filters for my Feedly such as EDTech, Education, and English. Then I continued to go through the “You Might Also Like” section of the website to see what else was out there.

I also found this much easier because I already had built up a bit of a network on my Twitter account. So what I did next was I went into my Twitter account and looked for accounts that I found useful and then searched them up in Feedly. From there I would get linked to other resources and after skimming the headlines for each resource I decided to follow them or not based relevancy and on how many people followed them.

One of the most useful resources I have found through Feedly is Teach Thought.  The articles on this blog are very practical. They discuss the importance of student centered learning and there are many articles that break complex ideas down into simple lists such as, “10 Strategies to Promote Curiosity in Learning”.  I also enjoy Teach Tech because Terry Heick is often a guest author and I find he is one educational guru that I have recently discovered and enjoy reading.

Another blog that I have enjoyed reading since setting up my Feedly is EDTechDigest. This was one of the first resources I added to my feed and I have found it challenging but in a good way. One of the latest advances in technology that I have really balked at is Virtual Reality. I think that it is absurd that people would put their phone in goggles and then play video games using this technology. It’s crazy to me that all kinds of money has been poured into this technology and yet there are people in our own city that go hungry. Anyways, one of the first articles I read on Feedly was titled “Does VR Have a Place in EdTech?” and I clicked on it completely ready to discount every argument the article was going to put forward. But after reading it I realized that I already have used VR in my classroom and not only was it effective but the students loved it. It was great to have my thinking challenged and to reevaluate my position on the matter.

I look forward to future reading!

Old Soul Meets Tech World

My name is Katelyn Pippus and I am a fourth year student in the secondary program. I recently finished my internship experience at Martin Collegiate and it was such an incredible experience. I learned SO much in my four months there! One of the things I learned was that although I viewed myself as fairly tech savvy heading into internship, once I got into the classroom I realized there was so much more to learn.

I consider myself to be a bit of an old soul. I still prefer to read an actual physical book as opposed to any e-reader or online platform. In high school I was the last person in my friend group to switch from a flip phone to an iPhone.  I still have not signed up for Snapchat and only just created a twitter account for this class.  I am not against technology by any stretch but I feel that it is possible to become unnecessarily over connected through social media.

That being said, we live in a world that is becoming increasingly digitized and there are some seriously cool digital tools out there that can enrich the learning in our classrooms. Last year in ELNG 351 we had an assignment where we worked in small groups to teach our classmates about some digital tool that could be used to enhance learning in a high school English class. We used things like Plickers, EdPuzzle, Socrative, Kahoot. In internship I used Google Classroom and Google Read and Write with students to enhance their writing and to stay organized.

Photo Credit: marcoverch Flickr via Compfight cc

Internship really reframed my understanding of technology and media in the classroom. Going into internship I didn’t quite realize how addicted kids are to their phones in high school. A major reason why I took this class is because through my internship I discovered the importance of viewing cellphones as a tool and not an issue in the classroom setting. I want to empower my students to use their technology to enrich their learning instead of detract from it. Going into the classroom I assumed students knew how to use their technology as tools to enhance learning but that is a skill students need to be taught.

I still can’t decide how I feel about blogging. I have blogged for other university courses and I enjoy the opportunity to write less formally and I love that I can interact with my colleagues instead of exploring ideas in isolation. I am enjoying creating my blog a lot more after our first week of class because when I tried setting it up on my own it was somewhat confusing and frustrating. I can also see the value of keeping a blog as a practicing teacher to ensure you are reflecting on your teaching practice. At this point it feels a bit like a necessary evil but I may come to love it yet.

I am looking forward to learning more about how to effectively integrate technology into my future classroom. Feel free to follow me on twitter as I embark on this journey!

Today is Someday: Learning Project Week One

Learning Project board I created to compile online resources.

Pinterest is one of my favourite things in the entire world. I am not ashamed to say that I have spent hours scrolling through planning my future wedding (long before I was even engaged), dreaming about trips I may take one day, and pinning a million recipes to my food board. The biggest board on my Pinterest is my “Create” board. I am a fairly artistic person and the thought of taking time to create something thrills my soul. I have pinned a lot of hand lettering and calligraphy type projects over the last few years with the intention to try it someday. Well, today is finally someday!

I have decided to do try hand lettering/calligraphy for my Learning Project. For years I have pinned all sorts of beautiful, scripty sayings and quotes in the hopes of recreating them myself but I have never had time. My hand writing is legible but I don’t often write in cursive because my printing is neater and quicker. I am looking forward to playing with lettering and the little design elements that often come with hand lettering. Each week I will attempt a different aspect of hand lettering and my goal is to create a sign of sorts at the end that can be used in my wedding in July.

Materials: Artist’s Loft Sketching Pad, Elegant Writer Calligraphy Markers, 1.1 mm Calligraphy Fountain Pen.

This week I went to Michael’s and gathered my supplies. I am just a beginner and so I decided to go the less expensive route and start with some calligraphy markers that come in a variety of colours including black, blue, brown, red, and green. I also purchased a 1.1mm calligraphy fountain pen so that I get some experience using different mediums. I also bought a simple sketch book to practice in.

Super excited to get started! Check back next week for my first attempt at hand lettering.