ALST600 Final Reflections

The one thing I’d say about myself as a undergrad student is that I’m bad at math. As Peter said to me recently, we all get gifts in life, but not all of them. Math definitely isn’t one of my gifts. I wouldn’t have made it through any of my undergrad math courses were it not for the tutors, math specialists, and professors who believed in me. I also wouldn’t have gotten through the iBook assignment were it not for the patience and encouragement of Team Southcentral: Reuben, Mason, Meghan, Shaun, and Sophia. When we started this project, I didn’t know which region I wanted to research. I simply stood in the hallway until every region looked like it was spoken for and I put my name on the list that had only five names. I don’t think I could’ve picked a better team. I appreciated Reuben’s patience, Mason’s humor, Meghan’s generosity, Shaun’s technical expertise, and Sophia plays the viola beautifully.

The most valuable lesson I learned is that, when doing research, there are some ways of proceeding that are more efficient than others. I learned by watching how my team members approached their research. Besides being bad at math, I feel like I lack in imagination sometimes. I felt like I was undertaking a daunting task, and my initial approach was to panic, thinking I needed to check out a bunch of books. How do I do this?, I thought, but was afraid to ask anyone. Again, from Peter, at some point you just have to stop panicking and do it. Slowly, I came to realize that I wasn’t alone, that Team Southcentral was in this together, and that my part our iBook introduction was absolutely doable. I think the final result in our collective effort demonstrates everyone’s commitment to being the best educator they can be.

Thank you to Peter for his sage advice, and to Team Southcentral, for helping me expand my imagination. By that I mean that I know I can do something like this again. The panic is gone.

ALST600 Reflection

A final reflection on ALST600

I learned so much from this Peter’s history class. Not just the content, from our own research, but subtle teaching skills. One of which was the scaffolding he provided. This class involved using technology quite a bit and for some people it can be intimidating. The scaffolding helped, first we started out with simple blog post, watched Peter’s youtube videos and learned how to make our own instructional ones. Eventually we built an incredible iBook complete with culturally responsive lessons. Along the way I learned that I am in love with the idea of flipped classrooms and using resources before class to save class time for projects.  In my ibook lesson I tried to use some of newly learned techniques, first and foremost allowing for student exploration rather than the traditional lecture and question answering. I want to conduct my class with a similar atmosphere of my students learning by doing.

Final Reflection- 600

 Project based learning was (and is) a great way to get into the material and experience learning on my own. I was able to focus on the topics that I found interesting, while still learn about the topics of my groupmates.
As a teacher, project-based learning could serve as a as a great barometer to gauge the different interests of the students. From here, lessons could be planned in order to capture the attention of your students, which provides relevancy to the subject matter.
The teacher in me learned that educating students has to be a flexible and malleable process. Sometimes, lesson plans work exactly as planned. But other times, most times, curveballs come into the plan and adjustments have to be made. Projects are a great tool that a teacher can use to be flexible. They can be modeled to allow students certain creative liberties, which I think is an invaluable learning opportunity for youth.

Final Reflection 600

ALST600 Alaska Studies was not a typical history course – no lectures, timelines or tests. Your instructor was far from an expert on the subject.

We took a different approach – you were asked to be the historian in the room. The only textbook, the one you were asked to write.

You just experienced project-based learning.
What did the teacher in you learn?

The teacher in me learned that projects don’t have to only be for the teacher/professor and that people are motivated when the product is to be used/accessed by others outside of the ‘circle.’

My experience with projects in the foreign language classroom has been an easy cop-out for the teacher to have less work to do for a week when used ineffectively. Projects that were constructed outside of class time allowed class time to be utilized for other instruction or activities.

In my opinion, using a flipped classroom for projects is an effective way to go about creating the project. Using some class time for troubleshooting  and collaboration was effective, while leaving some time for instructional practices.


ALST 600 Review

Through Alaska Studies, I have obtained knowledge that wouldn’t have been as diverse if we were lectured. We went into depth in our own regions as well as those that we reviewed.

I learned multiple tips and tricks from Peter through this class. I have nothing, but good things to say about Peter. I learned how to direct student attention to the center of a room, multiple different computer tricks, and how to maintain a classes attention.

I look forward to using visuals in my classes to teach in a fun and captivating way. I have also learned multiple ways to teach sensitive topics and relating them culturally common knowledge.