Photos cc by Google Slides
I spent countless hours planning, writing, rewriting, choosing photos, editing photos, adding music and narration, and then doing it all over again on this project. I ran into quite a bit of trouble on several different occasions. First, I had to reset my tablet in order to get the volume and microphone to work properly. Once I got that part of the problem figured out, I had to find an app or website that was compatible with my tablet that would allow me to create digital stories. I tried Storybird and several others like it but could not find one that allowed me to add a voice-over narration. Finally, I came across a download for Photo Story and decided to try it out. Photo Story allowed me to import photos, edit them, add text, narration, and music and then save the project to my computer. Let’s just say this project nearly brought me to tears many times because of the difficulties I had in getting it done.
I chose to use the metaphor of a peaceful sanctuary for my classroom because it is important for me to provide an environment for students where they will feel safe, comfortable, relaxed, and encouraged. I hope for my students to get the same feeling I get when I go hiking in the mountains of Colorado or when I go horseback riding. It is a peaceful, serene feeling that kind of just overcomes you. All your other worries seem to just dissipate and all that matters is the here and now. I know that some students have unstable homes, many feel pressure from their peers or academic pressure from their families. These are things that can increase a student’s stress levels and may possibly affect their learning. Although it will be impossible to completely alleviate these issues altogether, I will strive to have a classroom environment that will help to reduce these stressors. I also hope that my students will feel like they are an important part of something. Through the use of problem-based learning and passion-based learning I will guide my students in practicing critical thinking skill as well as team skills. In nature, everything has its place; each little element has a specific and important purpose. This is how I would like my students to feel in my classroom. I believe this can be achieved through careful planning of lessons and projects. My biggest goal will be to release my students into the wild with the tools they need to become curious and critical lifelong learners.