A Pudding and A Salad Mixture

So you would like a lovely salad recipe? Well you have certainly come to a place with a recipe. Below is a simple salad mixture written clearly in nonsensical verse. All you must do is read the poem, figure out the measurements and ingredients, and voila you will have a bowl of salad. (Provided your definition of salad is mashed potatoes with egg)

After this salad continue reading for a pudding!

Salad Mixture

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If you are struggling to traverse these instructions since phrases like “Quantity of salt”, “Once with vinegar”, and “Onion atoms” may have fallen out of use in the last 125 years, you will find a slightly more direct recipe below:

  1. Boil 2 large potatoes and mash them through a sieve.
  2. 1 spoon of mustard
  3. 2 pinches of salt
  4. 3 spoons of olive oil
  5. 1 spoon of vinegar
  6. 2 mashed hard boiled egg yolks
  7. A small amount of chopped onions
  8. 1 teaspoon of anchovy sauce

And there you have it, place all ingredients in a bowl and stir. The result will taste of potatoes, egg, and mustard (I did not put in the anchovy sauce as we did not have any anchovy sauce). The results are not bad!

 

 

Mother Eve’s Pudding

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If you do not know the amount of eggs needed you must research how many pennies are in a shilling and deduce from there. If you do not have time for that I have included another list:

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 6 apples peeled and chopped
  3. 6 ounces of bread crumbs without crust
  4. 6 ounces of currants (I used blueberries)
  5. 6 ounces of sugar
  6. Some salt and nutmeg

Now, I will once again admit I didn’t follow their directions to the letter, I halved the recipe and did not let it boil for three hours. I also wish I had served it with butter.

 

The result of this recipe is not terrible, it is not quite a bread pudding and not quite anything else. All the ingredients on their own would be nice and I suspect if we had a different type of bread it may have tasted a bit more of dessert.

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My dear friend who aided me in this venture is eager to attempt this recipe with slight adjustments to improve the look and taste.

Recipes from “Enquire Within Upon Everything” (1894)

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Podcasting Group Work

We are doing a group inquiry on the possible use of podcasting as a medium in the classroom. Both listening to podcasts and the making of one.

As our group took a bit to finalize we have started with sharing ideas. Currently we would like to find podcast resources for teachers and information on how to begin a podcast.

Podcasting is an audio medium which is primarily free, anyone can create a podcast and they can cover any topic. There are podcasts on history, science, education, art, and fictional stories. If you have an interest or passion you can often find a podcast which dives deeper into that topic.

We are now starting to listen to and review specific podcasts.

Inquiry and Innovation

Last week we visited the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry (PSII). I really enjoyed seeing how this school functions. Inquiry to me holds a lot of possibilities and it was interesting to see a way it can be used in schools. While I do not yet know if I would want to teach in a fully inquiry  based environment, like many of our school visits I saw things I would want to incorporate in my teaching .

Often when we talk about inquiry there are questions about how students will be prepared for university, whether or not they will struggle in a more traditional schooling environment. When this was asked during our visit I really appreciated the answer, that students who are invested in their learning and aware of their goals and learning needs are plenty prepared not only for university but to choose what path works best for them. Often we treat the first year of university as a test, to see how to succeed in school, to find something you want to do. It is not possible for many people to pay for university to see if something interests them. It would be beneficial to students to have knowledge about their own learning and goals before university.

The other point that stuck out to me in our visit was the way the classes at this school are not mandatory but suggested. It is very different than any system I have experienced. At first this was almost hard to imagine, that students have such control over their schedule. Then I thought of my planning course in grade 10. I do not know the exact curriculum at the time I took this course but our class consisted of my teacher spending an hour of our day for a full semester reading grad requirements to us. Forms we would later read again in grade 12. At one point three students fell asleep in the same hour.

I knew at the time of this course that I was not gaining anything useful, but I did not ever think to question the structure of it. I didn’t think I could influence my own learning. I have heard of other student’s much more involved and useful planning 10 courses and I regret those hours I spent doing nothing. At PSII I imagine that not only would I have been able to leave and work on something more productive but the environment is more open to students asking questions about their own learning.

Reflecting on the moon

This past month I have been comparing and contrasting the way various books explain the formation of the earth and moon. I finished gathering this information last week but was unable to decide on how to present the information. I didn’t want to simply write out everything as that would take a while, I had a lot of information.

As I have worked on this blog I have been trying new forms of technology where I can, I enjoy learning new mediums online, but I could not find one that matched my ideas. Finally I decided to forgo the technology aspect and draw/paint my information. This was the most work I have done for one of my posts in both the painting and the amount of time I spent gathering information. In the end I wrote explanations as well as the images, so a lot was put into the final post.

Unfortunately as I posted it the blog was erased and all that was left was the title. I enjoy using technology and I have seen first hand in my own schooling how valuable it can be. However, I am often nervous that things like this will happen, I saved the post several times and it did not stick. I want to use technology in cases when I works well with my goals, but I am aware that things put online are not always in my control. If I drop an assignment into a puddle that it something I can regret. If it is lost to the internet I can only start over, with more backups and twice the work. This time I will re-write my post on a document and so if something happens I can copy it back. This seems to defeat some of the convenience of blogging on a platform.

The Earth and The Moon

There have been many  theories as to how the earth and moon were formed. Here are a few possibilities from a few points in time.

  1. 1863 “Reasons Why: Physical Geography”

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The first and oldest book does not mention the moon but offers two explanations of the earth’s core. It is either molten or solid (and full of tunnels). If molten they believe that the heat is left over from the formation of the earth. If the solid theory is true it would be chemical means melting the rock in tunnels. They do not explain what chemical means. A geologist apparently does not care about this information.

2. 1921 “The Book of Knowledge” (Canada)

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In 1921 the solar system starts with a nebula. This nebula became hot and shrunk to become the sun. The earth is merely a small piece of the sun that cooled from a gas to a liquid and finally a solid. When it was liquid pieces spun off the surface to become the moon. The books shows that the core of the earth is a hot gas.

In this book they repeatedly mention that poets often refer to a nebula as “the great fire mist”. I have been unable to find any example of this in a poem so I wrote one. “Sat upon a summer lawn, I gazed into the great beyond, beyond the dark and falling dusk, was the fire mist of the universe”

3. 1926 “The Book of Knowledge” (America)

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In 1926 the theory from 1921 remains with minor changes. The nebula no longer shrinks from heat but the forces of gravity. This book spends most of the chapter repeating what was written in the previous edition. At the end of the chapter is a paragraph which introduces the possibility of the Planetesimal theory. As explained by the book this theory is that the sun was originally the center of a nebula and the planets were the arms. The planets and moons grew by crashing into each other and space material. The earth did not start with a hot core but developed it over time through radioactive elements.

This book also mentions the poems about “fire mist” I still cannot find any.

4. 1931 “The wonder Book of Science”

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This final book does not go into detail about the wonders of science. It shows the formation of the moon as pictured above and states that the earth was formed from the sun in the same manner.

The book shows that the earth has a solid core made up of stone, metal, and heavy elements. It takes a stance against humans making it to the moon, while describing exactly how we did it.

I find it interesting to see how information in these books goes back and forth. It is easy to imagine that all of our current knowledge was gathered one piece at a time and added to a growing pile of organised facts. That if someone suspected the world had a molten layer under the crust in 1863 that fact would continue through to today because we know it is true now.

But instead it is like a billion piece puzzle where the pieces keep going missing and some are from other puzzles and everyone is disagreeing on what the final picture is. Just because someone had a center piece while they were making the edge doesn’t mean it got placed until the puzzle filled out more.

Going Different Directions

Although I am mostly focusing on The Book of Knowledge I started this week by picking up “The Girl Guiding Book of Ideas” (1939), and it held a wonderful general knowledge quiz full of incomprehensible questions and answers. The questions are honestly unfair since they are completely out of the context of 1939. I decided the best thing to do was make an honestly unfair quiz out of a few of the questions.

After searching online and attempting to make a quiz twice I found a website that was simple to use and had enough free features to make a multiple choice quiz (proprofs quiz maker). The website does ask for your name but will accept random letters which I noted in my post. I added the multiple choice because the original questions are impossible to answer without options, for example:

“Why can you not make a good cup of tea at the top of a mountain?”

“Because the water boils at a lower temperature”

Along with making this quiz I have been collecting household hints from my books, particularly “How girls can help” the first Girl Guiding book (1912) and  “Enquire Within upon Everything” (1894) . And researching the Moon and Earth as explained by “The Book of Knowledge”(1921/1926) and “Reasons Why: Physical Geography” (1864).

All these different topics seem to lead me to multiple unrelated articles, as I open a book to find information on cleaning mirrors in 1894 and end up reading a poem about making salad. The past was a strange place and I am really enjoying such specific glances at it. I may at one point research further the world these books were published in, the outer society that influenced what was written and published, but the books themselves are also an answer to that question. They are an incomplete picture of the time they were made in, so once I have seen what picture my odd collection paints I will find the rest of the image.

Video Conferencing and Assessment

In our Technology class this week we held a video conference class where we listened to and asked questions of Ian Landy, a BC principal. I found the conversation and topics really interesting and he made points I hadn’t thought about before but definitely want to research further.

While many of the topics were new to me the method of conversation, a video conference room where both sides were filmed and projected onto the wall, was not. When I was in high school I lived in a small community where there were not enough teachers to run all the grade 12 classes every year. As a result we would have courses like history 12 and geography 12 alternating every year. In my grade 12 year we had geography and they brought in a video conferencing system, my classmates and I were in the class with the teacher while 2-3 other schools in northern BC attended through video conferencing and smart boards. This system was not perfect, calibrating video, sound, and smart boards could lead to delays and class interruptions, but we were one of the first classes in the school and I have heard the system has improved in later years.

The video conferencing system in class was familiar but much better than what I had access to over four years ago. It is encouraging to see technology moving forward when I know that it can provide students in certain situations opportunities they wouldn’t normally get. After that video conferencing geography class students were able to take history/geography/English lit without planning years ahead, they would video into which ever school had a teacher that year.

In the conference call Ian Landy spoke to us about assessment and using technology to present students work to parents, E-portfolios and methods like Fresh Grade. I find assessment very interesting as we have been presented with many different ways of doing it over our program so far, and they are often different than the methods I experienced in school. He discusses not using letter grades, not assessing everything a student does but the things that are meaningful to their learning, and focusing on quality of education over quantity.

I find myself very open to these ideas, especially not using letter grades and percentages. It is something we have discussed a few times in this program, whether a letter grade accurately reflects learning or is useful for the learner. I am likely biased by my own poor letter grades in elementary school. I believe I was motivated by low grades to improve, but I did not necessarily know how or have the tools to do that. When I would receive a final grade at the end of the year I did not have information on what I needed to do next.

I compare this to my younger brother’s class last year using Fresh Grade to keep in contact with families. My parents appreciated having information on what the class was doing, seeing that allowed for specific questions at home. The class also did reflections, the result was responsibility around their own learning. Parents may not be aware of exactly what students are needing to work on or what their goals are, this way student had a voice in their learning needs.

The best part of that experience was updated and current knowledge on where the children were and what they may need help with, rather than only a summary at the end of the year which was my experiences in the same grade.  (The downside of an E-portfolio system according to my parents was a lack of keepsakes.)

Assessment and evaluation has not played a huge part in any one of my classes so far but it is a topic I am eager to learn more about.