Mid Semester Ukelele

It’s been a few weeks and I have been able to practice the ukulele to achieve my overall goal of playing Vance Joy’s song Riptide while singing. Firstly, I learned that the grade 4’s ukulele’s are tuned higher to A,D,F,B whereas a regular tuning is G,C,E,A. So I had to do a bit of research on my own to see which cords are which. The information that I originally had from my grade 4 student was inaccurate for me with regular tuning. For example a Bm (B minor) in their tune of A,D,F,B is actually an A in the tune of G,C,E,A.

I felt passionate about learning so I bought my own ukulele off amazon and seem to be tuning it very often. I have read online that the first while of playing requires lots of tuning while the new strings stretch out. I have tried many different tuning apps but my favourite one is “GuitarTuna.”

The first time I picked up the ukulele I had no idea where any of the cords were. I worked with a friend that showed me the cords I needed to play riptide and away I went. The reason I picked riptide was because it is one of the easier songs to learn on ukulele and for my first song I wanted something that I could learn quick so I could pair singing with the cords. The three main cords needed for this song are Am, G, and C. I got the hang of the rhythm pretty fast but when I started singing my fingers forgot where to go next and my strumming pattern stopped. It took a few days but I finally got the rhythm and figured out which words go on the down strums. Even today, I play the song a bit slower because I am still fairly new to the experience. However, I am practicing a bit every day and can see the results. Below is a video of me playing Riptide while singing. It is meant as a midway point to me being able to play this song without errors and faster.

Below is a video of my mid semester progress for Riptide

The password is: Education

During this process I originally thought that I could pick up the ukulele a few days before and learn to play the song. Although that may have still worked it would have been a lot more worked crammed into a shorter period of time. Likewise, once I actually picked up the ukeklele for the first time I realized it was a lot harder then I had thought. Personally, in this process I found I am a quick learner. Once I learned which cords to use I could easily remember them. One great thing that I had not anticipated was that I knew most of the words from Riptide already from listening to it on the radio. It worked out very well because I found that having the words memorized helped a lot when trying to match the strumming pattered to them. Most importantly though I learned that practice makes perfect!

Now that I have a more realistic idea of what I can achieve and what I need to work on, my goals for the weeks to come are most specific. I plan to not need to look down at my hands as I change cords, play continuously through the whole song with no stutters, and speed up the song.

I will do this by practicing a little every day. By doing this my speed will increase as will my skill for playing the ukelele. For the cords, I will practice having my fingers in place already for the next cord so I do not stutter or have to look. I am very proud of what I have achieved thus far and am looking forward to what I can do with this skill in the future!


Coding: True and False

Coding in its simplest form can be broken down into 1’s and 0’s. A 1 means it is TRUE and a 0 means it is FALSE. One thing to always keep in mind is that if something is not true then it is false. This system is called Boolean algebra.

When coding it is important to remember that computers have no intuition, so you must state everything and be very specific.

Below is some statements of true and false. It is similar to basic algebra where is you multiply a negative with a negative you get a positive and if you multiply a negative with a positive you get a negative. We are using “!” as the meaning NOT. So if…

  • (!(True)) = False –> Not true (-) x True (+) = –
  • (!(False)) = True –> Not true (-) x False (-) = +

*When working with loops it must always be true to work.

Truth Tables show the outcomes when you combine 2 different coding expressions using “and”, “or”, and “and or”. For example, if the first statement is true OR the second statement is false than the overall statement is true. If the first statement is true AND the second statement is false than the statement must be false, this is because the statement cannot be true if one is true and the other is false. If the first statement is true AND OR the second statement is false than the statement is true. The “and or” table combines the “or” and the “and” so all possibilities are true and will run with the only exception of if both are false.

“OR” Table

A StatementB StatementTrue

“And” Table

A StatementB StatementTrue

“And” “OR” Table

A StatementB StatementTrue


Chinese New Year Dragon

This craft was a fun and engaging way to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Each student was given a red oval for a part of the body and feathers, glitter glue and scrap paper to decorate. I did this craft with kindergarten’s and grade 1’s. I found the best way to organize it was to have 4 students at a time come up to the “craft station” and create their section of the dragon while the other students had free time around the room.

My one miscalculation was that I assumed the students would use lots of feathers and paper and add glitter glue at the end to decorate. However, glitter glue was a BIG hit! So much so that students would mainly use it for their piece, which we did not have the supplies for. Mid way through designing I decided to tell students that the glitter glue was used at the end after they had added other decorations. This seemed to worked well. As always I was very impressed with the final product as the children’s creativity and imagination never cease to amaze me!

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Most of us have heard of the saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” Personally I see a huge difference when I do not eat breakfast. Within an hour or two I get very hungry and take on the overall persona of a hangry person. That’s why this week I am focusing on breakfast. I used to religiously eat honey nut cheerios and milk until I realized that it is all carbs and sugar. On top of that, I would be hungry an hour later. It does not do the trick. That said, here are the meals I made for a hearty breakfast this week that made me feel good throughout the day!

Toast avocado ham and egg: I used sourdough bread and smashed an avocado on it. I added a little bit of lemon and salt as well to bring out some more flavour. Then I ripped up some ham and covered the top with a medium cooked egg. This breakfast left me full for hours, and was very easy and quick to make. While the egg cooked I could prep the rest for a total of only 5 minutes to make.

Total Prep/Cook Time – 5 Minutes

Greek Yogurt with Granola and Strawberries: I found this meal is perfect for so many different reasons! It can be very versatile and very quick to make. Here are some pro tips from trying this recipe a few times. I have found that greek yogurt is thicker then Activia yogurt and therefore requires less to fill you up! Likewise, it can be very personalized because any berry can go in this meal, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and my personal favourite, strawberries. Another tip is to use fresh fruits and cut them onto of the granola until they need to be frozen. Then use the frozen berries and heat in the microwave first then add the yogurt and granola afterwards. This way you get the most out of the fruit you are buying. This meal became my favourite breakfast when I was in a hurry and needed something filling fast.

Total Prep/Cook Time – 3 Minutes

Classic omelette: Although this meal takes longer to make it is equally as delicious and is a very good start to the day. This omelette contains spinach, ham, onion, peppers, and feta cheese. I first cooked the spinach, peppers, ham and onions until they started to brown. While they were cooking I cracked 2 eggs into a bowl and added about 2 tbs of milk. Then I turned down the heat, added the egg mixture and put a lid on top. Omelettes are great because you can put pretty much anything into them, any leftovers from dinner the previous night like meats or potatoes. Omelettes are very personalized and can be made as long as you have eggs, everything else depends on what’s left in your fridge. I have tried plain cheddar cheese in the past and think that, in comparison, feta cheese makes this omelette taste a lot better!

Total Prep/Cook Time – 15 Minutes

Puff the Magic Pancakes: These mini pancakes take on a Yorkshire style for a yummy breakfast. Although this meal is not as healthy or balanced I think it is still important to balance meals. I firmly believe in the 80/ 20 rule of eating healthy! You can’t deprive yourself of sweets or the binging will start! To make this meal or other waffle/pancake meals more healthy there is always the option of adding berries on top or substituting syrup for jam.

Total Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes

After this week I found that I was less hungry throughout the day so my others meals did not need to be as planned out. For my body especially I know that I need breakfast in the morning to be productive and functional. I can see how this may translate into students that do not get anything to eat before they come to schools. Knowing this, I plan to have a basket of fruits in my classroom for students to eat if they need more in the mornings. This way they are set up for a more successful day right from the beginning.

Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry Visit

The High School Visit to the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry was a very eye-opening visit. I think that the system that is used is very effective for a niche group of students. I found that typically the students drawn to the school were those with social or academic anxiety problems. I think they are drawn to this system because it is less traditionally academically structured and a smaller community. While there, I heard several students mention that high school was a scary place. The teachers at this school have seamlessly found a way to teach inquiry based. Teachers are there to assist students in learning of their own choosing. They direct students to resources that would help and hold classes that essential for the projects. I found the accelerated program very interesting in this process. I think it’s a perfect way to integrate higher level education in a meaningful way because students are only taking the courses that are beneficial to them. Likewise, because of the students flexible schedules these one-off university courses are less overwhelming and dense. The accelerated program also changes the student’s whole ideology around university in a positive way. It is no longer a place to go to find what you want to do, it is utilized for key aspects to help them achieve what they already know they want to do. Students that come from this school have a clear idea of what drives them and what resources they will need to further that drive. For example, one student had 1 year of computer courses and then started his computer business. For him, he was only missing a few concepts that these courses offered. Once he got what he needed he could branch off on his own.  

            Although this teaching method works very well and should be an option, this system could not be the only option for schooling. It would not be possible to have this system on a large scale. The cross-over of information from students work that the teachers would have to handle and inform on would be overwhelming. Another downfall of this school was that there are no team sports. Students cannot even go play for other schools because the school is registered as a sports school. Only some students able to play only if eligible. This limits student’s opportunities in sporting avenues. That said, the benefits to this system cannot be understated. Students develop skills based off projects they are personally invested in. The passion and drive is in every bit of work they do because they choose to do it. It seemed that this system worked because every student could find something to be interested and these inquiry questions lead them to their projects. One pivotal moment for me in realizing how well this worked was when 2 students were talking and explained that a few days earlier they had just decided to learn creative writing. I believe if you give students the time to explore and ask questions, as this system does, key concepts that are forced in traditional schools are chosen to be learned on their own time. I also think that when topics are freely chosen instead of forced more learning occurs. I am very grateful for the opportunity to go tour this school and talk first hand to the students to see how the system works.I think this type of independent school should be an option for every student to choose because it is so effective for those that do not do well in our traditional schools.

Week 3 Blog: Video

This weeks class was very productive and informative. The first half was a conference call with Ian Landy in Powell River pertaining to the shift from traditional report cards to E-Portfolios. This formative assessment is important because students can be excited about the work they show knowing that their grades are based upon the great things that they have done in the different subjects. This form of assessment allows for flexibility in the learning for students to enjoy the process and engage in personalized assignments. I think E-portfolios are fantastic because all students have different assets that are shown in different ways and these portfolios allow them to be graded on things that portray those unique assets. I think the old system with report cards is very limiting by having every assignment have a letter grade. There is no additional information given and students feel stuck with grades that they get on every assignment. I like the idea that with an E-portfolio you can delete items, it is an ever-changing grade based on the learners development. It showcases the best of every student.

Ian Landy has some really amazing blog posts that are diverse and very informative and enriching. Here is his wordpress: https://technolandy.wordpress.com

The second half focused on developing our video and audio editing skills. I had used iMovie before and thought I had known all the editing tricks. I was thoroughly happy to find that there were new editing skills I had yet to develop! Just goes to prove that every one always has more they can learn. When using GarageBand to create an audio track I was completely confused. I could not find where the instruments were and did not know how to play the instruments electronically. However, with time I figured things out and was able to piece together a small song. I found the process of making a song from scratch to be quite difficult. I did not know where to go from a certain point and for that reason the song is not very cohesive. This was a learning experience that I would love to explore in my spare time. I think this app is a really impressive tool for creating music and should be explored!

Here is the link to the video I edited: (Password: Education)


  • Formative Assessment
  • Video Conferencing
  • Video Editing
  • Audio Editing

Prepping to Meal Prep

This week was the beginning of what seemed was going to be a long process. This was the first time I had thought out my meals well in advance. My goal for this week was to start small, to meal prep just a few meals that I could eat on multiple days. I found the process to be very frustrating. Trying to see what ingredients go into multiple different meals while still having diversity is hard! On top of that, I ended up with 2 types of “salads” out of the 3 meals I had planned to make for the week. However, I know with practice and time I will become more efficient with it.

I turned to instagram to find inspiration on meal prepping and ideas. Pages to follow that I have found are very useful include:

The meals I did this week were honey garlic shrimp with rice and broccoli and Santa Fe Salad! I ended up adding a caesar salad to the shrimp dish for an appetizer and chicken to the Santa Fe salad for a more balanced meal.

I found that I had over-prepared for the week’s meals. I had originally planned on the two salads, a Santa Fe Salad and a shrimp and avocado salad along with the shrimp broccoli dish. However, I did not anticipate the meals out that I had and the multiple dishes that came out of each meal. I never got around to the shrimp salad so I will have that for the next week. Overall, this first week of meal prepping was successful and I am looking forward to developing this skill further in the weeks to come.


  • Steaming Veggies: In a pan on medium heat put the veggies you want to steam and add 1 cup of water. Put a lid on the pan and let the water steam until a fork can go through the veggies.
  • Defrosting Shrimp: Boil water in a pot, throw shrimp in once water starts boiling. Turn down the heat to medium for 5 minutes