Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Teaching My Students How to Blog

It is my third semester to teach my students about blogging. I started it last year with my computer engineering students in PUP as an additional topic and to my civil engineering and AB History students in the Intro to IT subject. I did not found it hard to teach the topic for most of the students regularly surfs the net and knows the ins and out, specially email, egroups and friendster and they are on their 3rd to 4th year in college. Some of the already have blogs and almost everyone wants to have their own blogs. We just discuss the basics like how to get started, where to get the free site and how to maintain their blogs plus what to blog about and what not to, and the students do the rest with minimal supervision from me. Then I regularly visit their blogs for additional extra points on their final grade and its not compulsory.

This semester is quite different from the previous ones, I teach Intro to Information Technology at PLMAR (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina), to freshmen BSBA, BS Criminology and CareGiving students. Almost half of the students in the classes have no computer background let alone an Internet experience, we stared with the basic terminologies in computer and had discussed up to networking and the Internet. It’s really rewarding when they tell you stories where they use the terms we learned like WIFI and 3G and using wikipedia. I taught Blogging under our topic Multimedia and the Web, where I discussed and brought samples of Podcasts and Screen captures of popular blogs and of course You Tube, and encourage them to surf to some sites like pinoytopblogs, video blogs, photoblogs and podcating sites.

When they started creating their own blogs came the problem, we don’t have a computer laboratory with internet connection at school so they rent at computer rentals and surf on their own after class without my supervision. Some of the students can’t seem to access their blogs after signing up or others are too scared to try alone. Since this Monday, Aug 27 is a holiday, I scheduled an Online conference in Yahoo Messenger at their request so that I can assist them as they start creating their blogs. It was a success but it was very exhausting for me, trying to instruct at most five students at a time using chat as a medium on what to do till they successfully publish their first articles. Some had already published their first articles while some students just ask assistance in getting the blog and promised to post articles soon.

I am planning to put links to their blogs in the next few days as they start blogging and we plan to have a contest on the Top 10 blogs coming from them at the end of the semester. I’ll be featuring their blogs at my other blogsite digitized youth. Hope this activity enables them to have a happy time blogging.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Book Review: The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior without Whining, Tantrums and Tears

I am very thankful that blogs were invented, since I started blogging April of 2006 new doors were opened, I had the opportunity to meet great and extraordinary people and I started to really get to know the real me, know my strengths and weakness and it enabled me to become a better person.

One person I have gotten to know through blogging is Elizabeth Pantley, a parent, educator, a mom like me and an author of eight books for parents including the best-selling No-Cry Series: The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers and The No-Cry Potty Training Solution. I was flattered when she e-mailed me and told me that she read my blog and it seems we share the same ideas on parenting. She asked me if I want to have a copy of her new book The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior without Whining, Tantrums and Tears and give my review on it, of course I agreed for I am really interested on what I can learn on parenting. I take parenting very seriously, I have several subscriptions on parenting sites and own several books on the subject.

I have received her book though snail mail just over a week ago and enjoyed reading her book. I would like to share what I have learned reading it.

About the book:
The book is written for parents of children aged two through eight and tackles about how parents know that raising children is one of the best and rewarding job but disciplining them is can sometimes be challenging, complicated and frustrating. It teaches parents on how they can promote good behavior, how to be firm without the shouting and the tears and how discipline can be effective through a positive and fun ways.

It was tested by hundreds of families worldwide and in every childrearing situation: working families, single and stay-at-home parents, twins and multiples, and children of varying age and temperament, is documents how the No-Cry Discipline help and made a difference in their lives. The book has dozens of ‘real life’ examples and tips from parents worldwide.

My reactions to the book:
The book for me is exciting, informative and to my surprise very touching. There were parts of the book were I cried, it was really heart warming specially how tips given by other parents are placed just on the right part of the page and it seems that they read what is going on your mind at that precise time. One memorable part of the book that still remain with me till now is the part were the author shared about when she and her son Coleton were walking in a busy street and being a typical kindergartener, curious about everything Coleton keeps lagging behind, and being in a hurry she shouted at him to hurry up and quit dawdling. And when he did catch up with her, with tear-filled eyes said, “Next time you feel like being mad at me, why don’t you just hug me instead and then tell me what you want me to do”, we as parents sometimes do that, shout at our child for the smallest reason that makes the child more confused and inevitably hurt.

The book really reached out to me as a parent, it understood what I am going through and offers great advice on topics and situations that I struggle as a parent.

To my surprise the book really reflected and affirmed by beliefs on parenting and enhances the skills I currently have. It gives specific solutions to everyday problem which I find most helpful for it gives perspective to what seems to be a very big situation but when we step back and think about it the solutions are very simple and how the situation can be avoided in the future.

One of the lessons I learned by reading the book is knowing your goal as parents – It is about raising your child, looking ahead, envisioning you child as a teenager then as an adult, ask yourself what kind of person would I like him to be? then start planning now how can your child be that person in the future for our actions today affects his future. This lesson had a great impact on me, for I consciously try to mold my son to be respectful, kind, loving and happy person, but was afraid to let other people know that that’s what I am doing for they might say I am too controlling or to that effect.

My Recommendations:
While reading the book I thought of several friends who would be helped by this book. I highly recommend this book to parents that have children aged two through eight, especially first time parents who have insecurities in their abilities in parenting. I have met parents who seem to not understand or know how to approach or communicate with their children; I see their children being withdrawn and have no confidence in undertaking new things. I would have told them that if they hug their children more and talk to them at their level and be less judgmental, their worries will be gone. This book will be great for them.

The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior without Whining, Tantrums and Tears is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books A Million, Book Sense, McGraw Hill, Powells. I am just not sure if its available in the Philippines though.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Marimar 2007

GMA7 is making a remake of Marimar and will be televised starting Monday. When I first heard about it I was upset. Remaking something as good as Marimar would surely be unacceptable, specially thinking local stars portraying my favorite star Thalia, really pissed me off. But looking at the promotional pictures and getting a glimpse of the video piqued my interest, something in me took noticed and now I am looking forward to the telecast this coming Monday. Even my friends who were as addicted to Marimar ten years ago are all excited. Looking at the pictures I got from igma.tv, indicated that the soap is well made, I hope so.

When Marimar was aired in RPN 9 in 1996 I was really hooked, even coming home early from work just to watch it, come to think of it, almost all of Manila was hooked with the Mexican Telenovela. I even watch the two concerts of Thalia when she came here in the country, and I have been a fan ever since I even have her latest album.

The Marimar Plot

Marimar is peasant girl. She lived by the sea with her grandparents, and fell in love with Sergio, the son of the owner of an "hacienda". To spite his father and his young stepmother, Sergio marries Marimar; however, he falls deeply in love with her

Sergio's stepmother, Angélica, despises Marimar because of her poverty, naïveté and innocence. She cruelly embarrasses Marimar, often demeaning her as an individual in front of her friends and guests.

Sergio decides to go away to earn enough money to take Marimar away from his father's house. After leaving Marimar alone with his family, Angélica frames Marimar and tells the cops that she stole a bracelet from her. Marimar is sent to jail.

While Marimar is in jail, Angélica orders one of her servants to burn down her grandparents' hut with them inside, killing them both. She then forges Sergio's handwriting and writes a letter to Marimar stating that he never loved her and wants a divorce. At this moment, Marimar decides that she will exact revenge from Sergio, his father, and Angélica.

My Expectations:

It still too early to say if this remake still have the same effect it had ten years ago, all I can say is that Marimar has a special place in the Filipino's heart I just hope this remake will not tarnish it in any way. I'll be watching the telecast next week and will give my verdict then.

My World's New Look!

Welcome to Sweet World!!! I have Categorized Myself!

It's been weeks since my last post and I have really missed blogging. There are several reasons why.... the most notable is that we were sick! As in my whole family, it started with my son catching the virus at school making him sick for more than 2 weeks and ending it with both me and my husband being sick at the same time last weekend its was really one nasty bug for we had the fever, cold, cough, running nose and allergy, the whole ensalada at the same time. I still have the cold and the cough today lucky for me there was no classes last weekend.
Another reason is the improvement of my blog, I've been meaning to do it for the longest time and luckily after a few "no classes/suspension" I had finally the time to do it.

Here are the new things I accesorized myself with:

Proudly Pinoy Logo - I am proud to be a Filipino and being inspired by Yatot I also displayed the logo.

Pinoy Moms Network - I have been a member for a few months now and now finally I am proud to flaunt it.

Categories - I have been wanting for the longest time to have categories in my blog and now thanks to FreshBlog and Ted for writing the bookmarklet. It took me a few sleepless nights but it was worth it.

Technorati - I have a technorati account for the longest time but only had updated the code recently.

Now that my Blog had a makeover expect more juice and sweetness from me, I have this reviews I am raring to start and experiences that I would like to share.