ILP: REFLECTION

ILP Reflection Pic
Photo CC By-Versatile Cupcakes

The Individual Learning Project was something that I had never experienced before.  There have been no other college (or high school) classes that I have taken in which the professor asked me to spend time each week learning something simply because I wanted to learn it.  After some thought, I decided to take on baking and the adventures of cookie and cake decorating, and all things in between.  While this was not directly related to the course material of digital literacy, I really felt that this would be something I could look forward to each week without it feeling like a stressful homework assignment, as well as a skill that I could continue to use and build upon throughout my lifetime.

As I took the first steps of my ILP journey, I began to lay out what I thought I would like to learn and a tentative outline of the semester’s schedule.  One of the first things that I learned, was that sometimes, you cannot always stick to the initial plan.  While weeks passed by, there were times that life just happened, and I had to make adjustments to my weekly plans, but I learned that this was alright.  Even though some things changed and not every project turned out as perfect as it looked in the picture on Pinterest, it was all a part of the learning process.

I also discovered that while I am by no means a master baker, making sweet treats and decorating them with my hands is something that I enjoy quite a bit.  Being able to work with something physical in front of me and put my own artistic spin on things made seeing the final products even more rewarding.

Since baking (and eating:)) is something that interests me, it was not hard to find motivation to learn as a part of my ILP.  The only times I was challenged to get my ILP learning in was when my schedule got tight and I had to get creative with my time.  Other than this, I thoroughly enjoyed my time learning the art of baking and cake decorating.

I would have to say that my favorite part of this experience was getting to try all of the tasty treats after I made them and then share them with friends, family, teammates, coaches, and work colleagues.  I almost always made way more than my roommate and I could eat on our own, so sharing was an absolute must.  It was fun to take pictures and share my experiences with classmates via my blog as well.

After my experience with independent learning, I know that I would love to incorporate it into my future classroom.  While it may not be to quite this scale at the elementary level, I believe that giving students an end goal and then presenting them with several different avenues for getting there can be a very effective teaching strategy.  We all know that when the content of the material we are learning is tailored to our own unique interests, we are much more likely to stay engaged and retain what is being learned.  Students are no different, so I believe independent learning is something worth trying.

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16 thoughts on “ILP: REFLECTION

  1. I’m so glad that you loved you ILP so much, I really enjoyed following your blogs about this, this semester. I completely agree that nothing about our ILP’s went ‘on plan’, I also found myself setting new goals for me (pretty much on a daily basis). This was also the first time that I had ever had an Instructor ask me to take the time to teach myself something. At the beginning of the semester I was confused as to how the assignment made sense for a literacy class, but as the semester went on I learned that the ILP is teaching us how to be students again. This concept is important for those of us that are becoming teachers we once again are put in the position to be inquisitive and open minded about new concepts. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I agree completely. Being given this opportunity really makes me stop and think about ways that I can be this type of teacher for my future students. I really do think that giving students a little bit of say in their learning makes them more interested and invested in the overall process. Thanks for reading, Molly!

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  2. Having a skill in baking will definitely be a handy thing being a future teacher and future mom! I have a MAJOR sweet tooth, that’s why I decided not to go with baking! I considered baking for my ILP in the beginning of the semester, but thought it would not be best for my hips, ha! Where did you get your motivation and ideas? Did you end up calling your mom frequently? I would have called my mom so much!

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    1. Even though I learned a lot of what I previously knew about baking from my mom, I did not have to call and ask for too much help throughout this process. I really tried to learn as much as possible on my own! Many of my ideas came from pictures or recipes that I saw on Pinterest or videos in my Facebook feed. If something looked exceptionally yummy, I had to try it! Thanks for reading!

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  3. Ashlyn,
    Knowing that this is probably your last blog sharing your treats breaks my heart a little. You have always been one of my favorite bloggers to read from aside from the baking aspect. I also thought this class was pretty neat for allowing us to learn something new this semester that we’ve always wanted to be more passionate about. Wouldn’t it be nice if more teachers were this way? I always think back to the Hackschoolers. In a way this class was pretty similar. I hope you continuing baking to continue on your passion as well as to keep your friends happy. They will probably be pretty sad if you stopped having them be your test tasters. hehe. Take care 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for you kind words, Bailey:). It has been my pleasure to share all of these fun creations with you guys! I too, am a little bit sad that this portion of the class is coming to an end. It has been extremely enjoyable! Even though it probably will not be on a weekly basis anymore, I do plan to continue baking in the future! Thanks for reading and following along all semester!!

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  4. Love your article, and I also loved looking at the sweets you made each week! I think that this ILP was beneficial for both your personal and professional life. For your personal life you found something you truly enjoy doing and that is always great. But for your professional life its more the time management you mentioned. I think that, as a teacher you will always have a plan but it very rarely goes according to that plan. I loved reading about this and hope you continue to create your sweets!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mackenna! A project like this really has helped me to fine tune my time management. There were weeks where my schedule was already impossibly full and I wasn’t sure where I was going to find time to learn how to bake, but somehow I did it. I would love to be able to incorporate something like this into my future classrooms! Thanks for reading!!

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  5. I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed watching your baking journey. From all the delicious looking treats to the amazing and intricate frosting designs, you have clearly come a ling way and are definitely talented beyond my understanding. I hope that you further your learning and I also hope that one day I might have a class with you so that you can share your talent with me

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    1. Thanks for the comment!! I sometimes surprised myself with what I was able to do and make throughout this process. I have learned so much and it has been great to be able to share it with everyone! The only thing that would have made it better is if we all met in class so I could share my treats in person! 🙂 Thanks for reading and following along! Best of luck the rest of the semester!

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  6. I am thinking that I should have chosen baking for my ILP. My cooking skills are something to be desired. HAHA! 🙂 You were able to test your abilities in the kitchen and share with others to try. Were there any recipes that you didn’t care for or would do differently?
    Val

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    1. I don’t think there was anything I made that I did not like, but there were definitely things that I would try differently the next time. I think that happens anytime you are experimenting and learning something new! One thing I would have liked to have done was be more bold with my choice of frostings. Although I made my own a few times, there were several times that I took the easier way and used store-bought. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this entire learning adventure! Thanks for reading, Val!

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  7. I’m glad you had so much fun with your ILP! I also loved how we got the freedom to choose what we wanted to learn. Someone who hates sweets probably wouldn’t have liked your ILP very much, but we got to choose interests that were meaningful to us. I have loved looking at all of your treats, and they have definitely made me very hungry! Great job!

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    1. The freedom to choose our own individual paths was one of the best parts of this whole assignment, in my opinion! Someone who doesn’t share my sweet tooth definitely may not have appreciated my weekly blogs as much as others, but I hope that they were informational and enjoyable to most! Thanks for reading, Timmi!!

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