Monthly Archives: November 2012

(All I Really Want) A Mixtape for Chirstmas

All I Really Want is A Mixtape for Christmas

This is the fourth and final mix for The Social Playlist Challenge by My Music Cloud. It’s been a lot of fun putting together a mixtape every week this month.

This week’s challenge was to put together a playlist of songs that could be played at a holiday party. I already made a really cool Christmas-themed mixtape last year and I didn’t want to repeat myself. That being said, Run-DMC’s “Christmas is Hollis” just had to show up again.

This mix is perfect for your holiday party. It starts out light and comical, gets a bit funky, slows down just as it should near the middle, and then picks up the pace again to end with a bang.

01. Barenaked Ladies – Green Christmas
02. Bill Nighy – Christmas is All Around
03. Straight No Chaser – 12 Days of Christmas
04. Boney M – Feliz Navidad
05. Mega Ran – Snow Business
06. Run-DMC – Christmas is Hollis
07. Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run
08. Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas
09. Billy Squier – Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You
10. Alvin & The Chipmunks – Chipmunk Song
11. Elmo & Patsy – Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
12. Dragonette- Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)
13. The Kinks – Father Christmas
14. The Ravonettes – The Christmas Song
15. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Wizards in Winter

Download the album version

Download this mix as one long MP3 file

Or stream it with the player below.

And please vote for me with a Facebook like or a Retweet on Twitter.

Enjoy the tunes!

photo credit: andywon via photopin cc

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Nothing Lasts (not even audio players)

Why doesn’t anything seem to last these days?

Last year, our podcast host shut down operations and I had to find a new home for all of my audio files. In the process, some shows were lost.

Today, I logged on to my favourite media player for blog posts and found this message.

So, the players on the bottom of all of my posts no longer work. It’s going to take me some time to fix all of those broken links.

I don’t understand why Mixpod has ceased operations but still seems to have an app. I don’t have an iPhone, tablet computer, or anything that will let me run apps. I just have a blog. A blog with broken audio players. I better get to fixing those.

Two Down, Two More to Go (Keep Voting Please)

I have been having a lot of fun with this contest.

I never even expected to win but I’ve managed to win two week’s in a row now.

There are two more weeks of the contest and voting for this week’s mix ends tomorrow at midnight. Please click through and like this Facebook status to vote for me in Week 3.

Or log on to Twitter and Retweet this post to vote for me.

Or you can do both 🙂

Download this week’s mixtape “November Leaves, Love, and Longing” or stream it with the player below.

Thanks!

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

The Power of Education (And a Great Film)

The First Grader is an amazing film about the power of education. It’s based on a true story about a primary school in Kenya.

This small school is opened because of the government’s promise of free education for all. They are completely overwhelmed with students who want to learn and as such have over 200 students enroll.

Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge, an 84 year old man, shows up to the school because he believed in the promise of free education for all. He is given several reasons as to why he can’t attend the school. He walks away disappointed but comes back the very next day to try again. After a few days of this, the teacher decides to take him in.

It was amazing to see the children and this old man learning together side-by-side in an over-crowded classroom. There were five or six students sharing each desk and several having to sit on the floor.

Many people are upset that an old man is attending the children’s school, and the both the teacher and Maruge are constantly threatened and intimidated.

The story is set against a political backdrop and we learn of the tough times Maruge has gone through in his life. We also see how the kids learn from having an elder in the classroom and how much they can learn from each other.

The teacher ends up being transferred out of the school. The students are really upset about losing their beloved teacher and stand up against the injustice of it. It’s a great scene that can remind us the power that students, when united, can have. What they do is inspiring.

I want my students to realize that they have a voice, that all students are important and have something to offer, and that education itself is something that should be cherished as much as the characters in this film cherish it.

We can learn a lot from a good movie. I would love to show this to my classes. It’s rated PG-13 though because of a few disturbing flashback scenes.

There is a lot of history that could be taught through the use of this movie, as well as notions of tolerance, acceptance, and how thankful we should be for our schools and public education system. That’s not to say that things are perfect but we do have clean water, lots of resources, and the ideal of free education for all. That is not something that we should take for granted.

More Great Teaching Ideas 

Twilight Fans Win a Free eBook

A few weeks back I had the chance to interview the author of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner: In Their Own Words.

The eBook People gave me three copies of the book to give away here and those copies are still up for grabs.

If you would like to get this ebook for free, please send me an email and I will send you the download link and instructions. It’s as simple as that.

If you are a Twilight fan and love the movies, you will love this eBook.

I have three copies to give away and they will go to the first three people who send an email to chasemarch (at) gmail (dot) com

Just remove the spaces and replace (at) with “@” and (dot) with “.”

Good luck!

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Autumn in Kains Woods (Photographic Tour)

It’s a cool morning for a run but I just discovered a new trail and I’m excited about exploring it.

Welcome to Kains Woods in London, Ontario. This is the entrance to the trail just off of Westdel Bourne and Oxford Street.

It’s starts out as a paved multi-use trail that is part of the much larger Thames Valley Trailway.

The paved trail continues alongside this small pond but I curved around it and found the nature trail.

It has this wooden gate to deter bicycles, snowmobiles, and ATVs from accessing this Environmentally Significant Area.

The trail is very well marked and easy to follow.

There are several bridges throughout the 5 kilometer trail

I love that the trail follows alongside the Thames River as well.

How about this cool stepping stone bridge?

This trail has a few hills to it but, you know me, I love a good hill.

This was a really nice run. I’m going to have to go back and explore the entire thing one day.

More Running Trails

November Leaves, Love, and Longing (Mixtape)

Here is the mixtape I made for the third week of The Social Playlist Challenge. It’s called “November Leaves, Love, and Longing”

I wanted this mix to have melancholy, yearning, and romance from a wide variety of acts and genres.

The theme this week was “Fall Romance” and I really wanted to set it in the here and now. That is why it has some songs about November.

The songs and audio clips from a television series come together to tell a story. Throughout this mix, we can hear two characters coming together and, over time, realizing that they are indeed soulmates.

I really like the way this mix turned out. I was a little reluctant to do this theme. But I think I managed to portray a “Fall Romance” in perfect Chase March style.

Enjoy the tunes!

01. Emerson Drive – November
02. Ed Sheeran – Autumn Leaves
03. Fitzgerald and Armstrong – Autumn in NY
04. Wyclef – Gone Till November
05. D-sisive – I Love a Girl
06. Coldplay – Don’t Let It Break Your Heart
07. White Stripes – Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground
08. Billy Talent – Fallen Leaves
09. Johnny Cash – Seasons of My Heart
10. Harry Connick Jr. – It Had to Be You
11. Kanye West – All Falls Down
12. Lost Boyz – Renee
13. Oasis – Wonderwall
14. Garth Brooks – Unanswered Prayers
15. Sugarland – Stuck Like Glue

Download the album version

Download the mix as one long MP3 file

or stream it with the player below. . .

and please vote for me on Facebook by liking a post that MyMusicCloud will put up tomorrow about this mix

or on Twitter by a Retweet.

Thanks!

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

One Vote Made the Difference (Thanks!)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I can’t believe that I won the first week of the Social Playlist Challenge, and by one vote no less.

Thank you for supporting me by “liking” the facebook status or retweeting a post. I really appreciate it.

Please click on both those links to vote for me this week too. 

You can also stream or download this week’s mix here.

Right now, I’m busily working on Week 3’s mix which will be posted here tomorrow.

Cheers!

How I’ve Been Using Facebook in My Teaching

As an experiment this year, I decided to embrace social media to help open the lines of communication with students and parents.

It’s only three months into the school year, but I thought I’d share with you my progress thus far.
I started up a professional Facebook account this summer. This account was meant to be strictly for my teaching practice. I wasn’t going to post anything that wasn’t related to my classroom instruction or program. 
I don’t use Facebook personally, so it was easy to set up this new account and not mix my personal and professional life online. 
And it worked . . . up to a point.
I became Facebook friends with 41 students. It was interesting to see the things they talked about on their pages. I didn’t see a lot on my dashboard stream though. I think many of the students adjusted their privacy settings to prevent  me from seeing everything they posted, which was fine. Other students didn’t want to have a teacher as a friend whatsoever. 
The solution . . . 
I started a Facebook Page. This way students and parents can “like” my page instead of friending me. This allows them to see all of my updates, interact with the posts, and leave comments. 
To that end, I asked my students to “like” my new page and then I started removing them as friends. I sometimes miss that I cannot see all of their posts anymore but I think this is a much safer environment for teachers to still use the social media site. 
Almost everyone uses Facebook. Why not use it to help open up the lines of communication between school and home. 
Office Hours
Students or parents can’t expect to find me online all of the time. I told them that I will do my best to be online from 8:30 to 9:00 p.m. every night. That way any questions they might have will be answered before they go to bed. 

Twitter

I also started a professional Twitter page that is secondary to my current one. This is only used for educational purposes as well. 

Teachers Should be Online
I have always had an open-door policy, but I have found that very few parents call or come in to the school. Some students are reluctant to stay after class or come in before school starts. Having a social media presence makes my door even more accessible. In this day and age, connecting online is quick and easy. It only makes sense to use these tools in an educational setting.
How about you? 
Are you using social media, websites, text messages, etc in your teaching practice? If so, please leave a comment below and let us know how it’s working for you. Thanks! 

Sifton Bog Trail Run

I went to Sifton Bog once before and only found a short boardwalk with no running trails on it. This week, however, I found that there is a second entrance to the bog with plenty of nature trails.

It’s a little difficult to see where the nature trail begins but behind this sign there is an alley.

There is also a parking lot at the end of it, but I parked at a nearby soccer field park.

The entrance to the nature trail has the usual sign of warnings and conditions for trail use.

The trail is clearly marked and runs for about two and a half kilometers.

Here is some interesting information about the bog from Wikipedia. 

The bog was previously used as a commercial source of sphagnum moss, an alternative to cotton gauze. It was mined during the First World War to support the war effort and the needs of local hospitals. The Alder Buckthorn, a plant native to the bog, was harvested and used during the Second World War to produce gunpowder.

The Sifton Bog is one of the most southerly acidic bogs in Canada. It contains a number of rare species including four types of carnivorous plants. Among the latter are the sundews, Drosera intermedia, Drosera rotundifolia, and the purple pitcher plant. The central bog vegetation is dominated by Sphagnum and Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf), with a few short larches (Larix laricina) and black spruce (Picea mariana)

I ran the entire length of trail and kept following the side trails to adjacent neighbourhoods. All in all I ran just over 5 kilometers in total and it was a nice run with a few gentle hills.

More Nature Trails