I made a song with Audacity and an iPhone

At the end of every term I start thinking ‘music’. It might be that it’s just the season for performances and that I’ve got my guitar out, but inevitably over the next few weeks I’ll have a group of children trying to create some piece of music or other.

 

I’ve been using Audacity for a few years – plugging in the school’s old keyboards and seeing what children can come up with. This year however we’ve invested in a couple of iPods, so I’ve been wondering what I could do with them. I’ve been experimenting over the weekend to see what the time limits and snags might be and I think I have a reasonable solution for a way of creating some music with just an iPhone and Audacity. Although I have to admit, I have cheated slightly – I played a guitar – and that’s something none of my children can do, still here’s what my sequence looks like so far. If you want a more detailed explanation, let me know – this just a quick ‘big brushtrokes’ picture of what I did.

 

  1. Find some words for the song. I did a Wordle of the Google Teacher Academy Blog that Kevin McLaughlin had started. While I was recording other bits, I looked at the Wordle and tried to find words that would rhyme and might fit together until a song of some kind appeared.
  2. Start recording drum tracks into Audacity. I used DrumTrack8 which I like because it’s got a copy of my old Boss 808 sound that I used to use in the 1990s. Not that I used that particular sound for this song. Depending on how complex you want to be, you can record all the drums together or on separate tracks. I chose to do Kick and Snare together, highhat on its own, ride on its own and some fancy toms on their own track too. I then used Audacity’s fade in, fade out and amplify (with a -200 quantity) to cut some of the drums where I didn’t want them, for example I only wanted ride in the chorus.
  3. Find a tune. Try to match some words to it. While I was recording the drum tracks I picked up my guitar, tried a few chords and tried to make some of the words from the Wordle fit. This is the tricky bit for the children I guess – as most can’t play guitar – I’ll have to work out how to make this step accessible to the children.
  4. Record the tune. With the drum tracks done I recorded my guitar track onto my iPhone using Recorder Pro. I couldn’t record it straight into Audacity because my cheap mic had broken.
  5. Record the words (i.e sing!). I then sang into Recorder Pro and transferred that into Audacity too. This is the really weak bit for me – I can’t sing very well – my voice is thin and my tuning is… interesting. This was also where I had the largest snag. Aside from the quality of my voice, Recorder Pro seems to stop recording when there’s silence, so when I synced it back onto Audacity is had cut out some of deliberate gaps. I’ve tried to add some silences back in, but the words don’t quite mesh with the beat at some points because they’re out by the odd hundredth or so.
  6. Add some harmony and other stuff. I used Nlog Free synthesiser app to add some more sounds. I love this one. I can’t play keys but I can play Nlog. Sort of.
  7. Balance. The worse thing in a pop song is when you can’t hear the words. Except when I’m singing. So here, I did a little bit more fading in and out and amplify adjustment on the different tracks.
  8. Mix Down. Finally I assigned some tracks a little to the left and a little to the right to give that fuller sound achieved by a bit of stereo and I saved the track as an MP3
If I’d had more time I would have recorded some extra vocals to pad out my voice. I may have even tried some harmony.

 

If I’d had a lot more time I’d have found someone who can sing to do my vocals for me.

Here’s the song: gtauk song

Next stop – try something like this with the children. Should be an interesting learning experience for us all.

 

The words of the songs are:
I once was settled with what I knew
I thought I needed nothing new
In a bubble of my own
A tiny world was my home

 

But then cool awesomeness
Different practices
In a Network Earth
Couldn’t settle then
Had to jump right in
Into a different world

 

I’ve Gone Google at GTAUK
Probably
Posted time to a blog via Twitter that day.
So certify me.

 

Teachers from every different nation
Showing some steep appreciation
Demonstration and explanation
All in the name of education

 

New technologies
New literacies
Squeezed into each hour
Better practices
It’s going to work for years
This is education power

Life in the Red Zone

Rev_counter

I was really interested in a discussion on #ukedchat last Thursday (#ukedchat is a Twitter group that meets every Thursday evening from 8-9pm to discuss issues in the UK education system). The issue in question was that of work-life balance. Some very interested points were raised, many with tongues firmly in cheeks (although it's often difficult to tell in Twitter). Some included "Question – do you think any less of your colleagues if they don't do the extra hours? <yes" and "Thank god I don't have kids I couldn't fit them and teaching in!"

Now I happen to think that "Work-Life balance" is a really unhelpful term. It indicates that work is not a part of life. "Work-leisure balance" is a more helpful term because it indicates that work is part of life. And so is leisure.

However I also think that the term 'balance' is a really unhelpful term. It indicates that things oppose each other, they are in tension with each other. I prefer the term 'blended life'. It indicates that work and leisure and other stuff can all blend together to make up your life. Sometime they overlap, sometimes they are distant from each other.

The picture used in Growing Leaders is that of rev counters. When you're revving a car, you can under-rev it so the engine is not working as efficiently as it ought to; you can over-rev it so that the engine can get too hot and damages it; or you can rev it just right so that it is working as efficiently as possible. The over-revving is the point of most danger. It is life in the red zone.

Growing Leaders identifies 5 ways in which this can happen:
  • Physically (red zone makes you depleted)
  • Emotionally (red zone makes you drained)
  • Relationally (red zone makes you distant)
  • Intellectually (red zone makes you stale)
  • Spiritually (red zone makes you disillusioned)
Of course it is possible to cope with life in the red zone for a certain periods of time. But if you're in the red zone in all areas for a very long time, it is going to be damaging. So blend your life. See it as a blend of different things – sometimes one of those things will come to the forefront, sometimes it won't.

I've found having a personal life statement a really helpful way to manage your red zones. Through it I've been able to define my life physically, emotionally, relationally, intellectually and spiritually. I've also been able to right down some key phrases that define how I am. One of them is 'Gives Hope to Children' – it reminds me that my calling as a teacher is about giving hope to those children in my school who have little hope. It helps me focus on what I should be doing and what I like to do. It is self-affirming and life-building. It enables me to have a bigger 'Yes' with which I can say 'No' to the worthy activities that otherwise might take over my life and take me away from my core purpose.

Finally, as Christians, a blended life fits within the context of living a 'surrendered life'. Our first call is to growing closer to Jesus as his disciples. It is to surrender to Him. 'Surrender' can sound ominous and bleak, but Jesus is love – surrendering to Him makes blending life a real possibility. And it's good because He is good.

Valuing misconceptions on the way to explaining fractions

explaining fractions_0001.wmv
Watch on Posterous

I filmed this about 6 months ago, following an excellent session about fractions on the Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme. The challenge that we were given, and then I in turn gave to the children, was given a 4-pint bottle of milk that gets 3/5 of a pint drunk each day, how many days does the milk bottle last for? Those of us with a formal background in maths would say:

÷ 3/5
= 4 ÷ 3 x 5
= 4 x 5 ÷ 3
= 20 ÷ 3
= 6 r 2.
So the milk lasts for 6 and a bit days. If we wanted to be really fancy we would say the milk lasts for 6 and 2/3 days. And isn't it more practical to say the milk lasts for 6 days and there's 2/5 of a pint left over? Does our understanding of the algorithms let us say that?

Also can children, who are without the drilled-in knowledge that when you divide a divisor you actually multiply, do this question?

That's what the video explores – and there's some interesting misconceptions on the way.

Learning Creativity in Maths at MaST HEI Day 5

MaST is the Masters level study programme I am on (standing for Mathematics Specialist Teacher). HEI merely stands for Higher Education Day.

Creativity in Maths

The Day begin with a lecture on creativity in maths. It's an interesting idea – creativity – because many teachers have the mental construct that creativity is all about thinking artisticly and creating things of aesthetic value. Derek Haylock went on to talk about about divergence and flexibility – a far different way concept of creativity in maths. One leads to trying to shoe-horn maths into a themed curriculum and doing lots of shape work that becomes artwork, the other leads to open-ended questions, good dialogue and child-centred learning. Here are my tweets:

  • About to hear Dr. Derek Haylock at #MaSThei5. http://derek-haylock.blogspot.com
  • #MaSThei5 creativity is not normally associated with mathematics (confusion between artistic and creativity)
  • #MaSThei5 find 2 numbers with a sum of 9 and a difference of 4? When we have the knowledge, what blocks us accessing it to solve a problem?
  • #masthei5 what are the processes that characterise creative thinking? How do we recognise creative product What kind of people are creative?
  • #masthei5 what conditions foster creative thinking? (all in maths context)
  • #masthei5 Derek Haylock demonstrate that we're all fixed, rigid thinkers by nature. We have to choose to think flexibly.
  • #masthei5. Equal pieces problem – will demonstrate on blog how we're all rigid by nature.
  • #masthei5 flexible thinking is the first step on a creative process in maths. Avoid rigidity an fixation.
  • #masthei5 2 kinds of fixation common in maths that limit creativity: algorithmic and content universe
  • #masthei5 ask children to draw a rectangle. What do most of them do?
  • #masthei5 creativity in maths includes thinking divergently: fluency (many), flexibility (kinds), originality, appropriateness.
  • #Masthei5 appropriateness is easy to define in maths (as opposed to art, writing, etc) so teachers fixate on this one part of divergence
  • #masthei5 how to develop divergent thinking in maths: problems with many solutions; problem-posing; redefinition.
  • #masthei5 redefinition – come up with lots of responses by redefining the elements, eg: what's the same as 16 and 36?
  • #masthei5 redefine by using lots of different ideas to create subsets of a given set of numbers
  • #masthei5 conflict between creativity an accuracy – do we value creativity as much as accuracy in maths?
  • #masthei5 graph of attainment vs. creativity (as Derek Haylock defines it) show 0 children in the high creativity, low attainment sector
  • #masthei5 factors associated with maths creativity include low anxiety, high self-concept, risk-taker, high attainer, being a boy. 
  • #masthei5 creative maths children are also 'broad categorisors'. They are good at identifying the same about numbers+ideas and make links.

Writing Assignments

Course Tutor, Mary McAteer gave us some top tips and hints to help us successfully write our first piece of level 7 writing.

  • #masthei5 Mary McAteer reminds us to demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues in essay and PLL
  • #masthei5 warns us against over use of Excel as a presentational tool for simple data

Place Value

Ian Sugarman definitely had the graveyard shift on the day. The last session after a big lunch on a 6 day week – on a Saturday when most would be out shopping, or slobbing in front of the TV – can't have been an easy lecture. And when the subject is the dry area of place value, it's always going to be a tricky one. The biggest thing I got out of this lecture is the warning against the indiscriminate use of number lines and the value of teacher column methods for securing place value when ordering decimals.

  • Context for place value #masthei5 getting things 10 times out can be at best expensive; at worst lethal…
  • #masthei5 misconceptions of place value after the decimal point are rife between ages of 7-11. Half-learned rules and over-generalisations
  • #masthei5 when pupils are given opportunities to explain their thinking, they often spot their own flaws.
  • #masthei5 to get place value it's helpful to sort and justify before ordering
  • #masthei5 talks about left-justifying decimals when I think it's helpful to justify by the decimal point
  • #masthei5 to get x10 relationship it's helpful to use pictures or Dienes apparatus to visualise place value
  • #masthei5 recommends http://nlvm.usu.edu – university of Utah website for good models and images.
  • Great activities advertised at #masthei5 at http://numbergym.co.uk (but not free)
  • At #masthei5 Ian Sugarman talks about standard algorithms can be a sledgehammer to crack a nut in questions like 81-78.
  • #masthei5 numberlines vs standard algorithms vs necessity of getting place value = conflicting interests
  • #masthei5 British children have been referred to as 'pathological splitters', as they partition numbers in both addition and subtraction.
  • #masthei5 Ian Sugarman advocates empty number lines, but not as another rote-learned method. Draw from 0 and emphasize progression.
  • #masthei5 maths in Holland always starts with a real setting, whereas in UK we start with pure maths.
  • #masthei5 can use 'same difference' method as alternative to empty number line for examples such as 83-37 (86-40 is much easier)  

A growing argument for Google Apps in schools instead of LA-imposed VLEs.

At one point I thought there was only reason why Google Apps would make a better VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) in my school over the LA-imposed one.

 

It just worked.

 

The teachers got it straight away. Within half an hour of using it, they had produced something collectively of value in the school. The children got it straight away too. In my first lesson with Google Apps, the children learnt a knew skill, created something relevant to the curriculum and shared their work with me within the Google Apps domain. It took 45 minutes, without any painful file management, reminding children exactly where on the server they should save their work. Some of the children followed up at the weekend by continuing their work and sharing improvements with me. Google Apps was, in short, a great learning resource. It still is. As my friend Mark Allen (@edintheclouds) says, it is the iphone of the internet.

 

Since then, I have started to find that there are other arguments. For a start, most VLEs started in universities where they a repository for online learning and knowledge. They are designed to keep the knowledge secure for that university and for that course – that’s how universities make their money. State primary education is completely different. The knowledge should be shared. Children of course need to be kept safe (which Google Apps does as well as any other VLE), but we can’t withhold essential elementary skills and knowledge from our communities.

 

But I’m not the only one who believes that ‘locked-down’ learning is dangerous for children in the long term. The Ofsted report, Safe use of new technologies says:

 

Although the 13 schools which used ‘locked down’ systems kept their pupils safe while in school, such systems were less effective in helping them to learn how to use 

new technologies safely. These pupils were therefore more vulnerable overall. This was a particular concern when pupils were educated away from their main school, for example, in work-based learning.”

 

Worryingly, it seems that  some LAs aren’t engaged in best practice in terms of developing VLEs in their schools. An old report from Becta states:

 

We consider that, if unchecked, such arrangements for interoperability have the potential to impede competition and choice not only in the provision of MIS solutions but also in the market for Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and Managed Learning Environments (MLEs), and hinder the effective delivery of wider policy objectives in relation to personal learning spaces.

 

They have certainly been unchecked in some LAs.

 

Agent4Change.net has a link to the new MIS BECTA report (september 2010) with the conclusion: The new Becta MIS report, after all, concludes that the market for MIS now, compared with the position at time of the 2005 Report, remains just as uncompetitive.

 

So while it’s great to have all the defensive arguments about e-safety, it may also be valuable to have some counter-arguments about how ineffective LAs have been at educating children for the 21st century and how they have failed to prepare schools likewise.

 

I’m also struck by this 2009 report about school VLE use, which states (on page 8) that successful VLE use is characterised by:
  • Schools having developed a tradition of effective procurement and implementation of innovative use of ICT
  • Schools having underpinned the implementation of the learning platform with a coordinated, positive and enthusiastic strategic approach by senior leaders and managers.
Comparing this with the MIS report from BECTA (September 2009), it seems that LAs are tarred with a brush of ineffective procurement, yet Becta have found that schools with effective procurement have effective VLEs. In addition the second point would indicate that VLEs that are foisted upon schools by LAs don’t work, but schools that have ownership of their VLE through their senior leaders have VLEs that are making a difference for their learners.

 

Just like we’re finding with Google Apps.

 

Finally, while I’ve been writing this, someone tweeted a link to this warning about the dangers of not teaching about the world we actually live in.

 

Seems to me like schools need ownership of this stuff so that they can prepare their communities for the future. As a senior leader in my school, I have ownership of our Google Apps and know where I’m going with it. There may be better stuff out there but I don’t have ownership of it.

 

So if you lead a school or are part of the leadership, take ownership of the offline and the online. Google Apps might even help you.

Chapter 1: school Trip

“Are you coming with us?”

The teacher smiled back across the table and nodded in affirmation.
The wrinkles at the corner of his eyes, meant that smiling made him
look at his best. His hair was dark brown, slightly thin on top with
the odd grey hair at the sides. Stubble and dry skin marked the lower
part of his face, his nose was over large, but neither drew the
attention. What did were his eyes. They were pools of myriad brown,
grey, green and blue. They were different each time, seemingly the
colours would move into different patterns. And set as they were
behind the prominent smile lines, they drew and held the gaze of any
observer.

The girl smiled and turned to her friend to begin chattering about
something else. The teacher turned away and let the chatter wash over
him. The children were excited. It was a rare trip to the coast – a
yearly excursion that this particular age group did. Some of them had
never been there before, had never seen the sea, or sand. They would
be seeing something unique this year. Something nobody had seen
before. The teacher’s smile turned slightly grim.

The journey was uneventful enough. Only one case of travel sickness
was a reasonable return on one hundred and fifty miles. The first
night passed with the normal over-excitement from the children whereas
the teachers looked forward to the children being tired out after a
full day of activities on the second night. But the first full day of
activities was very different from previous years.

The morning on the beach was followed by a cliff walk. Each teacher
shepherded their children cautiously up the cliff path that ran only a
couple of metres from the edge. The children were equally nervous –
most were unused to the countryside, let alone a steep drop into
churning foam. Which is why they were shocked when, at the highest
point of the walk, the teacher with the eyes stepped off the path and
right up to the edge of the cliff.

“Mr. Saunders!” shouted the girl from the morning before. This shout
drew the attention of the children and teachers in other groups spread
along the cliff path, who all see Mr. Saunders calmly step off the
edge of the cliff. He was still smiling.

There was a brief, silent flash as he fell. Remarkable maybe, but not
compared to what had just happened. In the shock of the aftermath,
those children and teachers that had seen the flash dismissed is as a
trick of the light, the sun glinting off the sea maybe. It had been a
bright day.

They never found a body

Chapter ? A meeting of friends

Chapter ? A meeting of friends

They stood in the dark.

“Can you believe it?” one said.

There was a deliberate rustle. A piece of paper being waved in evidence.

“It’s all here.” said another voice.

“Just like he said it would be,” a third voice added.

“I don’t like it,” a fourth voice joined the conversation. The first female voice. “And I didn’t like him.”

“You made the promise.” It was the first voice again, followed by silence.

After a moment, when the steady beat of the rain on the jet windows began to dominate, a fifth voice joined in, female and quick:

“The promise? I liked him for a while, but I hadn’t seen him for years. When he died, I…” There was a catch in her voice. “What is the promise?”

“It doesn’t matter now he’s dead,” the other female voice responded with a hint of a snarl.

“Can’t you see?” came a sixth voice, rich and deep. “He’s not dead. He used it. And we haven’t even made it yet.”

A light of any kind would have revealed the sudden wonder and amazement etched on their faces. Understanding soon replaced that, followed by concern and then anticipation.

“We’ve got work to do.”

And within a minute the room was silent once more, as six figures strode off into the night.

Sent from my thingamajig

Good Design or Misleading Iconography?

Training_icons

A couple of months ago I read, or rather looked at, this on Doug Belshaw’s blog. A 4-set Venn diagram. I looked at the four areas described – Education, Technology, Productivity and Design and how the centre section where all four areas meet must surely be some ideal. The I realised I couldn’t meet the ideal – because I am rubbish at design. The other areas are fine, but not design.

 

Doug described the centre section as ‘User Experience’ and a kind of agree. All four areas have to combine positively to create a positive user experience. I saw this happen when I used Google Docs with my colleagues earlier this term. I had previously tried to foist Moodle on them – but to no avail.

 

It. Just. Didn’t. Work.

 

There was something missing from their user experience. But Google Docs made complete sense. We used a spreadsheet to plan how we would teach our 120 children maths for the term. Not only did the same teachers who didn’t get Moodle get Google Docs straight away, but we planned the maths groups in only half an hour – previously it had taken a couple of hours for me and then lots of follow up conversations and re-adjustments. It was a productive experience, the teachers learnt something using technology and it was clearly designed well enough for teachers with low IT confidence to get it straight away.

 

It. Just. Worked. 

So when, a month or so later I came to design a learning platform using Google Apps – I was excited that the technology was in place to create a productive online tool, but worried that my design skills wouldn’t be up to the task. Along came Mark Allen (@edinthclouds), fellow GCT with some wonderful help, advice and a great template – but still I wanted more. I didn’t want to solely use the icons that Mark was offering because I wanted them to belong to us at Paganel. So I asked some children to design some for me. Some were hand-drawn like what you can see on the front-end of our learning platform at lp.paganelschool.net, others were created in Google Drawings. They’re not brilliant – but they’re ours.

 

And this is I hit a really interesting problem. I had a go at creating some of the icons myself (I couldn’t take the children away from their curriculum every lesson to do my work for me – child labour was banned in this country in Victorian times). But obviously being a poor designer I was completely stuck for ideas. So a Google Image search revealed what the rest of the world was doing for icons and gave me some good ideas for my own. However, it was clear that whilst there are some excellent designers out there, and the icons look very pretty, they’re not all working in the centre zone of Doug;’s Venn diagram – they’re not actually working for a good user experience.

 

My best example is ‘training‘. I did an image search for training and came up with the picture I attached to the blog. 30 icons for training. However many of the images provide a very negative image for training – they’re all about ‘instruction’ not training. Images of chalkboards, lecturing and even mortar-board-wearing figures. That’s not training to me.

 

Training is about the practice and application of specific exercises to develop and hone a skill. It requires two people to help you – a coach who can draw out your motivation and a mentor who can guide you when you’re going wrong. Images of instruction give the wrong message to the user about what training actually is. They limit the message. Is this being pedantic? Maybe so – but I want the best user experience possible for the teachers who will be using my learning platform.

 

But I’m not a designer. I desperately want a good icon image for ‘training’ so I can use it on my website, but I can’t think what it should be. So any thought or reflections on other misleading icons will be most welcome – and if anyone can help me design a good ‘training’ one, do let me know.

Nano Chapter ?: The Day of the Dead.

Imran hit the floor with the thud that forced the air from his lungs. He tried to breathe but nothing happened. Waves of desperation flooded over him. He sucked air again. Nothing. Doubled up, he felt the pain of the impact on his chest, but a worse feeling was growing inside his chest as he struggled for air. His mind drifted to the journey that had brought him here. His missing father. The other children with missing parents. The letter from 1850. Nothing made sense.

And then he realised that he was breathing again. The air back in his lungs, the blood taking oxygen to his brain once more, he began to notice his surroundings. 

It was dark. There were indeterminate noises somewhere in the distance.

As his eyes became used to the dim orange light from the street lights, he became aware that he had landed between the wall of a house and a few low bushes. It was a side passage that lead to a nondescript wooden gate of some back yard or garden. A few days ago he would have looked at the house he knelt by and thought how modern and new it looked. Of course the experience of the last few days had blown away any previous notions he had held of 'new'. Growing up in a Victorian house, surrounded by street after street of Victorian terrace, he was used to the grey stone and faded magnificence of that era, not the shabby red brick of sixties modernism.

The noises grew louder. Peering over the bushes he could see that beyond a wide grass verge, a road sloped darkly down to a T-junction at the 
bottom of a hill. Perhaps one hundred metres way, at the junction, he could see shapes of people. He was sure that was where the noises were coming from.

Perhaps seven people, were gathered, seemingly laughing and shouting in the middle of the road. They were a range of heights, mainly adult-sized, although there was a smaller person there too – maybe about Imran's size. There was something about the tone of the shouting that made Imran rather nervous. It was a bit too loud, a bit too forced, a bit too raucous. And then Imran realised that there was something lying on the floor at their feet. Something, or someone – it was dark shape about man-sized and lying quite still. It was also the object of their attention. He could see them kicking it, bending down to touch it and laughing at it. Then all of a sudden, the smallest one pointed and shouted something. The others looked and howled – a terribly ominous cry – and then they ran off in the direction shown to them, leaving the dark shape lying on the floor.

As the hooting and howling faded into the distance, Imran realised that he was alone. The answer to a small mystery lay a short run away at the bottom of the hill. So not having anything better to do, Imran jogged as quietly as he could down to the dark shape lying on the floor.

Notes from Growing Leaders Session 2

Session 2, Growing Leaders was entitled 'Establishing Identity'

The first section was a 'Swedish Bible Study' on John 15: 1-17. 

Candle (New things learnt from the passage):
  • You will bear fruit
  • Ask whatever
  • Friends with God
  • He gives choice
  • Branches go into the fire
  • Obey
Up arrow (any things about the nature of God):
  • Rely on God's strength
  • God does pruning
  • He's a friend before being a Master
  • He wants joy for us
  • He chooses us
  • There's an intimate, organic connection with Him
  • He's generous
Down arrow (any things learnt about people):

  • If separated can't have fully fruitful life.
  • Love each other
  • We're already clean
  • Don't have to seek worthiness
  • People can know God's business.
Question Mark (any questions the passage has raised):
  • if we don't obey commands do we remain in his love? (In context of God gave 2 commands – Love God and Love others)
  • "God will give you whatever you ask for"… ?
  • How do we wait on God?
  • How do we wrestle with God?

There was then a section on the cycles: Cycle of Grief and the Cycle of Grace.

Some of the feedback included:
  • People pleasing vs Spending Time with God
  • Jesus example – the balance to find solitude.
  • How do we achieve people? As achievements? As targets that can be hit (or missed)?
  • Recognise demands on us
  • Reminder of God's grace.
  • Don't judge achievements by how much you do.

The morning  finished with looking at Spiritual Discipline. Some of the difficulties or barriers to exercising spiritual disciplines include:

  • busy-ness
  • unpredictability of life
  • No accountability
  • No tangible results
  • hardwork
  • Laziness
  • Matching achievability against despondancy
  • Wanting to feel in control
  • Finding silence
  • Problem of distractions.
It will be interesting to see what participants have to say about exercising spiritual disciplines when we meet for the next session.