so sitting in my car at 8:10 friday morning quickly doing a facebook update.. “so my stomach is in my throat and im about to have a heart attack, must be the first day of prac”… i stepped out of the car and faked some confidence and walked up to my new prac classroom to find a very chilled substitute teacher awaiting my arrival! (was asked to arrive at 8;20 but was a tad excited so arrived a little bit earlier than expected 😀 Yah im here back in the classroom and it did feel good! Got to meet the class, lovely bunch, combined years 4 and 5 in the special education unit. When i was talking to my mentor earlier in the week he suggested i do a little one-on-one conference with each student on my first day to find out about their likes and dislikes and how they prefer to learn etc so i had my list of questions and a little Hello letter for them to give to their parents, found out most of them love sports and computers are also a bit of a fav 🙂 my mentor had mentioned they were focusing on addition for one more week, the class is working at around a year 1 level so im ready with my Egg Carton Addition for Monday thanks to Miss Brain and her youtube clip. I also found out we are going on an excursion on Thursday – woot woot off to the show we go!
Reading JAZUPBLOG about facebook and privacy issues i was very interested to read this article about France’s laws on sharing images of your young children for the world to see and the future repercussions for them as they grow up and realise their whole lives are published to the world – i also thought about their future job prospects and some of the unforgiving images and info my friends share about their children that even i think, i dont think they should really be sharing that! I have definitely toned back my facebook sharing (especially now that my kids are a bit older and always saying dont share that mum). I have also uped the privacy since being on many pracs and teacher aiding in high schools – private life and work life needs to have boundaries. But them i flicked over to facey and seem an uplifting story my cousin posted that reminded me it’s not all bad – theres always a balance of the good and the bad.
The offical count down has hit one more sleep! Having to do a make-up day because of our local show holiday next friday i decided to start prac earlier to meet the students and see how the class routine rolls before i start running lessons. Im excited and nervous and knowing that there will be a substitute teacher in the classroom makes me feel that starting earlier wont have that much advantages because the students routine will be out of whack and they will possibly be behaving differently than they would have for their regular teacher. But it is still exciting and i cant wait to get into the classroom. My mentor has loosely told me he wants me to do something with addition next week but they will be wrapping up that unit and moving onto patterns. so guess what ill be researching all weekend haha the best way to teach addition and pattering! totally left field he also mentioned phonics and when i picked up my sons iPad this morning i found a great phonics app that somewhere along the line i had put on there for him or my daughter?!?! i think i would forget my head sometimes if it wasnt connected to my neck!
There is lots of discussion circulating around Interactive White Boards and now the Digital HD TVs in classrooms. I have seen both within classrooms, i havent had the opportunity to use the TV version but my sons teacher was very excited when it got put into her classroom and she used it constantly. All pracs i have been on have had an IWB in their rooms and all the teachers used them to amplify lessons, increase engagement and interaction, no expensive hat racks or dust collectors in the corner – as JAZUPBLOG mentioned i am not confident in using IWBs because everyone seems to work differently and i dont have one to practice on!
This morning I came across this blog post by Luke Wardell which I found to be quite interesting. Luke explains how many people in this course are finding the limited amount of ICT resources in their prac classrooms quite daunting. However, Luke explains that the amount of ICT resources has actually increased a significant amount […]
YAHH i have finally meet with my mentor, visited the class and know the amount of ICTs in the classroom – and id have to say im pleased with the access and devises available. Questions to the Mentor i had jotted on my note book –
- what ICTs available – answer, 3 computers in the room, IWB and access to 6 iPads (computer lab in the school has been closed for some time with no re-open date in sight…maybe end of term, maybe start of next term)
- how are the students skill level with ICT – limited skill, but they do enjoy interacting with the IWB
- Are the ICT all in good condition / working order and good WIFI? yes yes yes
Feeling good about the ICT, the mentor seems happy for me to integrate ICT where ever i can, and after meeting the class (and them asking my mentor if i was his wife) they were all pretty happy that i would be joining them next wk.
And after reading Coutney’s blog about ICTs 10yrs ago via ICTs in the Primary School… — Blog of an EDC3100 student- courtney howlett i would have to agree we have tons more access to the world wide web and i cant remember ever seeing a youtube clip at school, we did have the big chunky TVs on stands being wheeled around the school connected to a VCR player, and we always seemed to watch an ABC news clip haha maybe Behind the News rings a bell 😀
So its Friday and i have finally started this weeks learning path… my other subjects are being neglected again but with prac flying towards us at the speed of light i want all the info to be prepared for integrating ICT-rich lesson plans.
In response to the discussion forum and my own digital citizenship i have to say personally im a bit on the relaxed side of the subject which isnt a good thing – i know i have Norton working in the background hopefully stopping all the spys! i get a ridiculous amount of Spam mail, offering me millions of dollars, which many years ago i would have to think twice if it was legit but with the amount of spam i get these days its pretty clear every second person isnt going to deposit $10000000000 dollars in my account if i give them my bank account details. I have to say i had to Google the word PHISING – just a cool acronym for lots of spam out there and sadly the first time i had a spam phone call i let them remotely control my computer to clear up all the apparent viruses and problems my computer was having! derrrr…. I have had my credit card stolen online and used to buy a $2000 bike in sweden, luckily my bank company was all over that and called me to inform me that credit card would need to be cancelled, so looking back i have taken the long way (often the wrong way) around cyber safety. In my defense school never taught us about cyber safety because it was never as issue when then was no cyber. Seeing the best in everyone i thought the indian fellow who remotely controlled my computer was actually helping me and if i paid him $300 he would keep my computer free from viruses in the future. But its not just me, identify theft in always on the news with poor old elderly people being conned into giving away their savings to someone on the other end of the phone and just yesterday i found phone in the public toilets, it wasnt locked so i could scroll through all their contacts, get onto their facebook account and get any details i wanted, being the trusting person i am i handed it in to the service desk, hopefully that person is just as honest as me and tried to find the rightful owner – maybe if i had done the Cyber Safety Quiz 20 years ago i would have been a little more prepared.
i like the three top tips to remember or Professional Experience and for Assignment 3 from the learning path:
- Prepare well (Part B);
- Try new things (Part C – the lesson plans); and,
- Reflect upon what worked and why. (Part D).
Lots of the info im focusing on from the learning path is that ICT doesnt have to involve the whole class at the same time, and this article provides 6 tips for using ICT when you dont have access to unlimited amounts of devices in the classroom. When i picture rotations i still envision a hands on activity or two, then maybe an ipad group (because im sure it will be easier to get access to 6 Ipads then 26 ipad to cover the whole class) then maybe a IWB task. This is how a lot of my rotations have worked in the past with previous pracs but i also need to rememeber to apply step 2 – Try New Things!! For example i have never used cameras in the classroom (also because i dont want to over step the mark about privacy and have pictures of students who arent allowed to have their pictures taken. But before introducing the camera i would simply need to set the rules that we are not taking pictures of each other we are taking pictures of what we are learning) i might try to get a camera activity in one of my lesson plans somewhere…. something to remember.
Reflect Reflect Reflect
Reflect on the students learning and behaviour during the lesson, reflect what i as a teacher thought went well or needs improving for future lesson (be it content, strategies, activities) and reflect with the mentor and get their informed feedback about how the lesson went – im happy to reflect i understand how it makes us better as teachers and its importance to create better lesson for the future – lets get reflecting 🙂
I have had some very different mentors and their opinions on lesson plans, one wasnt interested in reading my lesson plans she felt it was best for me to deliver the lesson then together we would reflect what didnt work, another mentor was very organised and gave me unit plans for all the subjects prior to my arrival so i knew where the class was at with their learning, then she preferred to read my lesson plans a couple of days in advance to me delivering them so we could discuss how we could improve it. I prefer the later. Be prepared helps me feel less nervous and stressed, i like to know what im doing going into a lesson, know the strategies, activities, and if necessary change the lesson as we progress once i have engaged the students understanding of the topic. And i always like to have the students reflect at the end of their lesson – could be in a fun little quiz, first one to answer the question gets to go to lunch first, reflection is great for everyone. I liked this article in the learning path that simply states –
FAIL TO PLAN = PLAN TO FAIL
reading about everyone’s visits with their mentors im jealous my meeting isnt until next week because that means i have to keep waiting to find out more info about the class and the ICTs available! Panicking when i read the lack of ICT resources in some classes i was a little inspired when i read this article – Free Tech for Teachers (i cant remember where i stumbled across it, sorry if it was from the learning path!) – their inventions Plickers! Clearly other teachers have been here before and found creative ways to integrate ICT into a room where there are limited ICTs available – one Ipad in your class thats no problem with Plickers – sure you still need to be inventive if you want to amplify a lesson with these but there are brilliant teachers out there up for the challenge!