Another week down….time for more evaluation

Another week down and time to evaluate the week.

My mentor teacher has been remarkable. She has very high standards, which at times has been extremely challenging but I know that I will draw upon my learning over the last couple of weeks for the rest of my career.  The other staff at school have also welcomed me and been really happy to answer questions, give advice and steer me in the right direction.  I feel very fortunate to have had such a positive experience of prac, it makes all the difference.

Integrating ICTs in to the classroom has also been challenging.  In contrast to my Assignment 2, where I was able to design a fictional classroom and had whatever resources I needed to build my ICT-reach learning experiences.  In the real world such resources are scarce and other constraints have made it much more challenging.  I have tried to think of ways to incorporate ICT elements into many lessons and have enjoyed exploring ways to really extend learning through the use of ICTs.

I am sorry that some of you have not had such a great experience of professional experience.

Regards,

Catherine

Resources for Teaching with iPads

I just found this article which offers 50 Resources for Teaching with IPads and 25 Apps for project-based learning.  It has some really great apps and advice on how to introduce iPads into the classroom.

It provides useful information about integrating iPads into the learning environment, including iPad security, lessons learned and what to expect in the first 5 days.  It also introduces a list of best apps for teaching and learning, which includes textbook apps, apps for guided reading and a move towards a paperless classroom. It also gives information about utility and function – how your iPads can be used to enhance classroom learning and build ICT-rich experiences.

Go and check it out!

Supporting Reluctant Readers

I’ve just read a really interesting list of ways to support reluctant readers, thanks to Amelia’s ‘getting kids to read’ blog post.

I love to read and certainly with my own children I have always tried to be a positive role model by ensuring that they observe me reading regularly.  In my family I have a reluctant reader and a very enthusiastic reader and so I am always especially interested in finding strategies to support my ‘avoid at all costs’ reader.  The 10 reasons non-readers don’t read – And how to change their minds has some really great ideas and strategies to help support those reluctant readers and has certainly given me lots of ideas to think about.  I’m really looking forward to developing these ideas in the classroom too.

A treasure, thanks for sharing Amelia.

Professional Experience – 8 days down – 7 to go

I can hardly believe that I am already half-way through my prac!  Quite honestly the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur, so I’m rather enjoying having a moment today to reflect on my experience so far.

I have a wonderful mentor teacher and have been very fortunate to be able to return to a school where I have done prac before.  I have been welcomed back and made to feel like part of the team once more.  My mentor teacher is very experienced and has been happy to share her wealth of knowledge with me. She is constantly challenging my thinking and has helped me to learn so much already. I have been included in year level curriculum planning, playground duty, year level meetings and whole school meetings, in addition to lesson planning and delivery and hands-on classroom experience.

Personally, I am exhausted and the workload is huge. I am struggling every day to get through everything I need to, whilst still trying to think about my Assignment 3, learning journey and blog posts.

Mrs JP Finan, I really enjoyed reading your reflection post. It sounds like you’re having a great experience too.  I hope my other fellow EDC3100 students are enjoying their experience of prac just as much.

Regards,

Catherine

ICT Magic

Thank you so much Mrs Mckinty for sharing the link to the ICT Magic site.  I visited the site this afternoon in an attempt to find a specific resource to support one of my lessons for next week and was delighted to find exactly what I needed on ICT Magic.

As I now look at other EDC3100 blog posts I notice that many other people have also shared the same link, so I apologise if I am not directly giving you credit for finding this treasure of a resource but ‘thank you’ to you all.

ICT Magic offers many options within each subject and provides online resources specifically suited to teaching particular topics.

I recommed checking it out if you haven’t done so already.

Regards,

Catherine

Considering Cybersafety

I really enjoyed working through the four modules of Cybersmart.  It is a very interesting process designed to inform teachers to help students to stay safe online by recognising risks and unsafe online behaviours.

The internet is an essential tool which children today have grown up with. It is a part of their world and is a wonderful resource which enables children to access and share information, learn and communicate in so many new ways.  Along with all these positive aspects it is vital to be aware that the internet also contains inappropriate material that is offensive, violent and can promote activities that are dangerous or illegal.  Educators must provide students with the tools required to enable them to stay safe whilst having fun online.  Students need to know what to do if they come across anti social behaviour or hostile internet users.

The cybersmart website provides many age and year level appropriate resources offering different modes for learning, including individual, group work and whole class activities. The focus is on proactive learning and building resilience within students. Prevention is the key; students are encouraged to alert a responsible adult to any concerning or inappropriate online behaviour and avoid giving out personal information online.  The website provides some really valuable lessons offered in a fun, interactive way.  Cybersmart Detectives is a ACMA Cybersmart Community education initiative promoting internet safety.  Cybersmart Detectives is aimed towards upper primary level but the site also offers activities for younger children.

The fictional social media simulation clearly showed how easily a little joke between friends could escalate into something really harmful and upsetting. Taking part in that module helped me to appreciate that what you say or do online doesn’t make it any less real or mean it’s any less hurtful, harmful or serious than if it had occurred in the real world.  Cyberbullying is no less terrifying than any other form of bullying, in fact in a sense it may be worse as victims may find it difficult to escape from even in their own home.  Another vital aspect was the importance of teaching students to protect their digital reputation by thinking very carefully before posting images or content online.  Education and awareness will help to make the internet safer for young people.

Checklist

My professional experience (PE) was only confirmed at the very last minute, which was extremely unfortunate as it didn’t give me much time to liaise with my mentor. I am concerned that this reflects badly on me as a professional but I have to make the best of the situation and do the best that I can.  I am delighted to be returning to a wonderful and accommodating school where I had a fantastic experience of PE last year.

I have found preparing the following checklist really helpful.  It has enabled me to identify what I need to do in order to be prepared and organised for my PE next week.

Discuss with my mentor teacher –

  • Units of work, specific guidelines for lesson prep
  • Key classroom information, specific information regarding children
  • Discuss course criteria, options and logistics
  • Start and finish times, including playground duty, meetings before and after school, etc.

Professional Experience teaching requirements –

Set-up file containing all relevant information –

    • Draw up timetable to schedule in all meetings, etc
    • lesson plan templates
    • feedback sheets – weekly and final Professional Experience Report/referee’s statement
    • ICT statement

 

Prepare to teach:

  • 1/3 of the day in week 1
  • 1/2 of the day in week 2
  • 2/3’s of the day and 1 full day in week 3

Re-visit learning path for professional experience requirements and print out anything relevant to share with my mentor.

EDC3100 Requirements –

Assignment 3 –

  • Preparation – 500-1000 words.  Description of PE context and how I plan to integrate ICTs into my lessons.
  • Lesson plans – 5 lesson plans, taught on PE, including reflection.
  • Evaluation and lessons learned – 1000-1500 words. Evaluating my ICT integration on PE and indentify lessons learned for next time.

Personal Requirements –

  • Confirm friends/family to help with school drop-off/pick-up for children
  • Cook bulk meals and freeze for ease of cooking for family.
  • eportfolio – gather and document evidence

I am a little nervous but actually really excited about my PE.  I’m looking forward to extending myself, gaining lots of valuable experience and learning lots.