I am really enjoying working with year 2 and like Leisha I too find it hard sometimes to keep the lesson going simply because the students provide me with so much entertainment. When I first found out that I was placed in a year 2 classroom I must admit that I was a little disappointed. I was actually really hoping to be placed in a prep classroom because I have always loved working with that particular age group. However my time working with a year 2 class has really changed my views on this and I could really see myself working with a year 2 class in the future.
When I sat down with my mentor at the end of last week; we discussed that I would look at some visible learning strategies to implement into my lessons. As a result I looked online and found a website which provides some valuable learning strategies for diverse learners. Some of these include stopping to ask the students questions and allowing the students to work in groups to ensure that they have the opportunity to learn from their peers. During the English lesson yesterday I allowed the students to work in small groups. Through my observations I noticed that this was a valuable learning strategy to use with this particular class because they really worked well together and you could see the higher level learners supporting the lower level learners in completing their work. This was a really proud moment for me. I also found that I was able to help the students to understand and retain information more easily through the use of visual and auditory teaching methods, such as using YouTube videos and PowerPoint presentations that of course use visual elements and therefore help the students thoroughly understand what it is that I am teaching them.
As discussed with my mentor yesterday one thing that I need to improve on is ensuring that my instructions are clear and if necessary I need to remember that sometimes I need to repeat what it is that I require my students to do, so that they all understand their task and are being supported to further their learning. Other than this I feel that I have had a positive experience so far and I am learning so much and improving on my teaching every time I teach a lesson.
Today I took a health lesson with the grades 2’s and making decisions was the topic for this lesson. To begin the lesson I used the interactive projector to present a YouTube video to the students. The video was a story about making decisions called ‘Hunches in Bunches‘ by Dr Seuss. The intentions of this video was to hook the students in and engage their interests. Now that I’ve finished the lesson I can definitely say that I was successful in gaining the students interest. As the students sat at their desks I could see that they were all focused on watching and listening to the story. Once the story had finished we had a fantastic group discussion on the focus of the story. Consequently this was a great way to lead into the rest of the lesson. We discussed who makes certain decisions and why. We also discussed who we can turn too to help us make the right decisions and how we can ensure that we make good decisions. The students had some really great answers and it was great to see so many of the students getting involved in the discussion. Upon reflection of today’s lesson I have come to the conclusion that gaining the students attention at the very beginning of the lesson has been one of my strengths throughout professional experience so far.
Looking back on the lesson today I can definitely say that I agree with Lesley and her statement thank goodness for YouTube. I can also definitely say that YouTube has an abundance of songs, teaching resources and fun activities for students of any age. From my experience today; I believe that YouTube videos grab the children’s attention and have them sitting quietly and ready to listen and engage in learning no matter what age the children are. I am pleased to have found a resource that grabs the children’s attention so quickly and I look forward to finding other ICT resources that can grab the children’s attention and interest throughout the rest of professional experience.
Like Kylie I am really enjoying learning new things whilst I’m on prac. It’s pretty cool learning about new ICTs that you can use in lessons to enhance and transform the students learning. Before coming on prac I had no idea there were so many great ideas using ICTs that can support the students learning. An example of an ICT resource that I’ve learned about during prac is an app for reading called Sunshine online. It is a fantastic app for helping children learning to read. This is because the children can read along to the audio on the app and thus can therefore read independently. This way the other groups who are working on worksheets during the guided reading rotation activities can have that extra support that they may need from their teacher, as well as myself whilst I’m on prac.
I have learned a lot about new ICTs that support the students learning at the school I’m doing prac at. However I have also learned a lot from other EDC3100 students whilst I’ve been on prac and this has really been helpful in the lessons that I’ve taught during my prac experience. For example after reading Kylie’s blog titled ‘Yay me!!!’ I found out about a resource called IXL. It is absolutely fantastic. I was so pleased to see how many great ideas this website provided for maths and English lessons; especially since it caters for students in both primary school and high school. I was pretty pleased to see that this website catered for year 2 because I think this will be a great resource for me to use during prac next week when I take a few maths and English lessons. Like Kylie I have also been looking for resources and games for the grade 2 students to use during maths and as a result I came across a website that provides maths worksheets and games. It also provides teachers with lesson plans from Kindergarten to grade 5. This website can be accessed here. I hope everyone is enjoying prac so far. I also hope that you continue learning about new ICTs that can be used to enhance and transform students learning throughout the rest of your prac experience this semester.
Bullying can affect people in many ways. In fact it’s pretty common for young people to lose sleep because of it or to even feel sick as a result of it. It’s also very common for young people to want to skip school and sadly one of the most horrific effects of bullying is suicide. Bullying is becoming an epidemic and it doesn’t just effect young people. Adults are also effected by bullying in the workplace and with the introduction of digital technology in the 21st century the internet has brought with it a type of bullying that occurs online. This is known as cyberbullying. With social media such as Facebook and Twitter being such a big part of people’s lives these days it has become a lot easier for people to bully others online; whether it be verbally through harsh messages or visually through embarrassing or damaging photos. So obviously something needs to be done to diminish bullying for good.
After reading Sarah’s blog titled ‘Reword it’ which is also about bullying I was really impressed with the tool that she came across recently called Reword. This tool helps to prevent cyberbullying and internet abuse. I recommend you read Sarah’s blog for further details on what it does, as it sounds like a fantastic tool for helping to stop bullies abusing others. I am really passionate about preventing all types of bullying, so I decided to do some research on preventing bullying and I came across a website online developed by the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commisioner about cyberbullying. I think it is a great resource for helping to prevent cyberbullying and internet abuse. It also provides some advice on what people being cyberbullied can do to put a stop to the bullying online. I recommend you have a read of it when you get a chance because it’s very informative and helpful. Until my next blog I would like to wish everyone lots of luck, as you prepare for prac and may we work together to enhance children’s learning through the use of ICTs, while at the same time using ICTs to teach children that bullying is not okay and equip them with the knowledge needed to help prevent bullying for good.
Anti bullying puzzle [Image]. (2012). Retrieved from
After reading Bec’s blog post titled ‘Still terrified….Part 2’ I can really relate to how Bec has been feeling. As professional experience draws closer and closer the stress and fear continues to loom. I have been feeling a little anxious at the thought of going on professional experience, as I am sure everyone else has been too. There are all these thoughts going round in my mind and I just hope that professional experience is a positive experience for all. I definitely agree with Bec that speaking up really does help, as I have experienced moments before when I was so worried about something that it got to the point where I was too scared to speak up about it. However when I finally did work up the courage to speak up about it I was actually pleasantly surprised that it turned out that there was no need for me to worry afterall. After finding out the school that I’ll be doing prac at on Friday night; I decided to contact the school on Monday morning to organise to go in and meet my mentor. The school gave me my mentors email address and said that it would be best to contact the mentor directly, so that I could organise a time to meet my mentor at a time that would suit them. After emailing my mentor yesterday I still hadn’t heard from them this morning and I was starting to feel a little anxious again. I ended up ringing the school again to make sure that I had sent it to the right email address. I found out that I had sent it to the right email address and recieved an email back from my mentor this afternoon. I have now organised a time to meet my mentor and I am finally starting to feel excited about the prospect of professional experience.
So I found out on Friday where I’m doing prac and that I’m going to be placed with a year 2 class. Finding out my placement details has made me quite excited. However this is my first prac at a school, so I’m also a little bit nervous too. In saying that it’s also a good opportunity for me to further my learning, so for this reason I think my excitement outweighs my nervousness. After reading Bonita’s blog post titled ‘Prac Preparation’ I would like to thank Bonita for sharing those great resources on her post. TES Australia and Slideshare have some really great resources to help teachers and pre service teachers to put together some great lessons for all year levels and I have to say that these could possibly end up being two of my lifesavers whilst I’m on prac. As I’ve started to plan for prac I have also been looking for helpful teaching resources and I have come across some great resources myself. I found a webpage that has been put together by Scholastic that provides a whole range of lesson plans for all year levels. I also found the Australian curriculum lesson plans website, which is also a great resource. This website also provides lesson plans for all year levels up to grade 10. I recommend that everyone has a look at these resources for some helpful hints. Good luck everyone, as you prepare for prac.
After working through week 10’s learning paths I feel as though I have learned a lot about how to use ICTs in a safe, ethical and responsible way. Week 10’s learning paths offered a wide range of useful websites for learning about this, which was very helpful. I also felt the moodle books were quite helpful as well. One thing I learnt since my last post about digital citizenship is that it’s important for people not use the same password for getting into a number of different sites online. This is because this makes it easier for people to be able to easily crack your password, which is something that everyone definitely does not want.
Unfortunately I haven’t received notification of where I am going on prac yet, so I can’t give a detailed explanation of the policies and procedures put into place at a particular school about the safe, ethical and responsible use of ICTs. However I feel that a good place to start is the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commisioner website which can be accessed here. Three core principles of a responsible digital citizen are listed on this site and these include engage positively, know your online world and choose consciously.
After working through this weeks learning paths one thing I need to find out before I go on professional experience is what the students already know about the safe, ethical and responsible use of ICTs and how I can support the students in learning what they don’t already know. I think the help of my mentor in this case would be necessary. It still makes me nervous about using ICTs whilst on prac; mainly because I want to make sure I include ICTs that amplify and transform the students learning, but still ensure that the students are using ICTs in a way that is safe, ethical and responsible. I think I will feel less nervous about this once I find out where I am going on prac. Once I find out this I will be able to look for ICTs that are appropriate for the particular age group that I’m working with and that cater for the students needs and interests in a way that is safe, ethical and responsible.
So I guess at the end of week 10 I am feeling a little bit nervous and frustrated, as I feel like I can’t do much preparation for prac until I know where I’m going and what age group I’ll be working with. But I am also excited because of the learning opportunities that are still to come. I guess in the mean time I will do as much research as I can on the safe, ethical and responsible use of ICTs.