Category Archives: Uncategorized

And they all lived happily ever after!

I was going to post saying good bye being that its the end of the course and the end of being required to post but realistically I think I will continue to post on hear so that I have record of my growth as a student over the years. I will continue to share resources so I can retrieve them easily and remind myself what it was that I liked about it.

At the beginning of this course I really felt overwhelmed and thought I would not enjoy it but I have actually really liked it. I love the learning paths with the visual tick and flick as you complete each one and the knowledge gained was on a whole new level that I never thought I would be capable of. Well done to Mr David Jones  and his team.

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Need a break!

Boy things are so unbelievably hectic at the moment and I’m really feeling like I could do with a break. Even with an extension on my assignment I am still under the pump to get it done. This definitely not through lack of trying. I am literally spending every spare minute on trying to get it complete and yes this means staying up til 2:00am in the morning (whilst the kids are asleep), getting about 4-5 hours sleep and then back at it again. I am really looking forward to my hubby getting home to take some of work load and at the very least help me with kids.

Bring on semester break and school holidays…. I’m exhausted.

Resources!

Like Sharnie whilst trawling online to find resources to support my mini unit I stumbled across Education.com. This site is fantastic! Sharnie said in her blog that she used the site for an interactive spelling game for her early years students, whereas I used the site for some great map worksheets that had been created that I then used to consolidate the concepts we had been looking at in previous lessons. The beauty of this site is it’s versatility. Education.com promote activities, games, worksheets, workbooks and educational blogs.

I intend to revisit this site for years to come and who knows maybe one day I might even be able to contribute to it.

Bee bots

Using Bee bots to amplify and transform learning. This is what I aimed to do in my mini unit with my grade 2 class during prac. I used backward mapping to design the unit and found out what the teacher wanted the students to be able to do by the end of the unit. The goal was for students to develop directional language, for students to be able to identify key features on a map (Title, key, symbols, compass rose etc.) and lastly for student to be able to give directions from one place to the other using directional language.

The concept was introduce with a story “Me on the map”, followed by an engaging class discussion about maps, we created a mind map with our findings during the discussions. Students were able to express prior knowledge and make connections to life experiences about maps and directions. We started a word wall and any time a new relating word came up ,students were invited to add them to the word wall. We used an interactive map activity to introduce keys and symbols and the students were particularly engaged in this activity.

I then introduced the students to the Bee bots and this is when the students learning was transformed. The students created their own maps on gridded paper and then created their maps using laminated pictures under a gridded plastic sheet. For assessment they gave directions that they created to get the Bee bot home to their partner and their partner had to follow the directions to programme the Bee bot to get to home. The students were so engaged and interested that for two days in a row we had to convince them to go to lunch.

What a fantastic resource for lower primary students and so versatile too. I would love to use the Bee bot for number line and literacy too.

Prac Reflection!

Well, I’m pleased to say that prac was another fantastic experience. Great school, beautiful class and fantastic mentor. I learnt so much about classroom management and got to implement the use of ICT on many occasion. In the last week my mentor trusted me to create a mini unit for maths on direction and mapping. She also said I taught her a thing or two along the way and complemented me saying that she will never teach direction and mapping as she has done in the past and plans to use my unit in years to come. My mentor did a great job of boosting my confidence and the experience will be something I remember fondly.

Unlike Denise (a fellow student) my school had quite a substantial amount of ICT available. They had six Ipads that could be hired out from the library, they had an interactive whiteboard which the teacher believed didn’t work (I got it working), the teacher and myself had laptops, internet connection (sometimes a little untrustworthy) and 4 desk top computers in the classroom for student use.

The best thing of all was that I got to be a part of so many special events

  • Under 8’s day
  • Cross country
  • Dream Factory PD ( a pd on robotics)

Now onto the next assignment.

Scaffolding Learning

The I do , we do, you do is a learning framework that teachers use to promote the slow release of responsibility to the learner in the classroom. I was pleased to find out through my mentor observing me in my lessons that I am starting to now do this scaffolding approach quite naturally. In Jodie’s Explicit Teaching  blog post she describes this approach in more detail. The children understand the approach well and feel supported in their learning when it is used.

Another framework that the class uses which I had heard of but never seen used is the WALT and WILF acronyms:

WALT is WHAT ARE we LEARNING TO do and

WILF is WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR.

I observed my teacher using these in her lessons everyday and realised that it was a great way to keep on track. That is not to say that you don’t follow a teachable moment but it is a great way to reflect at the end of class and say yes they learnt what was intended. Students are also able to self reflect and ask themselves “Am I able to show what my teacher is looking for?”

The following link will take you to a video of a teacher implementing the I do, We do, You do approach.

Week One Done!

I’m happy to say I made it through the first week of prac! I’ve got a lovely school, great class and an enthusiastic mentor. Like Miss Ashley says in her blog post “1 down 2 to go!” I spent much of the time observing and was given very little responsibility. I  hinted that we look at the handbook and revisit what the expectations were for the uni and the following day I was given the opportunity to take a maths lesson. It went really well and I received fantastic feedback. In the lesson I used the interactive whiteboard to assess what the students were retaining.

Following the maths lesson the teacher has given me much more teaching responsibility for the next two weeks. She realised I was confident to write lesson plans and deliver learning experiences. YAY!!! Looking forward to next week and incorporating ICT along the way.