Seeing today marks the first day that module 3 begins, I decided to use my blog to reflect about my progress and feelings I have endured throughout module 2. First of all, I am happy and relieved as I have completed all of the module 2 learning paths and this will be the last blog post I need to meet the journal requirements for assignment 2. I found that I moved through the learning paths and blog posts a lot faster then I did for module 1, as I believe I have finally got the hang of writing and posting blog posts more effectively and without as much stress. However, I am not as far through my unit plan as I originally planned I would be at this stage of the semester. I was hoping to get in and have this assignment completed by mid-week, as I have another 60% assignment for another subject due shortly after this one. However, I have so far only completed steps 1 and 2, as well as parts of the lesson activities and rubric. I believe the problem was that I really struggled getting started. I found myself doubting my ideas for the unit plan, therefore changing my mind constantly about which learning area, year level or summative assessment piece I was going to use. As soon as I began, I would change my mind and go back to researching my other ideas. In the end I decided to go with one of my original ideas and chose year 1 geography. I hope this proves to be a good decision, as I really want to do well in this assignment!! Fingers crossed and I wish everyone else the best with their progress on completing assignment 2
I just wanted to quickly blog about a great little app I found that has helped my 9 year old immensely with her times tables!!! My daughter has never been that great at her times tables, mostly because she just finds learning them boring. I decided to do a little research on the I-pad to see if I could find any ideas or games that I could use that would interest her when I came across the app Maths Rockx. Math Rockx is a musical app with an exciting and new twist for remembering times tables. Instead of using boring tunes like the ones I remember listening to when I was at school, the app uses tunes from artists such as One Direction, Pink, Lady GaGa and Pharrell Williams. Of coarse this interested my music loving 9 year old daughter straight away!! She has been non-stop listening and singing along since I down loaded last week, and has now mastered her 6 and 9 times tables. She has also enjoyed sharing with her friends and teacher who has downloaded and is now using in her classroom. So if you are searching for a fun and interactive app to help engage your students with times tables I strongly suggest taking a look
So today I had the pleasure of visiting the school were I will be commencing my professional experience at this semester. Like I mentioned in an earlier blog, this will be my first professional experience within a school so I was feeling extremely nervous, however after meeting with my mentor, the other educators and the students I am now feeling a lot more at ease and excited to get started! The school I am attending is within a rural and remote area and consists of 40 students. I have been placed in the prep- year 1 class that consists of 8 preppies and 7 year ones! The ICT resources that will be available include:
- 7 student iPads with headphones
- Interactive LED screen
- Teacher Laptops
- Desktop computers (one per child), and a
- iPevo document camera
My mentor also told me the exciting news that she just ordered eight Robotic Bee Bots that I will be able to use with the students in the classroom, eek!!! I was so excited to hear this as Bee Bots are small robots that are designed for young children to use, to understand sequencing, estimation, problem solving and lots, lots more! My mentor also told me that due to the school being situated in a remote low-socio economic area, most of the students I will be teaching have very limited ICT skills and learning difficulties, therefore I believe using an ICT such as Bee Bots will be very suitable to the students developmental needs. To learn more about Bee Bots and ideas how to use them within the classroom, click on this link which will take you to the official Bee Bot official web page
The week 4 learning path asked us to reflect back on the different examples of formative and summative assessment tasks that we have observed in previous Professional Experiences. When reflecting on this question, I came across Cassandra’s blog post “Reflecting on Assessment” where she spoke about how this will be her first professional development within a school, therefore she felt she had limited experience with assessments. I strongly agree with Cassandra’s blog as this will be my first professional placement within a school setting as well. This is because my first year 2-week prac had to be completed within a 0-2 year old room and both my second year professional experiences were exempt due to holding a Diploma in Children’s services. Therefore I feel I have very limited experience with school-based assessments. I do however work within a childcare setting as both an educational leader and educator, were I regularly undertake formative (observations) and summative assessments (reports of the child’s progress and achievements). The Early Childhood Australia newsletter: Summative Assessment issue 40, has great information of the different ways early childhood educators like myself, gather and document formative and summative assessment pieces within childcare settings. Feel free to have a look!
So in a my previous blog post, Assignment 2, I stated that I was going to focus my unit plan on Year 3 Science due to the fact that I really enjoy science. However, after progressing further through the learning paths and after a lot more procrastinating over my unit plan I have now decided to focus on Year 1 Geography. I decided to focus on Geography as it is an area that I would like to strengthen and because I believe I will have more opportunities to incorporate ICTs that will amplify and transform student learning, pedagogical approaches and curriculum goals. I have found a few good websites and resources online that I will use to enhance my ICT enriched learning experiences, including geogSpace. GeogSpace includes links to a large variety of different ICTs that can be used to better enhance teaching approaches and learning experiences that engage learners, as well as information on how they can be used. I also came across this blog “ICT Across the Curriculum – Geography”, which also includes great resources and materials for the use of ICTs within the Geography classroom.
When looking through the blog posts from fellow students, I came across a blog post titled “Constructing vs. Transforming Knowledge”. This blog post caught my interest as it discussed how “historically, much of the focus in formal education has been on constructing knowledge rather then transforming knowledge”. Alike, Cassandra, I too am a mature aged student and spent most of my school years receiving great marks because I was able to memorise or recite facts that were being taught to us within the classroom. However, when I had to apply what I learnt through the very few comprehension questions, I did not do so well. I still find myself very much the same. I still am good at learning and reciting facts, however when it comes to applying this new information to something like an assignment I struggle. This has taught me just how important it is that we as educators are not just providing students with opportunities to construct knowledge but also opportunities for the students to transform their knowledge. I found an interesting article from 2013 that highlights my thoughts titled “Academic Teaching Doesn’t Prepare Students for Life”. It discusses a teachers perspective on how she believes that the schools academic system is failing students, due to its high focus on learning, or simply memorising content. She states that since changing to a constructivist approach, her students learning has been transformed and how her students are now exceeding her expectations within the classroom.
So I have been busy playing catch up all over the Uni break in my other subjects, so only just starting to attempt assignment 2 this weekend. Just like Miss W, I feel your pain in reading the many Facebook posts and students Blogs regarding everyone’s progress in their work, I feel I am miles behind everyone in completing this assignment on time! I have only just completed Week 4’s activities and half way into Week 7’s activities and already I have changed my mind a hundred times regarding which year level or learning area I will choose! I want to do something challenging but am worried that I don’t have a lot of time to complete this assignment due to another large 60% assignment due for another subject the same week, eek!! So now I am thinking that I will create my unit plan for a Year 3 Science class, as I really enjoy science and believe I can incorporate a few good transforming learning opportunities using ICTs. Good luck to everyone else!
Here attached is the link to my updated version of my own lesson plan: Jane Edwards Lesson Plan that has been used in assignment one. I, like my fellow blogger Molly, spent many hours searching online for an appropriate lesson but decided to go with one of my own after reading through the copyright information, to avoid any copyright breaches. As this will be my first prac subject within a school, I did not have any appropriate lesson plans from a prac to use. Therefore, I decided to alter a lesson plan that I used in a previous subject. I really hope this was a good idea! However I am fairly confident that the lesson plan covers all the assignment one criteria for being appropriate. I also decided to copyright my lesson plan under a creative commons licence at creativecommons.org
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Here attached is the link to my own lesson plan: JaneEdwardsLessonPlan. I, like my fellow blogger Molly, spent many hours searching online for an appropriate lesson but decided to go with one of my own after reading through the copyright information, to avoid any copyright breaches. As this will be my first prac subject within a school, I did not have any appropriate lesson plans from a prac to use. Therefore, I decided to alter a lesson plan that I used in a previous subject. I really hope this was a good idea! However I am fairly confident that the lesson plan covers all the assignment one criteria for being appropriate. I also decided to copyright my lesson plan under a creative commons licence at creativecommons.org
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Today I finally completed the learning paths for Module 1! What a relief! On reflecting back to the beginning of the course I am already surprised with just how much I have learnt and how far I have come! I feel I am a lot more confident with creating my blog posts and have a greater understanding and appreciation for using ICTs within the classroom setting.
Now to finally set my concentration onto Assignment 1! After much searching the internet for lesson plans I have made the decision to create my own. At first I was sure I was going to use an already created lesson plan from the internet but I don’t feel I fully understand the terms of copyright laws as yet. On the other hand, this will be my first prac subject, therefore do not have any previous prac lesson plans. I have made the decision however to alter a previous assignments lesson plan that I created to include ICTs.
Fingers crossed that my choice for creating my own lesson plan is a good idea and that I am on the right track! Good luck to all my fellow bloggers!!!