Farewell EDC3100

Well, here goes! The last ever blog post I will have to make – Hallelujah!

EDC3100 has seen some quite mixed feelings. As you probably can guess from my posts, I can appreciate technologies and their benefits within education and the home setting (like the TV, computer and phone), however they are not something that I will otherwise go crazy over any other time.

Overall, this course has taught me that I strongly dislike blogging (ain’t nobody got time for this)! However it has opened my eyes to how technology can be used positively in order to transform student learning in creative and fun ways. I hope that when I have my own classroom, I will be able to incorporate ICTs effectively in order to meet the expectations of the 21st century.

Signing out now.

 

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Future Technologies – destroying normal lives for the next generation

Technology is one of those things where even if you don’t agree with it, you have the option to not use it… well at least for now you do. Unfortunately, future technologies may no leave us with that option.

After reading through the final learning paths on the study desk about future technologies, I googled it to actually see what would come up… and what did, really didn’t sit right with me (this video being one of them).

I mean, I understand that in the future technologies will be improved in order to help people, such as medical technologies. However some of the things that were presented within this video absolutely appalled me.

Our world is fine. Stop Ruining it with all these stupid future technologies.

I know I want my kids to grow up in a normal manner – the way we did! Which takes me back to one of my previous blog posts on this topic (see here).

I don’t like the idea of everything being replaced with screens and robots. I don’t want to be replaced by a robot, so why should people in the future be replaced by robots. This will just lead to a high rise in unemployment rates, and a generation of dumb people.

Are future technologies beneficial? Hell no, if they’re anything like what is shown within this video, I think the future generation have no hope in living a decent life.

 

Cognitive Learning Theories

The cognitive learning theory is one that I found aligned well with part A of this assignment.

The cognitivist theory  focuses on the inner activities of the mind, and the understanding on how people learn. Mental processes such as thinking, memory, knowing, and problem-solving need to be explored. Knowledge can be seen as schema or symbolic mental constructions. Learning is defined as change in a learner’s schemata.

Cognitivism is the development of a classroom lesson in order to help students learn higher order thinking skills. Teachers should consider:

  • What skills student need to know to undertake the activity
  • Students should know…
  • Activate prior knowledge in order to teach the new topic.

Student will then be able to achieve – understanding, retaining and recalling of information.

Here’s a wacky video that helps to explain the theory further.

The Slower Learners

Once of the things I found difficult while on prac, was juggling the fast achievers and the slower achievers. One little boy in particular I really struggled with, firstly because he was a slow achiever and he didn’t really understand a lot of the content strait up like the rest of the children – but also because he just didn’t want to try. He would constantly say “but I can’t” or “I don’t know how” before he even tried, and would sit there and do nothing.

This would be more common that you think. Young children don’t have a massive attention span, therefore are even more likely to give up before truly tying. Teachers should introduce some strategies that might help increase that attention span and improve the overall outcome of tasks.

This may be done by breaking the lesson down so that it is interesting and engaging, and implements different teaching techniques. According to David Reeves, 5  ways to increase students attention span.

  1. Include Physical Activity
  2. Have Attention Breaks
  3. Adjust Time Frames
  4. Remove Visual Distractions
  5. Break Tasks into pieces

 

 

Behaviour Management

During my professional experience, I did not have the experience of facing any behaviour management issues with my children – they were all amazing! And that was great, but I know that doesn’t mean that I’m never going to be faced with  a situation where I will need to know all about effectively managing child behaviour.

You know what they say – there is no time like the present! So I did some reading, and I found 6 pointers that are important when considering how to deal with behaviour management.

  1. Be mindful of your own reaction
  2. Maintain rational detachment
  3. Be attentive
  4. Use positive self-talk
  5. Recognize your limits
  6. Debrief

Successfully undertaking these interventions are underpinned by a strong staff-student relationships, as they require an understanding of the underlying factors which may influence the behaviour. I also think that it is important to be fair and consistent and use low key responses such as ‘the look’, close proximity or signals in order to maintain a manageable classroom.

I think a good motto would be to be tough but fair.

Composite Class

I was placed in a small rural school of only about 45 children (if that) attending. It was amazing! I’m a country girl myself, so ending up in a school like that would be the dream. The teachers were all lovely, and the children were all just beautiful. That’s exactly what i love about the country – the farming community families – they are the best people out! There is NO swag out in these areas; and I love it!!!!

Anyway, I was in the prep-1-2 classroom, which meant I was juggling three different grades within my lessons. My mentor made it look like a breeze, but it was actually a lot harder than it looked. My mentor said “Once you can teach a composite class, you can teach anything” And I believe her! I read up on some articles that other teachers have put online about working in composite classes, and they all have so much knowledge of managing a class effectively and have such great time and behavior management skills and techniques! I’m glad that I got to experience that – I feel it was just such a realistic experience – it was so beneficial to me!

ICT and Maths

Before maths each day the children got to sing along to some times tables on the interactive whiteboard. An engaging video along with the words of the times tables were played, and the children boisterously sang along – It is their favorite part of the day!

The teacher (my mentor) would bring up the folder on the computer, so that the children could then use the screen of the whiteboard to select which song to sing. There was a roster for the children so there were no fights over whose turn it was, so it always ran very smoothly.

They are very catchy songs, I even caught myself singing them to myself randomly at home – Yes the lack of sleep has driven me mad – but all the same, it’s a routine that I would definitely use in a classroom of my own one day.

I came across a CD that you can purchase with the songs on it; however I find that YouTube is just so much better. The children just respond so well to singing and dancing in front of the screen with each other.

This is the 3 times tables. Feel free to search around for the rest. They are great!

Post Professional Experience Blog

I had perfectly good intentions of doing keeping up with my blogs throughout my prac, however as per the usual – my life was too hectic.

My prac went well though, I had quite an enjoyable time! Since it was a return prac for me, I had the same class, with the same kids, and the same mentor. This was a major plus as I knew what was expected of me, and I already knew the kids. My ICT unit plan went really well, and my mentor even went through the marking criteria with me so that i could be a part of the marking process. It was such a good insight into the real world of teaching. 

One of the biggest things I found on prac was that I always had to be over-prepared. Pretty much all of the children I worked with were pretty switched on, and normally flew through their workbooks. I had to come up with exciting ways to plan so that the whole duration of the lesson was filled with learning. This included activities that the children were capable of working through themselves in order for me to work with the children who were a bit slower to catch on.

You can never be too prepared – plan for success, focus, understand the content, pace yourself, create engaging experiences and succeed! I found that whatever the students didn’t get to finish in one lesson, made a great introduction activity the next day. especially when teaching the same unit all week. It is such a good way to reinforce concepts.

 

Dojo

One of my favourite uses of ICT within my classroom on Prac is the classDojo system. This is an ICT implementation that is used everyday, and the kids absolutely love it. For those who’ve never heard of it, it’s like a point system, and each child has their own monster emoji on the screen. Throughout the day the children can earn points for things like, daily attendance, task completed, good listening,  on track and a few others. At the end of each week the child with the most points is awarded ‘classDojo of the week’ and gets a certificate and a prize.

Outside the classroom, the teachers may post pictures, messages or blurbs about the child’s day up on Dojo and the parents are able to log on and see.

I just think that it works so well without, and definitely within the classroom! The children are always so motivated to complete tasks, demonstrate good behavior and achieve higher standards of work. It’s certainly something I’d like to implement in my own classroom one day.

Prac

Nearing the end of the first week of Professional Experience, and it has been so full on already!

I have been put in charge of a whole unit called Media Arts, which is where I will create my 5 ICT based lesson plans. So, basically the unit is: The kids have to draw or collect or create a series of pictures to tell a family story – something that has happened to them. Once the pictures are completed they get to upload them onto a computer and make it into a PowerPoint presentation. (These are year 1-2 kids, so I actually get to introduce them to PowerPoint!) In the PowerPoint presentation, they get to put the picture on the slide and put sound effects and annotations over the top, and then present it to the class.

I’ve realised that when at uni we get to write unit plans all the time, and so we get good at writing all the right things, and knowing what to put in. However teaching it is a WHOLE other kettle of fish! Using appropriate strategies, that really work in the classroom is so important. I’ve found that one of the teaching strategies the kids respond really well to is the “I do, we do, you do”  approach, as also mentioned in Jacqueline’s blog . I’ve used this strategy a lot in the planning stages of this Media unit.

I am excited to see how the rest of it goes! Hope everyone else’s Pracs are going well!