Staying Connect.ed

I was a bit slow to look into the Cybersmart resource. But I am glad that early last week I did. I viewed a few short videos prior to having to conduct parent teacher interviews alongside my mentor while on prac. I was encouraged by Cathy O’Brien, a senior teacher (wellbeing), collage counsellor/psychologist who was one of the experts who spoke out on the connect.ed website about students and technologies. I liked when she said “technologies are wonderful, they give you opportunities to explore and to know and to learn in ways that were not possible in the past. So we don’t say to students or to parents that these technologies are bad, you should not use them. We say these technologies are here, here is how we can use them, and here are the benefits we can gain from using them. However we also have to be mindful of some possibilities that may have negative effects on students, on staff and on parents.”

I took on this information and asked my mentor if I could discuss with each parent and encourage these parents to allow their child to access in their home, sites such as: the learning place, study ladder, mathletics or ABC reading eggs to enable their child to be connected. My mentor loved that I was willing to share these resources with the classes’ parents. It was a great opportunity to also inform each parent about Cybersmart for themselves to view and ensure that safety with technologies is always considered as priority.


Back to assignment writing. (I’d rather be teaching).

Well, to wake up and not have to go to prac or work today leaves me the day to go to the beach, watch a movie and do some shopping! NOT! OH NO it has allowed me a day to write the two assignments that I have due in a week. Oh the joys of Uni. I really enjoyed this prac experience and I feel like I have left behind a class room that I could have stayed in for the rest of the year. I am really happy to see their classroom teachers using more ICT resources then they were previously using. The classroom has a projector which now gets used daily. The IT teacher came for a visit and repaired the two classroom computers and this class now has a booked in spot for an hour each week to the IT lab and they are working on a power point assessment task that was going to be made as a poster in class. These changes have helped make learning more enjoyable for students and more hands-on for them as well.  I hope all my follow peers all had a great prac experience and manage to find the time this week to reflect and complete assessments as well.

Count down is on… 2 MORE DAYS…

students giftsFeeling super organised for Friday! (Last day of prac for this round) I have goodie bags for students with personalised bookmark that were made with love, smiggle erasers and chocolate! Mentor gifts ready to go as well! Last two days here I come! To be honest I am starting to feel sad to leave this class. I have had the privilege to teach all day every day this week and it has made me realise prac is a tease. I now have to go back to teacher aiding until the end of next year before I get to do the teacher gig fully qualified. Today I had to teach in front of a different mentor and I loved this opportunity for additional feedback and change. Tomorrow I have the deputy principal watching my maths lesson, feeling excited to have her join in on our mapping adventure. Hope she likes adventure. Also I will be part of moderating and parent teacher interviews tomorrow afternoon. Big day ahead, but awesome learning experiences ahead as well.

3 days left, say it with me, 3 days left. Sounds good hey.

Well not that it’s nice to say this, but it is nice to see I am not alone with fighting illness and pushing to get through the last 3 days of prac. I have just read my fellow peer, Mellissa’s blog, where she shares that she has a head cold, throat infection and is losing her voice. So now I don’t feel so bad to write this blog and share that I have an ear that is about to rapture from taking a flight last weekend without knowing I had an ear infection. This week I have been teaching full time load and loving it, but slightly struggling with having hearing loss and needing to take pain killers and antibiotics so frequently. My mentor has been supportive and the students are even trying to stay quite while working to not hurt my ear, bless them. We have had productive days so far, so here’s hoping that the last 3 are just as good. I may even start to become healthier by the end of this week to finalise prac in less pain.

Off and running…

I have been looking forward to being able to blog all day about my 2nd, but feels like my 1st day of prac. When coming into blog, I loved having a read of my fellow peers Mrs J P Finan’s post about her first day as well. I do agree as a pre-service teacher it feels weird being out of the class for speciality lessons. I was only out of class for parade today, but I was excited to return to the classroom and get back to learning. Hehe. Unlike Mrs Finan, I had to teach straight away today. I have been very busy in the build-up of today with typing lesson plans, making worksheets and resources and emailing them to my mentor. It was great to jump straight in today and teach 1/3 of the day. I taught a new concept for year three students in maths and I have to do follow on lessons each day this week.

A highlight today was watching my mentor teacher teach the students about some classic Australian poetry. She read them ‘Waltzing Matilda’ in which the children didn’t seem to interested and then she showed them a YouTube clip of John Williamson singing waltzing Matilda and they were all engaged and keen to work out what was going on in this poem/song. Amazing using ICTs helped this lesson.

Upcoming expectations….

So after a rough first day visiting with my prac class and not even having my mentor present, I feel more confident now, a week later, after I have had my mentor ring and talk me through all expectations for the next 3 weeks. In saying I feel confident I also feel nervous as to how high her expectations are for me. She has said that the class is mine for 3 weeks and that I will teach majority of lessons alone or be co-teaching otherwise. I noticed a post from my fellow peer Sara called, ‘First week lesson planning for practical experience in year 1 class.’ She mentions I have what feels like a bit of a push in the deep end in I have a variety of lessons to teach in the first week, including Maths, English, Technology and also an Art activity”. I guess I am not alone. I am very grateful for all the available resources we have learnt about and extras that I have found like, ‘Master Maths Facts by Laura Candler’s.’ This book provides lots of hands-on learning experiences to help teach students about multiplication, which I will be teaching first up Tuesday morning. Good luck everyone, May the force be with you all.

Playground or iPads? What would you rather?

A Brisbane magazine, known by the title of ‘Your local families’ has published an article about a shopping centre recently converting their young children’s playground area into a padded wall structure with iPads embedded within the walls for children to play with. This article has caused massive discussion, regarding opinions on preference for a playground or an iPad zone for young children to play in? What is your opinion on this matter?

Personally, I consider it is only moving with the times and that shopping centres is not really the place for a child to need to play for long periods of time. However, I think a playground creates a higher chance of opportunity for young children to learn social skills rather then individualising play stations on iPads.

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