Friday, August 27, 2010

End to a busy first week at prac

A very very busy week at my prac placement but I'm learning so much.

I've be able to teach a number of different lessons, develop peer review rubrics, hand outs and much more!

I will be placing more lesson plans up on the blog as soon as I get the chance (might create a yola page and link them on that as blogger doesn't give you much room for plans).

My list of work to do this weekend include:
- looking for Smart Whiteboard lesson ideas
- looking for English grammar ideas
- writing a few more lesson plans
- writing an assessment piece

So much to do!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How can I tell they are learning?

My second day of prac went well. So far over 2 days I've taught:

  • 2 x 30 minute lessons on SOSE (see Lesson Plans)
  • Literacy groups x 40 minutes
  • Maths (small groups) - measurements/perimeters 3 x 40 minutes each
  • Story time (whole class floor time after lunch)
It's been very interesting so far. My mentor is very supportive and is encouraging me to do lots of teaching (another lesson planned for the morning).

My question is - how do I know they are learning? I'm struggling with this the most. Sometimes I think I can tell.. other times I'm not 100% sure. We also have several special needs students and it seems almost impossible to tell (out of a group of 30) who is and who isn't learning.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Prac about to begin.. am I ready?

My prac starts Monday and runs for 3 weeks with a grade 2/3 mixed class.

We're thrown in the deep end somewhat in this course and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little terrified.. okay a lot terrified!

Monday afternoon I teach my first lesson - just 30 minutes on Laws & Rules (SOSE) so easy in. I'm just going to do a short brainstorming session about what rules are and gauge the student's level of knowledge about rules - this should help me to form the rest of their lessons on this subject.

I've developed an overview of a sequence of lessons over the next 3 weeks which look a little like this so far (but may change depending on the students responses):

Week 1:
Lesson 1A - What is a rule? (brainstorm/mind map - whole class 30 min)
Lesson 1B - What is a law? (brainstorm/mind map - whole class 30 min)
(Blooms: knowledge/remember)

Week 2:
Lesson 2A - Rules and Laws (contrast and compare possibly using some sort of game and/or Venn diagram ie the students group cards with examples of rules and laws into a Venn diagram showing that some are rules, some are laws and some are both - group work/pairs - time?)
(Booms: comprehension/understanding)

Lesson 2B - Why do we have Rules and Laws? (contextualising with role playing in small groups 'okay today we have no rules or laws any more? .. in groups - role playing as a family trying to get to school/work?? perhaps creating a poster near the end to show the whole class what rules and laws they needed)
(Blooms: application)

Week 3:
Lesson 3 - How are laws made and who enforces them? (perhaps getting a police officer to come and discuss concepts with them? -time?)
(Blooms: synthesising)

Assessment: 10-15 short answer questions/some true/false.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Literacy Activity Sheet - Reflection

The Literacy Activity Sheet exercise went well. I worked with a group of 7 children today from a mixed grade 2/3 class.

Their reading was quite slow in places which made the activity much more drawn out (not sure how I can solve this?) over a 40 minute sitting.

In our group, each child read a page until we had reached the end of a chapter. I then used the activity sheet and asked each child to discuss what had happened so far. They then drew pictures or wrote (I told them they could do either) to describe the story so far. We made a list of words they were not familiar with down the left hand side of the activity sheet.

In the next box I asked the students what they thought might happen next? More discussion and drawing of pictures which was interesting. We then returned to the story to see if they were right.

We read another chapter and then went back to the activity sheet and discussed where the story was set? and if this story could be set in a different setting such as the city or in space? The space concept was a really good discussion with lots of interesting ideas and those that had not fully engaged began to chatter about how the story would work in space ships etc..

Overall, I felt the exercise sheet went well however it was very time consuming as the student's reading was so slow - perhaps this is not something I should worry too much about?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Literacy Activity Sheet

I'm currently working with a Literacy Group in a mixed class of grade 2/3 - the students are expected to read through a small book and I have designed an activity sheet to help students think about:
  • the direction the book may be taking (by stopping them half way through to discuss what has happened so far)
  • the main themes of the book
  • the context for the story and discuss how this story may fit in other possible contexts
  • create a list of words they may not be familiar with
The teacher for the class as suggested we cut out the list of words students are not familiar with and paste these into an exercise book (one for each student, cut in half to the right size for the list on each page) so that students can keep a list of words they should know and use their dictionaries to search for the correct meanings.

See the Digital Documents page for a copy of the Activity Sheet.

I shall be trialing this activity sheet out tomorrow with my prac class. I shall post some critical reflection and will also welcome any feedback as usual.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First week in schools..

This week I've been privileged enough to be allowed to help out in two different schools.

I spent an hour each with two different classes doing literacy.

I was interested to see the different behaviour management approaches and teaching styles. Both teachers are excellent examples to me of best practice so I have some great inspiration.

I'm going to attempt some literacy approaches next week to see what I can do with the small groups I've been given to work with. I must say I'm loving it so far!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Using ICT in the classroom and across the globe?

I've started this blog with the aims of reaching out to those in the education field, sharing knowledge and gaining feedback on my teaching practices with a strong focus on ICT in the classroom.

This week I made contact with Viki Davis in the USA who runs a blog called Cool Cat Teacher and asked her some questions about the use of ICT in classroom practice and how to connect to other student teachers via their blogs?

Viki has provided me with some very useful information and direction, which I shall share as I go through her suggestions. Also I should state that I'm focusing on Primary (which in Queensland is grades 1-7)

In the mean time, I would love any other responses to these questions:
  1. Do you know of any other student teacher blogs?
  2. How do you use ICT in your daily classroom practice?
  3. If your school does not have compute facilities or has to share these with other classes, how do you manage this?
  4. One of my prac schools does not have computer facilities which is very sad for those students - how can you still incorporate learning through ICT if your school does not have the funds for such resources? Can one personal laptop stretch for 24 children?
  5. I've had some interesting discussions with my fellow students and some either don't believe in the use of ICT in the classroom or have very little knowledge of it - how will this impact on their teaching in the future? Will they still be able to related to their students if they don't understand the importance of technology in these students lives?