End of week reflections, week 2

It’s been a really busy week. We had the kids away for a bit this week, as well as our whole class out on Wednesday. I’ve really tried to observe my mentor during this time, as I wasn’t sure how I’d handle that in my own classroom. Next week we have a lot of the class away for 3 days at band camp, and there’s a lot of content they have to do at home. The benefits of a 1:1 laptop class is that they can actually take their laptops home with the ILMs from class and work on it.

I really think I’ve done well this week, I’ve been teaching so much and learning a lot as well.
Heading into the final week next week and I’m definitely ready!

some reflections would be how can I use ICT more effectively in my classroom? I really need to keep in mind that there are more ways to incorporate it than games. I like how my mentor uses spelling city for the students spelling, and they’re able to have their own customized lists which I really think is more of a benefit to those individuals.

Behavior management was a lot better this week but I can’t say that it was all me! My behavior students just seemed to show up this week with a better attitude which made it a lot easier to work with them.
I’ve figured out what we’re going to do for our angles assessment, and I’m being observed next week so that’s exciting!

Mid week reflections, week 2

I get to stop planning lessons now, and we’re just working on session plans instead! I struggled with this at first, as I’ve never been allowed to use session plans in the past. I either had too much or too little info in there, now I think I’ve gotten them down pat.
We went to smart steps today, and I really got a change to practice my leadership skills. I was assigned to a teacher aide with some children from our class and some from the year 6 SEU children. They’re a lovely bunch of kids, and were very well behaved. Overall however, I didn’t really understand the point of going up to USQ. It was funny hearing kids responses to the questions, they thought that a teacher and doctor require apprenticeships! If only that were true!
I got to see one of my favourite lecturers though, which was nice and he gave me some words of encouragement! I was also on my own with the teacher aide, and I tried my hardest to really take initiative and keep the whole group together and under control. It was good to be given that independence, and I think I handled it well.
I didn’t teach today because we were out and then they went straight to art when we got back. It was nice to have that afternoon not teaching though and it gave me time to reflect and talk with my mentor.
I think I’m improving a lot with my maths, especially since I’ve been teaching it every day! Angles are a piece of cake for me, and I’m just thinking now how I’ll test their knowledge. We aren’t finishing up with that unit until next week though so we’ve still got time.
I’m teaching science tomorrow as well, which is all about sustainable energy and I’m really excited. I care about the planet, I’m vegetarian and I aim to live as sustainable as possible, so it will be nice to see student responses for that as well.
Overall I think I could improve on my organization, I was good on the first week but now things are getting busy it’s tougher to keep everything all together! I’m also thinking how I’ll test student knowledge 🙂

Start of week 2

The students are really under the pump this week! We have some of the class away on band camp, and then we are going to smart steps for most of the day on Wednesday. Their multimodal assignments are due next week as well so that’s going to be a tough week for them. I never realized how stressful teaching can truly be until this prac, our classroom routine seems to be out the door for now and we are focusing quite heavily on using the ILMs to teach from just so we can be sure they know the content.

I had struggles last week with my maths teaching, which got better towards the end of the week when I really started to understand the content.
So far we are doing angles, which is something I’m much more familiar with and I think I’ll be able to teach this well. I’m taking the english lessons as well, but we are just working away on this assessment piece.

It’s going to be a whirlwind week for me at school!

Rest of week 1

This week has been a really good experience for me and it’s been a very steep learning curve!

Being in a 1:1 laptop class is really challenging, and I also have the EQ guidelines to contend with. I’ve been trying very hard to incorporate ICT into the lessons I teach but sometimes I feel like I’m pushing against the tide. The students did work on an editable PDF that I created for assessment, we have played games and looked at youtube videos for them to learn more. That’s been really nice and helped the children to get more engaged. My mentor has asked that I not use as much ICT in maths because the students get unsettled, so I’m doing it more for english. They’re creating a multimodal for english so I’m really in my domain! I made them an example multimodal for their assessment, which was really fun and I taught them how to crop images to make them look better when using Movie Maker. I also taught them some things I learned at my graphic design apprenticeship, like how to filter out stock pictures in google search and find the highest res images for the job that they’re doing. Overall I think they understood it, and even just that little bit of learning has increased the quality of their assessment pieces.
It’s been a really big week, and I think I need to improve more on behavior management. The children are generally very well behaved, however games have been an issue. My mentor has an excellent program on her computer where she can see each screen and remotely shut down laptops via her computer. This is a really good tool, I’m just wishing I could do it too!

Goals for next week:

Check sites for their EQ usability before my lesson starts, incorporate more ICT into english classes and focus more on behavior management with a 1:1 class.

Second day prac reflections

Maths:

Today was a really shaky lesson. The goal was to multiply decimals by whole numbers, which I completely understood. Adding tenths, hundredths and thousandths though – not so much. I’ve talked previously about struggling with maths concepts which I really do, but I made such an effort to understand this lesson and I actually taught it to my friend and partner the night before on my home whiteboard. This did not help me on the day.

I’m using the ILM’s provided by the C2C to teach off of, and this particular question was quite shaky. Something along the lines of “if I have 6 hundreds, and I add another 6 hundredths, how many hundredths do I now have?”

I’m not a dummy. 12. You will have 12 hundredths.

How do you show that on a place value chart? Beats me. I asked my mentor and even she didn’t quite know what to say for that wording. We moved forward to further examples however, which were much clearer. This part of the ILM I understood and could teach from. My behaviour management was easier today, I really did focus on my proximity and choices and for the most part there was no disruptive behaviour.

I still was told that my content was not up to scratch though, because of a discrepancy on what side you should put your symbol. I really felt stupid putting it on the wrong side but I asked around with kids I went to school with and we’ve all been taught this way. So were my parents, and friend’s parents so I’m assuming that it’s a New South Wales thing. Other than that, and the confusion of that first example on the ILM I think I did okay.

English:

I showed the students an example of an A standard today, and they discussed with me what factors made it so. We talked through the criteria again, and I think they really got an understanding of what was expected of them. They were very on task today, and began their brainstorming on the task sheet now. I walked around the classroom constantly checking their progress and answering questions.
Overall, even those that I’d had difficulty with the day before were on track and engaged and I believe I’m getting more comfortable working with a 1:1 laptop class.
I would like to improve even more on my behaviour management strategies, and work even more thoroughly to engage them and really know my content.

First day at Prac! Reflecting

Maths:

We were aiming to achieve an understanding of multiplying decimals by whole numbers. I’ve previously believed that playing games as a warm up really helps to introduce the lesson and get the children engaged.
We played a warm up game of Jeopardy using buzzers that I got from work, and the kids did love doing it but it was difficult to keep them settled down afterwards.
I came into this lesson with an inquiry based approach and aimed to encourage the students to think for themselves, and develop questions that would help them understand further.
I mainly wanted to ask guided questions such as “why did you get that answer, do you understand what you were missing? What will you remember for next time?”
I think this worked quite well.

English:

After morning tea, it was up to me to talk the students through their English Assessment. I’ve always been really fond of English, so I was quite happy to be taking this lesson.
The students were walked through their task, and the criteria sheet by me and I outlined our expectations. I actually planned to incorporate a lot of ICTs into this lesson, including my own class blog (away from this one) that I would use to get them to access the links I wanted them to use. I thought this would be excellent, but 5 minutes before my lesson I couldn’t access it because of EQ guidelines! I had to think really quickly here, and so instead I made a word doc with the links and put that onto the server in a place the students could access it (the material that DID work).
The students used a brainstorming website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/pinball/dotdash/) and they brainstormed the location, audience and some key points they would use to sell this location. Most of the students were on task, but it’s really something else to have them all on laptops! I need to work more on making sure they’re not on games when I turn my back, it’s something I’ve never even had to worry about before. I considered myself quite technologically advanced because of my graphic design and multimedia training, and I thought it’d be easy to handle because I’ve been there and used all the tricks. For the remainder of my time here I’m going to need to look at their task bars for minimized internet games, definitely.

As for overall behaviour management, most of the class as I’ve mentioned in previous posts are quite enjoyable to have and there isn’t too much that I have to worry about when it comes to that.
There was students that prompted me to rethink my behaviour management strategies for next time, and I really need to remember proximity and offering choices when approaching these students. Following through will also be something important to remember.
Overall, it was a great start to my week. I am planning to incorporate some more tactics such as crosses on the floor where I will stand when I need all eyes on me; I will also try to provide more hands-on experiences as opposed to games and hopefully this will settle them down. I am going to practice teaching maths at home before I do it to really solidify the content.

Sigh, it was a big first day! Promise that not every post is going to be this long.