Another semester down

Hello world!

It has been a while between posts, sorry. I had all these grand plans of using this site as a reflection tool constantly during the year…but alas it has been very low on the priority list.

Well, as long as I get passing marks on my final assignment and exam, I have completed another semester. Only 5 subjects to go! But those 5 subjects will take me a long year and a half to complete. I feel pretty confident with the subjects I completed this semester. To be honest, the mathematics course took most of my attention. I really enjoyed creating the Webquest. It was a great subject in that it was really explicit in the teaching/learning/expectations. Hopefully my marks reflect my engagement in the course. The literacies subject definitely played second fiddle, and I’m afraid my marks may reflect that. I didn’t improve on my marks from the ICT course as much as I’d hoped. Seems essay writing is still my kryptonite. None the less, I’m happy to have another semester done!

Whilst I’m here, I just wanted to say something which is really unimportant but, none the less, here it is:
I felt so old at uni today! First time on campus for years for an exam. Whilst I realise I’m a mature-aged student, I really felt it for the first time today being in the physical presence of the younger cohort. I rocked up all comfy, in my uggies and beanie on a cold winter morning. Every one else, done up to the nines as if it were a job interview. What the! When did exams and uni become a fashion statement?! Ah, like I said, totally unimportant, just was so surprised to be the only one dressed for comfort and warmth for an exam…

See you all next semester!

Deja Vu

First things first, a little fist pump for remembering to come on here and post.  Woo!

4064 Kids are awesome. by rynsms, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  rynsms 

Secondly, and relevant to the title, I’m currently doing an assignment that has me feeling a bit of deja vu.  Much like the EDC3100 assignment 1, I’m looking at ICT use in the early years.  Not only am I writing an essay, I’m creating a digital artefact to showcase the key points of my essay.   My main goal going in to this assignment was to better the work I did in EDC3100 (seeing as the two assignments are so aligned).  At first I was feeling confident, now I’m struggling.  I have all these ideas in my head, but they just aren’t making it onto the screen.  And I can’t do the artefact until I finish the essay.  Aargh!!

I have never been a strong essay writer.  I feel confident in my mind as to why I would use ICT to support literacy learning in the early years.  But like I said above I just can’t translate that into a professional essay.  Wish me luck this next couple of weeks.  And good luck to anyone else out there doing assignments.

Hello uni 2015

Well it has been a long time between posts!  I must admit after getting through prac and finishing up the assignment for EDC3100, the blog got forgotten.

I am back into a new year of studying and have decided to attempt to keep the blog going.  It was a very useful tool for reflection last semester, so hoping to continue that.  I am down to 7 courses to finish to have my degree done – woop woop!  But that will take me 2 years with my commitments outside of uni.  This year the plan is to get stuck in and do my theory based subjects (so no prac).  First semester, I’m tackling some literacy and mathematics.  Feeling fairly confident with both areas, but have to sit an exam for mathematics which makes me kind of nervous.  I haven’t sat an exam in years!

Feel free to follow my reflective journey through these last 7 courses of my education degree.  There will be lots to learn.  And good luck to those on the EDC3100 journey this semester – time management is key!

I survived prac!

That title may be a bit misleading as it sounds as if prac was a bad experience.  I had an absolutely fantastic time on prac.  It was sad to say goodbye to everyone today.  I even got flowers and a beautiful card full of lovely messages about why the girls think I will make a great teacher.  Awww.

Overall I am really happy with how the prac went.  I felt really confident in the role of the teacher.  I had so much positive feedback which is reassuring.  It was exhausting though.  Prac really shows you all those extra things that are involved.  Everyone thinks teachers work 9-3 — my days at school were more like 7.30 till 5!    I didn’t make it as far up the SAMR ladder as I was hoping but still learnt lots in regards to ICT.  So much to reflect on there!

Right now I am glad that I can tick another box off.  Just need to get the assignment done now.  But first a good nights sleep and a sleep in, yay 😉

Prac day 12

Only 3 days to go!  I have mixed feelings on that one.  Feels great to be nearly done, but will be sad to say good bye to my lovely little class.

On a technological note – prior to prac I was told we would have at least 2 class iPads to use.  Today was the first day we could actually use them.  Yay!  I feel so confident with iPads as we use them at home.  It opened up so many opportunities in the classroom.  For instance we used it to research worms for science this afternoon.  It really put the power in the girls’ own hands to find the information they needed.  I also used technology in that lesson by creating my own powerpoint of facts I had found and watching a video from you tube.  It was probably the first day I felt good about my level of ICT integration across the day.  Hopefully it wont be too long until I feel that confident with more ICT.

ICT for those little tasks

Whilst I may not be feeling overly confident with how far I’m pushing the ICT use in my lessons, I feel like I’m making good use of it for the smaller tasks in the room.

For instance every morning we have been putting a little sign in task on a flip chart on the IWB.  An example of this was writing their name inside a 2D shape they had found in the classroom (this tied in with our Math lesson that day).

I also use the flip charts to write up reminders for what is happening during a session or for reminders/pointers for a particular lesson.  For example yesterday we were looking at ants and as the girls found interesting facts I put them up on the IWB so we wouldn’t have to go back to the books when we needed those facts for our worksheet.

I have also used a random group generator to help with the task of making pairs and groups for activities and morning tea.  It really reduces the complaints when the students know that it is randomly chosen by the computer!  I found a great free group generator at the Super Teacher Tools website.

The other point I had reflected on in regards to ICT, was that even when my use of ICT has simply been at the substitution level, it still has been helpful for the class.  An example of this was completing a soundwaves unit interactively on the IWB rather than in their book.  It may just be substituting, but it re-engaged the girls because it seemed so much more fun to them than filling in the book.  And we all know an engaged student will learn so much more!

Feelings as at day 8 of prac

I’m technically half way through prac after today.  How am I feeling?

  • exhausted!!
  • happy
  • confident with general class stuff
  • like I’m not doing enough ICT
  • and so much more, but mainly exhausted today.

( PS I think bean bags and a nap would be welcomed in many staff rooms 😉 )

I’m having a fantastic prac so far.  Generally it’s going really well.  I taught for the whole day yesterday with only a few hiccups.  I’m going to try to do all day tomorrow.  It’s been a great learning experience, especially about all those extra things you have to do in the school environment.

But I am feeling a little disappointed with my use of ICT.  The availability of ICT hasn’t always been great.  Sometimes the lessons have really called for other experiences.  Sometimes I just haven’t felt confident or known what to use.  I’m really hoping to challenge myself with this next week.  But our schedule is so tight and not always allowing for much ICT.  I keep thinking of the SAMR model and wanting to push beyond substitution / augmentation.

I really enjoyed Alisia’s post.  As I tend to come back to TPACK and SAMR in my reflections and planning, Alisia’s link has great timing for me, to motivate me towards better use of ICT next week.