Understanding concepts: The building blocks for future learning

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I really want to share my fellow student’s blog post regarding the two types of learning: constructing and transforming.

Louise’s post details the two types of learning and how they are used throughout life. It reinforces the theory of lifelong learning. We are constantly learning, constantly improving our skills, increasing our knowledge and expanding our horizons.

Particularly as a pre-service teacher, it is fascinating to consider the concept of this. What we teach to students in Prep or grade 6, or even grade 12 is only a portion of what they will learn in their life, and is the basis of what their future learning will be built on. It reinforces to me the importance of ensuring that every child in our class, every day, term and year understands every concept we teach. What they miss out on understanding this week may be the vital point they need in understanding and learning things in their adult life.

Not letting any student fly under the radar or slip through the gaps is more important to me as a teacher now, realising the long-term and flow-on effects for children’s futures. 

Beado’s Blunder: A laugh or cry situation

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My professional experience this semester is in a Prep class at the local Lutheran primary school. I am very aware that young children need to familiar with new people, and this class is no exception. I have decided to spend a few days in the classroom leading up to prac, and today was my second visit.

During ‘free play’ in the classroom, a number of activity stations had been set up to accommodate colouring, iPad’s and Beados. Beado’s (click for link to their website) have been chosen due to their high hand-eye coordination and fine motor skill development.

I must admit my hesitation and surprise that bowls of these small beads were set on the table and the  students were allowed to do their patterning as they wished. I, personally, have not bought my 5 year old daughter Beado’s because of the high-risk of mess that comes with large numbers of small toys and young children!

I am assured by the teacher that the preppies are usually extremely careful and tidy when using the Beado’s. The teacher even remarked how proud she was of her students for being so careful with the beads.

As she finished her compliments, I turned to watch and admire these careful, diligent and responsible children at play. Like watching a train crash, everything turned to slow motion and I couldn’t turn away…

One of the girls used a large arm movement to describe her weekend’s follies and knocked 3 bowls of Beado’s onto the carpet!! This lead to her friends astonishment to respond with exaggerated movements, consequently knocking over the last two bowls of beads!

The result? The carpet was littered with beads that took the combined efforts of 20 children to clean up and collect.

The consequences? No more Beado’s for the next term because they were clearly not able to keep them on the table!

Whilst I was not surprised this event occurred, I felt for the teacher and the students. The teacher was shocked because this had never happened before, and was disappointed that such a useful tool will have to be discounted for a while.

Alternatively, though, it was a definite laugh or cry situation…I leaned towards laughing whilst the poor teacher was definitely on the verge of crying!! It was a great experience to see that, to even the 2013 Lutheran teacher of the year, things don’t always go to plan and things that may be successful one day may not work the next.

An amazing resource share-er

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I realise the title isn’t technically professional, but I found Kylie Meyer, a Queensland teacher on both PIntrest and Facebook. Kylie is constantly sharing free resources, readily shares advice and answers questions that new and pre-service teachers. Kylie is also a seller of her personally created resources through the TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) website.

As pre-service, and in the future, beginning teachers, having experienced teachers who share their knowledge, experiences and resources is a great asset. Throughout the last two semesters I have utilised not only Kylie’s resources but also her support in the Facebook forums. I have asked a number of questions and was accepted into the Prep teachers Facebook group even though I have not graduated, but because I am doing my prac this semester in a Prep classroom. I found this acceptance to be really wonderful. It shows the supportive and inclusive nature of the teaching community.

Kylie is a great resource, and I encourage you all to follow her on Pintrest, and also check out the Qld Teachers pages for each year level that have been recently created on Facebook.

My web artefact for Assignment 1

This is my website for assignment 1 for EDC3100: ICT and Pedagogy.

I am really proud of my efforts creating this site. I used a number of ICT techniques and technologies that I was previously unfamiliar with, and a, excited with the possibilities and prospects that these technologies open up for a pre-service teacher heading into the bog, wide world of teaching.

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I love Scootle

As Maggie discussed in her recent blog post, Scootle is an online database packed to the brim with resources that link directly to the Australian Curriculum. The ability to search via learning area, year level, content descriptor and filter which content descriptors you wish to in/exclude.

I am currently tutoring a friend’s daughter. She is in grade 2 but has missed the year 1 math concepts and needs help catching up. I have been able to locate the concepts in the Australian Curriculum online, and by clicking on the Scootle link, am taken straight to resources designed specifically for the area I wish to work with.

I trialed these resources on Miss H last week and they were a huge hit. Withing 45 minutes we had cemented a number of grade 1 concepts and learned how to out these to use in her year 2 work. I am thrilled with the results, and would definitely recommend this site to others.

ICT Innovation: Class Dojo

ICT Innovation Analysis

This is my analysis of innovation number 129 on the Google spreadsheet. The site arises from a practical context and is considered to be as “learning from assessment”.

What is it?

Named Class Dojo, this mobile and interactive site was designed in 2012 in America to address the large amount of time spent by teachers addressing classroom management.

How is it used?

Class Dojo is a system of real-time feedback for student behaviour, including on-task behaviour, meeting classroom expectations and social attitudes. Through the use of any device (computer, tablet, phone and interactive whiteboard) teachers can consistently and easily update the class dojo to reflect both positive and negative displays of behaviours, which in turn give real-time feedback to students. The ability to generate easy to read reports also gives the students and teachers the capability to discuss areas they are meeting expectations and those that need more attention.

How does it help student learning?

As it relates to the theme of “learning from assessment”, this site allows students to participate in self-assessment and reflection of their learning activity, whilst teachers can use the data to assess students’ learning activities as well as self-reflect on their teaching strategies and effectiveness.

The attached YouTube describes how Class Dojo can be used to give immediate to students on their classroom performance.

It seems I am not the only student in EDC3100 who has found Class Dojo interesting. This post from a fellow USQ student details this innovation, with a thoruogh explanation of its use.

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Integrating ICTs in the classroom

I found this video clip posted in thee blog “Adventures of a preservice teacher” (http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/64571240/133/) extremely interesting. It raised some great pints, and will serve as a good resource for assignment 1.

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8 themes for using ICT and Pedagogy

My examples of the students might typically be doing in your classroom for each of the 8 themes?

Learning from experts

Teacher instructing, students listening

Learning with others

Cooperative learning i.e. group work

Learning through making

A project where students create a diorama

Learning through exploring

Students undertake field work in playground

Learning through inquiry

Students complete an historical inquiry

Learning through practising

Students practice concepts using concrete objects

Learning from assessment

Students reflect on their assessment; on their efforts (input) and the results (output)

Learning in and across settings

Students undertake a cross-subject topic. Integrated unit plans that involve math & PE, history & English, etc.

“Using an e-reader in place of books is akin to looking at a place in a picture and living in it”

Technology is always a trade-off

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My example of technology trade-off is the e-book. I absolutely adore reading, and love the smell, touch and sound of reading a book. I swore I would never replace my actual books with a reading tablet for novels.

Alas, I was given a Kindle for my birthday last year and haven’t read a real book since! I love that it is self-lit so I can read in the dark, I can use the linked dictionary if I don’t understand a word (I never have had to, but I can if I want to!).

This week I decided to read my son’s newest novel in an attempt to get him excited in reading. His request? Could I restore an old device and download the digital version for him?

It would seem the act of touching and smelling a book, to become totally engrossed in the story is getting lost. Whilst I love the convenience of storing hundreds of books on one device, giving me the freedom to chop and change at my leisure, I am saddened that my children will not have the same tactile experience of reading that I grew up with.

This article (http://tinyurl.com/nmz4wdc) reiterates the benefits listed above, whilst also confirming the draw backs. Additionally, the writer includes negatives that I hadn’t considered. These include the need to have the battery charged in order to access your books and, what I consider to be an important fact, studies have shown that memory retention and focus are diminished when reading an electronic device.

As a current student and the mother of three young children in school, it is becoming clear to me that, whilst we must be competent users of electronic reading devices in order to be successful member of society, the practice of reading physical books should be instilled in our children, stressing the importance and ‘tradition’ of the process.

Concept Map

This will be a useful resource when starting assignment 1

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mind map- Why use ICTs

The above concept map (if I attached it properly :/) is a correlation of my thoughts and ideas over the past 2 weeks as I have engaged with the EDC3100 course content, with regards to why ICTs should be integrated into teaching and learning.

As I have been progressing with the course, I had been noting my thoughts and ideas in a table to help me gather and organise my ideas in preparation for assessment 1. However, with the us of Bubbl.us I have been able to create a concept map that visually represents all of these ideas so they are clearly articulated and relevant links are easily identified.

And the best part is that as the course progresses I can continue to add new ideas…

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