Writing lines – a great whole class activity

writing lines

I was working with a Prep class for my professional experience this semester. The preps are learning to write the alphabet. My mentor usually teaches whole class writing by modelling on the small whiteboard with hand-drawn lines, asking volunteers to demonstrate.

I took this style of teaching to a ‘new level’ ( the Augmentation stage of the SAMR model) by displaying the red and blue writing lines on the IWB. I used whiteboard markers to model writing the ‘letter of the day’ on the board, and asked students to demonstrate and practice as well. This worked really well, as the whole class could see the IWB clearly and when letters were erased the lines were unaffected.

My mentor very rarely uses ICTs in the classroom, as she felt that they were not concrete enough for Prep students. After seeing the effectiveness of this activity, the teacher has said she will be replacing the old way with this new, more effective version of the activity.


My 1st Avatar


As a way of introducing myself to the Prep class I was working with during my recent Prac, I created my very own avatar using Voki. It was very exciting to go through the process of design and publishing the avatar. More exciting still was the excitement the kids showed watching it.

After the success of using an avatar for my personal introduction I decided to continue this theme throughout my teaching. I used the avatar to introduce each of my teaching sessions, informing the students of what subjects and activities were coming up.

This was a great system to engage the Prep students, tune them into the upcoming sessions and was a great way to “switch them on” to the fact that I was leading the class rather then their regular teacher. This helped with classroom management, the levels of respect shown to me as a pre-service teacher and really helped engage the students in the lessons.

My new favourite classroom management tool

Bouncy Balls is my new favourite classroom management tool. And the best part? It’s free!!!

The balls respond to noise by bouncing up the screen. The louder the noise, the higher they bounce. There are five icon options including plastic balls, smiley faces, bubbles, and the slightly creepier eye balls!

During quiet work time I displayed this on the Interactive White Board and it was instantly effective. Students monitored their own volumes as well as those talking around them…it had a roll-on effect that was remarkable.

I will definitely be using this program in future teaching experiences.

Teaching Theories, models & frameworks table: Week 11



Application to Assignment 3/

Professional Experience

CLEM Model

Help understand how to learn about a new ICT and how to use it to enhance student learning.

If there are any new ICTs you need to use it might help your explorations.

Hence might be useful as a part of the planning process for Part B.

TPACK framework

A framework that identifies the knowledge teachers need to teach effectively with technology


Complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK).

Helps to identify areas that the pre-service teacher may need help with in regards to ICTs. Namely, the ICT content, ICT pedagogy and the ability to use ICTs.


It can help identify areas that need improvement, gaps in knowledge of how to teach using ICTs and how to use the ICTs.

Backwards design

Aka UBD.

Design unit of work using 3 steps:

  1. Desired results
  2. Determine acceptable evidence
  3. Plan learning experiences and instruction.

Because we can’t know how to teach until we know what we are teaching.

When designing the Science unit I will be teaching throughout the 3 weeks, I can use the UbD model to effectively plan the assessment and learning experiences according to the curriculum outcomes.

SAMR Model

Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition Model offers a method of seeing how computer technology might impact teaching and learning.


It also shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and learning with technology. 

S: iBooks can be used in reading groups

A: Read to me function on iBooks is used

M: Video recall function on iPad used to record reading

R: Use iBook author function to create own text

TIP Model

Gives teachers a general approach to addressing challenges involved in integrating technology into teaching.

The TIP Model provides a helpful guide on procedures and issues to address.


As the available ICTs in the Prac classroom are already integrated into teaching/learning at present, this model is unnecessary.

The 5Es

Works to improve the various domains of learning and higher order thinking skills. Students build on current level of understandings to construct new meaning.

Whilst this model can be used in a foundation class context, this model will is not appropriate for the content that I will be teaching throughout my professional experience.


WALT: We Are Learning To


The WALT/LO should be shared at the beginning, to introduce the children to the lesson.

It is the use of the WILF/SC that will determine the learning outcomes of the children.


WILF: What I’m Looking For


“during this activity, I am going to be looking to see if you are able to….” there is the implication of significant action on the part of the teacher, a) in setting a task that allows this to happen, b) engaged teaching to check on progress thought the task, then c) judgements on achievement, from child and teacher.

As these are child-friendly ways to express the learning objectives and assessable elements of the lesson, they are very appropriate for my upcoming professional experience.


I will use these at the beginning of each lesson (excepting group rotations and craft activities).


Learning is distributed within a network, social, technologically enhanced, recognizing and interpreting patterns.


Transfer occurs through connecting to (adding) nodes and growing the network (social/conceptual/biological)


Connectivism regards knowledge as being distributed throughout a network of nodes, which is anything that can be linked. In this case, nodes refer to the knowledge that is attained. Learning can then be considered as developing a map. As the initial map is developed, new pathways will be constructed, allowing the knowledge to travel throughout the network. This in turn allows the learner to easier retrieve knowledge using these pathways.

This theory, whilst seems effective, is inappropriate for the professional experience I will be attending.


As a Lutheran school, and a prep class, the students are protected from interacting digitally with others. This includes in-school communication and outside.


Additionally, this theory of learning is not totally relevant to the type of learning that these students receive. The majority of their learning is based around social behaviours and the basic processes of literacy and numeracy. As such, there is the majority of teaching is hands-on, repetitive work rather than the more disconnected digital work which is associated with higher levels of understanding.

Bloom’s taxonomy

Works through a ladder/pyramid of 6 stages designed at increasing students’ higher order thinking skills.

This framework can be utilised best in this professional experience setting through questioning, rather than more formal activities.


The key is to incorporate/imbed the terminology of verbs into questioning throughout each lesson.

Postman’s 5 things

  1. Culture always pays a price for technology.
    e.g. cars and pollution (and many other less obvious examples).
  2. There are always winners and losers in a technological change.
  3. Every technology embodies a philosophy, an epistemological, political or social prejudice.
    The printing press de-values the oral tradition.
  4. Technological change is not additive, it is ecological.
    The invention of the printing press in Europe, did not create “old Europe + the printing press”. It created a new and different Europe.
  5. Technology becomes mythic, it becomes seen as part of the natural order of things.

The concepts of this model are not appropriate for this assessment/professional experience.

Toolbelt theory/TEST framework

Tool belt theory:


All students, because every human on earth needs some kind of technologies which assist them in their interactions.


We develop tool belts that consist of assistive technology to help us achieve.




TEST Framework:


Task: what needs to be done? Break it into parts.

Environment: Where? What constraints? Standard method of task completion? Who is it being done for?

Skills: Strengths? Weaknesses? Tools already have? Ability to acquire new skills?

Tools: What tool bridges the gap between current abilities and to complete task? If tool not in toolbox, how do we get the tool? If best tool not available, what’s the backup tool?



Encouraging students to identify technologies that assist them complete their work, practice skills and understand concepts.


Even in Prep students need extra assistance to understand concepts and practice skills, assistive technologies including iPads and computers can be used for this.




This will be useful for students in the Prep class during the introduction of new concepts and skills.


PKM gives you a framework to develop a network of people and sources of information that you can draw from on a daily basis. It a process of filtering, creating and discerning so that you spend less time answering email or finding that great presentation you saw, and more time focused on being a better practitioner of your craft.

During this professional experience, I will develop a PKM that includes: my mentor, other teachers, school staff, other pre-service teachers, other Bach Ed students.


Connect.ed and CyberSmart

What do I need to know and do for Professional Experience?

I need to become familiar with all ICT policies and procedures at my Prac school.

What resources are available to help me?

Talk to my mentor, deputy principal and the ICT caretaker.

Why are students using online technologies?

Students are using ICTs to communicate, and form and strengthen relationships

How might you leverage this in their learning?

This knowledge can help me make the learning more real-world and applicable.

What are the issues around the use of online technologies that you will have to help students deal with?

Cyber bullying, inappropriate sharing of information, cyber safety.

What resources are available to help?

Cybersmart website, Connect.ed, resources and links on connect.ed website.

This topic is discussed in my colleague’s post.

Online study…there are definitely some cons

I love that I am able to attend university from my location, access lectures and course materials from the ‘comfort’of my own home at times that suit me,but there are definitely some cons. Some examples?

I look like this…


Rather than this…



I feel like this….


Rather than this…



And completing my readings, does NOT look like this…



And the biggest bug-bear? Seeing this…


and this…


and this…


This article concludes that whilst there is a means of promoting accessibility and progression for students who study online, superior outcomes are not guaranteed, especially for those of low-income and academically unprepared students.

Please don’t get me wrong, I love online learning and love the opportunity I have been given. This may merely be a reflection upon my lack of ability to juggle the multitudes of things on my plate at the moment.

How are all my fellow-er’s feeling about all this?

What do I already know about planning?


What has created this bad mood, you ask? I am trying hard to catch up with the last two week’s learning path, and I can’t post to the forum!!! So, here it is. My answer to the question “What do I already know about planning?

– Context (school and class)
– Student needs;
– Curriculum content, descriptors and learning objectives
– Differentiation needs;

– Appropriate teaching strategies;
– Class/room organisation;
– Resources;

– Intro, body and conclusion
– Assess prior knowledge;
– Opportunities for reflection (student)

Please don’t get me wrong, this is a very simplified version of what is a very complex process. In all honesty, I do wonder how I would go through the whole process, considering and including all aspects that I’ve been taught are essential to effectively plan for each and every lesson in the real world.

So, I am compiling tips and tricks as I stumble across them, one of which is this YouTube clip.

Grrr……Online group collaboration

As a preservice teacher, I am learning to respect ‘perspectives’. I understand the pedagogical and theoretical benefits of group collaboration as part of an assessment piece, but struggle immensely with the practicality of it. I have found that Communities of Inquiry are fantastic whilst the group can physically meet, but no so beneficial when the group includes the Invisible man and the Flash. The Invisible man is that group member whose name is on the participant’s list but is never seen, and the Flash buzzes in and out so fast they don’t even leave evidence of them being there.

This isn’t the first online collaboration I have done, and am experiencing the same issues of struggle and frustration as I did last time. Group members never showing their presence, not contributing and leaving me stranded in the middle of the forum on my own, praying to the universe that I will get some support. 

I don’t intend on being offensive, and apologise if people take offense. That is not the intention of this blog, rather to point out the learning deficits of this form of pedagogy, rather than its benefits, as I have experienced them. I also understand (and, I must add, am extremely envious of) that there are a number of successful online collaborations, and would love to hear from some people involved in these. The recipe, as I understand it, is a balance of involved group members all of whom take an active role in the discussion and encourage meaningful interactions. I know this is possible, I have been a part of one, but find the odds of a 1 to 2 success rate quite disappointing.

This article details four issues identified with online COI and sums up the struggles I am having. Social presence, an important aspect of collaboration, requires trust and intellectual focus and, to be truly successful, create personal and purposeful relationships. All of these qualities require time to build, and in a COI that, in essence, is a group of students thrown together to have a meaningful discussion in a short amount of time, is a struggle.

I understand the benefits of collaboration and discussion for deepening our level of thinking, opening our minds to new perspectives and interacting in a professional manner. I truly do, but fail to see how practicing this method online, without guaranteed contribution equality, can truly help students experience everything COI has to offer.

My Favourite Pedagogical Framework

This is such a tricky decision. I recently read a colleague’s blog on the same topic, and noticed the differences between our opinions.

Whilst this preservice teacher prefers the 5E’s approach, I am inclined to favour Bloom’s Taxonomy to underpin my learning experiences. I love the ability it provides to gradually deepen the level of understanding on a topic as well as develop higher order thinking skills, which are vital for students to succeed in life.


Most recently I discovered the Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, and, with EDC3100 and its focus on ICT integration, feel that this framework will be extremely useful in the upcoming assignment 2.





I am aware, however, that it is beneficial to utilise more than one framework in teaching, so as not to miss any vital elements of understanding. With this in mind, I realise there are frameworks that, although designed to fit best to particular subjects, for example, the 5E’s model for science, the Inquiry framework for Geographical inquiry and the Language Stages Model for mathematics, are able to be utilised in other subject areas.

The Technology Integration Planning Model

Here They Are!

This week in the unit I’m studying on Online Learning, we’re looking at effective ICT integration planning models, focusing on the Technology Integration Planning (TIP) model.
There are many ways that educational institutions plan the integration of ICT. Some of these can be divided into two main areas of focus. Does the institution first plan how it sees learning happening, then acquires the technology systems to enhance that? Or does it allocate a budget for ICT and then ICT systems are put in place and then learning activities are designed around what the ICT allows? Warren McCullough (2011) has outlined these differences here.

Because of these fundamental differences in emphasis between infrastructure and curriculum, it is essential for educators to have an understanding of well designed integration planning models. The Technology Integration Planning (TIP) model is one such model, developed by Roblyer (2006), and adapted by Finger, et al…

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