I was over on Joanne’s blog and saw that she was posting about a piece of technology she recently purchased and thought what a great idea!. I have just purchased a great piece of technology to assist me in my studies. I went in to Harvey Norman the other week because I was literally struggling without a laptop on my professional experience. I went in looking for a Microsoft Surface because that’s what my mentor had but I left with a Hewlett-Packard convertible laptop (doubles as a tablet as well) that is pretty much the same as a Microsoft Surface but way more powerful! Since I purchased it I haven’t been the same. Except for a small hole in my savings.
Whilst having a look over at Taylor’s blog I saw a post about feedback and whether or not feedback is good quality or not. It’s always been an interesting point to think about for me. Feedback can come in a variety of forms: it can be visual, verbal, sometimes it could even be physical! The relevant forms of feedback for me have come during my past professional experience where I am happy to say I had a very competent, flexible mentor who saw feedback as a vital part of the process but was happy to pass it on in different ways to ensure it was conveyed. We had a very good working relationship where she ensured feedback was given but under the circumstances a lot of the time they could not give it verbally, what with parent teacher interviews and things like that on. Her need to deliver it over email and the like meant I now have all of that feedback in a word document for when I need it next time!
Dogpile and Yahooligans are two kid safe web search sites that I have stumbled upon through reading a post over on Danni’s blog. They say that hindsight is 20/20 and that sounds about right in this case. For those following along at home you may remember me posting some tips from a semi disastrous guided Google search lesson(s) I ran with year 5 students as part of a history lesson and I mentioned how some searches result in inappropriate images (especially!). Well these would have helped out enormously in the flow of those particular lessons, eliminating the hands shooting up from students who weren’t finding the images they had planned during a search. I’m being a little bit dramatic, there wasn’t anything that bad more confusion was the case.
I am currently in the midst of getting my final assessments completed for this semester and this post I found on Nicole’s blog seems as relevant as any at the moment. What I found there was a link to a site with a lot of study tips aimed at how to alleviate procrastination, that which I am currently making up for at the moment. My last few days have seen me finish two assignments and an exam earlier today as well. I will definitely be taking a much more structured approach to the completion of my assignments and study next semester. Of course a lot of why I am in this position stems from me working AND studying full time, so next semester having smaller workload will be a start, but it won’t fix it all.
I was lucky enough to be in a year 5 classroom where there was one particular example of differentiation that needed to take place with an unverified case of oppositional defiance disorder that needed to be addressed in lesson content. This was a particular challenge for me as I was the new, unfamiliar prac teacher to this particular student. In order to try and get on this student’s good side I was told the they were really interested in fishing, and set about seeing what I could find that used fishing as a topic in addressing the content. In the revisit lesson to graphs and the follow up lessons I managed to find a couple of online games that were using fishing as the interactive part. These can be found here and here.
A follow up to the lesson I planned where the students were planning and making their own graphs based on a class survey was using this online BBC resource. It is an interactive video and activity segment that will take around ten minutes for your students to complete and gives them an opportunity to answer questions and complete tasks based on information they can get from interpreting graphs. It’s not a long activity and would be better suited to perhaps a group rotation type mathematics lesson where students take part in a different activity for a short time period and then change, but enjoyable and engaging none the less.
On my recent professional experience with a year 5 class I was given the task of revisiting how to collect data and create graphs with the students and wanted to find a way to do it without the use of just the whiteboard and their maths books. I found this cool online resource that allows the students to plug in their own data (we did a class survey in the previous lesson) and select a type of graph to use and in turn correctly format and label each part of that graph in order to practice generating their own graphs. This was a fun lead in to the students using their maths books to design their own graphs the old fashioned way. So they had a chance to design both ways.
The Quest of Comma Castle is an exciting online game that I found while trying to utilise ICT’s in an English lesson. My mentor and I had discovered through various English exercise over the first couple of weeks of my professional experience that the students on the whole needed to do some revision quick smart on all things grammar. This game has differing levels of difficulty to provide four levels of challenges where students must answer grammar questions in order to move the character further along in the game. It was highly effective, visually appealing and a very ominous sound track making it a great way to allow the students to improve their grammar in an interactive way.
I was trying to find online resources lately to try and transition from the first voyages to Australia during a history lesson to focus on colonised Australia and the differences between the two times in this country’s history.I found this ABC Splash Digi Book that has nine two to three minute clips covering various aspects of life living on a NSW sheep station during the 1860’s that was quite handy in guiding some group discussions around colonisation. It looks at most things from clothing, schooling, work life and relationships with local Aboriginal people. I found it helped the discussions quite a bit.
During my recent planning for a small history unit on Australian colonisation I stumbled upon the online game Voyage to Van Diemen’s Land. This is a great way to help your students to see what the members of the first convict ships experienced prior to and during their six month journey from England to Tasmania. The students take control of the planning including what food to take and who to put in charge, and then have to deal with weather, sick convicts and other phenomena during the voyage. If the students pay attention closely then the ship makes the voyage, fail to do so and it’s a watery grave for them all!