Professional Experience Log – Starday 2

Today I was able to observe as my Mentor teacher modeled a guided reading group, providing some very useful information regarding insuring learning across the various literacy strands.  During reading groups I was also able to supervise and provide scaffolded assistance to the reading group who were utilising the Sunshine Online program on the classroom computers.  The students demonstrated their abilities to navigate around the familiar program using the mouse.  As my mentor teacher is pro-ICT, the children are given many opportunities to interact with ICTs and are comfortable with the basic skills.

In other activities within the classroom today, my mentor used a story and related set of activities (The sheep who couldn’t sleep) on Sunshine online as a math group rotation where children extended upon their work on numbers to 100.  My mentor provided an introduction and instructions by modeling the program on the IWB, allowing students to take turns to perform actions on the IWB.  The math group rotations then began, with one group accessing the program on the class computers.

During the final session, my mentor announced that today was the birthday of a student currently on a family holiday in America, and that she had the families email address so the class could wish the child a happy birthday.  Using the IWB, the teacher facilitated composition of an email.  The children were introduced to email composition, inserting emoticons, changing font size and colour, inserting the email address and sending the email.

My main contribution to the day was running a math group rotation using a worksheet, MAB blocks and individual whiteboards.  I was also able to incorporate the IWB to assist children in checking their work.  I was also involved in the weekly library experience, reading a story, which the children greatly enjoyed; and assisting them use library software and scanner to borrow books.

Tomorrow I will use the IWB in conjunction with the student’s individual text books to lead a handwriting session; lead a session extending the children’s work on place value; and lead a one hour art session where children will decorate time capsules for their history unit using photocopies of photographs.

 

ICT Resources for Early Childhood Classrooms

In response to our areas of interest question for this week, I’ve been researching the types of ICT products available for Early Childhood teachers and students. The tricky bit about this is that many of the plethora of programs available on line tend to constitute little more than busywork with little learning content. These in themselves may be useful, particularly in kindergarten settings where children are in fact learning about colours, shapes and are also developing the basic ICT skills including mouse skills.

In my search for something a bit more educationally substantial, I came across the PBS site that I shared via Diigo which lists a nice little range if IWB programs particularly designed for early years students.

The game Curious George.How Tall, uses the popular cartoon character Curious George and asks students to measure various items using non-standard units of measurement as required by the Australian Curriculum in Mathematics. I think this is a great tool as it is visually representative and required students to estimate the height of objects before actually measuring them out. The program also allows students to self assess as it doesn’t inform them if their estimation was correct or incorrect, instead, gives them the tools to discover the correct answer.

Another activity on the PBS site was Fuzzy Lion Ears. This program links with the Australian Curriculum literacy component, asking young children to listen to a word while viewing the word with a letter missing, then choosing the missing letter from a short list. This exercise asks that children listen effectively and use phonetics skills to decide which letter is missing.

Australian Curriculum General Capability in ICT

(ACARA, n.d.)

In preparing my unit plan for assessment two, I was required to incorporate aspects from the Australian Curriculum General Capability for ICT.  ACARA supplied the image above which is useful in explaining an overview of the skills and understandings to be reached by students.

The strands, Managing and operating ICT & Applying social and ethical protocols and practices while using ICT, encompass the other aspects and should be present in every ICT interaction undertaken by students.  In essence, they represent the basic skills and understandings required of all ICT users, how to use ICT effectively in a safe and legal manner.

Communicating, creating, and investigating with ICT are the ways in which students apply the previous two strands in order to create knowledge, communicate or demonstrate understanding.

The central sphere is the ICT capability itself, attained when the surrounding strands have been effectively implemented.  In this way, the student’s use of ICT can be related to the teacher’s TPACK.  TPACK is the resultant capability of understanding and applying pedagogy, ICT use and subject knowledge as explained by Faeza in her blog.

Through drawing parallels between how teachers teach and what students learn, we should be able to become more organic and holistic planners, resulting in benefits to ourselves, but especially our students.

 

ACARA. (n.d.). Information and communication technology (ICT) capability, Australian Curriculum, v4.2. Retrieved on 22 March 2013 from <http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/GeneralCapabilities/Information-and-Communication-Technology-capability/Organising-elements/Organising-elements>.