My history lesson was very successful and I got some great feedback from my mentor;
Subject Knowledge – Good understanding and thinking through of the learning outcomes.
Preparation – Well thought through variety of resources – story, YouTube clip, timeline. – Consider classroom positions (of students for each segment)
Interaction – Lots of positive comments. – Ensure teacher control and respect.
Communication – Appropriate level of questioning and explanations. – Ensure careful, step by step instructions of the activity.
Presentation – Use of story and pictures to sequence good introduction. – Great transition of muddled pictures and then sequencing together on timeline. – *Timing!?
Classroom Management – Ensure monitoring of the whole class; tuning in, listening to each other. – Use of questions to ensure all are listening. – Consider position of students for focus; carpet or desks. – Be careful not to talk over students.
Next time – ensure all students are tuning in and listening when you are speaking. Follow through.
Ways to improve – consider positions of students.
Strengths – lesson steps and building of knowledge.
Exciting – variety of resources; story, clip, pictures.
Nice reference to WALT!
Monitoring/feedback of completed work.
So … lots of positives there as well as plenty to work on. I was very pleased about how my ICT inclusions were received and the impact they had on the learning of the children.
Today was an interesting day, I took a one hour art session which introduced the history unit that I will be leading over the next two and a half weeks. The children are compiling personal time capsules which contain items brought from home which they will explore and arrange chronologically. The art session involved decoration of the large cardboard tubes which are being used to contain these items.
In discussion with my mentor teacher, I decided to use photographs and other images to decorate the cylinders. The children viewed a selection of images on the IWB which demonstrated the types of effects that would by applied to the photographs and images. Digital photographs were taken of each child which were printed out in black an white and the children hand coloured these with water colours using this Marilyn Monroe image by as inspiration
Black and white clip art images were also printed off and decorated in the style of the Spock print as viewed at the Artyfactory website. The children drew a freehand grid and then coloured it in with pencils producing some spectacular effects.
Finally, the students dipped black and white clipart images into a strong tea solution to reproduce sepia style pictures.
This lesson didn’t go quite as planned as my final preparation was lacking, however, all children completed their artifacts and some produced some quality work.
Tomorrow will be a big day as I lead my first history lesson which includes several ICT applications including the IWB, listening to an MP3 recording and viewing and discussing a Youtube clip which features morphing to demonstrate age progression in humans. My preparation is much more thorough for this formal lesson and I am confident that the students will gain knowledge through it.
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.
So … I’ve survived my first day of professional experience, dealt with a bleeding nose, knocked out tooth & head bump; but generally had a great day.
The children within the class range across the ‘normal’ spectrum of development and learning with the diversity that ‘normal’ entails. I have already been able to identify those children who require a little extra attention in regards to their learning, as well as those who are able to carry on with tasks largely unaided. All the children speak English well, including the two children of Indian descent.
I was pleased to note that my mentor teacher, Neva, already engages ICTs within her classroom. Today she used the Sunshine online program to enhance literacy skills for one group (rotated each day) during reading group rotation. She also utilised the IWB (Smartboard) within math, science and writing lessons, using a range of programs including SharkNumbers and Activeinspire Primary.
I was able to take a guided reading group as well as assisting with math, writing and science lessons and marking homework.
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.
I recently had a discussion about classroom ICT practices with my sister-in-law (Janette) who is a kindergarten (prep) teacher in NSW. She was quick to espouse the virtues of a product that she has in her classroom. Each classroom within her school has a Promethean Board, which is basically a brand of interactive whiteboard [IWB]. As Mrs Poulter expands within her blog post IWBs. The what, why and how, IWBs are a presentation tool which is a cross between a standard whiteboard and digital projector, which integrate sound and are touch enabled, depending on their age and the budget constraints of the individual school.
Janette is impressed by the ability of the Promethean Boards multiple user mode which allows up to four students at the one time to use the board, great for collaborative and scaffolded work. I’ve found the following demonstration of Promethean Boards on youtube, it’s fairly extended at over 14 minutes long, but shares some great aspects of this tool while also giving some ideas that IWBs can be used for within the classroom.
Promethean also offers further support and resources through it’s website and online community, Promethean Planet, where technical advice, professional development, an interactive online community and Promethean Store are available as well as free Promethean resources that have been created by teachers and shared within the network. What a great addition to a PLN for Promethean enabled teachers!