There be no IWB in my Practicum Classroom

Reading the course booklet on IWBs and the potential for them to be effective tools was good preparation for the upcoming practicum.

Unfortunately, as I was meeting with my mentor yesterday, I cast my eyes around the room seeking out the IWB for use in my middle school classroom … nope!  Not in this room.  Hmmm.  I did see however, a HUMONGOUS (is that even a word?) television/DVD player, which was being a very effective tool, but certainly no interactive whiteboard.

Now I look forward to my first couple of days of observation to see how the teacher engages the students effectively, as I have been informed the students are very engaged by technology.  I suspect iPads play a major role in the process.  Eeck!  I wish I had chosen an iPad over a Tablet for my personal use, to have some experience.  ‘Looking forward to the students teaching me!

Although AOYI200 has an amazing clip to show us the benefits of SMART board interactive whiteboards, I will be re-reading through Feedly for all the technology suggestions made by my fellow students about iPads.  For example, I found this article by Michael Cohen, at Mind/shift inspirational.

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Best wishes for everyone on their PE!

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Professional Experience

I, like many of my peers (including Stephanie Mitchell), am super excited (albeit a little nervous) about commencing my Professional Experience this coming Monday.

I met with my mentor yesterday, whom I had officially met at my last practicum.  Walking in to a room knowing whom you are to work with is comforting.  Having already undertaken a practicum at this school was also comforting, as it was thoroughly enjoyable.

I met the students I will be working with, hardly a one wanted to make I contact with me!  However, they were keen to inform me how old they are!

When my mentor and I were discussing the make-up of the class, she informed me that one of my students has been diagnosed with Stickler syndrome.  I have not heard of this syndrome, so was curious to find out more.  On a cursory look, I found a website, which detailed the genetics of Stickler syndrome.  Genetics Home Reference  informed me that Stickler syndrome is “a group of hereditary conditions characterized by a distinctive facial appearance, eye abnormalities, hearing loss, and joint problems”.

I consider knowing a little about the issues students are dealing with will be helpful in planning lessons and my approach and interactions.

Now I have met my students, I am so excited about returning to the school on Monday.  Monday morning – BRING IT ON!

Understanding of models and frameworks

Undertaking the task to identify the purpose and application to Assignment 3/Professional Experience was not as cumbersome as anticipated.

In fact, it was quite rewarding.  Taking the time to complete this task about these models/frameworks prior to undertaking either the next assignment or my Professional Experience has impelled me to reflect extensively.

  • What framework will I use?
  • Why will I integrate a particular piece of technology next week in my class?
  • What purpose does what I am about to undertake have?
  • What value-add will this bring to my students and their learning journey?

Oh, Mr David Jones, you are a clever one to get us to do this!

I have found some excellent resources to use for my assignment, which I have saved in Diigolet – a wonderful repository to store my favs.  Stephanie Mitchell spoke about the CLEM model and identified a valuable resource to aid with the understanding of this model.

Although, I have yet to begin my assignment, only finding out today about my class, my table is a good place for me to start and draw on.

 

Magical Moments

Fellow student Tamara, shared a magical experience in her son’s Year 1 classroom here.  This blew me away!  Another fantastic resource at our finger tips.  I intend to explore the Moo-O site over the next couple of days in the hope of using it during my Practicum at a Special School.  This is a perfect way to get engagement, participation and interaction happening across the curriculum.  I am so glad Tamara took the time to share this resource with us.

Another site I am considering using during Prac is Aurasma, an augmented reality app (AR) which is one of a myriad of new AR apps becoming available.  This is a little tricky to use at first (I tried it on my iPhone) but is REALLY effective when mastered.  One example I viewed, was a printed picture of a poet.  Once Aurasma was activated, by simply focusing the phone on the picture, the poet pulled a drink out from behind his waistcoat and started reciting one of his poems!  MASSIVE.

This is a link to see the poet come alive on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncFAxN9Gu9g

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Connect.ed

Over the last couple of days, I have progressed through an on-line professional development (PD) regarding cyber safety.  The Connect.ed PD is a requirement of one of my Uni courses, which consists of four modules.

What a great site! So informative, confronting and resourceful – AND I get a fancy-smanshy certificate at the end of it to put on my e-portfolio – WAHOO! See …

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The simulation activities were quite hair-raising for me.  I had my two 14 year olds eagerly leaning over my shoulders offering advice – on top of the advice I was receiving online from my ‘friends’.  My blood pressure increased, I’m sure of it; the pressure was on!  No matter which tactic I took, I was hammered by my online ‘friends’.  I felt I didn’t have time to consider, to think about anything.  As soon as I shared a thought – yes, a thought, it was acted upon.  GRRR!  Don’t these people let you think aloud anymore?  No, seriously?  If this is the real word for 14 year olds – good golly – they can’t think anything through without consequences.

… And don’t get me started on the 11 year old.  At least he agreed with some of my reasoning – perhaps he still has his mother in his ear – not like those 14 year olds!!!  Hehehe!

I was a little frightened by the expectations when asked to prepare a Cyber Safety Education Plan, but was positively delighted to see the myriad selection of resources available – AWESOME!  The printer has been going ten-to-the-dozen all afternoon.

Fellow student, georgialeighk has recently completed her Connect.ed PD, too.  She felt this PD was more of a refresher for her, as she has grown up participating in the cyber world.

If you haven’t visited the site – as a parent, I recommend it

As a student, I recommend it.

As someone interested in what’s goin’ down at the moment, I recommend it.

Good ol’ Queensland Cursive

While considering my blog posts to undertake this week, I happened across stellaedc3100‘s blog, Pre Practical Work Experience Nerves, which really resonated with me.  I, too, get ‘butterflies’ when I think about my next practicum.  Don’t get me wrong – I love ‘pracs’.  Apart from being so tiring, and some requiring a great deal more work than others – ahh, the memories of my first prac, where the expectation was predominantly to observe.    

While I am super-keen to get my teeth into teaching, I do get nervous about being up to my mentor’s expectations.  For me, one particular aspect I worry about is being able to write using Queensland cursive.  Although, the only time I have needed it was in my first prac with a Year 1 Special Education Unit.  Subsequent prac mentors have declared it the least of their worries, particularly in a Special Education school environment.  I wonder how my next mentor will prioritise it.

Stella is not alone in having pre-prac nerves, and I am certain we are not alone! 

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