Mrs A's Blog

My Rambling Thoughts on Teaching and Learning

Welcome to 2019

In just over a week the 2019 school year will be starting. This year I am going back to the classroom full time. After 9 years with only having one academic class I’m finding this thought a little bit daunting…

I am looking forward to the year I have six senior subjects and I’m excited to be trying to implement many of the ideas I have had over my career. I’m keen to meet my students and assist them in their journey to the next phase of their lives.

I have spent many years working on how I can personalise my classes. With only one class this is easy – I’m concerned how I’m going to manage this with six classes. My initial thinking and brainstorming has seen me incorporate the following into my initial lessons…

  • Each class will have their own check in day where I look at any homework, provide feedback, check learning goals
  • I’ve put together my data walls from the information I can find on my students
    • Last semesters English, Maths, Business, Economics, Accounting, History results
    • Most recent relevant aptitude test results
    • Learning Enhancement reports, IEPs, PLPs, EALD lists, gifted assessments
  • I’m asking students to complete a survey so I can get to know them a bit better

Would love to hear what you think…

Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

What Does It Look Like in Your Classroom? (Part 5)

ICT Capability is one of the general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum.  One element is “Managing and Operating ICT”. This element involves students developing an ability to

  • Select and use hardware and software
  • Understand ICT systems
  • Manage digital data

So, what does this look like in your classroom?

  • Student selecting the right piece of equipment for the right job
  • Knowing what a keyboard, mouse, and monitor are
  • Saving and retrieving documents
  • Operating various software packages (word, excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, outlook, premiere pro, photoshop etc)
  • Identifying and comparing the use of the main components of a computer
  • Setting up folders to save files to in a logical manner (i.e. by term, by subject)
  • Being able to troubleshoot basic ICT issues (i.e. paper jam in printer)
  • Accessing OneDrive across devices
  • Using password protected files
  • Sharing documents
Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

What Does It Look Like in Your Classroom? (Part 4)

ICT Capability is one of the general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum.  One element is “Communicating with ICT”.  This element involves students developing an ability to:

  • Collaborate, share and exchange
  • Understand computer-mediated communications

So, what does this look like in your classroom?

  • Selecting technology tools to safely view information
  • Selecting age appropriate ICT tools to collaborate with others
  • Sending emails
  • Sharing information with local audiences (in class, newsletter, sway)
  • Sharing information with known audiences (friends and family, experts)
  • Discussions about how emails are viewed and sent
  • Collaborating with global audiences
  • Mystery Skype
  • Collaborating with schools around the world
  • Using Video Conferencing equipment to engage with experts
Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

What Does It Look Like in Your Classroom? (Part 3)

ICT Capability is one of the general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum.  One element is “Creating with ICT”.  This element involves students developing an ability to

  • Generate ideas, plans and processes
  • Generate solutions to challenges and learning area tasks.

So, what does this look like in your classroom?

  • Using Inspiration to create mind maps
  • Making web sites
  • Creating infographics
  • Making videos
  • Creating posters
  • Using excel to make graphs
  • Making games
  • Designing presentations
Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

What does It Look Like in Your Classroom? (Part 2)

ICT Capability is one of the general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum.  One element is “Investigating with ICT”.  This element involves students developing an ability to

  • Define and plan information searches
  • Locate, generate and access data and information
  • Select and evaluate data and information.

 

So, what does this look like in your classroom?

  • Using the library catalogue to locate information
  • Using a search engine to locate information
  • Use of mind maps to plan
  • Develop questions to guide research
  • Use of OneNote to take notes
  • Verifying the validity of the information provided
  • Explain the usefulness of the located information
  • In evaluating information creating explicit and implicit criteria
  • Use a range of digital resources including databases, newspapers, digital books, websites etc
  • Use simple search functions like key words
  • Use advanced search tools like selected country, time frame, file type, language, domain, etc
Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

What does It Look Like in Your Classroom? (Part 1)

ICT Capability is one of the general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. One element is “Applying social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICT”. This element involves students developing an ability to

  • Recognise intellectual property
  • Apply digital information security practices
  • Apply personal security protocols
  • Identify the impacts of ICT in Society

So, what does this look like in your classroom?

  • Conversations about ownership of resources
  • Acknowledging sources when researching
  • Correct referencing conventions
  • Conversations about ethical dilemmas such as downloading of video content
  • Conversations about protecting digital information i.e. personal information
  • Use of passwords (including the sharing of passwords)
  • Updating notebooks (computers) when requested
  • Conversations about the sharing of personal information in online environments i.e. on social media
  • Conversations around socially acceptable protocols when using ICT to collaborate with online communities i.e. discussion boards
  • Conversations about how ICT is used at home and at school
  • Conversations around the value and role of ICT at home, at school and in the community
  • Identify with students the positive and negative impacts of ICT on their lives

 

Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

Game On! The Use of Gamification in the Classroom

Gamification  is an interesting concept that if implemented well can chanage the way your classroom works.  Below is the resources I have put together for my presentation at QSITE.

At a time when we are all trying to provide individualised and differentiated courses for our students, finding ways to engage and give our students choices about their learning can be difficult. Gamification is a great way to offer choices. This session will focus on the who, what, when, where and how of Gamification in the classroom. It will set context, work through examples and start you on your own design process for how you could implement gamification in your classroom, past just gamifying classroom management.

Presentation

Prezi

Game On

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7

 

Resources

School is a Game… So What are the Rules? (Part 1 Research)

School is a Game… And the Rules have Changed… (Part 2 Action)

Gamified World (Part 3 Research)

Coursera Gamification Course

Class Dojo

Image Maps

Dreamweaver CS5

Handout

Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

Leading Ambitious Teaching and Learning (LeadEd501x)

Earlier this year I started a course on edX titled “Leading Ambitious Teaching and Learning”.  The title intrigued me.  I want to be considered an ambitious teacher.  So I started the course.

Module 1A looked at Ambitious Instruction in Elementary Literacy…

It covered ideas like higher order discussion and project based Literacy Learning.  My takeaways included that I needed to include Popcorn questioning into my teaching and that I already have included project based learning so perhaps I am an ambitious teacher.

Module 1B looked at Ambitious Instruction in Mathematics…

It covered the idea that students needed to have opportunities to investigate errors and have time and space to talk through their solutions.  My takeaways included that I needed to integrate error fixing into my teaching and that I already use visual thinking strategies so perhaps I am an ambitious teacher.

Module 2 looked at Ambitious Learning with Digital Technology Tools…

It covered a road map for learning with technology from the selection of the technology through to how it can be used for differentiating learning to how school leaders can support technology in learning.  My takeaway was the Triple E framework as a tool to aid the selection of technology tools for the classroom and that I already ensure that my use of technology is with purpose so perhaps I am an ambitious teacher.

Module 3 was about Systems Thinking and Improving at Scale…

It was an introduction to systems thinking as a way of thinking about how all the components of a school can work together to achieve a common goal.  My takeaway was that it requires leaders to develop new ways to seeing the components of a school and supporting staff to see these new ways of thinking, kind of like a well-oiled machine.  Each of the cogs have a role to play if they are not working together than the organisation isn’t working.  Each of us has to attend to our own cog and we might even have to assist other cogs in order to work well together.  I already work with staff within my role to improve their teaching so perhaps I am an ambitious teacher.

Module 4 was about Leading Transformative Change…

It was an introduction to leading others and empowering teachers to want to be ambitious teachers and giving them the tools to make it a reality, one of the tools was an Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument for Classrooms.  My takeaway was that the gap between where I am now on the OCAI-C and where I want to be is not that far so perhaps I am an ambitious teacher.

So for now I am going to be that ambitious teacher and hope to change the world one student at a time.

 

If you want to check out the course it is archived however you can review the course content.

Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

Tick Tok Tick Tok

Time…

Tick tok tick tok…

As educators we seem to always complain that we don’t have enough of it.  Between marking, planning, teaching, administrative work, tutorials, duty, parent meetings, co-curricular, phone calls, meetings, email, observations, professional development…

Times 6 (or the number of academic classes you have!)

Tick tok tick tok…

I often hear the excuse but you only have one academic class those of us with full loads don’t have time to do what you do.  I wonder if they realise that I too don’t have “time”.

Tick tok tick tok…

My days are often filled with back to back meetings which involve several items being added to my to do list for each meeting.  I would sit in my office to attack this to do list for less time in a timetable cycle than a teacher with a full load.  My role includes research, resource development, product testing, student workshops, staff workshops, professional development.  And yet I still manage to find the time to complete the things I need to complete for my academic class including the list above.  Usually in my own time after hours.  My work day is for doing my “day” job, my elf role.  Not my classroom teacher role.

Tick tok tick tok…

Part of my job is about finding better ways to teach, better ways to use technology.  Why is it when I find a way to make a teachers life easier most don’t want to know.  I do understand that to begin with it might be a bit harder there is always a learning curve. However ultimately the job will become easier.

Tick tok tick tok…

Ultimately time is relative.  We all have 24 hours in a day and how we choose to spend it is up to each individual.  With technology changing the landscape we will always find something else to fill the “free” time.

Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...

#FutureSchools Day 3

After 3 days of conference, my brain reached capacity today!  It was day two of the Future Schools Future Leaders Conference.  (If you want to read, my ramblings from day 1 click HERE)

There were a number of ideas that I connected with…

  • Pedagogy before technology – always!
  • Fitness coach instead of a HPE class
  • Teachers provide feedback on mastery
  • TtDESC and ISDCN Project are important – keep sharing the love
  • Positive Education is going in the right direction at our school
  • Wellbeing is like the weather
  • The need to inspire staff
  • Clean the fish tank don’t just treat the sick fish

The following extended my thinking…

  • Fixed time vs flexible time vs independent time
  • Gant charts for the students to manage their time
  • Go back to the rational of the DigiTech curriculum documents – remember the purpose don’t just be a check list of yes we have done this
  • Realise the potential and the ideas behind the DigiTech curriculum
  • Introduce more brain breaks – Thumbs – if same clap if different continue
  • To move forward we all need purpose – why am I doing this?

Lastly, I am being challenged by the following – perhaps it just needs more research…

  • Use icons to indicate the type of task – visual aid to assist students
  • Need to contact Melbourne Girls Grammar to find out more about their flexible time and independent time
  • Being prepared enough for students to select their own due dates
  • Read Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  • How can we connect more projects to cover the content areas and give more time to go in depth into the curriculum instead of just the surface
  • Time to Audit and Reflect the use of STEM
  • My own negative bias
  • Me TV/the school show
  • Disrupt the model of education
  • Need to contact Templestowe College to find out more about their flexible learning programmes

Would love to hear your feedback.

Feel free to share this post on one of your networks...