Initially I was very excited at the prospect of writing my final blog for this course but now that I am actually doing it I am feeling a bit sad 😦
However, this is it! lol not much but yay!!
I wish all my fellow students all the best especially those of you who I won’t see on campus next term 🙂
The last week of prac saw me integrate the most amount of ICTs, not because I needed to squash it in for assignment 3 (because I didn’t) but because both my mentors and I were finally on top of our planning. I find that’s always the case with my pracs, I finally feel like things are going great and I have really settled in and it’s time to leave 😦 But back to what I was saying…lol I have used a lot of my lessons from week three for Part D of my final assignment. This is when I could best draw on the successes and not so and identify the factors behind them. I must admit thinking of three different insights was a bit more difficult and honestly prob not the best element of my assignment. But anyway it’s done and I’m fairly relieved, just one other assignment to do by Monday for another course and I’ll be somewhat of a free person! hehe
Feel free to send me some motivation!
So, changing from one mentor to the next was proving to make it a little bit harder when trying to be as planed and organised as I’d like. However, they were very happy for me to nominate lessons I wanted to teach and ICTs I wanted to use. Once again I have been very lucky with the mentors I have been allocated to! After starting to get concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to integrate enough ICTs I was feeling a bit better as I had planned to use three throughout the week. I had planned to use the Interwrite Dualboard with the interactive pens, I can recall feeling slightly apprehensive as I had observed how temperamental the board was for my mentors. The light was yellowing and the collaborating process often failed to work. I was also going to use an online video to explain a science concept and my iPhone to take a photo for their investigation.
The online video and use of my iPhone went well, however, as mentioned earlier the Interwrite Dualboard and interactive pens did not want to collaborate so I had to improvise using the laptop and mouse.
Over the weekend after my first week I did some research into the type of white board used in the classroom. My mentors were always complaining about how temperamental it was and it’s yellowing projector light. The board is an Interwrite Dualboard linked to my mentor’s laptop. The software that was downloaded on their laptops was WorkSpace which provided an avenue for the board to become interactive. After looking into it I was a bit hesitant in downloading it and decided against it. Other ICTs in the class were six student computers with internet connectivity which were shared with the neighbouring year 1 class and a set of four iPads that were shared between all four year one classes. Both the computers and iPads were generally used for Reading eggs, Mathletics and sight word apps. The class was allocated 30 minutes a week to use the computer lab but this time was also to be used for library borrowing, resulting in my mentors not utilising it this term.
I did want to post blogs during my prac experience but I found myself extremely busy!
So instead I will just write posts reflecting on my time.
After meeting my mentor and the year one class the week before prac started I was feeling fairly prepared and organised as my mentor had started mapping out when I would teach. This was very important as she already had a student from a different uni who was going to be there the entire time I was. My mentor was determined to make it work.
Monday morning I arrived nice and early, 7:45am, as this school started at 8:30am, to find I was alone in the building after seeking guidance on how to get into the classroom from a teacher passing by. My mentor arrived at 8am and informed me the Deputy needed to see me and to take my belongings as she didn’t know how long I would be. I had no idea what was going on. I was informed by the deputy that I had been allocated to a new year 1 class which had a shared teaching arrangement. So first thing Monday morning I had to meet one of my new mentors, who only just found out that morning they had a student and start all over again. As you could imagine my mentor was not prepared for me and for the first two days, as she did five days a fortnight we were chasing our tails. Wednesday that week I met my other mentor and taught my first whole class lesson. Thursday we had the under 8s day festivities where I supported my mentor by running one of her stalls. This was a very exhausting day! Friday was parade, art and free choice with a few assessments thrown in.
At this stage I was still feeling fairly unprepared and uncertain of what I was to teach, having two mentors at different times in the week provided a bit more of a challenge! However it did get better 🙂
So I have just created my own ClassDojo profile as a teacher. This was suggested by my mentor as it is what she uses for positive classroom management. The idea is she will be able to link our accounts so I can (using any device such as my phone) add or deduct points from the students in class during lessons. However after looking further into ClassDojo I realised it can be used to communicate student progress or whole class news via email with parents. I think this is a good way of encouraging parent involvement and participation in their students learning.
I am looking forward to testing ClassDojo out during my prac 🙂
Just like Alex asks in a recent blog
Where oh where would I be without emails rights now!?
I also had to rely on emailing as an avenue for organising a time to meet with my mentor. I guess this is a perfect example of ICTs at their best!
After meeting with my mentor I have come to find that I am not her only student! For the entire three weeks I am there she also has another student who started last term. So as you can imagine it is going to be very difficult for my mentor to juggle teaching time between the three of us. Considering the combined teaching time both us students are required to teach there will not only be no time for her to teach herself but we will also be extending the school day to make more time to meet our uni’s teaching load requirements 😉
Put it this way this prac is going to be very interesting to say the least.
Currently I am slowly but surely working my way through my ‘before prac starts to do list’. I have completed week the week 10 learning path (once I’ve posted this blog url on Study desk), completed the Cybersafety modules, found out my placement and set an email to the coordinator to organise a visit this week and made albeit very small a start on my assignment for my second year course. Although, now that I know I will be with a year 1 class on prac I may hold off and see what ideas I can get from my mentor as I had chosen to base the assignment on the year 1 curriculum. But then again I might not as I would rather get most of it done before I go on prac and tweak it while on prac if needs be.
Anyway, in regards to reflecting on the Cybersafety modules, overall I found them pretty useful. I did make notes as I progressed through them to share with you. I thought the toolkit provided some very useful resources that I have downloaded in order to access throughout the rest of the degree, if needs be and when I am a professional teacher. However, I thought the 2007 statistics provided regarding student online use was quite outdated. In a time where peoples ICT use is dramatically changing I am sure the stats provided would be fairly different to more recent stats. Although I found the interactive activities relative I was hoping for some feedback on the advice I had written for particular characters. I am unsure how this would be possible but think it would be extremely useful in checking if we are on the right track with how we could approach certain students and situations. I also found that on a particular page we were encouraged to visit the glossary to check our understanding of certain terminologies, however when I did this a number of the words encouraged to look up such as Trojan and antivirus, were unable to be found in the glossary. But I agree with Rebecca that the links provided to class resources and support for families are great and might be handy at prac, oh except I haven’t figured out how to download the documents provided for IWBs on their suggested units of work. Will have to look into that. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can access them?
Well, I’m off to continue working through other items on my ‘before prac starts to do list’.
Oh and here is my certificate.
Now that Assignment 2 is in I am now focusing my attention to getting ready for prac.
What I thought was going to be a more relaxed two weeks prior to prac I found out in the lecture yesterday (yes, as I am behind in learning paths) that we have 4 Cyber Space modules to complete and Part B of Assignment 3 to complete before prac. On top of that I am also doing another assignment in advance for one of my other courses as it is due while I am on prac. So I’ve gone from a full on last couple weeks to more. At least the next week and a half is a bit more exciting as I will be preparing to go out and actually practice teaching with REAL live students! lol
Anyway, I have taken on board David’s suggestion of setting up a Trello account and will hopefully find it useful for my prac preparations. I am also thinking I will use it to replace my children’s current morning to do checklist which is on a mini whiteboard. I implemented this to help them take more responsibility for getting themselves ready for school but I think they are bored with it now. I was wanting to replace it with something more fun and inviting and Trello may just be that! Maybe when the semester is over I will have time to see what Trello can really do, as I certainly don’t at this point.