I was scrolling through my Facebook this morning (as I usually do with my morning coffee)… I thought to myself… I guess this is my new newspaper… hmmm… Whilst reading, I came across a post about the advances to technology that are due to be in place in the next 10 years and had to share it…And just like it’s title suggested… It blew my mind.
This article / website went into the details about how the world would change in regards to fuel, communication, architecture, medicine and robots.. yes you heard… ROBOTS!
Check it out here: 10 ways the next 10 years are going to blow your mind!
Before prac, I had an idea of how I was going to plan for my context and what theories / pedagogical approaches I was going to use.
What I wrote:
I am planning on using an array of pedagogical approaches for my year 4/5 context. I believe my main approach will be mainly based on the constructivist theory as my natural teaching style is for students to be given the opportunity to scaffold their own learning where possible. I believe this style of pedagogy allows students to become more involved in their own education and link their prior and new knowledge with their skills and actions. I also know that this one approach does not work for each student. Sternberg’s’ theory of thinking styles suggests that learning styles cannot be considered independent of environment of which they occur. People respond in different ways in varied environments as their thinking style and psychology is varied. (You can read more about Sternberg here). With this in mind I will ensure I use a variety of elements from different pedagogical approaches that best suit the needs of all students.
I will need to cater for the students who work best with explicit instruction, group work, and guided instruction and for those who that allows for learning to delve further into specific activities by elaborating and exploring different avenues. I will also use elements of the Backwards Design to plan my lessons to ensure I am teaching towards a specific outcome.
Is it interesting to look back as I am on the finish line of completing my assignment.
Did I stick to my original plan…? Did I incorporate those particular theories / frameworks…? I will post my final reflection soon.
Whilst reading through some of the experiences that other EDC3100 members have shared, I came across a post that Mrs D had shared back in march called ‘Constructivism, a reflection’. You can see her full blog here.
In this post, Mrs D talks about constructivism and reflects on the constructivist theory, theory that is based on the belief that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experience and reflection.
Like Mrs D, I had year 5’s (and year 4’s) and I was required to teach them about 3D shapes and their relating nets. At the time I thought the best way to do this was to get them to create their own. I wanted them to see 3D shapes from start to finish to gain an understanding of their sides, vertices and final form. I asked the students to construct a cube using a quick demonstration of this youtube video and written instruction / steps on the IWB. The students loved this activity that involved drawing, colouring, cutting and gluing. What I found was that some students didn’t quite make the right shapes and this was because they didn’t / weren’t able to follow the steps correctly. They either didn’t have the correct number of squares or their squares were of different sizes…But this was okay. From error and with an explicit explanation, they were able to learn where they went wrong. They were able to know why it is important to have equal sides and why there needed to be 6 equal squares. From trial and error, they were able to construct their own learning on the properties of a 3D cube.
Upon reflecting, I am starting to see a pattern between my teaching style and this constructivist theory. Like Mrs D also stated, ‘I believe that all students learn differently and that teaching should be done in such a way that it addresses the needs of it’s students . Personally in order to cater for the needs of every child in the classroom, I think there is no theory that can work purely on it’s own. Behaviorism, cognitivism, and the nearly introduced connectivism are to name a few.‘ I also agree with this.
Although I use constructivism a lot, I also see that it doesn’t work for every student. With the example I provided above, there were some students who could not complete this task on their own. They required more explicit teaching. So that answers my own question… I am not solely a constructivist, I believe each context requires an array of approaches. All students learn differently so teaching needs to be tailored to cater for these varying needs and that might mean a variety of theories, approaches, models and techniques are used.
At the end of my first week on professional experience I wrote a little note to myself, a self reflection of sorts which basically said this: ‘My week was so successful and positive because I believed in myself. I was confident. Good job Miss Dee!’
I wasn’t sure if it was something I should blog about but I feel that my lack of confidence was such a burden and a contributor to my past pracs and specifically my inability to manage behaviour within the classroom . I had completely forgotten about a post I had written earlier this semester. You can view it here ‘Lesson Planning and Confident Teaching’. In this post I talked about how nervous and overwhelmed I had felt in previous professional experiences and how I hoped I could overcome the stuttering and low volume that I was so known to suffer from under times of stress. Symptoms which do not make for a great teacher and symptoms that were a reason I was questioning my career path.
Blogging about my fears and past experiences must have been the cure. I mentally took note of my past physical symptoms such as the stutters and shakes and told myself that I WOULD NOT make the same mistake again. I tried to stop the negative self talk and silly fears that everyone was laughing at me and I told myself to fake it until you make it if you have to. But I didn’t even need to fake it!
In my older post I provided a link to a Checklist for Lesson Planning and although I didn’t physically look at it for this professional experience, blogging about it in my previous post must have somehow stamped it into my brain. I used the techniques that were suggested within this checklist and my lessons went well which in turn boosted my confidence.
- I was organised and had written my lesson objectives.
- I had chosen / identified the Topic of each lesson
- I had the appropriate text book/s and resources ready.
- Classroom materials were organised and set out.
- I had arranged a warm up activity and a closure activity for each lesson
- I estimated the timing for each activity and had activities for early finishes
- I had strategies and ways for dealing with the varying academic levels within the class
- I kept the assessment / outcome in mind throughout the lesson
- I enabled and encouraged students to use their skills to complete the tasks.
I found that although I was busy for this prac, I was organised and most importantly I was confident in delivery. Not only did it make the experience pleasant for both myself and the students, it was affirmation that I am on the right path. I can do this!
Who would have thought blogging could have enabled such a huge change in my personal perspective.
ICT’s really can benefit us. Proof in the pudding 🙂
As I sit hit frantically trying to play catch up while at the same time trying to retain as much information as possible, I am feeling a little overwhelmed once again. I have pages of notes that I created while on Prac on what I wanted to Blog about… But it all seems like I am going around in circles and talking only in past tense now.
If I were to sum up how I feel right now in one word it would be: busy.
If I were to sum up how I felt right before prac, it would be: busy.
If I were to sum up how I felt whilst on prac, it would be: busy.
I think I have said the ‘B’ word so many times it is starting to lose it’s meaning…
But as stated in Henry David Thoreau’s famous words, ‘Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.’
I just have to keep going… I just have to keep busy!
Here is my completed tables of theories / models / frameworks.
||Application to Assignment 3/Professional Experience
||To gain knowledge of a new or unfamiliar ICT / enhance student learning.
||To gain knowledge of any new ICT’s that might present themselves on prac.
Planning section of assignment.
||To familiarise teachers to utilise ICT’s and to use ICT effectively.
||To help us take advantage of ICT use in our planning for both Prac and the assignment.
||To work towards a final goal / task. Find out the outcomes and plan to cater to them.
||We can use this when planning lessons on prac . See the outcomes and plan to get there. Also use it for part B and C of assignment.
||Shows how students are progressing with ICT’s. How they use them and how well.
||We can use this on prac when we are trying to find out what level students are sitting at in regards to their ICT knowledge and capabilities.
||To incorporate ICTs into planning and teaching.
||Can be useful when planning for lessons and how / if we can integrate different ICT’s.
||Further ways to conduct learning.
||Can be useful when planning lessons to ensure we are covering all bases.
|WALT & WILF
||To encourage students to get involved and become engaged in their own learning.
||Can use this in Part C when designing lessons. Design tasks that allow for this. Use on Prac.
||To connect learning together.
||Use in planning of lessons and implementing of lessons on prac to show the two (learning and ICT’s) can go together.
||Further ways to conduct learning using a variety of approaches / steps.
|Use when planning and conducting lessons on prac and in Part B of assignment.
|Postman’s 5 Things
||To show possible impacts and progression.
||Use to help comprehend the use of ICT’s. Why were use them in what way. What is the purpose.
|A selection of learning tools to best suit the learner.
Task: Environment: Skills: Tool.
|Use on prac to assist students. Provide different means / approaches to completing specific tasks.
Personal Knowledge Management
|To understand learning or content in your own way. Putting it into your own words.
||Use this theory / approach in reflection of Assignment.
I also found a website that lists many more. It is a great resource to keep on file for future professional experiences and assignments.
You can view this website / list of theories / Theorists here.
As mentioned in my previous post, in my year 4/5 class from my recent professional experience, there was a student with ASD. I didn’t know much about how to tailor lessons or differentiate for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Prior to starting prac I wasn’t aware of this student so after my first day I went home and tried to find out more information on the disorder in order to best address his education. I found that Education Queensland had a lot of information to help with understanding the needs of students with ASD.
I used some of the information provided by Education Queensland to gain more knowledge and I discussed techniques with my mentor on how she would teach this student / differentiate lessons. It turned out that my mentor had already differentiated most of the learning activities for this student in the way of assessment and their routine work.
While planning, this student was always in my mind. I monitored his behaviour when it came to group work and individual work and found that he mostly preferred to work alone if the group work was too involved. What I eventually found was that he would tend to include himself if the activity or learning task was something he was interested in or if he had a specific role such as the recorder, time keeper or delegator. Once I discovered his interests, I tried to incorporate this into his learning by differentiating worksheets with pictures of things he liked such as fishing and cars. I also tried to use these interests in verbal explanations.
I also found this website to be very helpful in proving me with more information and tips into planning for students with ASD. I really enjoyed watching him open up by the end of prac and become more involved in the learning activities that I had planned. He was a unique student and taught me just as much as I taught him.