FAREWELL FOR NOW; AND ALL THE VERY BEST!

Well everyone, it is now time to say farewell to you all for this course and I wish you all

The Very Best for your future career as a teacher’.

This course has been very rewarding and we have all travelled so far in the field of ICTs.

For myself there have been many things in the past that I have hesitated to try in the ICT world.

One important thing I have learnt from this course is not to fear ICTs, but step in and do it and learn on the way.

Goodbye and Good Luck to fellow students of EDC3100!

WHERE TO FROM HERE

Well I find it hard to believe that our journey has almost ended for this course.  It has been a busy and regarding semester and I do not feel my feet have not hit the ground since the beginning.

As I reflect over the semester, I realise just how much I have achieved and now believe that I cannot stop here, but need to continue my journey in the technology world and keep trying new endeavours to keep updating and improving my ICT skills.

Some of the ideas I have tried have been enjoyable and so rewarding that other doors have opened.  I feel excited about the ways I have learning to incorporate  ICTs in the classroom and even more excited since reading Amanda’s post on her successful computer lesson while on professional experience. I believe there are no limitations to what you can learn in the ICT world.

I believe that no matter where I teach I will be keeping in touch with the learning place on the Education Queensland website as they have some valuable reading about enabling today’s learners  into steering themselves into ICT-enriched learning destinations.

THE POWER OF POWERPOINTS!

During my professional experience, I used PowerPoint quite a lot for my lessons.  This was a request of my mentor.  While at times I felt they were great, there were other times I felt they were not as effective.  I found myself writing up a lesson plan and then making a PowerPoint.  For some of my lessons I only did the PowerPoint , as I found doing both being quite time consuming, when I was making resources for some lesson also.

I took an interest in looking up the best ways of using PowerPoints in the classroom.  I came across an article called ‘Using PowerPoint in the Classroom’ and if you are interested, click on the article and have a read.  It gives some great tips on getting the best out of PowerPoints and the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ about using PowerPoints in the classroom.

I also read the article ‘Does PowerPoint help or hinder learning?’   This article had both positive and negative points about using PowerPoints in the classroom.

I do believe they can be a great tool, but I do not believe I will be using them for every lesson in the future.

PROUD AND COMPLETE

I have now completed my professional experience for EDC3100.  I feel exhausted, but proud of what I have achieved.

I did quite a lot of research on the behaviours that I was challenged with on professional experience and one of the main concerns I had, was keeping the students on task and to resettle them when they became off task.  Due to the extreme behaviours in the classroom, this was quite a challenge at times.

One activity I learned from another teacher was called ‘Copy Me’.  This is where the teacher uses a combination of clapping and movements to make a pattern.  The students need to copy what the teacher did.  The teacher who showed me only did movements and no sound.  The teacher would then have students come up and be the leader.  I used this activity a lot and it was very successful.

I was quite amazed to find where this activity came from.  As after reading Noeni’s post on ‘Classroom Games to Energise the Children’, she made reference to a website called Top Notch Teaching.  I decided to check this website and to my amazement the activity ‘Copy Me’ on there.

Another activity I learned on professional experience, called ‘beat the teacher’ which I also found on this website.   I am pleased that I read Noeni’s post and was able to check this website out.   I will be checking this website regularly in the future to see what other ideas come available.

SETTLE AND LEARN!

I feel I have quite a number of challenging students in my class and feel the need to look up and study more about these challenging behaviours so that I can understand more about them and learn ways to support the students in the classroom.

Some of the behaviours range from

ASDAutism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people.

The word ‘spectrum’ describes the range of difficulties that people with autism may experience and the degree to which they may be affected. Some people may be able to live relatively normal lives, while others may have an accompanying learning disability and require continued specialist support.

The main areas of difficulty are in social communication, social interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviours and interests.

People on the autism spectrum may also have:

  • unusual sensory interests such as sniffing objects or staring intently at moving objects
  • sensory sensitivities including avoiding everyday sounds and textures such as hair dryers, vacuum cleaners and sand
  • intellectual impairment or learning difficulties.

This information came from Autism Spectrum Australia website and there is a lot more information on this website to support educators and families.

ODDOppositional Defiant Disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a childhood behaviour problem. A child with ODD won’t do what people ask, thinks that what he’s /she’s being asked to do is unreasonable, and gets angry and aggressive about being asked to do things.

All children are disobedient and cranky sometimes, especially if they’re tired, upset or frustrated. But a child with ODD behaves like this a lot, and the ODD behaviour is so severe that the child has trouble doing ordinary, everyday things.

The Raising Children Network  gives detailed information about the different problems and ways to support families, and schools for children who are suffering ODD.

ADDHAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition where children act before they think, have trouble focusing and can’t sit still a lot of the time.

Many children have trouble with some of these things. But in children with ADHD, this behaviour is extreme and has a big impact on children’s daily life.

With ADHD, the different parts of the brain don’t ‘talk’ to each other in a typical way. Because of this, children might have trouble thinking, learning, expressing their feelings or controlling their behaviour as well as other children of the same age.

There are three types of ADHD:

  • ADHD inattentive type: children with this type tend to have trouble concentrating, remembering instructions, paying attention and finishing tasks.
  • ADHD hyperactive/impulsive type: children with this type are always on the go, have trouble slowing down and can often act without thinking.
  • ADHD combined type: children with this type tend to have trouble concentrating, are fidgety or restless and are always on the go. They often act without thinking.

The Raising Children Network also provides detailed information to support families, and schools for children who are suffering ADHD.

Both of these websites are filled with a lot of information to support families and educators for these conditions and I believe I will refer back to them in the future.

BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

I would like to share about how the Pre-Service Teachers and first year teachers at the school I am doing my Professional Experience were provided with a Behaviour Management in-service.

It focussed on some of the everyday problems teachers are confronted with and gave many strategies and useful ideas to use for these situations.

She spoke about the Behaviour Management Guidelines that every state school in Queensland abides to.  This is called the Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students’ which is based on the Code of School Behaviour.

This link Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students takes you to the policy on the Education Queensland website.  This policy sets out a fair and consistent standard of behaviour for everyone (parents, students, staff) across all state schools. Schools provide a safe, supportive and disciplined learning environment in many ways, including:

  • inclusive and engaging curriculum and teaching
  • positive interpersonal relationships between staff, students and parents
  • fair, safe practices
  • non-discriminatory language and behaviours
  • reducing possible barriers to learning, especially for those most at risk
  • consideration and use of suspension, exclusion and cancellation of enrolment, only when all other approaches have been exhausted.

MY UNDERSTANDING OF MODELS AND FRAMEWORKS

I have just completed the table on the ‘Checking your understanding of some models, frameworks etc.’ and this is the link to this forum.

I have enjoyed going over what we have learned about models and frameworks that we have planned our lessons around and what we will be able to use in the future.  The searching of the internet was also very informative.

I will only be using some for Assignment 3 and my professional experience.  This has provided me with a refresher of all of them and I will be checking to see that I have fully understood them before completing my lesson plans that I complete for Assignment 3.

Week Two Completed!

I cannot believe that I have completed two weeks of Professional Experience and only one week to go.  The time is flying and it has been such a great experience.

I feel the students are now very comfortable with me and it is almost time to go.

There have been several days where they have had a Relief Teacher and I can now see how difficult it can be to be a relief teacher, as you are sometimes coming in blind and have to be ready to deal with a number of behaviours.  The students seem to be more settle knowing I was there, which made me feel great.

One week of lesson plans to complete before I say goodbye to this great year 2 class.  I have been using the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) in the classroom and am pleased about the valuable information I gained from reading this web page from New Zealand that gave a good overview on IWBs.

Be CyberSmart – Enjoy, but be Aware!

I have just completed all four modules of connect.ed and now have a much better understanding of how to be cyber smart.  Upon completion I received a Certificate which provides evidence that I will be able to include for my teacher’s graduate standard APST 4.5.

Connect.ed has four modules –

  1. The Connected World
  2. Cybersafety and your students
  3. Schools and the Law
  4. Putting it into practice

Module 1The connected world – This provided me with a better understanding of why it is important to young people that they are able to connect to online friends.  Young people feel that to online chat is a powerful tool as they are at a stage in their lives when they are working out who they are and what they want to be.

I do believe that parents need to know who their young children are speaking to online.  Children need to understand the dangers of chatting online and be educated to what is appropriate to reveal and what they need to take caution with.  For example it is not appropriate to reveal your full name and address to some you meet online.

I also learned about the many types of social networking and what is appropriate to particular ages.  The many types range from Facebook, Myspace, Form Spring, Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Superclubs PLUS and Twitter.

Module 2Cybersafety and your students – Young people are provided with open doors to use online technologies to all around the world.  This can provide many great opportunities to them, but at the same time can make them vulnerable to unwanted, unsafe, unfriendly and anti-social interactions online.  While students are under our care we need to guide them to stay safe and make sound decisions in the connected world in which they live.

In module two we were provided with the following learning aims and outcomes –

Learning aims for this module –
– Become aware of the many cybersafety issues that young people face online,
– Gain effective strategies to help students and school communities to both prevent cybersafety issues and react
appropriately should they occur.

Learning outcomes for this module –
– Be able to identify students at risk of unsafe behaviours online.
– Influence student behaviours and attitudes about the use of online technologies
– Establish strategies to prevent unsafe online behaviour and use among the student body
– Have successful plans to deal with unsafe online behaviours should they occur
– Gain insight about how young people use online technologies for socialising or interaction.

Module 3Schools and the Law – I realise the importance of school having policies for Cyber Smart and the need to involve young people and their families.  Schools need to have a framework and direction of how they will implement the policy and how the elements of the policy of how they are aiming to prevent online safety issues.  But I do have concerns about making educators accountable for students’ online behaviours that occurs outside of school hours.

After reading Beata’s post I realise she and others also express the same concerns that I have on –

how can educators being made accountable for our students’ outside school hours online activities?’.

Module 4Putting it into practice – On the Cyber Smart website there are a wide range of resources  available.  These range from interactive games to whole lessons which provide help for planning lessons for cyber smart education.  I believe these will be great support for my future teaching and I will also be informing the teachers at the school where I work about these great cyber smart resources.