just keep swimming

just keep swimming

We are nearly there… Wahoo!! ONE MORE ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS SUBJECT AND THEN WE ARE DONE… Yes, I’m shouting because it has been a long, hard semester for me. I loved reading Nickie’s insights on her blog, and I totally agree.

I learnt so much on practicum and since being back at school, I’ve been carefully observing my teachers and seeing how things could be improved or things that I would like to adopt. I was glad to go through the last learning path and will be giving my feedback once I’ve finished my last assignment and my examination this week. Then I only have one exam to go before I can go and sit on my couch.

Yep, sit on the couch. Not read textbooks, not research and look at theories that do not make sense at the moment as my brain is on overload. But just relax. But in the meantime, I will reboot my brain to finish off my work so I can keep swimming.

Those ripples in the water are mine, as I’m still swimming…..

Until next time,

CK.

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my journey is just beginning

my journey is just beginning

While we only have one day to go for the completion of our three-week practicum, I feel that I am just beginning my final journey. I am still trying to complete assignments, studying for exams and of course, blogging. But I started filling out the paperwork today for my final pracs next Semester. Excited, nervous, anxious. A mixture of all three, I would say. As ready as I am, it is always scary going into a new school, new faces and new school-wide frameworks!

It is funny, though. I’m not sure if you remember reading in one of our learning paths that we needed to be prepared to deliver a lesson on the fly. In one of the learning paths, David mentioned it would not be unusual for a teacher to be asked to step in. Well, I thought, that is never going to happen to me. They would not do that to a praccie! The best experience yet! I was asked on Thursday, ten minutes before I had to get to my PC class, to take the first period. Nothing planned, no notes, just a brief rundown as I’m rushing to my PC class. I knew that this class would have some behavioural issues, and I had not used the RTC questions yet (or needed to send anyone), so this was worrying me. After my PC class, I quickly dashed to the classroom (mind you on the other side of the college) all the while, talking in my head, taking deep breaths. “I’ve got this, I can do this, I’m a professional”. Start the class, and we get underway, and before I know it, the bell rang. Where did my 70-minute lesson go!! It flew by! So, the moral of my story is, never laugh when your lecturer tells you something like this MIGHT happen and have CONFIDENCE in your ability. You may not get it right, you may stumble over names (seriously, some names are difficult) but it is all experience.

Also for those wondering what the RTC questions are, the school operates a Responsible Thinking Process (RTP). By gosh, this system is fantastic. Fewer behaviour problems and more ownership on the student to be aware of their behaviour. If you want to know more about it, click here. So, while I go and keep writing assignment 3, I did smile after reading Bonitta’s post about gaining a presence in the classroom. I’m so glad that we are all gaining something from our experiences, even though it may not all be ICT related.

So until next, remember – sleep is WAY overrated…

CK

busy week

busy week

Monday morning starts off as crazy as the week is going to be. Good crazy, though! I have enjoyed reading my fellow peer’s blogs over the weekend and love how many are having such a great time. Nickie has a very good idea about incorporating Class Dojo, which is used at my daughter’s high school. I can’t wait till I have my classroom and I can include all of these great elements.

Since I am in various English classes, I have enjoyed embedding ICT into the students learning but need to find the balance that will work in reality. My mentor has been great in encouraging me to include tasks that are vocabulary work to assist students in learning the fundamental elements. I find that in any task or activity that I have designed, Students first point of call is to google everything! So, I asked for laptops to be down this morning, and they needed to think for themselves! The looks of sheer panic spread over their faces! I tried to explain that they needed to brainstorm and think for themselves rather than googling everything. Take a look at this article that explains why to google isn’t enough. Hopefully as teachers, we can find the balance of ICT but also encourage students to think for themselves.

Until next time,

CK

10 days done

10 days done

So we have one week left. It has been a long ten days. Not in the fact that I don’t enjoy prac but the late nights and the workload are catching up with me. I have four assignments still due and two exams before I can feel that I can breathe. I did back to back lessons today and with no sleep, I got through it. I felt much more confident and like mylearningmary, my lessons contained ICT elements.

The school I am at, all the students have got laptops which make does make it a lot easier in many ways but also changes your pedagogy as well. You are always monitoring their usage and ensuring they are on task. I made sure that I got the students to go back to old school for part of the lesson (we did some work out of a textbook!), and I asked them to handwrite the answers. I heard a lot of moans and groans, but once we started, they all did well.

I am worried that I am only amplifying the students knowledge with the ICT components however the students had to download the worksheet today from Moodle and then save to My Site where they could work on this. We then did this as a class (I had my worksheet on the IWB), and we did the web quest. I believe that this transformed their knowledge and learning as this could not have been done with the use of laptops, IWB or the internet. I also demonstrated to students how to use Prezi as they were all keen to learn this for their ‘other mode’ for their presentations starting in a week.

I have also thought that I would do a lesson with the Year 7 students on Diigo as they have just started researching for their history assessment, and they need to have references. I find this would be helpful for their future studies throughout their secondary education. So while I may only be touching the surface of the ICT, I am transforming their knowledge as well as illustrated that ICT isn’t the be all and end all.

So, two weeks down. One week to go. It is all over just when I start to feel more confident, get to know the students and feel that I am grasping the planning, preparing and practising.

There is that light again,

CK

7 days to go

7 days to go

Okay, I am now past the exhaustion state and functioning on very little sleep. However, I have learnt so much. I am confident that I could efficiently run my own PC and classroom. After reading Kat’s blog, I felt that I should not complain about my exhaustion as Kat sounds like she is coming down with a bug. So while I’m so tired that my eyes feel like they might pop out of my eye sockets, I am grateful that I haven’t been hit with any bugs.

I had a chat with my mentor and she asked if I could for a few lessons, run the lesson without ICT. She wanted to make sure that I was capable of holding my own without having to rely on PowerPoints, Prezi, Kahoot and so on. YES! I can accept this challenge as it makes me feel more at ease! I ran the class with minimal ICT. However, the students had to complete two worksheets. One paper worksheet – let’s get that pen to paper, and then one was uploaded to Moodle where they needed to download, work on it, and save. On Friday, I am running an activity to discuss what ‘other modes’ they could use for their multimodal presentations. I am going to show the students: PowerPoint, Prezi, Voki, and PowToon. Exciting!!

Tomorrow I have the year 7’s again, and I know that we shouldn’t have favourite classes, but I love teaching year 7. The year 7 class that I have are an amazing group of children, and they are so talented and open to new ideas. The respect is unbelievable!

So to be able to see the light at the tunnel, I’ll endure the late nights, I endure my eyes hanging out my head and endure the complaints from my children and family – because I am nearly there.

I think I can see that light,

CK

6 days down

6 days down

Nearly half way… almost I said! OMG, I am exhausted. I had two classes today, and I’m sure at one point, I almost forgot what class I was teaching and started talking about drafting and editing. Thankfully, that class was also in the writing and editing phase! I now have to start planning for my next two classes. This is so tiring!

Most of the students are great and are on task. I am finding that with the students having laptops, which you need to walk around constantly to view their screens to ensure they are on task. Plus I think they must think I have no idea as I quickly see them minimise the screen! Umm, I saw that, and you were NOT on task! Close it! Other than that, I have successfully managed to use Kahoot, and the kids love it! I think I will try Socrative again next lesson so that I can compare the reports and see which one is the better one to use.

My school uses Turnitin, which I have utilized for a few subjects while at uni. This is a fantastic piece of software not only for the student but also for the teacher!  If you are unfamiliar with this excellent software, click here and be prepared to be dazzled!

Okay, I’m off home now to start my next two lessons, try to do some more on my million assignments along with the mummy duties. Just like Kat and Denise said ‘here’s to late nights, awful dinners, not watching TV at all with my children and early starts and loving what we do!!!’

We are all in this together,

CK

what a week!

what a week!

Week one is down with another two weeks to go. Like so many of my fellow peers, I am feeling exhausted. I too had issues with ICT, like Lana. However, I think by next week I will be able to work around it. I used Prezi, Socrative, and YouTube clips. Most of the time it worked like a treat. However, I had to get used to using the two displays (one for laptop and one for the IWB) and at one stage I couldn’t get the word document to go over to the IWB… AGH!

The students loved the quiz and from a teachers point of view, I found this an exciting process to judge how they were grasping and understanding the concepts. I will be using this over my teaching career. Also, the exit ticket on Socrative was great too. The students have to answer quickly three questions about how the lesson was and what the most important concept they received during the lesson. This was great as I could see if any student had gaps in their understanding. You can get a report from the quiz and exit ticket which is great to save into the class profile. If you want to know more about Student Response System, have a look at this page. Most of them are free so give it a go!

Monday I have two lessons, and I’m trying the Kahoot quizzes as well as designing my own PowToon. Wish me luck!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and finds a chance to grab some time to relax,

CK