Placement 2017

Hello everyone,

I am back on placement, this time for 5 weeks in another grade 3 classroom. This school is the sister school of where I was placed last year, but so far these classes and schools could not be more different. My current mentor is every bit as amazing a teacher as my last mentor, and with every lesson I come away inspired and a tiny bit more terrified that I could never do what she does…my mentor has a background in drama and the arts, so is very expressive with her hands and arms. She does occasionally raise her voice, but it is rarely needed as she has the respect and attention of every student 99% of the time.

This mentor does not collect books and constantly give written feedback, she does not believe in homework, and she did not mark the practice NAPLAN tests with the whole class so that students could see how well – or how badly – they went. She does not believe in making extra work for herself and yet she is very efficient and aware of the progress of every student. I asked about the not collecting books and not giving written feedback, compared to my previous mentor who collected books after each session, and she said that was a school policy, that feedback needed to be useful and practical, and grade 3 children don’t read feedback given in books, but they do listen and respond to verbal feedback. And that made sense.

This placement is going to change me as a teacher, I am going to learn more about teaching and myself than I have in any other situation. I am terrified and desperately want to run screaming in the other direction, but I can’t. I have come this far, and I will be finished my studies in November, and I just need to be brave and open for a few more months.

When I went to the induction for the preservice teachers at this school, the coordinator said “When you give yourself feedback and critically reflect, I want two stars and a wish – two things you did well, and one thing you would like to work on”, and so mentally I have been practicing this everyday. Two stars and a wish.

Posted in Behaviour Management, Critical reflection, EDE4103, Lesson Planning, Professional experience | Leave a comment

Semester 2 has begun…

I am pretty sure I am only writing this blog for my own amusement now but that is ok! Semester 2 has started and for the first time since beginning this degree in 2010 I am doing 3 subjects in one semester – I have elected to do Japanese language for my electives, and this I am doing through UNE where I did my first degree, so there is that subject and 2 USQ subjects. I will be busy.

One of my subjects is the third year literacy subject, gawd help me please, there is a crumpet load of reading (no textbook, just about 60 papers and journal articles) so this will be challenging. However the first module has sent me back to an old TED talk that I loved on texting, and the evolution of language, and if you have not watched it you should – if you HATE text language, like LOL and ROTF and gr8 m8 stuff like that, you must watch it because it will restore your faith in the English language:

Stayed tuned for posts on time management and personal organisation…I will be needing to come up with a schedule for my study so that each subject gets the 10-15 hours it is asking, this will be challenging…


Posted in EDC3100, EDX3270 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I love Jinglish

Please turn your head to the side to read this.

Sushi fun!

Yesterday I went to Daiso, which is a fabulous ¥100 shop (or a $3+ shop in Australia) to buy myself the elusive rice roll shaker for making makizushi. I had seen a video for it on Facebook and thought I must own this! It looks brilliant and I will be blogging about the results in the near future. I also bought some fans as souvenirs for some friends and they came with the most amazing Japlish set of instructions – Jinglish or Japlish, what happens when translation from Japanese to English goes wrong. Don’t use google translate for anything but a giggle!

Posted in Japan 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Life Ordinary

So ICT and Pedagogy is over, but I am going to keep going with the blog. At the moment I am in Osaka, I have a permanent resident visa for Japan so I come once a year to keep my visa current. I spent 16 years of my life living here, and it is home to me. The rainy season has kicked off and it is overcast with rain headed our way today. I am staying with a friend for two nights, then house sitting for another friend for a week from tomorrow.

Today’s post goes out to Ilona at Cairns International Airport yesterday for her complete kindness and trust toward a complete stranger who was having a first-world crisis – my friends dropped off at the airport and as I am lined up waiting to check in I realised I had left my mobile phone on the charger at their house. So I can’t call them, coz I didn’t have my bloody phone, all I had was the iPad. I tried to access the wifi at the airport, but couldn’t log on, so asked a complete stranger if I could use her phone as a wifi hotspot so that I could access Facebook on my iPad and call my friend about my phone. Ilona was kind enough to trust me with accessing the wifi from her phone. I was able to call my friend and they dropped my phone to me and I was on my way. I must remember to return that kindness myself to a stranger in need and in panic!

I don’t if anyone will bother to keep up with their own blogs, or follow anyone else, but I will be! Please keep in touch!

Posted in Japan 2016, Kindness to strangers, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A3 – Still going…looking for kindred spirits…

You know what? My attitude to study can be summed up in one simple little meme:


I have had my evening sherry (a new tradition I have started), and my dinner is on the stove and in the oven, and I am trying to find the love to tackle these lesson plans. I have my 5 selected, but what a pain in the waffle it is trying to format everything!!! I am pretty sure the marker will not be happy opening a file of 50 pages for 5 lesson plans.

I know I am not alone out there, I wonder if Ashley  and Wedrac are still going…I have made notes on Part D, and my Part B is probably going to be ok…I will get this done, I always do, but I don’t enjoy the self-inflicted anxiety trip on the way to submission.

If you are still going and you can hear me, make contact!

Posted in Blogs, EDC3100 | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Post-prac reflection

This week I have been busy with another subject that was COMPLETELY ignored over the last four weeks, and I had to knock up an assignment by the 7th. It got done, and I will get through. Now back to EDC3100.

I posted some negative-esque posts on my prac experience, but what is important to understand is the prac was amazing, and what wasn’t as amazing was me and my approach to, or experience with, behaviour management. I know this prac was supposed to be all about ICT, but, sorry David, mine was all about behaviour management. I learned a great deal about myself and what I can achieve, and what I need to work on. Yes, I did get my 5 ICT lessons in, but they were not transformative, and perhaps they were barely amplifying, but they got done. I don’t think I was as prepared as I could have been, and if I could do it all over again I would do many things differently.

I am interested to know how people are going with their reflections – this is not something that I am good at. I actually reflect all the time, but I think I factor in the actions of others too much and this is something I need to work on. I need more confidence in front of the class, I need to be more organised, I need to have more things on standby in case something goes pear-shaped. I need to speak up and hold my ground more often – something I didn’t do, and as a result I didn’t do nearly as much ICT as I would have liked because I thought we were too busy doing assessment, and I couldn’t see how to implement my (basically experimental) ICT ideas into the lessons without disrupting what was required by the students for assessment purposes. Did anyone else run into assessment during their placement?

The ICT I ended up using were my beloved beebot, the projector, digital dice, C2C resource slide show, powerpoint, and C2C resource video. My room was located right next to a very lovely computer lab, and we also had laptops and iPads available, but the timing was just so wrong…

As I now sit down to get into A3 I am starting to feel a little sick about it, I am wishing I had made more of the opportunity than I did. I will pass this course, I am not worried about that, but this assignment won’t be pretty.

Does anyone else feel like this?


Posted in EDC3100, ICT, Professional experience | 1 Comment

5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners | Edutopia

via 5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners | Edutopia

So, as part of the history unit, my students have to pose questions about things that have changed and things that have stayed the same over time in regard to the local environment, and I have been researching ways of teaching students how to pose questions. This article was quite interesting, and reminded me of a few strategies such as turning a statement into a question, and turning a closed question into an open question.

Hopefully others will find this useful too, and if you are crazy enough to be following me on Diigo I have shared it on there too!

BTW – Quick shout out to the automatic “save as draft” feature on WordPress – I accidentally closed the tab on this while I was still putting it together.

Posted in EDC3100 | Leave a comment

Behaviour Management

So my whole “blog-a-reflection-a-day” thing went screaming out the window after about 4 days or something…I was on a roll too…

Are you one of those people on your dream prac, where everything is going smoothy-smooth, and your mentor is wonderful, and the kids are wonderful, and you are teaching full days, and you have a unicorn in the corner that farts glitter? I don’t want to hear from you – I love you all, but no, I don’t want to hear from you.

My prac is wonderful, I am learning a truckload about behaviour management and almost nothing on ICT, but I am drowning. My mentor is very supportive, very fair, unbiased, and gives excellent feedback. She makes time for me everyday to sit down and go through whatever I need help with, but I am finding myself massively out of my depth in this class. As I repeatedly tell anyone who will listen, the class is a low-performing cohort in a low Naplan-performance school, and it is combined with SEP. Depending on the subject some of our kids go to SEP, and some of theirs come over to us, and some go out of the class altogether in smaller learning groups, and it is confusing. There are at least 3 children in the class who are classified as “trauma kids”, so are either in foster care or are on the watch list. In the SEP class there are children with severe autism, Asperger’s, cerebral palsy, deafness, and chronic behaviour issues. Someone is suspended from that class every week.

I am currently doing battle with a child who refuses to acknowledge my authority in the classroom, and talks back, talks over the top of me, repeats everything I say, is defiant, refuses to obey instructions, and is disruptive to the learning of all the other students in the room. At the moment she is ignoring her usual teacher because apparently now I am the teacher, not her, but she is defying every move I make. I have had to put together a behaviour management plan – to be implemented in the morning – but I am terrified that it will backfire and escalate. I am terrified that I am going to fail my prac and have to do it again (though, just think how good I would be…), and I am terrified that I will not make it as a teacher. I did not feel like this before prac.

MY mentor gave me a book on behaviour management that was put together from this site, and if I have any kindred spirits out there on this I encourage you to check it out.



Anyway, rant over. I know I cannot be the only one out there having a hard time of it, but if I am not then you others are damn well hidden – please make contact!!!


Posted in EDC3100 | 9 Comments

Games – number patterns

My class is a low performing class in an already low-performing school, Naplan-wise, and for about a week now I have been doing number patterns with them. And yet, it would be fair to say that less than half of the class – maybe even 25% – are able to do them without having to say “I don’t this…” and me having to read out the question…

I am sick of worksheets and rubbish on the board, and have been trying to find some good games to use, and today I have found the following:

Place Value Headings


Number Patterns


Comparing and Ordering Numbers


The Greatest Game Ever


There are even more games to peruse, but I quite liked these ones for my low-level year 3 class. Please share any game ideas you have too!!



Posted in EDC3100, ICT, Lesson Planning, Professional experience, Resources, Teaching Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


What a shame none of these posts count toward A3…!!!

Anyway, Bee-Bots. I have borrowed a Bee-Bot and a Pro-bot from school, and am currently googling fun activities for reading groups using the bots, and here are some of the things I have found:


Making your classroom buzz with Bee-Bots:Ideas and Activities for the Early Phase – this is a PDF from Queensland Government, and is full of really good and interesting ways to use your Bee-Bot.
The “My Bee-Bot” Blog – It does not seem to have been updated in a couple of years, but the ideas contained within are still relevant and plentiful. This post had some interesting literacy ideas for the Bee-Bot.
Pinterest – I searched for “bee-bot” and heaps of stuff appeared!!
Barefoot Computing – Programming with Bee-Bots
Bee-Bot activity guide from MTA – although this is essentially a marketing tool by MTA, a lot of the resources they are trying to flog could be easily made yourself. There are ideas for using Bee-Bots in English, maths, history and science.
Games in Education – This site links activities to the curriculum
MacICT Bee-Bots 2011 – using Bee-Bots in a Year 2 classroom

Year 3 identifying right angles with beebots – From TES, includes lesson plan and other resources for teaching about following instructions using right angles, writing directions using the language of position and direction, as well as right angles.

That will do for now or I will not get anything else done tonight. Jac out *mic drop*.

Posted in EDC3100, ICT, Professional experience, Resources, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment