EDC3100 Prac Reflection 20/05/2016 Day 5

I have come to the conclusion that studying education at university with a view to becoming a teacher is bulls:)t. What I am finding on this prac is how discouragingly unprepared I am for the real world of teaching. I know the theory, but I am struggling to put it into practice. Don’t misunderstand, I am absolutely loving my placement and I am going to come out the other side a different preservice teacher. My mentor is very supportive, calm, organised, and runs a tight ship in a classroom made of low-level learners in a low-performing school. But I am becoming increasingly frustrated at how little I am able to put into practice – I am writing my lesson plans, and now find my self constantly referring to them while I am teaching but still get confused, run out of time, struggle holding the interest of the students etc…

There needs to be way less theory and a lot more prac for people studying education to become a teacher. This work is like a trade, like becoming a hairdresser, or an electrician, or anything else where you learn on the job but also need to complete a large chunk of theory – we need to be spending at least 1-3 days a week in a school, and that school is where we do our prac. Then we complete the theory in blocks, like the ol’ residential schools or something like that.

Yesterday I taught two history lessons, and planned them both quite closely. As my school uses C2C I have access (via my mentor as I cannot get into OneSchool) to a wide range of purposefully relevant resources. One thing I like about C2C is that it gives you pretty much everything you need for the lesson and you just need to put your own spin on it to make it appealing. I wonder if anyone else out there is using C2C, I would love to hear your feedback and stories.

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EDC3100 Prac Reflection 19/05/2016 Day 4

Today was a better day. I did a maths lesson, I planned the pants off it and it went not too bad. I am struggling with the range of learners in the room – some kids are barely at a year 1 level – and I still find the behaviour to be challenging. They are not all all bad kids, quite the opposite, but my mentor runs a tight ship, and I don’t want standards to change because I am a softie. Usually I run out of time in the lessons, but today I had so much more time than I thought I would. My mentor gave me some great feedback re making worksheets to give them successes and build from there. I need to pay more attention to the lower end of the room, though I am afraid to pull those kid to the side lest the whole room goes mad…

In the afternoon I went to a year 5 class and nearly fell off my chair with the work they were doing – writing a narrative on the Eureka Stockade, the formation of the unions, and the granting of the right to vote in Australia. Bloody hell. I don’t remember doing anything like that in primary school. The teacher followed the C2C closely, employing the videos and other things in conducting the lesson. She used a lot of positive reinforcement in terms of tokens and in-class rewards, and she was very calm and organised. I am overwhelmed enough in a 3rd grade room, I cannot even comprehend teaching 5th grade…!

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EDC3100 Prac Reflection 18/05/2016 Day 3

I joined in the English learning support class in the morning, where the students are working on the skills they need for their assessment tasks. The teacher focused on short sentences that involve movement/verbs and build tension, and the students had to highlight sentences with 4 words or less.
After first lunch the students have a Stephanie Alexander kitchen cooking class, where they learn about healthy eating choices, sustainability, and cooking healthy food. There is a large vegetable and herb garden that the students help to maintain, and most of the ingredients they use come from this garden. The students used papayas from their treen to make papaya chutney.

The students used proper knives and other cooking equipment to chop, dice, julienne etc the ingredients, then measured out the vinegar and other spices, before putting it on the stove to cook. They are then able to taste what they have made, and yesterday they had pita bread, celery, and carrot to go with the chutney. The students seem to love this class, but the right to participate can be taken away with repeated bad behaviour.

I taught a history lesson in the afternoon, and although I thought I was very prepared for it, the lesson did not go as well as I was hoping, I was pretty disappointed and discouraged. My mentor asked me to send her my reflection on the lesson, and I was quite scathing on myself, but I felt it was fair and deserved. She emailed me back saying that yes there were problems with time management and behaviour (this class is half SEP…!) but then she went on to list several positives, and it was most timely, I really needed to hear that as I was pretty discouraged. I am really liking my mentor and the way she rolls, this is my best prac so far.

I also met my prac support teacher yesterday, finally, and I was talking to her about the challenges I was finding in implementing lessons with ICT, as there ins a distinct lack of opportunity to do so in my class. My mentor, as wonderful as she is, is very focused on assessment, and it is difficult to make room in the schedule for what I need to do. I found out the school has heaps of beebots and other things that I can use, and my prac support teacher gave me some great ideas, so I will be focusing on those over the weekend.

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EDC3100 Prac – Lesson Plans

I have seen a lot of chatter on the Facebook group page but could not find a blog post about this to link to – Is anyone else out there using a different lesson plan to the one USQ provided? My mentor showed me the lesson plan they have to use at school and it is a much better match for me than the USQ one – she also said, correctly, that we don’t have to use the USQ one if we don’t want to, and I don’t want to so I am going to use the school one.

The school one is divided up into seven phases as follows:

Warm up → Activate Prior Knowledge → Learning Intent → Direct Teaching (“I do) → Guided and Shared Practice (“We do”) → Independent Practice (“You do”) → Summation

Curriculum objectives are stated at the beginning of the lesson plan. The focus is much more on the content and flow of the lesson rather than fluffing around with “what does it all mean?!” before getting into the nitty gritty.

This style of lesson planning seems to be known as the I do, we do, you do” framework, and seems to be a real thing. Check out this for strategies and even this on lesson planning.

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EDC3100 Prac Reflection 17/05/2016 Day 2

I read chapter 6 of Kumiko and the Dragon, then the students did a listening comprehension – sharon divided them into groups of six, and each child in the group was given one of six plastic vegetable counters. I read the question out, and the groups had a few minutes to confer with each other and look in the text for the answers. Then I chose one vegetable, and whoever had that vegetable in each group stood up and gave the answer for the group. Reflection – This activity, combined with the reading, took more than 40 minutes. I waited until all the groups were ready before asking each group representative for their answer. What I should have done was taken the answers as each group was ready, then moved on quickly to the next question. I need to be more mindful of the time I am taking, and also be focused on which students are losing interest and attention in the task at hand. Note: This was unprepared. I offered to do the reading this morning and Sharon asked if I would like to do the comprehension section as well, so I said yes. Considering that it was unprepared AND both EPT and MPO combined I am happy with how I handled it.


I started to put together a lesson plan this morning but didn’t get it finished, so wrote it up quickly at lunch time. I knew I wanted to do odd and even numbers, and some more work on patterns.

We started out on the carpet in a circle, and did counting activities – first by ones, then twos, then 5s, starting on random numbers. The counting by 2s was too easy for some, like TZ, and they misbehaved and very quite disruptive, but when it switched to 5s they found it much harder. Some students were calling out the answers to those who didn’t know the next number, and I tried to stop this by asking them to support each other with strategies not the answers. I prompted students with count-on strategies with they got stuck.

Reflection – I stood in the centre of the circle and went around standing in front of each student for their turn, but this meant my back was turned to the other students, who would then be disruptive. Next time I will stay in the circle facing the middle, and make eye contact with each student, which will enable me to watch the rest of the group. I also need to follow through with discipline, and make use of the good choices wall. Everybody starts the day on “ready to learn” and moves up or down depending on their behaviour. The further down you go the consequences are time out, reflection room, a Major (report), and being sent to the office. There are rewards for making it up to “Superstar”:

I used ms excel for the next part of the lesson, teaching patterns. Yesterday we used numbers but today I used columns and boxes to create patterns and the students had to work out what the rule was.

I used a hundreds chart to teach odds and evens, and displayed it on the white board for all the students to see. I explained the difference between odds and evens, then asked the students to find numbers based on clues I gave ie “ I am thinking of an even number between 79 and 82” etc. I am going to write this one up as one of my lesson plans as one that didn’t really work – the use of excel actually were more of a hindrance than a help, I don’t think it particularly enhanced the learning…I am teaching number patterns, would love some ICT ideas help…
My mentor always introduces a concept using the definition, which she gets from this book, and I think I will get a copy for myself:

I actually did get the history lesson plan done, and my control of the class was much better. Sharon reminded me of the 4:1 ratio, with 4 praises to every 1 criticism, and I remembered this during the lesson, and it really made a difference to the control of the room. As for the lesson itself, there was too much from me and not enough chance for them to practice what I wanted them to learn.

I am very happy with my mentor, she is very supportive and helpful, and wants me to succeed. I have been really struggling with reading and understanding the C2C unit and sample lesson plans, and was heading the wrong direction with the history unit she had given me to teach. But today she went through it all with me again, and I finally got the penny to drop. It is hard not having access to the C2C website and resources, as that would have helped a lot. But I have come to the conclusion that we do not get enough good practical experience in this degree, and there should be more of an emphasis/insistence on preservice teachers at least doing volunteer work in a classroom. This will be something that I will be actively seeking out after this prac.
Day two done.

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EDC3100 Prac Reflection 16/05/2016 Day 1

The day’s schedule was quite messed up. The MPO teacher Mrs P. was away sick and the subs teacher didn’t arrive until 09:45, so Sharon taught both classes till then (school rules lesson, held 3 times a week)

I hadn’t prepared anything to do as I got very confused and overwhelmed looking through all the information. We were supposed to have a history lesson today, and I am teaching the history unit, but as our schedule was changed around we did English instead, and I didn’t have anything prepared anyway. A lot of the resources of the C2C lesson plans are in the a Learning Place, which I don’t think I have access to, so I will need to research alternatives.I taught a maths lesson for about 30 min on number patterns, and it was not too bad considering I planned it about 5 min. I did well with the transition from carpet to desks, but I did lose som of them in terms of attention span and behaviour. I only used “direct teaching”, when next time I will plan for direct teaching→ guided and joint practice→ independent practice, with activities for those who can work on their own, and guided learning for those who don’t quite understand the concept and content of the lesson.

When I go around checking their work I should be signing or stamping to show that I have seen what they have done so far.

Behaviour management – because today’s schedule was so different to usual, and also I was new to the room the class took a long time to settle. LJ and KB had their heads on the tables during maths, and other students needed more work to continue independently. I need to have strategies to keep the room quiet and on task, and not noisy. With Sharon they know what she expects and what she will tolerate, but they don’t know that with me yet. She is always restating how important behaviour management is. Last week Sharon recommended focusing on one aspect of behaviour management each day and working on my skills and strategies that way.

Use of ICT in lesson plans – much like David has said repeated, Sharon said to not plan the lesson around the ICT, rather think about the lesson and how a particular ICT could enhance/amplify and transform the learning. I had been thinking about the kind of ICT I could use then thinking about how I would use them, when what I should be doing is coming up with the lesson plan, then looking to see what ICT could be incorporated in. We are using ppt in the third week, and Sharon said that is enough – breaking it down into turning on and logging on to a computer, opening and creating a ppt document etc would be enough. They will also be taking photos, and I wonder if I could use voice recording of their stories….

I was very nervous at the start of the day, and almost felt sick as the time came for me to teach my lesson, but now at the end of the day I feel better and more confident, though still terribly anxious about failing.

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EDC3100 Prac – Possible Resource Ideas

I am browsing for ICT ideas for my ICT-poor classroom, and I came across this page, and although it is very, very dated, I think it could be a good starting point as my classroom for prac could very well just have stepped out of 1999 in terms of ICT visibly available. Unlike Ella, there were no IWBs, let alone white boards, when I was in primary school – we had blackboards and overhead projectors, so really I should feel right at home…

I have been given the history unit to teach, and although I will be able to teach other subjects as well, my mentor is in assessment mode, so what I do cannot interfere with the assessment process.I also need to find alternative ideas to the ol’ IWB as ours is not interactive.

I had forgotten about voice recording, and it just so happens that we are going on an excursion, and this may come in handy – this class is a very low performing class, so recording their words may enhance their learning in assisting their ability to recall, and transform the learning by enabling them to critically reflect on their dialogue while on excursion compared with their thoughts and opinions post-excursion…

I am dreading tomorrow…and at the same time I know that in three weeks this will all be over and I will be a more confident and skilled teacher-to-be, but that knowledge is not calming the butterflies at all…

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A3 – Sharing Resources via Diigo

I have been trying all course long to get into Diigo and really feel the love and power, but I just keep forgetting it is there…

So, determined not to be left behind this time, I have made a start on Part B Preparation and Planning for A3, and have started a tag on Diigo called “EDC3100A3” – I will be using this tag on any resources and articles of reference that I come across, and anyone is welcome to use them. Please feel free to add comments via the sticky notes function, if you like.

Like Candice, last Friday I also went out to meet my mentor. Mrs. M. is a tough bird who runs a very tight ship in her year 3 classroom, but she said that because the academic level of the group is so low it is very difficult to incorporate ICT into lessons, so she doesn’t. The IWB is not interactive, so is just a WB. The school is far from rolling in money so ICT resources seem a lot more scarce than I first thought.There is a computer lab, and some iPads…but my mentor, although younger than me, prefers paper and pencil…

I am finding this Part B to be challenging as I try to come up with amplifying and transformative ways to incorporate ICT into my lessons…I have been googling “using ICT in low performing primary school classrooms”, and would be grateful for any other tips or advice.

it_support_memes02(Thank you, www.siliconrepublic.com)
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Focus, innovation and university IT

For the record, I am pretty sure I am the one who has reblogged other posts more than 5 times, so let’s make that 6 times, just for the hell of it!!

Reblogging is not plagerism (“o”)/ , I am not passing this off as my own work – it links straight back to David! I reblog because I like it and I want to be able to find it again quickly!!


Thanks, Memegenerator

I will be blogging about this, mark my words!! But not tonight…I have had enough for one night…

The Weblog of (a) David Jones

I’m currently reading “Automate this” by Christopher Steiner and came across the following

It’s not often that the most important innovations in the world come from the GEs and the Microsofts, the authors point out. They come from entrepreneurs who are focused on that one area with an intensity that bigger companies simply can’t bring. Most big firms see their time as best spent on making their current products and processes more efficient….Because of this fact, big companies tend to fall into traps of overmanaging and underinnovating

I don’t think this observation is all that earth shattering, I’ve heard it expressed in many places before. For example, “the authors” Steiner mentions are Kedrosky and Stangler in this report, which includes the following (also quoted by Steiner)

Startup firms specialize—in a way that larger and more-established companies can barely contemplate—in attacking complex problems in cheaper and more efficient ways


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EDC3100 Prac – My Context…

Ok, so last Friday I went out and met my mentor, and then today I went and spent the morning in the classroom, just to get a bit of a feel for the school and the class. The school that I am going to ranks in the bottom 25% of the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA)Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA), and performs very poorly in NAPLAN – I gathered this information from the My School website. For those who have not heard of this, you just type in the name of your school and a plethora of statistics are revealed.

I will be with a Year 3 class, who are a very low-performing cohort, and are also combined with a special education class. For someone who just wants to teach Prep, I am in for a treat.

My school seems to have very limited resources. There is a computer lab in the school, but you need to book it, and priority is given to the older grades. There are six iPads available for use. The Interactive White Board is not interactive…just a whiteboard…, and because of the very low level of the students the teacher rarely integrates ICT – some of these kids are barely reading at a year 1 level…

Thank you, Know Your Meme

Once again my placement will coincide with assessment time – yippee! – but fortunately one of the assessments has the students creating a multimodal presentation using PowerPoint. They are writing a story and creating the illustrations, but this will all be done on paper first, and the illustrations will be scanned then added to the PPT presentations, if there is time…So! I get to teach them how to use PowerPoint…

I suggested that the students use iPads or something and take photos of their illustrations, then they could insert the photos into their PPT…and if they had a DropBox account they could just pop them straight in there on the iPads…”Ooh, you could set that up, if you wanted.” Oh, could I? Goody.

I think there is a digital camera somewhere…I could take photos of the child holding a picture of their illustration, I can upload it to DropBox with their name on the file, then they could download it and insert it into their PPT…I have a sinking feeling there will not be time for this…

I know I am not alone in thinking “How the faddle am I going to come up with five lesson plans that enrich student learning using ICT?!” I read Jodie’s post in which she echoed my thoughts, and I know that Ashley was very worried about the absence of ICT in her school, but I found this post from her on IWBs informative and reassuring. This is also only my second time in a school, and it seems like I have been given a real humdinger of a class in a grade about which I know nothing, using ICT of which there is none…challenge accepted.


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