Early finishers…

During PE I at times experienced difficulty with filling 5-10 minute time gaps for early finishers. As the cohort were predominantly students with ASD that have difficulties with communication, I needed to be able to give them prompt and explicit directions for most tasks. I found myself spending way too much one-on-one time with early finishers trying to model/explain what was required, which caused the remaining students (still waiting for support/next instruction) to become distracted and restless. I have quickly learnt that with better planning also comes flexibility. I need to be prepared for unplanned occurrences, as well as expand my toolkit to include familiar and easily accessible ideas and resources that will ensure that my students remain calm, engaged and on-task. For example, during a Maths lesson allowing early finishers to access relevant Maths iPad applications that they can operate and manage easily and independently for short periods of time/in between activities, rather than asking them to do a fine-motor activity that required support would of been more successful.

Lesson Plan Templates…

I had a similar experience to Leonie regarding the lesson plan template. I found that following this plan/refer to whilst teaching was time-consuming and confusing. My mentor also suggested that I use a simple list of dot points to refer to rather than the actual plan. This proved to work a lot better for me as it helped me to stay on track and not miss some of the vital daily classroom management that also occurs whilst conducting a lesson/ transitioning between activities i.e. remembering to collect/return keys, sign students in/out for outings, ensuring students were given medications at certain times, notes to parents, sun safety…the list goes on and on. So much to remember!! This is something that I will definitely continue to practice in future placements.

Further to this comes a recommendation from a fellow blogger to visit the site Teacher Planet, which offers simple lesson templates that can be adapted to suit individual contexts and needs. Wish I had come across Sandra’s post earlier. Thanks Sandra!

How ICTs were used during PE

Following on from previous post….

Student iPad/s: a personal, mobile, digital device, independently used by students to access Proloquo2Go application and educational games

Teacher/Class iPad: a mobile digital device used by teacher and students to access applications such as Proloquo2Go and Story Creator

Apple TV: used by teacher to mirror content from iOS devices such as Teacher/Class iPad to television screen – promotes whole-class inclusion in activities

Proloquo2Go application: a symbol-supported tool to assist students with communication difficulties; enhanced learning of literacy skills such as reading, listening and speaking

Story Creator’ application: used by students (with support) to create whole-class digital story; enhanced learning of literacy skills such as reading, listening, speaking

Power Point program: used by teacher to amplify teaching and learning of concepts using images and text

Teacher laptop: used by teacher to run/create Power Point and Word programs, as well as carry out management tasks such as roll call and reporting.

Camera application on iPad/Digital camera: mobile device/s used by teacher to capture student demonstration of concepts and skills, collect evidence of learning for reporting purposes as well as allow students to recall/reflect on past events

Stopwatch function on iPhone: a digital tool used by teacher for time-management purposes – as a timer/alarm to signal end of an activity

‘Mathletics’ program: an online Mathematics program, independently used by students to practice/enhance learning of mathematical concepts and skills

Classroom computers/Printer: independently used by students to research the Internet, create/print documents on Word program as well as practice/demonstrate understanding of mathematical skills and concepts on ‘Mathletics’ program

CD Player: used by teacher during gym sessions to encourage movement, also used by students during free time sessions

Generating a list of ICT experiences during PE…

Part of the process of reflection for Assessment 3 requires us to generate a list of our experiences with Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) during our 15 day Professional Experience (PE).

The following outlines the ICTs that I was fortunate enough to able to trial, observe and/or integrate into lessons and daily activities.

  • Student iPad
  • Teacher iPad
  • Apple TV
  • Proloquo2Go application
  • Camera application on iPad
  • Story Creator application
  • Power Point program
  • Teacher laptop
  • Digital camera
  • Stopwatch function on iPhone
  • Mathletics program
  • Classroom computers
  • CD player

At this point I can honestly say that the ICT experiences within my special education context were predominantly successful. Evidence to support this judgment includes observing a high level of student engagement and enthusiasm as well as positive feedback from mentor, peers and the students themselves. During my next post I will attempt to describe how each of the ICTs mentioned above were used to enhance and/or transform teaching and learning.

The highs and lows of teaching and learning

It has been a while since my last blog. The last few weeks seem to have flown by. It’s hard to believe that there is only four more days of PE to go. Although I am feeling absolutely shattered and looking forward to a slower-paced routine next week, I know that I will miss working with such an amazing class of students and teachers. Many of my experiences have been challenging, yet extremely rewarding. I have had the opportunity to reflect on some of my lessons and feel proud of what the students and myself have achieved. I’ve also walked away some days doubting whether I have what it takes to become a proficient teacher. I am truly grateful to my mentors, students, family and friends, who have been very supportive of my role, pushing me further than my own self-beliefs would of allowed me. I am looking forward to seeing what encounters another full day of teaching will bring tomorrow. Signing off now to get some much needed rest.

Wishing you all the best of luck for the time you have left.

CLEM Model – Learning about a new ICT and how it enhances student learning….

This course has introduced us to the CLEM model to help guide us when investigated particular ICTs and how they can enhance/inhibit student learning.

The following will outline some questions I will need to consider prior/during PE:

COMMUNITY – Whom can I contact that has experience with this particular ICT? – (i.e., mentor, other staff including school IT specialist, online sources).

LITERATURE – What research has been done that supports/disregards this ICT? – (use credible sources such as scholarly articles/journals). Look at the examples of relevant literature on study desk.

EXAMPLE – What examples are there that I can draw on that are similar to my educational context for PE?

MODEL – How do I operate and manage the ICT? How will I handle technical difficulties…who will I contact? What are the components of this particular ICT?

Socol’s (2005) TEST framework can also be applied to structure my thinking processes for this task. I am following a similar outline to one mentioned in a previous post regarding the Proloquo2Go application.

TASK:

  • Explore IWBs independently prior to/during prac
  • Investigate the terms and processes involved with IWBs;
  • Discover the benefits of using IWB with students in my classroom

 ENVIRONMENT:

  • Home
  • School (PE) – During discussions with mentor and other staff. During hands-on teaching and learning experiences with IWB

 SKILLS:

  • Organising and collating information;
  • Researching most relevant sites;
  • Communicating with colleagues and professionals.

TOOLS:

  • Using iPad/laptop to search the net for demonstration videos and related information;
  • Using ‘Diigo’ to collate newfound resources/information;
  • Using ‘Feedly’ to follow post of interests relating to this topic;
  • Following relevant links/literature in course modules.

 

What I think I know about lesson planning….

One of the activities this week was to outline what I think I know about lesson planning. I responded with a list of questions rather than statements….

  • Who are the students?
  • What year level?
  • What are the curriculum objectives (aim/focus of the lesson)?
  • What is their prior knowledge?
  • What is the length of the lesson?
  • How does it fit in with what they have been doing?
  • What are the students’ interests and motivators?
  • Are there any accommodations/special needs I need to consider when planning?
  • What is the level of students’ organizational and processing skills?
  • How will I introduce the lesson (warm up)?
  • How will I incorporate learning activities that meet the needs of all learners? (visual, audio, kinesthetic, written, verbal)
  • How will I scaffold the lesson from constructing to transforming?
  • How will I conclude the lesson?
  • How will I assess student knowledge and understanding?
  • How will I get the students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts?
  • How will I incorporate ICT to enhance and transform teaching and learning?
  • What resources are available and/or will I need to carry out the lesson?
  • Where will I find resources? Do I have access to school resources or have to provide/create my own?
  • When will the lesson occur? (double check time-table)
  • What will I do to reflect on what worked and what didn’t?
  • What pedagogical approaches/frameworks am I comfortable using and/or familiar with?
  • Do these approaches/frameworks work within the context of PE?
  • Is there a particular whole-school approach being used at the moment that I need to consider?
  • Are there any particular behaviour management strategies/reward systems in place that have proved successful and kept the students on task?
  • Are there any safety issues? Will I need to include a risk-assessment?