Checking out Jen and Vicki’s posts about classroom blogs and I must say that due to the exposure from this course and what I have learnt about blogging, I would be quite keen to set up when I have a class to call my own. For me its a no brainer – work smarter not harder. I’m not now nor have I ever been someone who like to print. I rock up with notebook and pen to each class because I am too tight to print lecture notes and module documents. I double side everything on prac not because I have to but because I feel awful if I don’t. I’m minimalist by nature so one would think I would have an iPad or another form of ICT to support me in this area but nevertheless I don’t like paper and I don’t like ‘collecting’. A classroom blog means I don’t have to ‘collect’ OR ‘print’. I dont have to keep samples of students work piling up on my desk like walls on a fort, I can just upload it and chuck it! Yay for ICT!
Trawling through Google reader and Vicki’s blog caught my attention. In her blog she makes mention of a threering app posted by David previously. So I checked it out and I love it. Almost enough to trade in my flip phone with no bells and whistles for an iPhone or iPad. Another interesting point to consider is the implications for tax time. Surely you could claim costs of iPhone if you can demonstrate the extent to which you use it for work?? Any ideas on how we can use ICT to claim more back on tax? After all that time of year is fast approaching.
So the million dollar question is.. Who is going to keep blogging? (crickets). Well after typing up my reflection, it has become apparent to me that I might need to. I might be a genius in my own eyes but the sad reality is that I actually use my mobile phone like an answering machine and I bought my first computer when I started Uni… Yes it is sad but true. If I am going to rely on my own toolbelt that leaves somtheing to be desired – the students might be in a bit of trouble. A fellow student has also mused over the debate of continued blogging, you can check that blog out here!
So now that I am up to my elbows in reflections and evaluations, it has become clear that my planning hasn’t quite matched my delivery of lessons in the classroom. Theoretically I have got my stuff sorted, however it would seem that reality tells a different story! In her blog, Jody talks about how her prac didn’t go exactly to plan and although she managed to self correct during the process. It looks like I have only just discovered the fact that Planning + Reflection = Error over the last couple of days. On a brighter note, at least I have given myself some material to work with for Part D of my assignment.
What have I discovered today? Blogging is like Facebook. Today I realised after my email update that I need to link in more to other student blogs, so away I go on Google Reader looking at blog after blog, after blog, after blog. Some days I could link to 50 blogs, other days its like another day on Facebook trawling through people’s thoughts and thinking…meh! Does that mean that what people write is boring.. Absolutely not. It just means that I am at the end of course and just putting one foot in front of the other. Im tired of seeing the acronym ICT, Im tired of talking about technology, Im tired of seeing the latest ICT application for the classroom. Let it be the end of semester already when I can turn my ICT off, unplug from the world, leave my mobile at home (no different than usual) and read a book, spend time with my family, chit chat, nanna nap and all of my other favourite past times that seem to have been packed away and put to the back of the wardrobe like my summer clothes….
While reading other’s blogs I came across this blog by Janine, The end is almost here. In her blog Janine asks whether the Prac experience has altered or changed any other students idea’s or future directions in teaching. For me, it definitely did! I realised how much I missed school drop offs and pick ups and spending valuable time with my children. I have questioned whether or not I will be ready to give that up in 2 years. I love the peace in my home that is created by having someone there to organise the dinners, do the washing, spend time with the kids, help out with homework. While I was on prac our lives became more like a highly organised highway in peak hour – no time to stop! I noticed a massive change in behaviour in my kids and it seems we were all running on empty.
Do I have a solution? No. Am I worrried? Not really. Maybe I might relief for a few years – who knows? I know I love teaching and I am in the right place now. Everything else will be reassessed when I finish.
Post prac and it would seem I have a lot of catching up to do!
The highlights of prac for me? Being allowed to plan all learning for the entire week off the curriculum and teach a week of whole days. Was it exhausting… YES! But it gave me a huge confidence boost as it was a realistic glimpse of what I can expect from 2015! If I can plan and teach for a week, I can do it for a year.. Yes, I know that when that year arrives I am going to be one tired little puppy but hey, I have resigned myself to the fact that my first year of teaching will be a blur of unit plans, differentiation and family dinners of breakfast cereal or eggs on toast.
Back to uni life though, I have to punch out two assignments and study for an exam before I can start celebrating. So its back to work for me!
Contemplating prac and feeling excited yet nervous. I always get nervous with composites. I have 5,6,7 this prac with a very diverse bunch of students. I think the nerves come from knowing how busy I will be writing lesson plans for 3 year levels. My goal for this prac is the same as it has been for all my other pracs – throw myself head first into something I’ve not yet tried and am scared of. It really works for me as not only do I get a real sense of accomplishment but I actually prefer to be thrown into the deep end because I get the best out of me. Well enough reflecting for one night, my Web Quest isn’t going to finish itself.
I chose Universal Design as one of my topics of interest as for me it is sort of a familiar area. My son has low vision due to a condition called Albinism. When I first learned of his condtition, my initial reaction was ‘what does this even mean and how will that affect his ability to learn’ well now that he is five and has started Prep I can finally answer that. Not that much. However I can only say that due to the advances we have in ICT. Had I been born with the condition it might have been a completely different story!
My son doesn’t have to use some dorky, unusual looking visual aids – no, he gets to use an Ipad! This gives him his independence so he doesn’t have to interupt the teacher or disrupt the class when he can’t see something or read something clearly. He just takes a photo with his Ipad and enlarges it. Is the class using the interactive whiteboard? No worries, he can access it wirelessly on his Ipad for him to enlarge as he wishes. No need to print an extra large copy of the worksheet, it can be sent to the Ipad.
Here is an article I found which demonstrates the effectiveness of an Ipad in supporting a Universal design approach to the classroom.
So what am I doing on a Saturday afternoon, the day before Mother’s day? Furiously trying to tie up loose ends such as blogs, Maths Web Quest, and lesson plans before I go to bed so I can actually be a mum tomorrow and spend time with my family over lunch… And I am determined to get there!
So far I have completed lesson plans and that is it. But as yo can see I have moved onto blogging and there is still quite a few hours before bedtime yet. Interestingly I spent a lot of today getting my head around the free desktop publishing software called SCRIBUS. I am looking at this as I am teaching the KLA Technology to years 5,6 and 7 and we are designing and creating greeting cards.. Sounds fun? I’m actually really enjoying it. Anyway check out the SCRIBUS link if interested. Now I need to convince my mentor to hand over the Literacy lesson to me so I can integrate what we are learning with greeting cards to the type and style of text that could be included in the card!
BTW, good luck fellow prac students!