Before this last prac I had never used an interactive whiteboard before. During my first meeting with my mentor she mentioned that the children really enjoy engaging with all the interactive activities on the whiteboard. This got me really excited and I approached my first lesson with an powerpoint packed with interactive games and links to websites. Most of my lessons from then on followed a similar format to this. I stayed true to one of my motto’s ‘fake it until you make it’ and pretended I was an old pro at the technology. Sometimes this worked and sometimes it didn’t. Here are some of my biggest lessons I learnt-

-Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate- I’m still not sure entirely sure when calibrate means but I sure know what happens when one forgets to calibrate. Interactive activities are a nightmare as the alignment between your finger/pen and the board is totally out of place and you end up with 25 kids screaming ‘you need to calibrate the board!!!’

-Only 1 person can draw on the board at the one time. Writing becomes a big scribble when 2 people write at the same time and sometimes the scribbles can accidently turn into rude pictures! Lucky Miss Chapman has quick reflexes and acted quickly with the eraser.

Bridget found a great website with 56 Ideas to use an Interactive Whiteboard . Check it out! 

Webquests! Sorry if it’s too soon to mention that word

Like Renae, I was very glad to submit the webquest assignment for EDX3280! I was even more glad that I began the assignment on the holidays as it made completing it relatively stress free. If you’re really keen you can peruse my webquest here. Whilst it did take a lot of effort and making sure all the little user-friendly details were present was tedious I am pretty proud of my efforts. I believe that students would generally enjoy completing it however like Renae I did question the practicality of it for busy, working teachers. Upon reflection I questioned the importance of the teacher pages. I can see the instances where they would become important however if you were planning on keeping the webquest just between you and your class I would probably give these pages a cheeky skip over. This would free a considerable amount of time to concerntrate on giving the students a not to be forgotten maths inquiry!

Enjoy prac guys!

This time next week…

we’ll be on prac. What a scary/exciting thought! In today’s lecture David suggested we make contact with other students and collaborate if you are working in similar contexts. I have been assigned a grade 4 class at a state school in Toowoomba.  If any of you have been also been placed in a year 4 class, please get in contact with me! It you’re also at a state school, because of C2C’s we will likely be teaching similar content. It would be great to bounce ideas of each other 🙂 

Hoping to hear from some of you! 

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

I’m not sure about you but I have been having trouble keeping up with what content belong to what subject this semester. They are all meshing into one and all seem to have a similar focus on the importance of ICT’s. I realised yesterday that our first it’s well into the second half of the semester and I am only just starting my first assignment that only requires a 2000 word essay. All the others have had us working tirelessly on the computer creating some form of multi-modal presentation, website or webquest! 

So back to the point of my post. We were shown this website in our maths (EDX3280) tutorial. It’s a fantastic website if you’re a little short on maths resources at your school but you don’t want to deprive your students on the great benefits of using manipulatives to conquer the abstract nature of mathematics. It covers all strands of maths from P-12  however it does require the latest version of flash player. Make sure that it’s installed before you start your lesson :). 

Look no further for inspiration!

I was a little stuck for blog ideas so I scrolled through the news feed in hope of finding something that would catch my eye. Alysha’s latest post did exactly that! She posted a link to this video. The video tells the story of several experienced teachers writing letters to themselves on the first day of teaching. Being just one week out from prac, it’s wonderfully reassuring!! 

We might be feeling pretty overwhelmed at the thought of implementing ICT’s for quality learning experiences. One man in the video provided great advice. Try everything!! Even if you think it is utterly crazy. In the end these are the things your students will remember. 

If your plans don’t go so well. Remember teaching isn’t an exact science. Seek help, talk to your mentor or other students and try again the next day. 

As prac teachers we have the ability to make a big difference in these students lives. We are making lasting impacts and may even give our mentors some great ideas on new ways they can incorporate ICT’s!