Monthly Archives: April 2014

Story starter ideas..

In a desperate attempt to find one more idea to blog about I randomly stumbled across this website. I’m not even sure what thought processes went into finding this site but I’m very glad I did. 

The website is called Story Starters and is found on the Scholastic website. Students get to pick a genre – fantasy, adventure, sci-fi or scrambler and by spinning different wheels a story starter is generated for them.

For example- I picked ‘Scrambler’ and the story starter that was generated for me was ‘ Write an autobiography about an overweight basketball player who works in a zoo. 

Imagine how much fun kids could have letting fate decide their story ideas. I can see this being really engaging and would even get those kids who hate writing keen to put pencil to paper!

Advertisements

Did you know?

Image

 

Skype. When you think about it you usually think of video calling one of your friends who is lucky enough to be overseas. However it wasn’t until these last few weeks where I have truly discovered all of Skype’s capabilities. 

The first one is Skype in the classroom. There are 3 ways to use this feature of Skype. 

1- Collaborate with other classes, no matter where they are.

2- Find guest speakers and invite them into your classroom

3- Take a virtual field trip anywhere in the world. 

I logged in using my Skype username and password and saw that some 79980 teachers already had active accounts and were looking for other classes to Skype with!!

There is also a massive section where experts offer their services to you and your classroom. Anyone from authors to park rangers and doctors!

There are also heaps of already prepared lessons from topics such as motivational talks and strategies on minimising bullying. 

This is seriously amazing!! 

The next feature is Mystery Skype. This feature was featured on the learning path this week. Mystery Skype is an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions. It’s suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects like geography, history, languages, mathematics and science.

 

I strongly recommend you have a look around these 2 sites. So much potential for great lessons 😀 

The future…

Image

I just saw this photo posted on this blog and it reminded me of this article a friend of mine posted on Facebook last week. This article stated that according to the Economist 47% Of All Jobs Will Be Automated By 2034. Whilst in the space of 20 years it’s impossible for technology to replace teachers, classrooms and schools, I like how this picture paints a parallel between the article and the education context.

We’re all going out on prac in just 3 short weeks… eeeeeekk! It’s going to be a great opportunity to start integrating ICT’s in our lessons and figuring out what works, what doesn’t, what excites the students and how to manage the class. If we go by the advice in this picture these are going to be essential skills in the future :).

Look no further for resources!

Image

So it turns out that the humble facebook break can actually be incredibly useful. While I was scrolling down my newsfeed I came across a post on a group I joined called Beginning Teachers Resource Forum . I would recommend you join this group as you can get some great ideas but if you’re stuck for lesson plan ideas you can post up and you can be sure to get a response from someone pretty quick.

My eyes happened to be drawn to a post asking how they would teach the ‘long e’ sound to a year 1 class and 2 people posted links to these 2 websites.

 http://www.teachersmarketplace.com.au/ & http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.

These both have hundreds of thousands of resources for teachers. You have to pay for some but it’s very easy to filter your search for only free resources. 

Check them out, you won’t be disappointed! 

Surprising outcomes!

Image

This picture perfectly depicts the expression on my face when I received some news this week. For the last few weeks myself and a group of 5 other girls have been working on an online Community of Inquiry for our History and Geography subject. If you’re a bit confused, let me start from the beginning.

We have been exploring the question, ‘are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people adepquately recognised in ANZAC Day celebrations for their contributions in the war efforts?’. On ANZAC Day, Emilie shared a photo on facecbook that was related to this article. Later that day she got a veteran who was a complete stranger message her asking if he could read our CoI when we were finished. As he wasn’t a USQ student he’s not able to read our forum posts but she ended up having an in-depth discussion with him regarding the efforts of Indigenous peoples in the war. 

NONE of this would have been possible without the use of ICT’s! In this case they were able to link 2 strangers on opposite sides of the country and through instant messaging technology she was able to talk to him and gain an authentic veteran’s perspective. This perspective will be invaluable to our assignment! 

So although, we may at times see ICT’s as a hassle and waste of time we must remember that we never know where they can lead us! 

 

 

Holiday musings- ICT and Indigenous Pedagogy

voices2_of_m1709903

On the holidays I was very fortunate to spend time with some of our dear friends. At this time they were fostering 3 gorgeous little Aboriginal children. They were primary school age but have missed out a lot of school. However what they lacked in literacy and numeracy skills they made up with in infectious smiles and bubbling personalities. They got me thinking about how I would approach planning for differentiation if I were their teacher. I turned to my old friend ICT’s for some possible answers.

I found this video called Voices from The Cape from the website Teachers TV. While it did not provide a specific answer to my above question it gave a magnificent example of how ICT’s are engaging students from Aurukun Community School. This school has the lowest attendance record of any school in QLD. This had been the case for many generations so the current Principal thought of a new way to engage students in the learning process. So together they created 3 high quality short films for screening at a
national youth festival.He invited elders and experts from the Community Prophets team, led by Vadiveloo. Voices from the Cape illustrates that the digital revolution is not simply about teaching children how to push the right buttons. Rather, it’s about opening children’s minds to the idea that these buttons can empower their communities, give them agency in their lives, a voice on
the global stage, celebrate their identity, offer new possibilities for employment and, where necessary, bring attention to social issues that need to be addressed.They didn’t just teach the skill of turning on a camera but how to use thier voices in  that environment  life is about asserting their unique voices.

How inspirational and empowering!

Blooms Taxonomy- now please don’t run away at the mere mention of that term.

Ruth’s blog on Apps and Blooms Taxonomy got really interested. For the visual learner of you out there here is a website that presents not 1 but 4 different visual guides to apps that correspond to each level of the taxonomy. Ipads and games are often met with much controversy and eye rolling. The media will tell you they are only useful for busy work and that children are not learning basic handwriting however these guides give us a different story. Most of them are free apps too which will make tight budgets smile! I recommend you keep a copy of one of these visual guides whilst on prac and into the future!