I came across a blog today that whilst well intentioned I felt missed the mark. Comments were made about the need for children to learn to be bored. I understand the sentiment but feel the reasoning is flawed. ICT were cited as being detrimental when used ineffectively and to excess. So too may I point out is food. Does this then mean that we should teach our children to starve? Teaching programs, content and pedagogy have eve loved to make learning more engaging and effective. If i can include a variety of tools I will.
Some of my blogs in the past have focussed on gifted education and some of you may be familiar with my passion for this topic. The amount of times I hear “I’m bored” saddens me. Not the can’t think of anything kind of bored but the cold relentless ache from countless hours spent in dull uninspiring classrooms. I don’t feel children should ever have to ‘learn to be bored’. When is it ok to settle? When is it ok for a teacher to feel that this would ever be ok? Quiet reflection and time for thought is a far call from claims of boredom.
I fail to see why a child’s boredom would be advocated for. I never want my students to except boredom- in my classroom anyway. To just copy the list because drill is the only way I am going to teach. I want my students to be excited to learn. Sure I can’t make everyday a carnival but I can aim to peek the interest and imagination of my learners. I may not achieve this 100% of the time but I will never resign myself to my students needing to learn to be bored.
I was reading a blog posted by sfaulds recently where some interesting stats were quoted relating to how teachers used ICT during internships to overcome challenges. I stumbled across this image on Facebook and found it very fitting. 60% of preservice teachers reported using ICT to improve the range of learning experiences for their students. I endeavour to use ICT to engage my students and add authenticity to learning tasks. This study also notes that classroom management is the biggest problem facing preservice educators. Until I gain experience from being in the classroom actually teaching, it is even more important that my teaching is interesting if I have any hope of managing my class effectively. Let’s work smarter not harder!
My assignment grade has been released due to technical difficulties. The irony of this being an ICT based course and facing this issue is not lost on me. However as time passes (well aware that expected timeframe of a 3 week turn around for assignments is still manageable) I begin to question what I have created and what I have presented.
This particular assignment is one of the most challenging I have come across. Sure my technical skills have been push pulled and probed but to assess a students creativity? That is where true self doubt comes into play. A doubt shared by another Melissa Messenger who has also blogged on the frustration of facing an assignment brief that forces us to be creative. I took a chance and created AND PUBLISHED a book for this assignment. Check it out for free on the iBooks store!
Year Three With Mrs Carpenter
Creative, yes. Good grades……. well I’m waiting.
I hope to encourage my students to be creative but I wonder how I will be able to do this when everything we teach and assess is so highly regulated. Maybe they will teach me to be creative in the way that I teach them.
There seems to be a common thred that runs throughout many of my fellow students blogs (Fran and R. M. Hows) around multiliteracies pedagogy. Firstly about making technology available to all students on an equal playing field and also surrounding the way it is integrated into the classroom.
Cope and Kalanantzis (2000) in their widespread publications on Multiliteracies attempt to articulate the changes that technology is having on education. There are two major shifts in perspective that have come about from the rate at which technology has advanced. What was once an education system designed to meet the needs of students to work in industrial jobs no longer provides the same employment opportunities it once did. How can we expect to teach one diminutional literacy skills in a multidimensional world?
The other issue is the way these social changes have effect the content that is taught. Reading is no longer a developed understanding of phonology and graphimes. Students need to be taught how to make meaning drawing from linguistic, visual, audio, gestural and spatial elements. Beyond this they also need to decipher the meaning that comes when these elements intersect.
So the two questions left to us as teachers are How will you teach the skills the students need and how will technology influence what it is that you teach?
I am a woman of few guilty pleasures. I do not drink or smoke and I am what would be considered as a low maintenance kind of gal. But there is something that I love to indulge in. Can you say Book Depository?
So when I came a cross a blog post Anouk’s blog post advertising a Scholastic $1 sale I simply HAD to have a look. For any others like Anouk and I this sale continues until the end of April. I like Anouk was very excited and I know you are too! Books and teaching resources are what excites me these days. Shall we say that I am pleased of the advent of ebooks! As we have already had to buy an extra 4 book shelfs since I started my degree (I have a home library that would rival some small school libraries), today’s contribution won’t take up my wall space.
Now to find the time to download and organise all the titles into year groups. So far I have k-2 and 3-6 folders for both English and math teaching resources. I wish I had started this earlier in my degree as finding materials is SO much easier when categorised like this. My only downer is I went so crazy that It would be impossible to be able to examine all of the new books properly. That I reason is where my categorisation skills come into it.
After catching up on some much overdue reading of students blogs today. I was struck by the comments made by a fellow peer that proclaimed blogging is the new persuasive writing.
What an interesting perspective. In the age of NAPLAN and standardised testing that requires students to be able to demonstrate a specific series of skills at a particular point in time devoid of contextual understanding it is an idea with considering. Does the incorporation of ICT support student writing by providing editing and spell checker tools consequently boosting the quality of the writing? Or is it more to do with the conversational style that a blog embodies that enables learners to better express opinion and persuade readers?
In the classroom setting I hope to utilise a classroom blog to make writing purposeful and provide an audience for student work. We have to ask ourselves what the point of writing a piece of theft is that will only ever be kept closed tight in a dust book in the deep recesses of an abandoned old box of classroom memories, never to be seen again. A bleak picture but one that is not so far off the mark.
Here is a blog that is used for exactly this purpose. If you have time you should read these persuasive texts authored by year 6 students and possibly offer some support.
A fellow student had me reflecting on a recent assignment I completed and how I found it to be one of the most challenging and rewarding tasks I think I have ever completed. Big words right? It is indeed a big call.
The idea of assessment has been swept up in our current culture of standardised assessments and reporting such as NAPLAN. I think we however need to take a step back and consider the other side of assessment. You know the one that gets pushed into the cupboard when you have visitors arriving because you want to put on the best display you possibly can. This side of assessment is like comfy jumper that is thread bare but does such great job you keep coming back to it.
Assessment should not just be used as a measure of what has been learnt but a tool to support learning. Assessment for learning. That is what I experienced with my latest ICT assignment. I trailed so many programs and ideas that this alone boosted by capacity to navigate ICT. The assessment itself provided the learning. I was forced to move beyond what I could achieve with ease and step out into the wild unknowns of technological mastery.
I have had the arduous task of transferring a table created as a word document across to Google drive yesterday afternoon. With the advancements in technology seemingly progressing at break neck speed why does formatting a simple table in Google docs create so many headaches? It seems almost archaic that alterations made to formatting need to then be reformatted when working with collaborative software.
I have transferred the data but the formatting of the table unfortunately appears to have been compromised as though it is a part of some kind of brutal sacrificial ceremony.
This is a great video offering tips. One of many avenues I have tried for suggestions. However for once it seems to be a fault with the program and not operator error!
I have selected a year three cohort as this is the actor I will be teaching in my up coming prac.
Student Learning Outcomes
Here are the Content descriptors that will form the basis of my student learning out comes. They will probably be refined as I make progress through developing the unit.
- Students should be able to interpret and compare student generated data displays (ACMSP070)
- Students should be able to collect data, organise into categories and create displays using lists, tables, picture graphs and simple column graphs, with and without the use of digital technologies (ACMSP069)
- Students should be able to create and refine questions and use these questions to plan an investigation into preferences of year three students (ACMSP068)
- Students should recognise the similarities and differences between places in terms of their type of settlement, demographic characteristics and the lives of the people who live there (ACHGK019)
As for the assessment students will be required to use an ICT presentation medium of their choice (to be negotiated and agreed upon with teacher) to present their findings outlining similarities and differences from an online survey conducted with a Chinese buddy class. They must first develop a series of questions to ask the buddy class then graph the results, present their findings and edit the data collection of a partner.
Students are provided choice to allow them to have treating control of their learning and to maintain interest. Having students first create the data results without technology provides the support for them to transfer this data using ICT.
I was privy to an incident today in year 2 classroom that saw a small boy become so frustrated that he lashed out and physically injured another student and the teacher that had come to his aid. This is going to be something we all have to deal with. Violence is never ok and students and teachers should NEVER be placed in a situation like this where they may become injured.
The child in question has autism. What appears to have triggered this outburst was a writing task. A persuasive writing task to be specific. It was heavily scaffolded and brainstorming had occurred. The format was written on the board. The students just had to write.
This child was only able to communicate well after the event that he couldn’t get his body to pick up the pencil then he placed his book in the bin and took himself to the store room to hide. No child should have to feel this amount of stress and pressure. Autism sucks! We can’t change this but we can offer support and teach strategies to cope. Provide enough opportunities for success so this child will be able to pick up his pencil.
My question to you is where is that line between assistive technologies such as dragon dictator or the use of a scribe and manipulation in the form of work refusal? Writing tasks have such huge impact on this child’s ability to cope. Should they be removed in favour of a computer? Does this enable the behaviour? What happens to the development of writing skills in the interim?