Professional Experience

It has come to that time again where we are all getting ready for prac. I absolutely love this time of the year and although I am always hesitant at first, it is one of the most enjoyable and beneficial tasks we complete in this degree. I am spending my prac this semester in grade 1 at Wyreema State School which is absolutely fantastic because I have discovered that my passion lays amongst younger grades (p-3). According to the 2016 Prac Experience Booklet we will be expected to teach as follows:

Week 1: Days 1-5

  • Teach for a third of each day

Week 2: Days 5-10

  • Teach for half of the day

Week 3: Days 10-15

  • Teach two-thirds of each day with one full day

This is such a nerve racking time but I am positive that everyone will gain valuable experience within the classroom.


Using the RAT Framework

This weeks learning path required us to discuss the ways that the RAT Framework relates to our chosen curriculum descriptor from our assignment and links to an activity within our unit plan.

My descriptor for this activity is present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions

My unit plan activity that relates to this descriptor is to complete a multimodal presentation that discusses why development should or should not go ahead in a given area with justification.

RAT Framework: This activity is amplified through the use of ICT. Without using ICT for sound, images and visual concepts the assessment piece would no longer be significant. Students are able to extend on their ideas and basic understandings to create a presentation that engages, clarifies and justifies decision making.

How do you know if your use of ICT is effective?

This weeks forum post reflected the notion that how do teachers know if their use of ICT was effective or not? My response to this is simple. If students are engaged and actively participating in the class work than the ICT would prove to be effective, where as if students are disengaged and restless throughout the lesson where ICT is used than the choice of ICT could be improved. Theonelizardqueen makes another valid suggestion in that ICT should not replace the way and what we are trying to teach. This website offers an insight into the ways that teachers can decide whether their ICT is effective or not as well as, offering different ways of planning to ensure students can engage and interact through lesson plans.

Having a Plan B

Reading through Wattersonjaiden’s blog’s today has made me realise and begin to question what will I do if my lesson plan does not work due to ICT? Do I have a back up plan in place? Can I use other resources quickly without the need for fuss and disruption to the class learning environment? Although ICT is wonderful I believe it is also very important to have a balance of ICT and written/ hands on activities. This not only mixes things up in the classroom but it also minimises the chance of needing a plan B. However, ways of creating a plan B for when ICT is not working can be found here.

Task Sheets and Rubrics

Assignment 2 asks us to develop a task sheet and rubric for an assessment task that we have created. How hard can it be? Well…. I have found myself going around in circles relating the content taught to the assignment task and then relating the assignment task to the standards to develop a rubric. The part that I find most challenging within this course and other is converting the language used in the rubric to child friendly yet, highly academic language. This is definitely something to be improved on in the future. Courtney’s blog, provides suggestions for developing a task sheet as a teacher:

A section provided for the student name, Task name, unit, year level, final result;

  • A description of the task (make sure you name your task);
  • The due dates, including draft submissions;
  • The criteria that will be used to assess (more on this on the next page); and,
  • A description of the process to be used for the task and the conditions and materials to be used. You may want to scaffold this to support students to follow a specific process that will help them produce the evidence.

More information on how to write rubrics can be found here.

Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Digital World

Reading through Jessica Packers blog this week, Blooms Taxonomy was brought to my attention. Many educators and teachers find themselves using digital resources that aren’t 100% effective for what they are trying to teach. It is all about finding the right resources to achieve the right learning outcomes. Bloom’s Taxonomy not only assists teachers in selecting the right resources to use but it also encourages higher order thinking amongst students. Bloom’s Taxonomy has 6 stages ranging from knowledge at the lowest, then progressing through comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation (Green, 2016). More information on Blooms Taxonomy and the Digital World can be found here.

Khan Academy and PCK

This week, discussions were focussed around PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge) and the Khan Academy. A post written by Strauss (2012), reflects what pedagogical content knowledge is and then discusses how the Khan Academy refuses to acknowledge this way of teaching. She explains that teachers that have strong PCK understand educational research whilst having the experience to understand what students find easy, hard and ways in which they can learn effectively. I find this a highly important skill to be able to complete. Renee’s blog gave me effective ways of developing our own PCK as pre-service teachers. These include creating understanding from other units, using curriculum docs and gaining our own classroom experiences.

Assignment 2 Unit Plan

Module 2 in the course has me completing a unit plan for any subject of our choice. This REALLY excites me! I find myself excited by all of the different possibilities out there to create engaging lessons where students are hands on, involved and engaged. When completing some research I came across The Teachers Corner where teachers can seek ideas for any subject area, find worksheets, teacher resources or add to any bulletin boards. There are so many websites out there that can help develop exciting lessons for young minds. Benjamin Harsant  makes a point in his blog that students shouldn’t be just typing things but actually doing things to engage them. My unit plan is based on the geography strand where students are writing reports based on data they collect from a field trip. I am really excited to one day be able to create my own unit plans that actually get taught!

Constructing and Transforming Knowledge

This week when engaging with the course content, constructing and transforming knowledge became a concept that intrigued me. As stated by Thayer-Bacon (2000), constructing knowledge is where students learn the facts, concepts and knowledge required for a subject, whereas,  transforming knowledge is where a student applies the knowledge that they have learnt by applying their learning to new situations. When reading Amy Brown’s blog she suggested that by using grouping curriculum content into constructed and transformed knowledge that you begin to emerge children in higher order thinking skills. You also gain an understanding into the content that you are teaching, ensuring that you have the facts and are teaching the knowledge for students to apply in transformed practice.

Creating a class website

Today I was reading through Mr Clancy’s blog about creating a class website through Weebly. What a wonderful idea!! In completing a class website page, this opens avenues for teachers to communicate more effectively with students about homework or alternatively with the parents. A class website would also mean that teachers are able to create a folder with daily or weekly websites or worksheets that need to be completed in a digital media. This adds another dimension to student learning, whilst also, saving on paper and valuable time photocopying! Not only can students access their work from school but also visit the class site from home and show their parents what they are doing in class at that point. I think that this is a wonderful idea and it is definitely something that I will be looking to instil into my classroom practices.