Missing out

I have been reading Kelly’s blog – My personal use of ICTs during my practicum and I feel like I may have missed the experience that she so beautifully had whilst on prac. Don’t get me wrong I love HPE teaching and am very passionate about it, however this course – EDC3100 – I think caters mostly for High school HPE lessons where they can factor in teaching of the theory lessons that they have to do on the body etc and in essence they can use ICT to plan a fabulous lesson. From Kelly’s list I really wish I had of been exposed to all the wonderful ICTs that she was on Prac. No doubt she is now rich with ICT ideas and will be able to produce wonderful and engaging lessons for future use.

Restless bodies

I was looking at a colleagues blog – Mel’s titled – Fight the fidgeting – and this got me thinking of my class that I had within Prac. I too noticed that the children fidgeted quite a lot whilst the teacher was teaching. They would also rock on their chairs, open and shut their desk tidy trays etc. I found this quite rude and disrespectful towards the teacher. Within my lesson that I taught I ensured that I had the children moving about (we did a bit of role play and a game that involved music and moving). This proved a great lesson as the children did not fidget or were talking out of turn. Even the teacher commented on how well they were engaged and that she need to incorporate more role play and group activities within her class. She admitted she was skeptical about doing this prior to my lesson as she has one child whom she finds difficult and is worried about how he would go within group work. He was fine in mine so fingers crossed for the children they are more exposed to this.

My ICT experience

Well back to blogging and with the amount of information I gained whilst on Prac I feel that my blogging will be more worthwhile and interesting 🙂

I was reading through Mrs Poulter blog about her ICT Experience and I breathed a sign of relief. I too can relate to her Professional experience. LIke Mrs Poulter my school was in a low socio economic area, the ICT that they had was limited and the internet was very intermittent and the IWB sometimes worked and some times didn’t so it was very unreliable. Many children do not have the internet, nor a computer in their home life (this was gathered from asking the very simple question of “hands up if you have access to computer or internet at home.” Sadly not many children put up their hands. The students did have access to the library computer lab once a week on a Wednesday for an hour but by the time they borrowed their books for the week and stuffed around with their log on details etc they were only probably getting half an hour. In this half an hour they would log onto their Edstudio page and edit it or they could do Mathsletics. Another item the librarians were trying to do with the children was measure their lexile number for reading. This was a frustration in itself as passwords and log ons didn’t work. There was only one teacher who knew how to work the site and navigate around it so the 24 children were left to just sit and wait. Very disorganised indeed.

It was an enjoyable experience, mainly for the part I was outside doing what I love best – HPE – with the kids. I am hoping my next prac experience within a classroom will allow me to integrate ICT.

THRASS

Well well well it would seem that I have been out of the loop within a classroom and how the teachers teach the students handwriting, reading and spelling. I was sitting in the classroom on Wednesday and all of a sudden I start hearing this chanting from the students. According to the THRASS website the main aim of this tool is that it is a phonics teaching tool, that has a phonographic, multisensory, approach. THRASS uses a unique, analogous learning model that works ‘with’ the structure of English, making language acquisition much easier and faster than more conventional approaches, while maintaining linguistic correctness and sustainability in its content. I also watched some video clips on the website which put the process into perspective.

Brainsnack

Whilst I was in the classroom for NAPLAN on Wednesday, when the children had finished NAPLAN the teacher turned on the IWB and the class started playing a interactive problem solving game called Brainsnack. As the website states – Brainsnack is a resource kit that will stimulate and challenge young minds and introduce and develop a wide range of problem-solving and logic strategies. The children in this grade 3 class absolutely loved this game and even though we only did 3 due to lunch bell going, the students were so eager to do more. The teacher did say that you can pick up this resource cheaper than the advertised price on the above link. She suggested going through the bookclub within the schools to try and get it for a cheaper price.

Working at two schools

Well first week of Prac is done and dusted and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. My mentor works at two schools and in essence is required to be extremely time efficient. He mentioned to me about a website that measures your time Management skills – How good is Your time management? I got a score of 56 – which according to the quiz I can manage my time very effective. Why not have a try?

I found the handbook on Time Management Skills very very helpful. I learnt a few tips on how I can too manage my time and out them to good use within the classroom. Time management is essential within any classroom as without students would not be engaged effectively and unacceptable behaviour would be at an all time high.

Nat

First day fiascos!

Well what a day to start Prac – firstly I am doing a HPE prac and I have managed to badly sprain my lower prac at training the other night so to not keep the muscles warm is causing me a lot of pain, secondly I have seemed to have inherited the lougie from someone so my voice is pretty much non-existent and thirdly my husband went to work this morning with my car keys, so when I went to leave for prac I could not drive anywhere!! So in essence I was 40 minutes late on my first day. Thankfully my mentor is someone I have had before and he does not start teaching until 10am on Mondays. So you know what I did whilst I waited for my husband I took some painkillers for the back, a cough lolly to try and get the voice going and then I had a chocolate – yep at 8.30 this morning I was delving into my chocolates that my kids got me for mothers day. Only way to keep calm!! Hopefully that is my three bad things today. I am patiently waiting for my Assignment 2 results as per Davids News forum post and in essence my day ends on a high note 🙂 Good luck to all and I hope everyone had a beautiful first day

A nice little freebie from the makers of ABC Reading Eggs

What a lovely surprise I received in my email inbox this evening when I came home. A freebie from the makers of ABC Reading Eggs called Mathseeds. The offer I received anyone can claim from the here – CareforKids freebie. It is according to the website:

ABC Mathseeds is a comprehensive online mathematics program for children
aged 3 to 6 years. From the creators of ABC Reading Eggs, ABC Mathseeds teaches the core mathematics and problem solving skills
needed to be successful at school. Children learn best when they are having fun and ABC Mathseeds makes learning maths skills easy and enjoyable for every child. The program is highly interactive and engaging with lots of activities, rewards and games that encourage young children to stay focused and learn.

I have signed up for my 3 week trial and I am excited about sharing this with my 4 year old son who starts school next year 🙂 Every little bit that I help him outside of the classroom will only benefit him in the long run within the classroom is my motto

Thanks

Nat

Finally a meeting with my mentor :)

Well I went and visited my Mentor today whom I will be spending 3 Wednesdays with. It would seem that Wednesday is their allocated Mathletics and computer access to update their edstudio pages, so this is going to be a great day for me to be in the classroom. They have a considerable amount of ICTs within the school considering the low socio-economic status. They have a IWB, 18 Ipads (for the whole school), a computer lab within the library with access to Mathletics and edstudio. Students have a page on Edstudio that they have created recently and they are to put facts about themselves on this within their computer lessons on a Monday and a Wednesday. I have sent off my Learning Place membership request as the teacher has asked me to put up a discussion question on Monday the 20th May in order to stimulate the students prior knowledge on “Good Sportsmanship”.  I am extremely excited that the ICTs exceed what I thought they were J

If you wish to know more about edstudio jump on over to Kelly’s blog – edstudio is about to become my number 1 tool.

Ensuring my son is ICT ready for Prep

My second topic of interest is ICTs and early childhood. This topic interests me as I have a son whom will be starting prep next year and my focus is to prepare him as much as I can socially, cognitively, emotionally and just as important to be ICT savvy. In essence the purpose of this research is to find an amazing tool/s which will enhance my son’s ICT ability. I read the article “Already at a disadvantage? ICT in the home and children’s preparation for primary school”. Whilst this article provided a stack of information and research, such as the definition of the three types of competence in which pre-prep children can be categorized:

“We found that children are developing three types of competence: technical, cultural and learning. Technical competence refers to the ability to switch items off and on, and conduct other necessary operations for the desired activity. Cultural competence refers to children’s understanding of the social roles which ICT plays, and to their ability to harness ICT for a range of social and cultural purposes, such as communication, work, self-expression or entertainment. Learning competence is a subset of cultural competence, but one of particular significance to young children”  McPake, Stephen, Plowman, Sime & Downey (2004)

The only problem I found with this study was that it was based in a low-socio economic area, however, I believe that it does not necessarily depend on the socio-economic status but more on the families beliefs/cultures about ICT integration and their exposure and use of technology.

While researching I found a wonderful powerpoint presentation compiled by E2BN – ICT in the Early Years. It provides some wonderful resources that could easily be integrated and ones I will be downloading onto my tablet for my son.  please view below:

Using computers and software in Early Years

References:

McPake, J., Stephen, C., Plowman, L., Sime, D. & Downey, S. (2004).  Already at a disadvantage? ICT in the home and children’s preparation for primary school. Retrieved 02 May, 2013, from http://www.ioe.stir.ac.uk/research/projects/interplay/docs/already_at_a_disadvantage.pdf

E2BN. (2008). Using computers and software in the Early Years. Retrieved 02 May, 2013, from http://ictearlyyears.e2bn.org/resources_66.html