Interactive Whiteboards

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I was just reading this blog post from Karen about Interactive Whiteboards and it got me thinking… sometimes we really don’t know the value of the technology available to us!

Karen talks about how she didn’t realise the things you could do on the Interactive Whiteboard. I had an Interactive Whiteboard in my prac classroom and I realised the other day that I really didn’t use it to its fullest. I know that you can write over a document with the IWB, and do so many more amazing things, but I found myself simply using it as a projector. I forgot what it was capable of doing and so I just wandered along, using it as a projector, not even thinking twice about what I was doing. Until in my last week of prac, I saw a different teacher WRITE on her IWB!! Oh my goodness! What a radical idea!!! I had completely forgotten what it cold be used for and so wasted a whole heap of opportunities to try new things and use the IWB to its fullest potential.

At least now I know what I’ve done… hopefully my next prac with have an IWB that I can use!

Languages

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My arc teacher for this prac is also the LOTE teacher for the school. She teaches Indonesian to Grade 4-7. It works quite well because she teaches a different grade everyday from 9:00 to 10:30 (2 classes in that time) while someone else takes her class for Maths. It’s been fun because I’ve been able to learn some Indonesian too!

In her lessons she follows units that have PowerPoints with voice recordings of all the words. She also uses a few different websites that have games to teach simple language in Indonesian. However, when we were looking at one of these websites today we realised that included in the option of languages (Indonesian, French, German etc.) one of the options was ESL for Beginners!!

So this website can actually been used for ESL students to learn English and get some of the basic language down pat as they start at school.

I think it is a great website to teach different languages as well as teach English to ESL students in a fun and interactive way.

Click here to view the website Languages Online 

Things to look forward to…

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Haha! So I read this funny list of 19 Teacher “Fails” That Will Happen To You Too. I dunno about you, but I’m looking forward to all these embarrassing and funny moments in my teaching career!! 😛

Just goes to show that teachers often get scatterbrained and forget what they are doing or wearing or where they are. Sadly, I’m already getting scatterbrained (pencils in my hair, trying to do too many things at once… ) and I feel that the teaching profession is just gonna make it worse and worse. At least my kids will always be entertained!!! 🙂

Have a read and have a laugh and have a great day my almost teacher friends!!

Getting Kids to Read

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I love reading. I love reading a lot! And if it was up to me I would make all my students love to read too. But it’s a tricky thing to do. I know that so many people do not like to read and often that comes from their experiences in school. I want to be a teacher who instills a love of reading in my students and shows them how wonderful it can be to read things you are actually interested in!

I was reading this article today called 10 Reasons Nonreaders Don’t Read – And How To Change Their Minds. It was vey interesting and had some great points of why students don’t like to read. Such as, they get embarrassed when told to read in front of the class, they can’t read as fast as their peers, they have no interest in what they have to read, and they don’t comprehend and understand what they are reading. These are all really valid reasons to not like reading. I was lucky growing up to be a fast reader and to have a strong mental visual picture of the characters in the book.

But so many kids don’t love reading because they are too slow or they are not understanding. I want to help those students to be capable of reading to the best of their ability and knowing that their best is good enough for me too.

All the strategies in this article to get kids reading are really good and I can’t wait to have my own class so that I can encourage them to read and let them read from where they are.

Help Tickets

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Hi everyone! I wanted to share a blog post I saw recently on the Panicked Teacher Blog. She talks about these help tickets she created to allow her students to ask for hep when they need it in a specific way. If students are having trouble with their homework or a concept, they can fill in a help ticket and staple it to their work. The student then puts the work in a special box that the teacher often looks in. Through this system, the teacher then knows who needs help on a specific topic and can organise times to catch the student and go over the info again.

I think it is a great way to get kids to ask for help. It doesn’t stop the flow of the lesson with many questions and repetition but still lets the teacher know who does not understand and still needs help. I really like it! I would like to do something similar in my future classroom. Having a way for students to ask for help is a great thing to have.

Click here to view the post and download the help tickets for free!

help tickets

Learning Theories

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So in doing an assignment for another course, I came across this wonderfully long and detailed list of learning theories and theorists. It is amazing! It’s written by an Australian and includes links to information about the theory or theorist and their beliefs. The links are Youtube summaries, websites about the theory, articles and so much more. I’m really amazed and very impressed that someone could come up with such a comprehensive list! And it makes my job easier when I need to see lots of theories in the same place to pick one! Such a good resource 🙂 Go check it out! I can’t recommend it highly enough.

21 Things For 21st Century Teachers

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I was just looking on Pinterest and I came across this fantastic image of 21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This Year. It is a list compiled by Sean Junkins from this blog post by Mr Hooker. (so much linking around!) The blog post is really good and gives a description and example of each idea.

things to do in classroom

The ideas are all technology based and show ways in which we can use technology in relevant and educational ways. I want to try so many of these ideas now! They seem very simple to do and effective as well.

Virtual Field Trips

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I just found this great list of iPad apps that can be used in the classroom to go on virtual field trips around the world. It’s on this post by Edutopia and includes a list of 9 apps that explore many different subject areas. There is an Art app called Timeline -Art Museum, which includes many different artists from many time periods. There is information about each artist and multiple artworks they have created.

On the list are a few different global apps like NASA Earth Now and National Parks by National Geographics. These pas would be great when learning about the Earth and different landscapes around the world.

While this list is obviously for American schools, most of the apps could be applicable to our classroom situations. I really like how interactive they all are and how easy it would be to get all the students interested and engaged in topics that can be boring.

First Week of Prac

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Well! First week of prac done and dusted! I’m in a grade 7 class for this prac. Not my ultimate pick… I prefer them a little younger but it’s good! I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s such a different experience and relationship with the kids when they are that bit older. I feel like it’s more a friendly relationship and that line between teacher and friend is very hazy! Makes it hard for me to know where I should stand with these kids. Especially when they are all so nice and want to chat all the time 🙂

The only thing I’m a bit bummed about is that I haven’t taught anything yet. Being a short week and then my teacher was away one of the days, we didn’t have any time to plan lessons for this last week. But that’s okay because I’m teaching a fair bit this next week! And I’m so looking forward to it 🙂

In terms of technology, this school has a lot which is fantastic! Every classroom has a SMART board connected to a computer. And there are multiple class sets of laptops and Netbooks. As well as a class set of iPads, iPods and Surfaces! They have done really well for themselves and I’m so excited to be able to use all this technology that they have!!!

Seating Charts

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I was reading this blog post on Fifth in the Middle today and I really liked it! It was talking about a free website called Happy Class, which is an automatic seating chart maker! On the website you can mark which students can and cannot sit next to each other and any other learning preferences (sitting at the front of the room, for example). It then spits you out a fully formed seating plan for your classroom. In the free version you can only create one seating chart, but there is an option to pay and create unlimited charts.

I think it could be a super great thing to have. I know it’s always good to change up your seating arrangements, especially in primary school when kids are stuck in the one desk all the time and this website could help you try something different.