So close

EDC3100 draws to a close as of Monday and I would just like to thank everyone that has helped me along this journey. Especially all of you special people who are doing this course and who have provided so much support and help this semester. I enjoyed seeing that I also have helped people such as Rachel and loved looking at Laiyee’s blog at her quote “Keep calm and be positive”! This is exactly what I plan to do after submitting assignment three!

Thank you to everyone and good luck! 

Letterland!

My first day of prac I was blown away how much my mentor was obsessed with the phonics program Letterland. I have to admit it was a little daunting, as I had no idea what she was talking about as I had never seen nor heard of Letterland, or their characters.  

Here is a quick little overview of Letterland

Letterland is a systematic and explicit phonic literacy resource phonics program which teaches letter sounds (rather than the names of the letters) and slowly builds up to blending and spelling. The letters in it are assigned characters in a fictional land called “Letterland”. Each character then makes a sound which is also the starting sound of their names. For e.g. Golden Girl goes “guh guh guh” (the children are taught the hard sound first). While a lot of other phonics programs teach this, Letterland follows this through to digraphs. For e.g. “Sh” makes the sound “Shhhhh” because Sammy Snake’s (letter S) hissing sounds gave Harry Hat man a headache. So Harry Hat man turned around and puts a finger to his lips and says “shhhh”. It provides friendly letter characters provide strong visual memory cues so children learn and retain phoneme/grapheme correspondences quickly

I know it might sound like I am speaking another language but from observing my mentor for the past two weeks, reading up on her Letterland books and even having a go at teaching it myself, I can see how beneficial the program is in assisting children to read, write and spell. And the kids absolutely love it! 

For more information on Letterland, check out here, here and here.  

Assignment 2 results

After reading Anouk’s blog and Leesa’s blog I felt their pain. I too received a mark I was not expecting for assignment 2 and felt that disappointing feeling. I was very upset as I received full marks for assignment 1 and thought I had covered every area for assignment 2.

 Sometimes I feel being a university student it can sometimes be made clear by markers that we sit at “the bottom of the food chain” aka we know nothing and they know everything. BUT we just need to keep pushing through and keep doing the best we can. Teaching is such a unique and creative profession that I don’t believe any lesson or unit plan created can be WRONG but instead different to the way you might teach it. This I guess could make it hard for markers as they may just expect everything their way. I am not saying that I am never wrong, I am more than happy to receive both positive and negative feedback on my work, as long as the feedback is constructive

But enough of that….One more week of prac to go and 3 assignments then a WELL EARNED TWO WEEK HOLIDAY! 

Practical experience!

2 weeks down, 1 week to go until the end of professional experience for this semester! What a crazy two weeks it has been! I have learnt more in the 10 days I have been in the classroom than a whole semester of uni subjects. The three major learning experiences I have come across on my practical experience are 

  • Reflection
  • Behaviour Management
  • Explicit Teaching

Today I am going to summarise what I have learnt about reflection while on professional experience and why it is important. Teachers should reflect and evaluate after each lesson and jot down some thoughts about what was great about the lesson and what could be improved. At the end of a unit, evaluation questions should be answered.

For example:

  • Were the students engaged?
  • Were the outcomes achieved by the end of the unit?
  • Did the activities cater for a variety of learning styles?
  • Did the activities build towards the completion of the rich task?
  • Were the resources suitable?
  • Did the resources help the students gain a greater understanding?
  • Did the students need extra clarification/revision?
  • Did the students work well in groups/individually?
  • What changes/modifications could be made when programming this unit in the future?
  • Was an adequate amount of time allocated for the unit?
  • Were the assessment tasks effective in assessing the unit outcomes and indicators?
  • Were the students challenged?

I found asking myself these questions after every lesson really helps me to evaluate the lessons and especially helps with my reflections for assignment 3! 

 

 

 

The Interactive Whiteboard (IWB)

Having not been on many pracs where there was an IWB board, I am excited to get to know the many ways to utilise this effective tool.  I am hoping by utilising my IWB board in the classroom it will BRING CONCEPTS TO LIFE and ENGAGE STUDENTS, which will lead to GREATER UNDERSTANDING

Using ICT’s such as an interactive whiteboard provides students with multisensory stimulation as it integrates visual, auditory, sensory and kinesthetic learning. It assists with catering for individual learners within the classroom, as it allows all children to access, comprehend and apply content knowledge in meaningful ways (Richardson, 2002). They are also highly interactive and they improve how lessons are delivered compared to traditional teaching methods. The IWB board will enable the creation of virtual manipulatives that can help students interact with concepts in new ways.

 

I can’t wait to learn ALL about the IWB board on my profession experience! 

Richardson, C. (2002.). Success for all Children: Leaving No Child Behind in the Digital Age. Retrieved from http://education.wm.edu/centers/ttac/resources/articles/assistivetech/successforall/index.php

    

 

I enjoyed reading the ’56 ways to use the interactive whiteboard’!