Integrating Class DoJo into your classes

Recently whilst I was on professional experience, I had the opportunity to see how Class DoJo worked within a classroom of higher needs students. The teacher set it up where points were only allocated for positive behaviours and no points taken off for negative behaviours.

How my mentor got this to work was quite ingenious. She allowed the students to view the DoJo points at the beginning of each lesson, then she would allocate a certain number of points for the lesson. These points were split into categories – on task, no calling out, completed work, etc. But to get the maximum number of points you had to fulfill those criteria, hence it was a positive reinforcement, not a negative one. At the end of each term the points are tallied and prizes are given for first, second and third place.

I feel that this can work in any class or school setting, not just primary schools. How about signing up and checking out Class DoJo for yourselves!

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

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Using technology in the classroom

As professional experience is rapidly drawing to a close, I will reflect on one of the lessons that I took today.

The school that I am in doesn’t have a laptop or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program, but they rely on class sets of laptops that have to be booked well in advance of your lessons. These are linked to the slowest network, as I was made aware that it takes a long time for the computers to load, I had alternative exercises organised for this. However, I didn’t think it would take as long as it did! In the end I had three students who couldn’t log on, so I ran through the activity with them via the whiteboard. Because of this I wasn’t able to go around and observe what the other members of the class were doing, however, they are a really good group of students and when they finished creating one creature, they when through the activity again creating a different one.

The activity that I had the students completing was creating a creature of their own. They are learning about the development of characters and how character descriptions assist with making narratives and scripts more interesting. They really enjoyed it, so much so that some wrote down the URL so they could create more creatures at home!

What I did do however in a second class that I took today, was instead of each student getting a laptop, we completed the activity as a whole class. Each member of the class answered the questions or chose certain character elements to create their creature. They really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

When things don’t go to plan…

Things in life don’t always go how we think they should, something goes wrong or a different path emerges causing confusion. The later happened to me in class yesterday. I had a good lesson mapped out, I knew I was going to be pushing it time wise and student ability wise to cover everything within 70 minutes. But I had faith, we could do it…that was my first mistake!

When teaching students with additional learning needs, you can’t always expect that they are going to grasp a concept right away. I know that, but somehow I seem to have overestimated what my class could do.

Teaching Maths is not my strong suit, I freely admit that, but I do work really hard to understand what I will be teaching. Unfortunately for secondary Maths the instructional type videos are really boring. Then you have the younger student videos and they are really fun and upbeat, but unfortunately they are too young for these students. I have had the same problem with apps, these students are too switched on and know when you are using resources that are learning level appropriate, but not age appropriate.

My dilemma was that the videos I had chosen to reinforce the direct instruction were too fast paced. In retrospect, I should have slowed the pace down and stopped the tutorial, discussed what was happening and then used some concrete materials to assist their learning before moving on.

Back to the drawing board with Maths unfortunately, but I won’t give up. It is a speed bump in the road to learning. But on a positive note, my literacy lesson went extremely well today, making me regain some confidence.

Some of my fellow peers have had similar experiences by the sound of things, such as Marissa, who has had some triumphs, but she has also wanted to tear her hair out! I can resonate with her completely!

I really believe that we all need to face the confusion at some point in teaching when an alternative path emerges. A slight deviation can make us more aware in the future and make us better teachers.

Special Ed and using ICTs

Being on professional experience is such a full-on but enjoyable and educational process. But, I have so many ideas about the use of ICTs that I’m having difficulty deciding on what to do.

However, there is another downside, the school that I’m at doesn’t participate in the iPad or laptop program even though some students do use them. There are class sets of laptops that can be used, but you have to make sure that you book well in advance to be able to use them.

Another thing that is a bit of bummer is that it takes the kids forever to log on, that is if they haven’t forgotten their log on details!

How am I overcoming this? I’m using programs on the interactive whiteboard and we do the specified activity as a whole class before breaking off to do some hands on activities.

I will get there, just have to curb my enthusiasm a little. Week two and no my feet haven’t touched the floor yet!
Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

First two days done and dusted

I have survived my first two days and I’m completely exhausted! I have hit the ground running so to speak, and I don’t think the pace is likely to slow down. As I have previously stated, I’m completing my professional experience in Special Ed/Learning Support. Not only will I be undertaking teaching practices, I will also be learning about case management, which is a large role for a special ed teacher.

This evening I have been looking for resources for a Learning Support Maths class that I will be teaching. I have had a lot of fun looking for ICT resources to explain Ratios and some fun and interactive games to practice what they have learnt instead of just completing worksheets. To tell you the truth, some of the games that I have found are addictive!

Here are some examples:
Ratio Rumble
Ratio Blaster

Also I have found a fantastic Youtube clip using Minecraft to explain the concept of ratios:

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I must keep on with my planning and assignment writing.
Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

Professional experience

T’was the night before professional experience, the Bagdonas house was quiet, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

Term four and professional experience will be off an running in t-minus 10 hours. Normally I look forward to the beginning of term four as it is the shortest term at work and for my own kids at school. However, with a professional experience thrown in as well, the time frame plus the workload seems nearly impossible.

I really enjoy professional experience as I like going out and seeing how other schools use their pedagogical practices and I love learning from others as I feel it expands your knowledge base and your PLN. I’m undertaking a Special Ed prac this time so it will be a little different to previous placements. The school that I will be attending is a fairly new school, so I’m really interested in how they have developed their special ed unit.

What I’m really looking forward to though is seeing how they integrate ICTs into their teaching and learning practices. How they use iPads and laptops, along with what apps and programs are accessed to assist learning. I’m full of nervous excitement, looking forward to it, yet not knowing exactly what to expect!

I have read a few other student’s posts, like Deb Grant’s, and yes it is stressful and a challenge and I too am grateful for the mentor teachers who train and support preservice teachers like my peers and I, we really appreciate it!

Time to sign off, I will be posting during my placement as I feel it will assist me in being a reflective learner. This is a little picture of how I’m feeling at present, getting ready for the unknown.
lego soldier

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚
ps. Wishing all of my peers all the best for the next three weeks!

Image: Lieutenant Jack Hamilton by Nick Royer available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hjmediastudios/8755683022/in/photolist-ekHaw7-7Z4iTB-5CFgVX-jbqzY-sqK2Tg-7v65Ud-9oMp8k-7EdAXn-btCLcc-5r6Cru-aADoX4-5c58u2-74kgif-pd9LmU-2fr8g-5pdCzD-4hQurx-8VE5K-4hgTSd-KzfYk-aemfYY-dpYTZW-aemg5L-8mppYJ-8dHwFB-5VVxk8-aeit1a-aeisJg-aeit94-aeiszR-aeit4F-bUs7Wk-97PE8x-y6JrP-6puiH8-5knR8g-Kzbc9-aDTM1P-dHERxK-4Hdn6d-4sPvfs-gyesm5-EDJa1-4hcQRM-2UNrAs-4AjLY1-4hcQJR-4hgTG9-8oERZ1-9RCwN5 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

Digital footprint

I am very conscious about my digital footprint, especially since the amount of information that social media apps can have on you. I undertook the “take the lollipop” challenge, and the only information that came up about me were photos that I had been tagged in, none of my information is available to be seen.

However, I was reading Bec’s blog post, and she had a similar experience, but some of her own photos were visible. I must admit I too cannot find the setting to not make photos public, Facebook has been very good at hiding it, or I’m looking in the wrong place.

I feel that as future teachers we need to be extremely careful what is published on social media. I reiterate to my children all the time that once it is out in the “netosphere” as I call it, the information that you put out is very hard to retrieve.

I saw this on Twitter yesterday:

I believe that it should be visible in every classroom and home, just as a reminder to everyone that they do have a digital footprint and that footprint should be a positive one.

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

A reflective moment

I was doing my usual feedly scroll when I came across this headline, “How technology has changed”. I clicked on the blog post by Julie Watson and after reading it I have been reflecting on what she has said.

No I don’t remember when computers didn’t have screens and you had to use the cardboard cards that one had to fill out. What I do remember is that if you had a computer in your home (early 1990s when I was in high school) you had to have been “rich”. My first exposure to computers was in fact in high school, where I learnt how to touch type and use Word Perfect on the Apple macs that the school had.

What has left me in a reflective mood is how much technology has changed in such a short period of time. What skills are we going to be teaching our students that will be obsolete by the time that they are in the workforce? Aren’t we teaching our students to be the employees of tomorrow?

My answer is this, we are teaching our students to be lifelong learners. What we are teaching them is what is available now to assist them to be creative and engaged learners. Additionally, we are laying the foundations for them to continue to learn and “upgrade” their application skills just like our apps have to upgrade and improve to stay progressive in the current technological universe.

I will leave you to reflect on this, what are your thoughts?

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

Techonology use and Interactive Whiteboards

This post is coming from the majestic Stradbroke Island. Mid-semester break is upon us and the family and I have decided to swap the asphalt streets for sand and waves for the week. Stradbroke Island

However, it isn’t going to be all fun and surf for the week, I still have to work on three uni assignments. Which leads me to today’s post on technology use and interactive whiteboards. I have yet to use an interactive whiteboard, but I have seen them in action within my children’s primary school. They are a fantastic tool when used correctly and interactively.

While I’m on prac I won’t be using an interactive whiteboard, I will be using a laptop and projector. After reading last week’s learning pathways I am interested in learning more about how to make them interactive with the use of an iPad. This will definitely something I will be doing more research on.

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

Photograph is the property of Jocelyn Bagdonas all rights reserved

Being cybersmart!

The week eight learning path for EDC3100 is centered on your digital footprint and being cybersmart. I undertook the Connect.ed Cybersmart professional development, which you can view my certificate Professional Development Cybersafety Certificate of successful completion.

What I found interesting throughout the modules was when the participant could undertake being a teen on a social network site in a simulated activity. As I was a teenager long before social media was even thought of, I can understand why there is so much pressure surrounding it.

My personal experience: I have two teenagers and one tween. My 13 year old was under so much pressure to get a Facebook account while he was at primary school. I allowed him to have one over the Christmas holidays as he was about to commence at high school, under the proviso that his father and I were his Facebook friends and I had his password. This agreement was happily accepted. To date he is yet to post a Facebook “status”, he communicates with his friends, but he doesn’t share a lot of information at all.

In all I feel very lucky in terms of what my kids post. So far their Facebook experiences have been fairly positive. My daughter is very savvy, she knows that posts can be misconstrued and does not get involved in the negativity that she witnesses on there and she knows what the “Block” thing is all about. Yes she has had “randoms” trying to add her. She doesn’t accept them and if they keep on persisting, she blocks them.

I believe that this cyber training should be something that all parents do, not just educators. Many parents have no idea what their children are getting up to online. Additionally, I feel as a parent more schools need to be on board with informing both students and parents of the dangers of being online and what a persons digital footprint means.

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚