Archive | May, 2011

Week Four:

27 May

I had quite a lot of release in week four. I had Tuesday morning, and Thursday all day off. From week 5-7 I have no release, which will be quite good to see how well I cope and how I will use my time efficiently, when I don’t have the time out of the classroom. Kim is going away to Thailand for three weeks and is unable to release Faye and me in that time. She has made up for it, or will do, when she gets back, which is fine, because usually the work that needs to be completed for portfolios is usually after week 7 and I will have plenty of time then to work through everything I need to get completed. What I did do on Thursday was I was able to plan some activities to do on Environment day at school, and even go to Central Normal School, my job from last year, and see my friends and first ever class. It was such a wonderful time seeing everyone and I really enjoyed my visit. I was able to observe Jenny teach an inquiry lesson, which was great. I got a lot out of it and this can be viewed in the observations section in this folder. I also was able to take notes on how she used her digital teaching station, which we can now apply here at M.S.S with our stations; this also can be found in the observation section of this folder. I thought overall the week was really fast and I got a lot completed in the time I was given. I know that I have been working efficiently and I actually am excited about seeing how I work without release over the next few weeks. I was able to spend Wednesday night visiting with Lidia outside of school. We had pizza and dessert, and enjoyed a spa, overall just had a lovely night with one another and we are really getting along. I am so glad that I am feeling more settled and have established better relationships with staff.

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Digital teaching station ideas:

27 May

When I went to C.N.S to observe Jenny I also took some notes and gather some great resources to use and how to use digitial teaching stations more effectively in the classroom. Here is some of the ideas I collected.

–          Movie at lunchtime- entertains children, keeps them out of trouble.

–          Websites: For example global warming, climate change. Children look at the screen and are able to take notes- using the screen.

–          Co operative, co construction on word.  Sentences (typed by teacher, or one child). Big screen so all can see. Children see the process of their thinking. Big font, so all can clearly see. Easily printed out onto the printer- one child can go and get.

–          Watch informational clip on website, YouTube. Children can take notes as they go or are watching.

–          Print easily straight from T.V to note form.

–          Math time- used to have basic facts shown on a video clip or a PowerPoint, changes with time and children read aloud or in book do the work. Can also use a digital timer that all children can see while you are timing the children to complete maths equations.

–         Reading-used to show current events on the big screen. Children can see updated information on the T.V3 website about a BIG story. Looking at different articles.

–          Shared reading. Big book electronically presented. Children find information and can read along with the teacher.

Reflection of observation of Jenny Harrisons Inquiry lesson:

27 May

I am so pleased I was able to go into Jenny’s room and observe her teach inquiry. I was so glad to be back at my old school, seeing my students and teachers who I had great relationships with last year. I miss being there, but it was good to see how I have changed and what I am now doing with my teaching career. I wanted to find out some great approaches to teaching inquiry, that were not from my own school and I also wanted to find out some interesting ways to teach using a digital teaching station. I knew Jenny had great experience with both these areas and was able to observe her.

The main points I got out of the lesson and things I want to apply to my own Inquiry teaching are these things:

– Children had ‘Inspiration time’. This is where they can silent read, do some art, drawing, cut out pictures from a magazine. I thought this time was used really well by the children. They enjoyed it, and focused on whatever they wanted to do. It was great to see because at the beginning of the lesson they were unfocused and uninterested in being in the classroom. I would not make it everyday after lunch with my children, but for a block on Friday, were the children can really be focused on what they want to do.

 – Children had buddies and used the keywords from the previous lesson and make them into sentences that are written in their own words. I thought this was a great idea to get the children thinking more deeply about the information and showing a connection between the key words and facts.

– The books they worked from where called inquiry journals not books, which kind of showed the meaning of them being the children’s responsibility and their learning. It was not the teachers, which means they can write their own individual thinking and not be judged on their ideas.

 – On the digital teaching station screen Jenny typed while the children gave their information they had collected. It allowed them all to see it, as it was in a large font, and the children had an input into what Jenny wrote. They corrected their own punctuation and the meaning of the sentence. They evaluated the facts they presented after they could see it on the screen in front of them.

– Jenny added all the comments up and used it as a ‘collected research’.

– Printed off straight to the computer- easy to put on wall, or for children to come back to another time.

 – The children were at taking notes and gathering information from watching the video. There were even quizzes in the middle of the video to test the children’s understanding and caused discussion amongst the children. The quiz was a really effective way to communicate and get children involved in using the digital teaching station (co operative working).

Overall it was a really worthwhile lesson and children got a lot out of it. I thought I got a lot of useful resources and strategies to use in inquiry and definitely saw useful and effective ways to use the digital teaching station.

Observation Of Inquiry Classroom

27 May

 

Date: 26th of May 2011                                     Term:  2                                                Classroom: Jenny Harrison                            Observer: Miss Alicia Kyle
What learning is going to happen during the visit: – Discussed prior to visit-

Inquiry is the focus of this lesson.

I would like to observe the approach Jenny has with questioning the children and how she directs their learning. I am also interested to see how she uses her digital teaching station as an aide.

 

Date Description of practice Reflection Comments Future Steps
26th May What the teacher did

Room 12: Mrs Harrison

First 15 minutes when they came back into the classroom children had ‘Inspiration time’. This is where they can silent read, do some art, drawing, cut out pictures from a magazine.

Inquiry lesson:

Looking at previous lesson from notes the children took from watching a clip on a website about environment change, climate change.

The children will buddy up with another and use the keywords from the previous lesson and make them into sentences that are written in their own words.

The title of their inquiry as whole school was ‘Our future, our place’

The class had their own focus which was called ‘where would our children live?’ The children choose this focus and generated questions around this focus.

The books they worked from where called inquiry journals not books.

Children discussed why they might not have children in some situations because they choose not to, that can be a factor in the study they are doing.

How can they: Stop, slow down the process of this occurring? How it causes a change in the disasters that occur and how often they occur.

(15 minutes) children talked with buddy and summed up their key words into sentences in their own words.

Mrs Harrison:

“From your notes, tell me a sentence to put into our knowledge…”

On the digital teaching station screen she typed while the children gave their information they had collected.

Asks each children to put their hand up when they have a sentence to share- puts it on screen, as a class they evaluate its fact and if it makes sense.

Jenny added all the comments up and used it as a ‘collected research’. – Printed off straight to the computer- easy to put on wall, or for children to come back to another time.

Website that was shared on the digital teaching station: www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/

– Video to watch.

Map on video showing world.

Children had to write the name of the place the video focused on: South-westernAfricawhere droughts are a big problem.

They had to take notes while they watched the video. The video was clear with information and it was obvious how focused the children were at taking notes and gathering information. There were even quizzes in the middle of the video to test the children’s understanding and caused discussion amongst the children.

Once again the class meet on the mat with the information they have written down. As a class they inform the teacher of information they have learnt and she types it up onto large digital screen with big font, clear to see. (Discuss same as before).

Children have why questions asked to them, and they have the chance to ask others and the teacher these questions. She prompts the children to get the children to have a better understanding from the information.

“Who can help me to write this into a sentence?”- To get children to input more sentences of information.

Asked the children if it made sense (English activity).

Teacher asks: “Anymore information to add?”

 

Miss Franklin: Room 11

Ideas for inquiry:

Before and after chart – showing their thinking.

Shared reading activity about Whales.

 

I thought this time was used really well by the children. They enjoyed it, and focused on whatever they wanted to do. It was great to see because at the beginning of the lesson they were unfocused and uninterested in being in the classroom.

Children, though only wrote key words, where able to remember about the main information the video talked about.

Good to see how worried and concerned the children were about their environment.

Nice name for the books, make them sound like a book for children to write their thinking and it will not be judged by the teacher.

I thought this was really intellectually smart as the children saw what factors influenced if the question would affect them or not.

I thought this was really effective and the children were able to make sentences that made sense from the key words. Good understanding.

Good to see how much information the children had collected and how they came up with it themselves.

Easy to print, children see that it is their work that has been completed and they have come up with some great ideas.

The quiz was a really effective way to communicate and get children involved in using the digital teaching station (co operative working)

Children got a lot out of the video. They shared all of it in the end. A lot of good information came out. Really wanted to have an input into the class’s information.

I thought this was a good idea. I use this already with my class in reading, can apply it to inquiry.

 

I thought it was a great idea and I may try this out on Fridays with my class.

I was a bit surprised how well they remembered the information. It was really effective getting them to do this.

Children in my class don’t even have books with this focus, would be nice to share this with children in my class so they have somewhere to put notes down.

Having it on the big screen made it easy for the children to see and could contribute or change their sentence to make it sound better or be correct by seeing it as a whole class.

 

I would not make it everyday after lunch with my children, but for a block on Friday, were the children can really be focused on what they want to do.

I thought this was an effective way to get children to gain better researching and evaluating information skills.

It is also a great way for the digital teaching station to be used effectively. Great to show websites for all children to see- large screen.

Will use this idea of quizzes, even could do surveys using the digital teaching station.

Week Three:

19 May

 This week was efficient. I completed all of my running records on Monday and was planned for week 4 by Tuesday. I had so much time on release this week I was able to be over prepared. I am concerned that I have got so much completed during this time that I look bad, as I am leaving earlier in the afternoons and have nothing left to do at the moment. I know that I shouldn’t worry, as long as I am completing the work, but I do, as I don’t want to look like I am doing a ‘not good enough job’ when I do even more than the requirements within the school. I have even had time to work on my displays in my classroom, when I usually don’t have time to focus on this. I am finding the workload manageable and feel a lot more settled in this term. One thing I found this week was that I had little patience with the children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I just was really grumpy and snapping at the children. They are not listening to simple instructions and as a result I get angry and annoyed, which means I become a grump, which I hate. I have enjoyed working with my children to decide of the end of term reward, that they will work towards, and also the fact that I have built a better relationship with one of the new teachers. She is lovely to talk to and I really get along with her. I think she enjoys talking with me, as she is new and doesn’t know many staff that well. I hope that all three of us younger teachers can get along well together. We went out for coffee on Thursday and it was a lovely time, getting to know each other personally, not only professionally, which is allowing me to feel more welcome and at ‘home’ with Manchester Street School. I cant wait to relax this weekend and spend some time just not having to work my brain so hard.

Week Two:

12 May

 I got a lot sorted and organised throughout this week. I planned week three for the week, reading and maths. I sorted out my maintenance and Geometry activities for the week, discovering how effective the Figure it Out resources are. I was able to start teaching inquiry with more in-depth discussion about the 6 main simple machines and talking about how they work. We focused on the lever this week. I found using the YouTube clips helped the children understand a lot better, as it broke it down and shared examples of everyday levers we use. The children enjoyed and were captivated by watching these, as it was a new type of resources I introduced to the children and it was fun to do together. I need to still explain the other 5 simple machines to get the children to understand these. I have been keeping my inquiry journal up to date and it is a great way to record children’s answers. During release on Thursday I started to get my running records completed, I got through eleven, which was really fast I thought. I was able to see that all my children moved up a year level, but I also noticed that they all need work on comprehension and the understanding of what they are reading. It was a really positive week in the classroom. I am enjoying just being settled in the classroom, with Geometry being taught to my whole class, and reading and inquiry being taught in an easy to follow way. I am enjoying working with my children this term. I have also been able to put up displays this week and plan my lessons for week three after school and at lunchtimes, usually I use my release time for this, but I am challenging myself to do what I can after school now, which proved effective this week. I do have to admit I am feeling quite down about work, I think it is that I had a lovely holiday and then a lovely weekend at home for my birthday, so coming back to work is not what I really want to do at the moment. I know I will get passed it because last term, even at the end, I was really enjoying the teaching and school. I think I still want to be in holiday mode.

Reflection of observation of Geoffrey’s Inquiry lesson:

4 May

Reflection of observation of Geoffrey’s Inquiry lesson:

I was very fortunate to observe Geoffrey’s approach to teaching Inquiry. I wanted to go and observe another teacher with this ‘topic’ because it is my goal for term 2 to teach it as well as I can, and I believe the best way for me to develop as a teacher and in Inquiry is to observe others, and take what I like from their teaching, that may be different from my approach, and try new things. The main points I got out of the lesson and things I want to apply to my own Inquiry teaching are these things:

– I need to mention to my children that the machines we are focusing on are simple, not complicated with motors in them.

– Geoffrey used his laptop to share with the children another video that talks about the 6 simple machines. “Discovering simple machines”(only part one) He talked about- the inclined plane and the wedge. He used the laptop by sitting it on his lap. He could have placed it on a small table or a flat surface so that he was not a distraction. Really good video- explained the two simple machines with a lot of depth and detail.

– Geoffrey brought out a box of tools. The children were allowed to select one of these and then answer some questions when they looked at them: -Look for the simple machines found in the tool, -Some have more than one simple machine, -What is the purpose for the tool? I thought it was a great idea to bring in the tools. The children were really excited by them and were interested in the task.

– Work in buddies was interesting; some of the children worked well together others not so good. I also thought that he needed to time the children and give them a bit more time.

 – Geoffrey then had plans to get the children to do an independent task which involved the children, on a piece of paper, naming their tool of choice, drawing a picture, labelling and explaining in detail what it is used for and what is it? (The children where able to select three that they wanted to do.)

 – I thought that Geoffrey was pushing the children through very fast and as a result it kind of stopped so much more questions and interest being generated. I would have split this lesson into two and had the independent task as a separate day. Coming back and revisiting and seeing how many facts the children understood and grasped. It was a lot to cover in about 30 minutes. I would turn the task into a little investigation and really get the children to take them time to complete the task.

 Overall it was a great lesson and the children got a lot out of it. I was able to take away a lot of neat ideas that will help me to teach inquiry better and more confidently. It was great to see Geoffrey’s approach being similar to mine. I know that what I am teaching within my classroom is what needs to be taught and is an effective way to teach.