Saturday, August 25, 2007

Things to do:

At School:

** Observe more classes outside of my field of teaching and also maybe a lesson in the learning support centre.

** Follow up on a girl who I believe has a learning problem. I will go an see someone in the learning support centre and ask for advise or strategies that I can use in class to help her better understand instructions.

At Home:

** Lesson Plans for next week

** Create resources and lesson plans for: SOS102 (Gold Rush), HIS201 (Vikings), HIS304 (Civil Rights).

** Mark papers (essays) for SOS102 and HIS402

** Put together folders of my unit plans and lesson plans thus far for each subject

** Work on my Portfolio (write to each of my selection criteria and start printing resources)

Reflection: Week 3

** This week for my year 8 SOSE class, the students were working in pairs or groups of three to research a Convict and they had to create a "police file" poster about their convict. After researching their convict and writing a draft in their books, the students had one lesson to create their poster. Two girls that were working together decided that they did want to be friends any more, and could work together, one of the girls then went and started working with another student, whose partner was away, while the other girl said that she had done all of this work at home etc etc and the two girls were arguing. Basically a big drama. So I calming spoke to the girl who was left by her self and had her join another group and ask the group if it was OK that she use their information to create a poster. I feel that I was successful at defusing the situation by separating the girls and doing it calmly.

** I taught a really good lesson on "How to check the reliability of Internet Websites." The students were engaged and responded well to the Internet examples I gave: such as "Peerze Hilton" and "The Onion," which were examples of unreliable websites. I was also able to use the PowerPoint successfully, despite a few technical difficulties to begin with. I think in the future it i am going to use PP I will only do it if I have a class straight after lunch or morning tea so I have time to go in and set up rather than having to run around and waste 10 mins trying to put everything together.

** I feel that I have been able to build up a rapport with my Yr. 11 Modern History class, we can joke around for example: they tease me because my ALF team isn't doing very well on the ladder etc. I believe that building up a rapport with students is essential to creating a supportive learning environment.

Reflection: Week 2

Week 2 was a short week due to the Ekka public holiday on the Wednesday and then another pupil free day on the Thursday.

On the Tuesday night was the school dance and I volunteered to be a supervisor. I had a great time! It definitively made me feel old seeing all of the kids there dressed up. I think attending these type of events outside of school time it great for building up a rapport with students.

What I learnt:

** you need to be flexible to students needs during a lesson. This means to be able to stop or change the lesson plan to better suit the students. With my SOSE class this week I taught a lesson on the background History of the Gold Rush and I thought that the students would benefit by doing a timeline in their books of Australian history so they could see where the Gold Rush sat in relation to later events. I had a number of key events and the dates written down and students had to put the information in a timeline. As a class we had discussed a number of the events and I asked for students for their understanding of them. I was under the impression that all of the students had learnt Australian history before in primary school however many had gaps in their knowledge of such events. The previous unit that the students had studied was "Who discovered Australia" however the students had no knowledge of what "Terror Nullius" meant or what the Federation of Australia was. Therefore, rather than continuing on with the next activity, I made sure that students had a complete understanding of the events. I did this through questioning the students, having the students themselves ask questions. I also needed to make sure that they knew what a timeline was and how the date system worked with BC and AD.

So basically I learnt that every students, especially in year 8, have varied educational experiences and knowledge and that it is best not to assume that they would have learnt it in primary school. I also learnt that the teacher needs to be constantly checking for understanding. I do this through moving around the classroom, check students work, asking students individually questions, asking the class questions, having the students explain something or putting it in their own works and summarising.

** I have learnt that as a teacher you must work into the classroom with the confidence on knowing what you are going to teach and how you are going to teach it. This week I taught a lesson on Beowulf to by year 9s. I little knowledge of it before hand, however the weekend before, I study up on the poem and learnt how to pronounce the names. I think that it was important to be able to work into the classroom with confidence.

What went well:

** I was teaching a lesson on the reliability of historical sources and the students were about to study the story of King Arthur. The students had the task of researching the reliability of the story. I first showed the students images of gossip magazines and I asked the students "how do we know that this is reliable?" "what evidence would we need?" I then asked them about Santa "Is the story of Santa based on truth?" "What evidence do we have?" The basis of this was for students to understand that often legends or stories are based on some historical truth however it is the details around the story that change over time. I then showed a short clip from the movie Excalibur where Arthur pulled the sword from the stone and asked the students "what evidence do we have of this?" I think this worked really well as a way to get the students interested in the topic and to connect to the knowledge that they already have.

**My year 11 class had their exam this week so I have marking to do this weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Week 1: Reflections

What I learnt:

* In every lesson try to have a skill or learning technique which you teach to the students rather than simply teaching the content. For example, teaching techniques such as the Inquiry Process and SQ3R. Also it is important to explicitly make the students aware of the technique they are learning.

* Year 8 students take a lot longer to get through activities and set tasks compared to year 9 and 10s. They tend to get over excited and often take longer to settle down.

What went well:

* Students respond well to visual information and activities. For example, I taught a year 8 SOSE class in which I was introducing the concepts of "heroes" and villains." I had students study images of 9 famous characters such as: Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, Batman, Cruella De Vil etc. In pairs they had to discuss and identify whether or not the character was a hero or villain and what characteristics make that person a hero or villain.

* Scaffolding and modeling. Students need examples and guidance when completing an activity or task they are unfamiliar with such as essay writing.

I will write more later... I have to get back to writing lesson plans and resources : )

Back on PRAC!!!

I start my second prac last monday (6/8/07)!!! This time I am teaching 4 classes:

** Year 8 SOSE (The Gold Rush)

** Year 9 History (Anglo-Saxons)

** Year 10 History (Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll)

** Year 11 Modern History (Cold War)