Well what a semester.

What can I say? I thought that this semester was going to be so cruisy and wasn’t I wrong. I have been completing 4 subjects each semester (apart from summer obviously where it is only 2) except this semester I only had 2 to complete. I wondered what I was going to do with all my spare time. Yet, I don’t remember having any spare time between EDC3100 and SPE3006 uni was actually quite full on this term and there is no way that I could have completed 2 other subjects with those 2. But it’s done. The assignments are done, prac is done now just to wait for my results. Once results are in I can send in my docs from my grant and find out where I will be completing my next prac at – I am very excited to be going ‘out bush’ somewhere.

EDC3100 proved to be challenging for me as even though I did enjoy it, I felt like I was always behind. There was a lot of content to read through but I do believe that completing the learning paths in order to gain marks towards the course is very motivating. I am not going to lie, I would usually flick through a few things and concentrate on the assessment pieces, finding references elsewhere. However, in this course I did actually have to engage with the content. Similar to EDX2180 and EDX3280 where I believe if you do not attend those live tutes you are really going to struggle on the end of semester exam. As for the assessment, now that I have submitted the final piece I can say that I actually didn’t mind the assessment however around the due date period I hated them and thought they were useless.

Good luck to all my fellow peers still writing away or studying for another exam – it will all be worth it in the end and we will wonder why we stressed so much. Also, thank you to my fellow peers and the course team – David and Vicki for the support throughout the semester. It’s time to celebrate…

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Big tick for Week Two

I can’t remember how many blogs I have done now but I thought I would just do a quick blog now that week two of prac is finished. The last week has been an absolute joy and has definitely reassured me that I have chosen a career path that I enjoy.  This week I have done a lot of teaching and planning – oral language sessions, writing exercises, history lessons, time and counting sequences, reading both individual and whole class, interactive play, umm… I think that is about it but I know I have well and truly completed the minimum requirements for week two of prac. It seems like Saranna has also done a lot of teaching and received fantastic feedback. I have also had great feedback for all lessons that I have taught, only one or two things that I could change – telling students that blah blah is what they are doing now rather than asking if they would like to do the activity. This is something that I picked up when it happened and I quickly self-corrected which my mentor said was really good. I also need to be mindful of the wording used when referring to students, e.g Saying “it is your go” whilst looking at the student rather than saying “It’s Steph’s go”. As this then reinforces the child to refer to themselves in third person which is a habit that must be broken. My mentor did however say that I had improved by the end of the week and that many teachers still do this to the day because they are caught in the trap that students set. As often these students only ‘own’ their name they do not have anything else to identify themselves.

Today, I wrote out the daily plans for the week and organised all of my lessons and resources. Next week I will be teaching whole days on Thursday and Friday. Whilst Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will just be part days as we are going out and participating in some sector activities so other teachers will be taking responsibility of these lessons. Anyway, I really need to stop procrastinating about my two assignments that are due within the next fortnight. Will let you know how week three turns out. Hope everyone else is having a fabulous time!!

Mid-week update.

Today I got to work alongside my second mentor she is a fantastic teacher. We focused on Maths and ICT today which I really enjoyed and allowed me to see a different side to one of my students. This student was completely engaged for at least two-thirds of the day which is an improvement on what she has been for the last week and a half. This afternoon we also had a ‘phase meeting’ after school which is another term for a sector meeting. During this meeting the ‘master teacher’ for my prac school spoke to us. A Master Teacher is a new position that has been put in place this year with 340 MT employed across QLD. Their main role is to help improve the literacy and numeracy results of students within the schools they are assigned to. My MT focused on literacy this afternoon and spoke about Pearson and Gallagher’s (1983) Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. We were asked to go through the handout and tick the activities that were used within our classroom and I am pleased to say that I had seen all activities demonstrated within the class I am doing prac in.

Happy Monday!

Well it is Monday and let me tell you I am stoked! Today I received an email to say that I had been accepted to receive a grant I had applied for awhile ago. The grant was in conjunction with Beyond the Range which is a program that encourages pre-service teachers to participate in a prac out in a rural or remote community and receive some money to help with accommodation and other costs. So in August I will be posted out bush somewhere – I am so excited. I never thought I would get this opportunity and I am so glad that I have. I also received my marks back for SPE3006 which is my last core subject left of my degree. Yet again I was amazed by my result another HD. This has really motivated me to get the ball rolling on the second assignment. But before I go, it isn’t study related I just wanted to also add that tonight I scored a try in my first Oztag game – it is so fun. I recommend that anyone go and play this game it is a great stress relief and I had many laughs, I even took a ‘dive’ for my team.

Welcome to Week Two

So it’s Sunday night and I’ve just finished a 10 hour stint at work – thought I would sit down and do some blogging to keep me sane. Checking my uni emails I was able to see that David has released some marks. I didn’t know how to feel – nervous, excited, arghh I don’t know. I thought knowing my luck my assignment will probably be one of the last ones released. However, I am happy to say I was wrong. My assignment has been released and I am absolutely stoked with my result. The entire process of creating assignment two I thought I was either going to ace it or really bum out so I am glad that I have (in my words) ‘aced’ assignment two. Now, I just need to wait for assignment one results still as I had that big muddle up. I have flicked David an email and hopefully he will be in contact with me over the next week or so.

This result has really lightened my mood for tonight and motivated me to finish completing Part B of assignment three. Anyway, I need to go and pack my school bag and organise my lunch for tomorrow. Thank goodness I finished all my planning yesterday and made all my resources.

Also, how much time do you save in the morning if you take in a week’s worth of food to school? I can’t believe it, it is great! I just need to finish off cutting out my little animals for the Bottled Oceans activity that is taking place on Thursday. You can find a simple description of this activity in my last blog … and no I am not trying to get my blog links up I have already reached the quota 😉

Best wished to my fellow EDC3100ers for week two of prac.

Week one… Check

Well well well… Week one can be ticked off. This week has been, let’s just say different. The students in my class are not really the type of students I am interested in (I know you can’t pick and choose). I much more enjoy MI students, non-verbal students and students with behavioural issues. Two students in my class are behavioural. This week I got one on board so hopefully the second one will jump on the bandwagon next week. The other four students are II and are very much into doing their work and keeping on task just like a mainstream class – which is lovely but out of my zone. Last week I taught 3 lessons of my History unit as well as run some of the smaller sessions such as reading, fine motor, morning activities and packing up routines which I enjoyed.

Yesterday my mentors and I sat down and highlighted all of the sessions I will be teaching during the next week. My history lessons were already prepared as I planned the unit last week – phew. This morning I have planned all of my lessons for the week. I just need to cut and laminate some sentence starters for our oral language session Monday morning and then I am off to the shops to buy some bits and pieces for Interactive Play on Thursday afternoon. During this session the four junior classes have the opportunity to go between each class and participate in various activities. Last week our class had dress ups, this week I have decided that we will be doing some sensory activities. I will have three themed sensory bins – farm, ocean and jungle as well as an activity called Ocean in a bottle – which I think the kids will absolutely love. However, I am also going to get the kids to add bits and pieces in the bottle along with the water. So good luck to all for week two and I’ll be back soon, off to the shops to buy my things.

Three days done and dusted

Well, it’s Wednesday of the first week on prac and what an experience I have had so far. I have two mentors. Mentor A works Monday, Tuesday and Friday, whilst Mentor B works Wednesday and Thursday. Mentor B is away today though as she has been very sick for the last few weeks, she says she will most likely be away again tomorrow too so I have a relief teacher, however he is a kind of a permanent relief teacher and is familiar with the students which is good 🙂 :-). Tomorrow though is looking like a replacement teacher who is not familiar with the kids so we will see how we go.

I have had similar issues to Sandra in regards to behaviours. My first lesson I had 4 out of 6 students in the lesson the other two were taken away by my mentor due to their behaviours. So far I have not had a lunch break without one particular friend inside with me (this is my mentors decision, not mine). Yesterday, the lesson was a lot better with 5 out of 6 students engaged and participating. But my mentor did pass a comment similar to what Lucas has spoken about. I gave her my lesson plan and she asked if that was for three lessons, I said no just the one I am doing this afternoon. Oh she said, Do you mind cutting it down a little I don’t have time for that and you do not need all that information – you know what you are doing. So that made me feel a bit more confident that she has suggested I know my lesson sequences. Today went really well, I did some reading both independent and as a class with the kids, then I sat with each of them individually and we began to create a powerpoint presentation which is part of their assessment for ICT this term.

Hope everyone else is enjoying themselves on prac!