A Learner's Journey

October 6, 2012
by 34mk2012

What I am looking forward to

As fourth term looms closer by the minute, I have been thinking about what it is I am looking forward to in the next few weeks. Here are a few things …

I am looking forward to sharing one of my favourite children’s books, Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman with my class of 3/4’s. I have read this aloud before and it is a real winner with the students. Gleitzman is a master at dealing with a serious situation with humour and emotion and I remember last time I read this to a class, the conversations it lead to were amazing.

I am looking forward to starting our fourth term favourite, Author Study. Although sceptical of this in my first year back to teaching, I now appreciate how much the students absolutely LOVE Author Study. Some came into my class in February asking about when we would be starting it! I enjoy seeing the students pursue an author that they love and I really look forward to seeing some of the creative and interesting ways I know they will come up with to express their learning from reading the author’s texts. 

 I am looking forward to our Inquiry Unit on Energy. This is not the easiest unit for me to lead as it is way out of my comfort zone. But I think that fact actually gives me a wonderful opportunity to be a genuine co-learner as we inquire together. I can’t wait to see what ideas the students have for choosing an aspect of energy to explore and ultimately present to the class. 

I am looking forward to completing my Masters in Religious Education – 2 assignments to go! The last two years of study have been wonderful and have led me to many unexpected places. I have learnt lots but I have also developed a curiosity about many aspects of leadership and spent much time ‘off the topic’ but following up an area of interest. I am actually looking forward to writing my next assignment which is a personal reflection on a spirituality text. I am enjoying the opportunity to express my learning in a form other than an essay and look forward to putting my photo reflection together. I also know that I will actually miss study next year!! In fairness to my family, I need to take a break but I will miss the structure of formal study. The flip side is I will have the opportunity to get stuck into the pile of Professional Reading I have that has been on hold for sometime (not to mention the MANY resources I have saved into my diigo account!)

I am looking forward to completing the Contemporary Teaching and Learning in Mathematics project this term. This PD has been a whole staff, two year commitment and has changed the way we understand and teach Maths. Having the opportunity to work with the Maths Advisors for planning and watching demonstration lessons from some inspiring ACU staff has been a great learning experience and led to many rich collegial discussions. The challenge now will be to maintain the impetus and enthusiasm and to continue to strive for richer, more open-ended Maths teaching and learning.

SO what are YOU looking forward to in the coming term?

August 27, 2012
by 34mk2012

A funny thing happened …

An interesting experience in my 3/4 class last week …

we were involved in learning about multiplication and division and investigating factors and I showed the students a card game that would help them to work with these concepts. We also had some work to finish off on the computers publishing our texts about Book Week and dressing up. I decided maybe we should split up as a few computers were free in the next door classroom as well as ours. I was really surprised when I suggested to some students they might like to work on the computer first – “Ohh … we wanted to play the game, can’t we play it first, that’s not fair” and so on. SO a card game trumps time on the computer … that was a surprise!

I guess as I reflect on this experience, what I see is that for our students, it is not a case of ‘computer an any cost’ but rather it is more about what they are doing on it. I have used my own iPad in my classroom for most of the year and the students clamour to have it in their hands and have a turn. They are completely entranced when my two integrated students use theirs for any purpose and yet … they all really wanted to play the card game with a real deck of cards. This reminds me that engagement can take many forms and it is vital that we maintain the good, engaging and successful practices we have always used as well as embracing new technologies and the opportunities they bring for learning.

As the saying goes, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!

One of our babies, Billy having his very first bath at home! (now 11!!)

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