"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Friday, 20 April 2012

Mixing it up

During the school holidays it can be hard to find time to think about the term ahead. There are many distractions and ways to procrastinate however I have managed to do some work. Thank goodness.

In previous blogs I have mentioned the Teaching Channel. https://www.teachingchannel.org/ I have found it an excellent resource. The wonderful thing about it is that whilst some of the ideas come from primary teachers or high school teachers not in my faculty area, many of the ideas can be applied to what I do. Often in group work we are all doing a similar task however there is no reason why we can't have technology work stations. https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/poetry-and-technology This litle clip has inspired me to think about what technology the students bring to class and how I can I utilize it better. I could have iphone stations, laptop stations and podcasting stations, online mindmapping stations and ipad stations. Within group work this might be a good tool to break up activities. Our lessons are either 2hrs or 2 1/2 hours so a variety of activities would be beneficial to keeping students engaged. I have complained in the past that we have not always had the best access to technology but I really need to make more of an effort to engage students and given them confidence using a variety of technologies. Even if there us only 1 ipad there is no reason why pairs could not engage with it whilst others are off doing other activities. 

There are many aspects of learning and various learning styles and I have been reminded again off late to consider these in my lesson planning. It's one of those things you learn at uni and try and implement but really it is the consistency or remembering these that gives most benefit to the students. I am hoping to try out a few new strategies when teaching poetry this term and I'll keep you posted as to my success and failures. I love that this job provides the opportunity for me to continue to be a life long learner as well as my students. The more I learn the more I realise I know so little.
During the week I had the opportunity to teach more teachers about the benefits of twitter. In discussion with a variety of teachers over the last few weeks there is limited understanding about the benefits of twitter and social media to aid with teaching. I have found social media to be the best form of professional development I have ever done. I have paid thousands of dollars a year in professional development and I have had more support and follow up from my twitter teaching friends than I would from any course I have gone on. Not to say that these courses were not beneficial but teachers need to consider that social media can really help them in their classrooms. 

As the new term approaches I feel that I am slowly getting a handle of my new job and I feel that I can experiment a little further this term as I am really getting to know my learners. I relish the chance to challenge myself and my students to become life long learners and confident in the skills they are seeking.

Sites for the week:
  • Have been thinking about how to incorporate video games into learning as adults purchase and play lots of video games too.

  • Grammar Bytes- More for high school students I think. I may use it this term. 

  • Graphic novels and comics are very popular at the moment and I would love to incorporate these further this term.

Until next week,

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