Blog Reflection-LAST ONE!

Describe one significant idea or issue that has arisen for you, as you were engaging in the topics during Learning Experiences #3 and #4.

#4 was focused on the leadership scope of technology positive teachers.  I think one of the issues that arises there is that sometimes younger teachers are not seen as resources for instructional strategies even when using technology on a regular basis in their classrooms to help redefine the products students create!

Elaborate on how specific resources, ideas or experiences in these Learning Experiences have contributed to your learning. e.g. reading material, course activities etc.

I loved creating the webquest as it made me think of what kind of PD I like to do.  I love when the PD incorporates independent and collaborative thinking.  I built the links to be self-exploratory but the evaluation of the resources and tools to be collaborative because I like the idea of teachers from all divisions/subject areas coming together to see how the tools could be used in their classrooms.  Hearing the pro/con list from a colleague in a different division can sometimes help you better understand the goals of using the tool and the applications it might have for your own class through their perspective.

Share how your participation in the discussion forums have contributed to your learning and connect this to your understanding of the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.

I still enjoy the community feeling of working with other professionals.  Some of the teachers in the course are extremely well versed in how to incorporate technology and use technology in the classroom.  The varying abilities, knowledge, experience in and out of the classroom (because we touch on personal use of tech as well) really helps solidify the power of technology has in education.  It also reflects the value we place in our colleagues who are all working towards the same goal- to be better teachers.

Discuss any outstanding questions and the steps you may take to further explore your interests as part of your learning in the course.

I think I want to explore the Google apps more for my future classroom.  After working with google drive, I think it is a fabulous resource for collaboration as well as independent work.  I think there is a lot of potential there for learning and experiencing the capabilities of Google for my students.  I would also love to play around more with avatars and apps like Voki to deliver homework, information and lessons to my students.  I still love the flipped classroom model, as I love the idea of having my hands free to work with students as I circulate while they access the lesson for the period.  It seems like a great method for clearning up misconceptions and helping those when they need it.

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Reflection LE #3

I think the biggest issue for me was doing staff development as I just finished my first year teaching!

It is hard for me as a new teacher and a young teacher to understand why others haven’t jumped on the tech bandwagon to support student learning. Albeit, I am sure they think I am as green as the grass when it comes to everything else!

I think that sharing goals of learning, teaching and growing is vital to our discussions. We show support, give ideas, share our opinions in a way that encourages us to think creatively and outside the box when it comes to instruction. I think the constructive criticism can really help teachers grow and learn and the colleagues in the course do this for me and help me re-think and reframe my own preconceived notions about tech, curriculum, teaching strategies and how to be a leader at this point in my career.I love reading through the posts and the feedback. It really gives me a great insight and perspective on the assignments and how others are seeing them. Like I said, I’m green. Colleagues in the course have a variety of teaching backgrounds and share a lot of insight that I haven’t had the years of experience to gain yet. It is eye opening. I also love the interaction with FSL teachers, as I have been applying to a lot of FI schools and love to see the curriculum through the eyes of my potential teaching partners.

I would love to go back and go through even more from the special needs LE #2. I am really trying to improve my differentiation and ESL teaching strategies this year to help my students and my community. I think technology is a language that is global and we can all speak and use to formulate ideas, share resources and communicate in new ways.

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One significant issue that popped out was equity.  In my Math AQ we have been disscussing parental and community involvement in education in order to support parent learning.  In IICT we have been working through LEs that focus on the special needs learners.  The cord I draw between the two is equity.  I found that many of my struggling math students had parents that struggled in math and therefore had little to no access to home support with the subject.  In class I had red flags all over the place because of this!  I also have students who are on IEPs and parents are unable to read the IEP themselves because of their own learning difficulties.  It was a struggle in the community.  The students all needed access to professional resources/help in order to be successful.  The students who needed math support came to my OFIP tutoring sessions and the others received support from ISSP.

I feel as though I am more prepared for supporting special needs students in my class with the AT that we went through.  More than one colleague reported on tech that I was unaware of (or had no clue how to use) and that made it more accessible for me.  Creating the staff handbook was a good way to synthesize the learning that has taken place through preparing new teachers for using the technology that they are unfamiliar with.

I’ve loved reading the comments by teachers from across Ontario with various backgrounds in education.  Their experience and insight helps shed new light on the technologies I am using and just my general practice and philosophy by giving me new ideas, challenging my current views and by supporting some of the good I am already doing.

I still would like to learn more about using technology to assess and how to assess creativity because it is something that I struggle with everyday as a person.  How can we assess learning when learning is an art and a science and a journey?

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“Necessary for some, good for all’- Assistive technology

When preparing my grade 6 class for EQAO the ISSP teacher commented on how we should use the whole lab for whole class instruction on Premeir AT.  What a brilliant idea!  We spent the next few weeks taking my whole class there to practice using Premier and doing sample EQAO tests.  They all benefitted from the exposure to the format of the test and from doing some sample responses.  The students who would be using the technology for EQAO actually got to hone their tech skills before the test.  It was necessary for those few but it was good for all my students.  By teaching students to use all the resources around them for success we build them into resourceful adults.  

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‘Reflection is part of your work’. What do you expect to learn from blogging?

Reflection is something I don’t even try to do. Like with everything else in my life I think about the event afterwards and over think how to do things better! When I tried on wedding dresses a few weeks ago at a certain store, I reflected about my dream dress, the service and selection at the store. I changed my mind about what I was looking for and I changed my mind about the type of people I wanted to work with to help with the wedding. In my professional life, I reflect on lessons, classroom management strategies, goals and successes with students.

Daily I make little notes to myself of how I could have handled that particular behaviour or how I taught that and what else I could do to make my lessons more clear and concise. As I have been exploring the available tech resources in my teaching the more I want to experiment using the different tools with my students. Unfortunately, I love everything.

This blog was started during my IICT Pt. 1 course and has been a place to post assignments and other musings about the courses but it could also serve as a place to reflect, a journal so to speak. The blogging could be where I post a tech tool that I plan on using and then the outcome of that. It could be a resource for me to return to later on and remember what I have done and the growth I have had. I hope that as a reflective practitioner that if I look back on these posts a year or two from now I can say I learned from my naivte and my mistakes and am a better and more effective teacher. This blog could be my portfolio.

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Reflection (last assignment)

1. Describe one significant idea or issue that has arisen for you as you were engaging in

the topics during the Learning Experience:

 

Communication. We are using Web 2.0 tools and other technology to improve teacher- students communication, student-student and school-home communication. I love the transparency between the school and parents as to be the most effective we need to share our goals and strategies to get there. Students should feel supported in both situations and we can use technology as a means to communicate our goals, support and ideas with parents!

 

 

2. Elaborate on how specific resources, ideas or experiences in the learning experience

have contributed to your learning. e.g. reading material, course activities etc:

I love the opportunity to read the reviews and advice for different web tools for learning. I liked hearing real teachers using the apps/websites in their classrooms and giving some honest management issues or tips.

 

The level of collaboration through discourse and advice has been great so far. The colleagues in the course are coming from various backgrounds and bringing such a diverse experience to the course material emphasizing our own opinion and experience.

3. Share how your participation in the discussion forum has contributed to your learning

and connect that to your understanding of the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.

 

The teachers in the course are sharing a common goal of professional learning for the sake of student success and professional growth and efficacy. The discussion has led us like-minded individuals to help each other feel successful, knowledgeable and valuable as other educators. We are able to bring our commonalities to an area of education that requires us to stay professional but also critical in how, what, why and when we use technology as an educational tool or strategy.

 

4. Discuss any outstanding questions and the steps you may take to further explore your

interests as part of your learning in the course:

 

-more exploration of Web 2.0 tools

-incorporating BYOD

-managing BYOD

-understanding Primary (k-3) use of technology and learning how to implement

-assessing creation in digital formats

 

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Math AQ reflection/artifact

Big Ideas

Teaching using the big ideas is helpful as most classroom teachers are teaching a students with a variety of abilities, needs and extensions. Allowing the big ideas to be the focus allows all students in the classroom to be met with challenges that are appropriate for THEM.

When using the big ideas to plan teachers are sure that we are meeting the curriculum expectations for our students. The Big Ideas (especially when looking at Marian Small and Van de Walle teaching resources) we see that the concepts throughout strands are connected. Planning using these connections helps students see the reflection of other skills in other areas of math.

Big ideas and this “clustering” helps teachers focus their assessment and instructional strategy based on what works and what doesn’t work for their students. We are able to give students more time, more perspective and better connections when teaching this way because we can be better teachers and students ourselves.

Using this method is essential in my classroom. As a new teacher (and a growing one) I am always on the hunt for more resources and better strategies to reach my students. After meeting with an RT from the board and getting her input on how to use the resources to the best of my ability I am seeing how effective this type of planning and resourcefulness can be. My students who are academically struggling see a lot of growth from this “big idea” concept through cross-curricular and cross-strand skills and knowledge. They are seeing connections throughout their past math class experience.

Importance of thoughtful and clear planning

I loved the dominoes effect of planning a math lesson it really spoke to me in a lot of ways. As teachers start with a clear objective in mind just like when we build with dominoes. How each individual or domino reaches that summative/cumulative rich task will be there prior knowledge and understanding), and how it coincides with trial and error, reflection and interaction with math partner. In dominoes this is when you tip the first one and none fall down, and the second time they are fall down but not in proper sequence. Finally, the dominoes are sequenced, organized and set off in a proper way. This reflects when students are given the opportunity to be successful students are able to refine and extend their knowledge. Keeping this sequence in mind when planning is helpful to ensure students are accessing their knowledge in an appropriate context with moving forward as a goal.

 

I have seen plenty of math lessons that have turned to utter failures cough cough

 

This is usually poor planning, poor diagnostic assessment or trying to do a certain lesson during a crazy mixed up day at school. Having the plans in place helps me come back from this type of failure (and hopefully we all have had this experience). Also being FLEXIBLE to trying different things and not afraid to fail in this way (or see those dominoes crash on the ground) will help my students feel the same way when their work is not correct too.

 

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