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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

  1. Goals for 2014

    January 10, 2014 by Mrs Hurley

    Inspired by Stefanie over at Miss Galvin Learns, I have decided to set some goals for 2014. (see her original post here) I have really started looking forward to the coming year with my new younger kiddies.

    My passion for teaching has been reignited for a number of reasons for this coming year, which I won’t go into for fear of getting too personal. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll be getting some idea of why.

    Like Stefanie, I will spread out my goals over a number of posts (hopefully not too many!) so I can explore in further detail.

    So, without further ado, I present:

    goals2014

     

    Goal Number One: Be more consistent with feedback and assessment

    This is something that I’ve never been fantastic with. Usually, I just cannot be bothered writing comments in individual books (this may also be due to the fact that I have team-taught for the past 2 years). It takes a long time, right? It’s hard to think of individual comments when my stomach is rumbling because I’m late to the staff room for lunch! Verbal feedback I can do – I’m also a very fast talker so it takes even less time for me! – and I do regularly. It’s easier for me to tell my students where they need to improve or what they’ve done well in a task than it is to hand write comments.

    This is where it pays to work smarter, not harder. Easier said than done, right?

    I plan to use Google Apps for Education as much as possible during the year. I love the comment function – I can leave feedback for students AS they work on something. Eventually, we will probably use Google Sites for student digital portfolios – perhaps to even showcase their Genius Hour projects – and so being able to leave feedback at my own time, wherever I may be. And also, typing is much easier than handwriting!

    As far as assessment goes, I’m hoping to create some easy to fill in forms using the Kustom Note app so that I can fill in little details and send those forms straight to my Evernote folder for each individual student. (If you haven’t downloaded this app, get onto it! Have a play around and download some free templates.) Otherwise, I have the option of using checklists within Evernote for whole class assessment. With the help of my iPad, I’m going to aim to have some sort of anecdotal notes on each student at least once a week. I’ve heard that this will make report writing time a breeze!

    Big ambitions, hey? I know I have the best intentions of being organised this year and usually it falls by the wayside. I’ll be the first to admit that my head was not really in the game last year and my efforts were being concentrated elsewhere.

    THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT! I WILL BE ORGANISED. I WILL PROVIDE TIMELY AND RELEVANT FEEDBACK. I WILL ASSESS ONGOING-ly. (Ongoingly? As I go? I like my made up word better!)

    What are your goals for 2014? How do you provide feedback? How do you assess your students ongoingly?


  2. Google Docs

    August 25, 2013 by Mrs Hurley

    Last week, I used Google Docs in the classroom for the first time. We used a template given to us at a recent PD to create a character profile and I had the students in their reading groups purely so the collaborative groups were smaller and easier to manage.

    Here are a couple of things I learnt from this experience;

    1. Collaboration needs to be explicitly taught! No matter how much I emphasised the ‘you cannot change, delete or contradict somebody else’s contribution’ rule, I had full-on arguments coming from some kids who just couldn’t agree! Negotiate was definitely not a word they knew.

    2. A lot of technology knowledge in students is assumed. In general, people tend to believe that because the students I teach have grown up with computers, that they know everything about technology. From chatting to my students, it appears that the only things they use their school netbooks or home computers and other devices for is social media. Oh, and Maths games when they’re really bored on the weekend.

    3. Nothing is explicit enough in my room. Unrelated to technology and the use of Google Docs but I’ve really noticed how helpless my students are when they need to think for themselves. Actually, this needs a whole post to itself.

    Other than providing more opportunities to practise these skills (collaboration itself and new technologies), I am unsure as to how to teach these skills to my students. Am I throwing them into the deep end? Am I introducing too much at once?

     

    What difficulties have you experienced when introducing new technologies/apps/websites in your classroom? How did you overcome these difficulties?


  3. My First Post

    August 11, 2013 by Mrs Hurley

    Who would’ve thought that I’d be inspired enough to create my own personal blog?

    After attending the Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century Face-to-Face session on Friday and listening to all of our speakers, I came to a couple of conclusions.

    1. I need to make a bigger (positive) digital footprint
    I consider myself pretty tech savvy. I can usually fix any problems that the kids have with their netbooks without calling the technician. I use Facebook & Twitter personally. I moderate our class blog. I have organised Mystery Skypes & Guest Speaker Skypes for my students. However… I Googled myself the other day (something I swore I wouldn’t do – thanks Jenny Luca!) and was unusually disappointed. 3310 results. Most of which belong to a photography in America who shares my name (unique spelling and all.. I’m annoyed.) The thought occurred to me that this didn’t mean I wasn’t “good” with technology, this just meant I didn’t have such a huge online presence and I’m only just starting out. And that’s OK but I’d love to have a bigger name online (for good reasons of course).

    2. I’m on the right track with our class blog
    So far this year, my students have Quadblogged, Mystery Skyped, Tweeted (haphazardly) and Skyped with a teacher in Japan & a class in Malaysia to learn more about their culture for our Asia unit. Not to mention all of the positive outcomes just having a class blog has, such as improved writing skills when learning to write a quality comment. Can’t wait to start using Google Docs in the class!

    3. Nothing beats the connections I’ve made to other teachers this year
    It’s awesome.

    Finally, I’ll leave you with an important message I picked up on, shared with us by Peter Maggs. We can’t stand by and be aloof like cats. We all need to dive in with constant enthusiasm and “be more dog”!

    So, I’ve hoping to update my blog at least weekly. I’m really hoping it doesn’t just fall to the floor because I forget to post.

    Have you done any of the mentioned online ‘things’ with your class? What difficulties have you faced when creating your own personal blog? If you attended the Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century session, what did you think? What was your favourite part of the day?


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