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Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

  1. C is for Challenging

    April 27, 2014 by Mrs Hurley

    This blog post is part of a series of posts following an A-Z theme, as adapted from the A to Z April Challenge.

     C is for Challenging

    Challenging students who constantly challenge you!

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want this to be a long, winded complaint.

    Having dealt with a variety of challenging students (and I’m sure others have had it much worse), I am curious to know about strategies that others have used that work with these students.

    I have had challenging behaviour students – those who want to argue every instruction, direction, suggestion, consequence and every piece of advice. (I did teach 11-12 year olds for a long time!)

    I have had academically challenging students – those who are so far behind in their learning that they’ve already given up. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, those who are so far ahead that catering for their needs within activities that the rest of the students are doing is impossible. (In the eyes of parents, anyway. More on this when we reach letter ‘G’) See my post A is for Advanced.

    I currently teach a student who refuses to do anything in the classroom, cannot sit himself down, cannot work independently, cannot begin work on his own. He has fallen so far behind and he can see this and constantly compares himself to the other students. His confidence is so low that he won’t even attempt anything for fear of failure. He cannot deal with looking “stupid” or different to the other students.

    I know that challenging students are what make a school and really, they are the reason why we teach – to be able to reach these students, to make a difference in their lives.

    But are we making a difference? Are we reaching these students?

    Have you experienced behaviour or academically challenging students? Do you have a separate program for them in your classroom? How do you make it ‘work’ for them?


  2. 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?


  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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