The 5Es

Morning all! Happy Friday. Here it’s a people free day to attend the show, but alas, there is work to be done. Prac approaches as do assignment due dates for other classes! Today I wanted to explore The 5Es that we read a little about in this weeks learning modules. These been a few other EDC3100 students discussing this topic as well during the week, as well as related topics, check out this awesome post.

But, down to business … What is are the 5Es?? The 5Es are an Inquiry Based Learning Model, one of my favourite instructional methods. In inquiry based learning situations students are encouraged to develop a question and to then search for an answer, creating their own knowledge and understanding along the way. The teacher moves from in control and in charge to the role of facilitator and guide, which I prefer.

Specifically, the 5Es are: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. This article elaborates and explains what this looks like in an educational setting.

If you are interested, the following clip explains this process in more depth.

This clip offers a practical example of The 5Es in the classroom.

I will be using this model a lot in prac as it fits with my teaching preferences without alienating any of the students’ learning preferences, empowers students to take an active role in their own learning and lastly as it fits with my philosophy of teaching.

Happy studying all!



Freaking out about Prac — intensifies

Morning all!

So we all got placed this morning for prac. There’s been some great follow up posts from lots of students, such as Maree’s and Mrs Hill. 

I just got mine back and I am freaking the freak out. Let me tell you why: I got placed at my 10th preference, the very last school that I wanted to go to in my region. Not because it’s a bad school, its actually a great school and I know its a great school because I graduated from that school in 2011. Gympie is a small town, I still know the majority of the teachers, the ones that taught me are still there and one of them is my mentor teacher. What’s more awkward though is that I still know more than half of the students that go there, it’s a small school about 300 kids, most of them I am friends with, I still hang out with. I lead one of the local Youth Groups and a heap of these kids come along.

So here’s where I need some advice guys! How can I successfully go from friend to authority figure?? How can I manage a whole heap of year 8 kids when they know me as Kate the fun youth leader who does crazy stuff with them like slime fights and tribal wars. How on earth am I going to maintain behaviour? Help me I’m freaking out!

This article from the Guardian offered some great advice. Check it out if you’re still unsure on some basic behaviour management techniques. My personal favourite that I like to use is called “Siberia”. All it is is an isolated desk at the very front of the classroom facing a wall where a student is sent for timeout if they are a bit hyper. What kind of techniques do you guys like to use?

Happy Studying!

Kate out.

Prac & Reflective Practice

Morning all! Happy Friday, the weekend approaches (ie: Assignment writing time approaches). Scrolling through the different EDC3100 feeds I’m seeing a lot of talk about our prac that is approaching FAST. Check out Emma and Rochelle’s posts. I myself haven’t even received a placement yet, which I am freaking out about as in the past I have organised my own practical experiences.and know exactly where I’m going at the start of semester. This year however, I believe the rules were changed and I now come under Fraser Coast campus and are placed by them. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to going on prac.

One of the most important things about Prac, (in my opinion) is reflective practice. Reflective practice is something that relates to a wide range of contexts; nurses do it, doctors do it, engineers do it and teachers should do it. This article proposes that reflective practice is:

a process where teachers think over their teaching practices, analyzing how something was taught and how the practice might be improved or changed for better learning outcomes. Some points of consideration in the reflection process might be what is currently being done, why it’s being done and how well students are learning. You can use reflection as way to simply learn more about your own practice, improve a certain practice (small groups and cooperative learning, for example) or to focus on a problem students are having. Some methods you can use are shown below:

Check out this YouTube clip for more information:

And this site for more information about what Reflective Practice can look like. Lastly, For more of my thoughts on Prac, check out my post from a while back, Kate’s Tips for Surviving Practical Experience

Happy Studying mi amigos!


We’re all Connect.ed

Morning all! Happy Wednesday! We are now halfway through week 10! Crazy. This morning I want to talk about my experience with the Connect.ed modules. There’s been a number of great posts from other EDC3100 students, check out Sue’s and Amy’s posts.

Connect.ed is a great tool for teachers and educators; a lot of the content I confess that I had not heard of before. I liked Connect.ed as a Professional development  tool as it encouraged you to step out of your own world, your own preconceptions and think about what your students will be thinking and feeling in regards to technology. I especially liked the use of the simulations; they were very realistic and having had a history of being bullied physically and emotionally I could apply those feelings to the context of cyberbullying.

Note: Here’s a link to the PDF copy of my certificate!

This website is also a great resource for teachers and pre-service teachers interested in more information about digital safety for students.

Happy studying all!


Digital Citizenship

Afternoon all! Hope you have all managed to complete Assignment 2 on time and with little to no kinks! I managed to hand mine in last night and have spent today focusing on some other uni assignments that have been neglected these past few weeks.

Completing the module books for this week and also scrolling through Diigo and Reader here on WordPress has opened my eyes to a new issues (seriously, my eyes are opened every week I think!). Digital Citizenship. Check out these posts from Lucas about Connect.ed and cyber safety.

But what exactly is digital citizenship, I can’t help but be somewhat confused about what it means for me as a person as well as a aspiring educator.

According to this educational website, digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use, including:

1.   Digital Access

2.   Digital Commerce

3.   Digital Communication

4.   Digital Literacy

5. Digital Etiquette

6.   Digital Law

7.   Digital Rights & Responsibilities

8.   Digital Health & Wellness

9.   Digital Security (self-protection)

This YouTube clip also offers some useful information through a fun medium! Also this short clip explains why it is important for us as future teachers to be thinking about our own digital citizenship and how we can teach responsible use of technology to students.

Happy studying!


Breaking down the classroom walls

Morning all! It’s the perfect day here today … Rainy and cold! My favourite kind of weather. I, however have to go to work. Perfect day wasted 😦 There’s been some awesome posts though check out this one about assignment 2 and Deborah’s post about Cyberbullying.

Nevermind. Today I wanted to take about breaking down the classroom walls. Now, when I say that I do not mean lets start a riot in class and encourage students to start bashing the walls until the fall down…. No. I’m talking about how we can make the classroom relevant to the outside world; how we can empower students to learn and create knowledge that is relevant and important to them, that will help them.

As we’ve learnt through this course, ICTs are a big part of bringing real life closer to the classroom. ICTs program instant access to massive amounts of information regardless of time or distance. However, it’s how we use these ICTs as teachers that will determine whether they contribute to breaking down the walls or becoming another brick in wall keeping students isolated from the outside world.

Let me ask you something. How many times have you heard a student ask a teacher “when am I going to use this in real life???!!” 

Let me ask you another question. How many times did you ask your teachers that question?

Snap right. I know I asked that question many, many times (especially in maths, sorry maths people), and how often could the teacher actually answer that question?? ZERO. Even the teachers don’t know why the content is relevant. I’ll put my hand up right now, I don’t know when students are ever actually going to use half of the content that I will teach them. Scary.

So then, step one in breaking down classroom walls =

Step one: Know why you are teaching something. Know why it’s relevant and how it will benefit the students, because they will ask you and not having an answer just confirms their suspicion that what they are learning it not actually important when it definetly is.

Step two: Use ICTs. Get students collaborating with experts, get them exploring the subject in Think Quest, let them think for themselves and search for answers for themselves. Certainly be there to support and guide the students, but remember, we don’t have all the answers!

Step three: Let the students be creative. Let them use their knowledge to create things. The power of ‘doing’ should never be underestimated.

Step four: GET OUT OF THE CLASSROOM!! Go one excursion, have class under a tree, something I am really keen to try out in history class is to create an excavation site and have my history classes practice their archaeological skills, which leads me to step five:

Step five: Always include real life applications. Let the students be archaeologists, let them be scientists, let them be builders or inventors, let them be writers. Come up with lessons and assignments that actually relate to the real world. I’m sorry, but essays and exams should be be in existence any more. They are not authentic assessment pieces and they are not accurate descriptors of a students knowledge and understanding. How do I know this? I faked my way through maths. Understood absolutely nothing, didn’t get it, was super confused by it, but taught myself the processes and formulas and topped my class. And let me tell you, I am hopeless at maths. Hence: exams are not accurate.

Step six: Lastly, be a support to your students, encourage them, guide them, help them. We spend a lot of time with these kids and have a lot of influence. We will either be the teacher who encouraged them and helped them, or the teacher who break their heart and their dreams. If you have low expectations for a student, they will meet that expectation 100%. If you have high expectations, (albeit realistic ones), they will meet that expectation! Never write anyone off, let the students be what they want to be and help them get there.

Happy studying all!


PS>  Check out this video about how powerful and important being a teacher is.

ICTs: When is it too much??

Evenin’ all! Week 9 is more than half-way gone … the time is just flying past.

I’ve noticed that more and more people are beginning to share their thoughts on Assignment 2, and I thought i’d add some more to that tonight. But first, there’s been a number of really cool posts today; check them out here and Sandy’s post about backward design here, and another from Sandy that I found really helpful about apps here.

Today as I was working on the justification aspect of my assignment, I came across a really good source: Leask & Pachler (2014) Learning to Teach Using ICT in the Secondary School . Specifically, the following quote caught my attention.

“[ICTs] can deprive learners of real, first-hand (multi-sensory) experiences at the cost of simulations and models.”

-Leask & Pachler (2014) Learning to Teach Using ICT in the Secondary School 

As a kinesthetic person I can really relate to this. See I don’t learn by just doing things on a computer or running around with a laptop. I learn by seeing and touching and hearing; I am very much a multi-sensory person. This sparked the question in me: can we go overboard with ICTs, when is it too much?

Whilst I can definetly agree that it is very important to be using ICTs in the classroom, to be successfully integrating them for the benefit of student learning, we have to be careful not to lean towards just one end of the spectrum (I love that word!!)

spectrum of technological use

This article from the Guardian offers some really interesting points in this debate. For instance:

As teachers, we all know that learning happens most effectively when students are engaged in an activity that allows them to receive frequent, formative feedback about their skill level, with suitably challenging and varied tasks that sustain their interest. This has to be the primary objective of any lesson, and sometimes it can be aided by careful use of classroom technology….The trouble is, technology is not always the answer, and it can even harm the learning when used badly. I was recently told about a rather nervous teacher who used to stay glued to the front of the class, with very little chance for interaction with the students, and consequently a number of behaviour problems. The school was working hard to encourage her to venture out among the students, and there were clear improvements being made. The school then installed an interactive whiteboard in her class and in encouraging her to use it, unfortunately exacerbated the original problem as she started to rely on slides and activities that kept her stuck behind her desk once again.

Check out this article as well.

I want to end with this youtube clip, which sums up pretty well most of my hesitations with ICTs.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic!!

Happy studying,