Checking for understanding

I like to think of myself as an organised person who strives for perfection and the best learning opportunities for the students. However, it is always difficult when you discover your planning wasn’t perfect and there were flaws in your lesson delivery. But, tomorrows a new day and you just have to go into next lesson taking on board what the mentor said to try and reconfigure the students understanding. This was the case for myself in one instance when I discovered mid-lesson I didn’t give my explanation and discussion the weight it deserved for the students to gain the full picture.

This was the first instance when I discovered just how vital a visual representation is for the students. Which is really quite obvious as I am one of the most visual learners I know. The momentary slip of judgement meant students were still producing the lesson objective to a high standard, however the further explanation and display of an example is indeed so necessary.Furthermore the school I attended has a funky tool called show-me-boards which is a quick and useful way to gauge student understanding, engage them in questioning and answer strategies and always has full involvement. I think the momentary get-away from their books is refreshing and establishes knowledge of their learning, which furthermore emphasises my teaching and learning strategies I put into place with my classes.

For further development of lesson plans – take a further look at this article for inspiration. Abi’s blog also highlights her struggle with not getting every lesson PERFECT.


Digital technologies in school

As our practicum was ICT based it was important that I took careful note of the ICT’s being used/ implemented over the past 3 weeks. ICT throughout the practicum, included:

  • Interactive whiteboard use – to demonstrate examples, show working, record results, keep students on task (students would have to submit the parts of their assessment they would complete each lesson so the teacher could look a them and provide feedback – exit ticket form class to see name on board: excellent use for formative assessment)
  • Power Point presentations
  • ClickView
  • YouTube videos
  • Video scribe  – A great way to engage students/ 15% better to have your message remembered (This was used by Yvana Jones in her presentations for PD)
  • Scootle
  • Apps on phone

By using a variety of these ICT’s in a lesson with students or even in the staff meetings it was evident that it assisted the engagement of the students and other educators, as well as reinforced the importance of ICT’s in enhancing teaching and  learning.

I would definitely recommend taking notice and applying Yvana Jones High Impact Teaching Strategies if you ever get a chance because these were what challenged me to change my thinking of strategies that I used to engage the students. Gaby’s Blog is fantastic and useful to revisit as we were both placed at the same school, so its interesting to hear her experiences also.


The past three weeks have flown by. I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed my prac, I had a very knowledgable mentor with a wealth of experience. In the time I spent there, I was given many opportunities to try new teaching techniques, behaviour management styles as well as participate fully in the aesthetics of the HPE staff room and other teaching staff.

I attended 3 staff meetings while on professional experience, which included two professional development sessions one performed by Yvana Jones – Consultant of Education Impact. The focus of this PD was High Impact Teaching (HIT), establishing and further reinforcing the lesson goals we have for our students as an educator. In order to establish an effective and engaging lesson that enhances students knowledge and understanding  we must make sure our lessons are:

  • Unambiguous
  • Step-by-step
  • Engaging
  • Effective

In order to do this we must have a clear learning intent that focuses on –

Planning -> Lesson -> Students participation -> Feedback

I found this session to be very useful to further reinforce my pedagogy and teacher direction – as this was the model that the school structured and scaffolded the learning for their students.

Check out Elly’s blog for some useful insights into how her school used ICT’s in their staff meetings.

Lesson Planning

Starting on Monday we will all be planning our little hearts out, making sure that we all incorporate our ICTS!! Firstly, lesson planning has been drilled into us since day one about its importance and frankly I don’t know what I would do without it in some instances.

The learning objectives are one thing that has always been stressed to me while on professional experiences, therefore I always make sure I begin my lesson stating what we will have achieved by the end of the lesson. I believe this is a vital component to any teaching practice as it sets the student up for their learning as well as establishes your expectations. Furthermore, the ACARA and QCAA content descriptors allow for the teacher to organise what they want students to learn, in conduction with the use of backwards mapping or other frameworks to organise their ideas.

Take a further look at Abi’s blog post about creating authentic learning experiences!

If you need further information about content descriptors here are the following websites to locate them.

IWB’s on Professional experience

As most classrooms these days have Interactive Whiteboards within the classroom many of use will be utilising this technology whilst we are on professional experience! Over time the functionality of the IWB’s have increased and with this so have the tools, techniques and approaches we use on them. Take a further look at this reading that further explains some of these approaches and techniques and tools.

Some approaches you may take to using the device are through the use of touch devices such as the special pen for the whiteboards or the use of a finger. Furthermore this enables the students to easily be involved in the creation and exploration of their learning, as they are heavily involved in the discovery process. Take a look at Maggie’s blog 5495939989_ae06088140to find out more about the students discovery process whilst on professional experience and possible fears that may be had.

CLEM? another acronym…

Ok, so how many new terms does one need know? Being bombarded with acronyms. However this little beauty is designed to scaffold how we learn to use ICTs to enhance, amplify and transform student learning! So what does it all mean?…

C- Community: Many (but not all) ICTs used in learning and teaching will have developed a community of people using that ICT. These communities might be very tight knit and focused around one website. Or, they might be spread out across various websites and face-to-face meetings.

L- Literature: Some ICTs used in learning and teaching will have been part of research around their use in learning and teaching. That research can (but not always) provide useful insights into what works and what doesn’t.

E- Examples: While the community and the literature can be useful, it is often easiest (for most people) to learn about a new ICT (or just about anything) from examples. Especially examples that are close to what you’re looking for. Examples can often be great inspiration for your own lessons.

M- Model: All ICT have designed/programmed with a particular model embedded into the ICT. Know this model and the words used to describe its components, and learning how to use it effectively can be so much simpler.

Take a look at this blog post to see what another student thinks about the CLEM framework.

What I’ve learnt

As a result of the learning path the issues and strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching have been made available with many resources being presented to gain greater insight.

As my next professional experience is in a state school it will be important to look at:

  • Cyber safety in QLD state schools
  • The National Safe Schools Framework
  • Safe Schools Hub
  • The schools student safety and wellbeing policies
  • ICT General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum

As a result of this learning path, I have gained more questions to ask my mentor regarding the schools policies on safety and cyber networking. As well as what sort of technologies will be made available to me in a HPE teaching context. This be my greatest challenge I can foresee as many ICTs cannot be used in the outside environment. Therefore a lot of planning will need to take place…

Tamika establishes some of her own thoughts in her blog post relating to the learning path activities.

Is technology taking over our lives?.. Ahhh


With ongoing concerns of the impact of screen time on personality, social skills, health and other factors. Are students losing heir ability to read human emotions? Is there such thing as too much technology? These days we spend more and more hours looking at a screen. Its recommended by American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) that children under 2yrs have NO screen time and children between 3-18yrs have 2hrs or less per day. I for know, I spend a majority of the day on my laptop some days, so whats the implications for our students? This article  reports on a range of research and perspectives on ‘screen time’.

Take a look at Jessica Packers recent blog post about the ‘joys of being a teacher’, sure to lighten the spirits.

Digital citizen

The term “digital citizenship” is (sometimes) a part of this move. It moves away from a focus on risk and protection and replaces it with a focus on what is required to be a productive member of and contributor to the digital society. This includes some recognition of what it takes to be safe, but the ultimate focus is on making a contribution.

The Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online Site offers more information on the safe use of digital technologies.

Budd:e is a “Cyber security education package” provided by the Australian government. Amongst its many resources are videos outlining what students are doing online and what can happen to them online. There are options for primary and secondary students. Budd:e is education about the technical and behavioural measures we can use to help reduce risk and bolster cybersecurity, personal safety for the online world and security for our internet-enabled devices. Take a look at the website for more information and video presentations describing range of things regarding secondary students.

The social invasion norm…

As we all know the saying, big brother is watching.. just like the TV show and the movie/book 1923, theres someone watching our every move through online data collections/ depositaries. Its the social norm that we all post online whether that be Facebook, instagram, twitter, snap chat  ect, and this is posing a threat to our freedom and possibly future career endeavours.

Current technologies such as your iPhone has the ability to identify where a photo was taken, as well as a variety of other information. This information is stored in an Exchangeable image file format (Exif). In its barest form the photo will have information that includes the name of the file, the image format and the date the image was taken. If you camera/device has a GPS, the Exif information will include the latitude and longitude of where the photo was taken. Now thats an invasion of privacy! Especially if it fell into the wrong hands….

Take a look at this link establishing the danger of posting photos online about children.