Monday, 27 April 2015

Round the World with the Gingerbread Man!

Last term we had a themed unit based around the idea that a Gingerbread Man had escaped from our classroom after we did some baking! This idea came from my co-teacher who found it online.

From this we did lots of activities around the story; making a wanted poster, sequencing the story, different narrative, writing our own narrative, writing from point of view of the Gingerbread man in form of a postcard back to the teacher. While we did all this, the Gingerbread Man (aka relatives of the kids) sent us postcards from around the world which we pinned onto a map for the kids to see.

We had so much engagement and excitement from this! The kids imaginations ran wild and they would come to the school in the morning telling me that they think that they had seen the Gingerbread Man in all sorts of places.

Friday, 27 March 2015

April Fools Day Classroom Prank

This could be fun!

I found The Elusive Lirpaloof Bird courtesy of Sunny Days in Second Grade and I am thinking that it would be great to try this out on my class on April Fools' Day. I am wondering if they will fall for it.  I guess I'll find out on the 1st! That is if I don't chicken out. I'm not the best practical joker. I'll have to work on my poker face! I'll update to let you know how it goes.

Anyone else planning some Aprils Fools' Day pranks? Would love to know of any good ones!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

What Would I Do as a Teacher If I Weren't Afraid?

Reflective Teaching 30 Day Blog Challenge
Day 30: What would you do, as a teacher, if you weren't afraid?

And last but not least the final day! Just before the end of term too!

Just been chatting on Twitter about purposeful innovation in education (#edchatnz) and so this question comes at a time when I am thinking about if I am innovative enough in the classroom and how I could be more so. This leads to not being afraid because sometimes it takes more courage than you want to have to try new things and take risks. Especially when you are the newest member of an established teaching crew.

I would like to be more innovative in the classroom and I hope to take a small step towards that goal each day. I don't think that this means I will stop fearing the risk but I hope to be afraid and do it anyway!

First step: Be open to student suggestions and allow students to take the lead. Learn to say YES to these opportunities more! Let them lead me to a new and more purposeful way to be innovative in my teaching.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Twiiter Chat

Completed my second Twitter chat tonight!

#dojochatANZ Maximising student engagement

Love the energy and ideas from twitter chats. I learn so much. I must do more!

How Have I Changed as an Educator?

Reflective Teaching 30 Day Blog Challenge
Day 29: How have you changed as an educator since you first started?

I am a new teacher, so I have not had much time to grow but nevertheless I believe that I have changed quite a lot as an educator in the short time that I have been teaching.

This term in particular I feel that I have done the most growing and changing. This is because I have been in the same classroom at least three days in a row so I am better able to reflect and make changes as the students and the environment aren't constantly changing on me. Because of this I feel more confident as a teacher. I am also finding my personality as a teacher and trying to bring as much enthusiasm into the classroom as I can which I am finding harder and harder as we closer to the end of the term!

Something that I want to improve on in the coming months is to be more comfortable to take the lead around other more experienced teachers. It is sometimes too easy to doubt myself in their presence and let them run things.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Should Technology Drive Curriculum?

Reflective Teaching 30 Day Blog Challenge
Day 28: Respond: Should technology drive curriculum or vice versa?

I believe that curriculum should drive the use of technology not the other way around. The learning objective itself comes first and technology should only be used if it fits with the learning content and enhances it. As tempting as it is to choose technology over curriculum, especially when there are so much amazing new technologies out there,  it is the actual learning content that should be prioritised. Technology gives us great tools and skills for the future but if technology drives our curriculum we are losing sight of why we are at school in the first place.

The technology that I use in the classroom is minimal at the moment, mostly because I'm still trying to focus on delivering the classroom program. Having said that if I learn of a tool that I know would be useful to what the children are learning I am open to using it and I love learning about new technologies that I can use. Sometimes there are too many to remember!

I have recently been introduced to Kidspiration and have used it in a whole class brainstorm for writing to great effect. The kids were engaged as it was different to our usual brainstorms on the whiteboard and also because we could add pictures it worked well for the more visual learners in the classroom.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Role of Weekends and Holidays in Teaching

Reflective Teaching 30 Day Blog Challenge
Day 27: What role to weekends and holidays play in your teaching?

The weekends mean mostly rest and time away from being a teacher. Holidays are similar but probably end up being one week for holidaying and one week at school. I am yet to find out just how much time I'll have to put in for that week. I have only been into school one weekend so far but as the year progresses and I have more responsibility for my shred classroom then I imagine i'll be in a lot more!