Getting students learning together…
The roots of problem-based learning can be traced to the progressive movement, especially to John Dewey’s belief that teachers should teach by appealing to students’ natural instincts to investigate and create. Dewey wrote that “the first approach to any subject in school, if thought is to be aroused and not words acquired, should be as unscholastic as possible.”
For Dewey, students’ experiences outside of school provide us with clues for how to adapt lessons based on what interests and engages them…
Problem Based Learning (PBL)…
Problem-based learning (PBL) allows students to focus on how and what they will learn. PBL is a student-centred, self-directed approach to learning that encourages self-efficacy and an intrinsic motivation for learning. Presented with a problem or unfamiliar situation students are required to determine for themselves how they will go about finding a resolution. Working independently or in small groups, students apply their prior knowledge, attempting to solve the problem.
Padlet is a free web application featuring a virtual wall where multiple users can post comments and media. For teaching and learning purposes, this can be useful to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing around particular topics for face-to-face, online activities or both. Padlet can also be used for activities that usually require butcher’s paper or sticky notes, except the virtual wall can immediately gather and store valuable ideas for future reference.
- Works on any Internet enabled desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
- No sign up required for students to use Padlet
- Instant view of other students posts
- The creator of the wall can monitor, move and delete posts.
- Students can only edit their own posts
- Privacy settings can restrict the wall to certain users
- Drag and drop documents from your desktop
- Add different media to your comments (e.g. podcasts, video, images and other docs)
- Layout posts in free form or vertical format (like blog posts)
- Copies of walls can be shared or exported in a variety formats or embedded in web-based content.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has a fantastic collection of teaching resources for students to learn all about money.
ASIC’s MoneySmart Teaching offers primary and secondary resources fully aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Using money and finances as an engaging context for learning, teachers provide their students with authentic learning experiences across all subject areas.
An implementation guide (Word version) assists teachers and schools to incorporate consumer and financial literacy within their classroom and school community.
Each unit of work and digital activity has a supporting curriculum mapping document featuring the relevant learning area, achievement standards, content descriptions and general capabilities. Mapping for all resources is available under Australian Curriculum Alignment.
One such activity is Pay the Price
Students practise identifying the value of coins and notes while exploring the concept of exchanging money.
A simple to use shopping experience that progresses students through different levelled activities.
Overall, this is a fantastic site filled with multiple virtual and ‘real world’ opportunities for students to engage with all things relating to money…
Now working as a teacher (with a brand new electronic whiteboard in my room), I’ll be sharing resources found online that boost student learning…
This weeks find:
Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices.
Use Plickers for quick checks for understanding to know whether your students are understanding big concepts and mastering key skills.
Give all students the chance to participate and engage in learning without feeling self-conscious.
Teachers print a standard set of cards that have A,B,C and D around the edges.
Plickers will let you assign cards to students. No card is the same so students don’t know each others answers. Ask a question with multiple choice answers and have the cards held up to answer. Scan the room and get feedback on your students understand immediately.
So many uses in the classroom. Simple to setup and very user friend the website has an amazing amount of information.
End of the first week….
I am very tired, but in a good way. I have feel I’ve had a successful week. Looking back I am considering myself very lucky to have been placed with such an enthusiastic, competent and fun teacher who loves what she does. She’s really is interesting to observe and her feedback and guidance is specific and extremely useful. I’ve walked away this week feeling like I’ve actually achieved something and although it’s been busy and mentally challenging (and physically with all the multitasking at home), I’m happy and have a sense of purpose. Like the feeling you have when you’ve watched a really good documentary.
With this in mind I did have a wee chuckle at Adventures of a Pre-service Teacher’s blog: “first lesson I have learnt is don’t show fear or you’ll get eaten alive.” Too true! In real life I am a Prep TA and have been for a time now. This has been invaluable experience which I have reflected on during P.E. Watching relief teachers pass through the prep ‘gauntlet’ has seen days filled with all the excitement and trepidation of a suspense-filled thriller on the big screen! What will happen next? Those with a sense of humor and fearless bravo cruise though with ease… those who choose to blindly forge ahead often slowly unravel, smoking from the ears … It’s sort of like getting caught in a rip really… unless your a lifeguard, observing a current, with rescue board in hand, it’s often best to go with the flow, using it to build your strength, until you come back around and regain control and enjoy the ride…
Like my teacher says, behaviour support and classroom management are key…
I love science and maths… it’s sooo much fun! There are just so many things you can do in a lesson that you can do to engage even the most reluctant of learners… Kids get right into the experimenting side of things in science and patterning is a fantastic way to get them involved in maths. I was faced with a bit of a speed bump in my first week. I had a couple of really excellent interactive games for the students to play in relation to the concept of mass. Then… I was told… no ipads… 😦 What to do? Then I had an ‘aha’ moment and was off on a happy road again… I found an excellent clip to introduce the lesson: a cartoon, which the kids loved! Then… I used my iphone to photograph the kids doing their outdoor sorting activity… who would have thought a simple power point of the photos would have prompted so much inquiry discussion! There is definitely no other tool that would have had the same effect – seeing my students’ eyes light up as they saw themselves being successful and sharing their findings, while displaying their group work for their peers… a picture truly worth a thousand words… 😀
I’m loving what technology is allowing me to bring to my lesson… 😀
Twinkl is a fantastic site that offers many, many tactile resources to support learning. But wait! there’s more!… it also offers useful ideas for behaviour support and classroom management, including Australian based artifacts. Anything you can think of is covered.
Although I enjoy making my own resources, I found these very useful and inspirational, especially when you need bright, engaging activities fast! For example, I was able to print play dough mats to support reading literacy, laminating them to add to my stash for future lesson.
Another great site is Science for Kids as referred to by my fellow, April (appess). I too have enjoyed the benefits of the ideas shared on this engaging site when exploring the concepts of hot and cold with my year 1’s. I am really enjoying exploring all that the plethora of educational websites have to offer… the ‘spark plugs’ for my inspiration!
I was lucky enough to be included in under 8’s days activities in week 1. My class hosted crown making. Students were able to select from a variety of designs to colour and cut out.
At first, I was quite nervous about how things were going to happen. Would the students be able to colour such fine patterns, let alone cut them out? Would they have time to finish? Did we have enough? How are we going to pick up all the tiny, wee bits of paper in time? So many thing to consider!
But, I’m pleased to report the activity was a great success! Students of all ages (up to 8) enjoyed their time with us. We were able to capture the goings-on on the ipads and share their experiences with parents, which was wonderful. This would not have been possible if not for ICTs. I reflected on my time at school many years ago; being so happy that my Mum could come to school events, yet disappoint that my Dad was rarely able to attend due to work commitments. How things have changed…. ICTs = inclusivity for all… 😀
Introduction to everything!
I am fortunate enough to be working under the guidance of the best teacher… ever!… one of the best anyway… (she may or may not be reading this…lol)
Last week (before I started) we met and she told me what she would like me to teach and when, supplying a timetable and allowing me to observe her class. This was excellent. I felt positive and happy, as I had a clear direction and an outline of expectations.
Then… the hard work began…
How to design a weeks worth of lessons in one weekend… let me tell you… the pressure was on! But, equipped with with my trusty laptop and mouse I was off! Bookmarking like a mad thing! Trawling through diigo and liaising with my PLN buddies, I was away!
… Well…what a week! We designed dough dragons, mulled over mass, chilled chocolate and popped corn… it was awesome! 😀
PS – looking for crafty ideas? one word: Pinterest
Soul Pancake- Kid President 😀
Fantastic site! After a sleepless night where, even when I did sleep, I was dreaming of being ‘eaten alive’ (so to speak) during a lesson, I needed a bit more than a coffee and Marvelous Creation… I was privileged to be able to watch a clip from the Soul Pancake website. Talk about an ICT that’s a necessity!… thank you YouTube and the electronic whiteboard with laptop; that cannot be matched by any other resource! Love it! After a very long day to be able to experience life at a school, that opens it’s staff meeting with this gem is really AWESOME!… watch the clip…. you’ll see what I mean…
Definitely a “Happy Days” moment…