Histograms and Stem-and-Leaf plots

Good Morning Everyone!!!

So I have finally finished my 3rd year professional experience and it was amazing! I had the best time.

In my last week I put a lot of effort into the resources I was making and this is one of my favourites!! I was finding it really hard to source a good histogram / stem-and-leaf plot activity for my junior math classes – so I took a beat and made my own.

I hope you find it as useful as I did!

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Histograms S-L activity sheet

 

Have a beautiful week !

Namaste xx

The Student Teacher Diaries : Week Beginning July 30 2018

Okie Dokie….

So during my professional experience over the last month I was writing daily reflections and also reflecting after each lesson I taught and it was getting to the point that I couldn’t even remember what I was reflecting on anymore (#sleepdeprivedstudentteacherlife). So to save time I decided that instead of writing my reflections I would use my phone and record a quick clip of myself.

This is the best idea I’ve ever had because (a) I saved a butt load of time and (b) I was able to record myself straight away in the moment so my reflections were a lot more genuine than their original written counterparts.

I really enjoyed looking back over my past video diaries so I have decided to continue to create video reflections throughout my last year as a student teacher so that in years to come when I am an experienced teacher I can look back and see how far I’ve come.

I created a youtube channel (because I can’t afford to pay for the fancy WordPress account where you can embed your own videos #brokestudentlife) to upload my videos and will create a blog post to accompany each video every week.

As always any advice or feedback you wish to give would be massively appreciated (especially considering my camera skills are far from great).

I hope you enjoy watching my reflections as much as I enjoyed making them ❤

 

Have a beautiful day!!

Namaste xx

The History of the Periodic Table: Rotating Group Work

Hellloooo Every one!!!

So I am just about to embark on my third and final week of placement and I have spent the entire weekend lesson planning, laminating, cutting, pasting and prepping like a mad woman #studentteacherlife

For my year 10 science I attempted to teach them to balance chemical equations last week and it was (no word of a lie) the most boring lesson ever! So I’ve decided to attempt to shake things up a little this week by running our first lesson of the week as a rotating group activity.

The three activities involve;

  1. Reading a text and pulling out key dates / people to create a timeline that details the history of the periodic table
  2. Balancing chemical equations using molymods (after the difficulty they faced balancing equations using multiples, I decided a more tactile, visual approach was in order)
  3. Creating a categorical system to organise given elements. Students will be given a random assortment of elements and be required to find a way of categorising them.

 

I used a number of resources for this activity, some I created and 2 I found online and dowloaded. For you convenience here they are…

 

To make things simpler I printed the assorted sheets on coloured paper (a different colour per activity) and laminated them –> then I created instruction cards that could be read by the students to explain how the activity would run (these are included at the end of the lesson plan). All work would be completed in the students workbooks, with the exception of the timeline which would be completed on a piece of A3 paper, and then hung on the classroom wall.

 

Well I hate to be blunt, but I still have an enormous amount of lesson planning to do for the upcoming week ❤ So I’m going to end this post here.

Have a beautiful week everyone !!

Namaste xx

My Student Teacher Binder : #CutenessOverload

HI EVERYONE!!

So, next week I go on prac (aka. practical experience / placement) for 3 weeks!!! I have spent almost the entire school holidays prepping like a boss and not only have I written a butt-load of lesson plans I have also taken the time to make sure my Portfolio and Class Planners look 100% amazing.

This year (inspired by my wedding theme.. tropical cocktail (incase you were wondering)) I have decided to go with a baby pink, green leaf,  flamingo scheme.

I bought 5 plastic display folders to use as my Class Planners (essentially a place to store my unit overview, lessons plans and student resources) and created an individual cover for each. As an example this is what the cover for my Year 12 Physics class looks like:

Year 12

 

The covers for my remaining classes look identical, the only difference being the class details. ..

Class Binder
Thought I’d take a picture to show you all the finished Class Planners ❤ I got a bit excited with the PhotoBooth app (that’s why there are hearts floating above my head!)

The Class Planner covers I designed using Canva (a free online program which is great for making covers, posters, website headers etc.). I made the design public so anybody can copy and edit the original to suit their own needs – you will need to have a Canva membership and be logged in.

To access the editable Class Planner Cover click here!

After I had created my Class Planners, I designed the cover pages of my Portfolio binder to match…

 

To access the editable version of the Portfolio binder covers click here.

Well that’s all from me this week ❤

Have a wonderful week everyone !

Namaste xx

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Free Printable Teacher Binder

Good Afternoon lovelies ❤

Inspired by my recent placement I decided to make this binder to help me plan and collect student information quickly and easily –> in an adorable fashion (of course) ❤ ❤ ❤

I love sharing resources and I’m planning on sharing more and more resources (lesson plans, worksheets etc.) so stay tuned ! For now, here’s the most adorable teacher binder you’ve ever seen ❤

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DOWNLOAD HERE ❤  Teacher Binder

I’m super busy with assessment and student society web design (if you’re a JCU student check out the EDSS page ❤ ) but I’ll do my best to keep to my 1 post a week promise ❤

Thats all from me ! Have an amazing day !

Namaste xx

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Miss Who?! : Why a get to know you segment is ESSENTIAL in all pre-service teacher lesson plans.

What a week!! The fact that I managed to get this blog post done at all is a miracle. for the last 5 days I have been on prac (professional experience, placement etc.) at one of the local high schools and it has been a roller coaster!

One of the most challenging things about being a pre-service teacher is that no matter how great you are, or how fantastic you teach, at the end of the day you are still just ‘taking over’ someone else’s classroom. If you’re a perfectionist (like me) you will spend hours personalising power point slides and creating interactive activities for your students so that your lessons are fun and engaging – but all of this means absolutely nothing if the students don’t want to listen to you. 

This was getting me down a little last week – I put so much effort into my lesson plans BUT for some reason I kept getting “flat spots”. Eventually my supervising teacher (I actually had 2 for this placement so lets call this one ST 1) pulled me aside and told me that the reason the kids weren’t engaging is because they didn’t know a thing about me. They were being polite and copying when I told them to copy, doing the activities that I asked them to do, but the reason I kept getting “flat spot” was because the kids didn’t have any interest in me. This amazed me ! At university we are consistently told to “get to know your students” and to “draw up class profiles” but nobody had really emphasised that this relationship is actually a two way street.

So I rallied. My next lesson – instead of starting the students off with their learning goals I asked them if there was anything they wanted to know about me? Anything at all – it was a little awkward at first, and for one terrifying moment I thought that no-one would ask anything, but then a girl in the second row meekly put up her hand and asked “Miss, why do you want to be a teacher?” And then we were off – I told them my story, once the ball was rolling they didn’t hesitate, they asked all about my prior (unsuccessful) university degree, where I grew up and what my dogs names are – by the time we got around to discussing the learning goals they were all listening and there was no trace of “flatness”.

I tried this approach in my next 2 lessons and SUCCESS!! I had broken down a wall (there were still quite a few walls left but HEY any success – even the small ones – are worth celebrating!!!).

I will be returning to the same school in term 3 for three weeks so I’ve planned to make a little slide show showing pictures of me at different stages of my life to kick off the “getting to know Miss” segment of our lesson.

This week was a valuable reminder that there is more to teaching then just knowing the content – #pedagogicalknowledgeonpoint

Thats all from me (I have bulk assignments to write 😉 )

Until next week,

Namaste xx

 

When is Enough Enough?

So something happened at school this week that I have never experienced before and to be quite honest it rattled me a little bit.

For a bit of background knowledge I am at present a pre-service teacher, I graduate from university in June next year (2019) and at the moment I work some mornings and most afternoons at a school as an after-school-care employee (basically a babysitter for older kids).

Last week I was minding the prep / year 1 (5/6 year olds) students while they ate their afternoon tea. Everything was going smoothly, the kids were telling me about their day, then suddenly I noticed this one little girl was taking her watermelon, throwing it onto the wooden deck and stomping on it with her foot. Using my strong teacher voice (I didn’t raise my voice or yell – just changed the tone slightly so that instead of sounding light and playful as I generally do when interacting with the kids I now sounded serious and authoritarian) I asked her what she was doing. The student, lets call her Sally, didn’t respond and looked rather shocked that I had questioned her watermelon squashing motives. (This little girl is in Prep and it was only the 5th week of school for her ever – so in hindsight I don’t believe she would ever have been spoken to in a corrective manner by a teacher which would explain her astonishment). Again using my strong voice I asked her “is that how we treat things?” – she responded with a timid shake of the head, her eyes had begun to water at this point. I then said (in my strong voice) “You can go to the bathroom, get some paper towel and clean that up please. That’s not how we treat things ” – and off she went.

By the time the watermelon had been cleaned up Sally had progressed from watery eyes to full tears and I was considering my next move. The incident had happened, Sally had cleaned up the mess she had made (and she was obviously remorseful) so now my job was to re-establish a positive working relationship with her. I went over and sat with her (the other children had all dispersed by this point to participate in various activities) and we had a quiet chat about ‘why Miss Millie had gotten cross’ and how ‘if we don’t want our watermelon we  give it to the chickens (two extremely obese pet chickens that live at school) and not squash it into the slats of the wooden deck’. After we had finished she gave me a little cuddle and then the afternoon proceeded as normal. In fact I think that Sally may be more attached to me following this incident because she has been drawing me a picture to take home almost every day since.

So that was the “incident” now comes the true reason for this post… 

Almost a week after the incident occurred I showed up for work and my supervisor called me  into her office. She explained to me that Sally’s mum had complained about me to another staff member, and this staff member had repeated the conversation to her.  The complaint-recieving staff member, lets call her Sharon, was summoned and the story was told. It started like normal Sharon had greeted the Mum, lets call her Donna,  and they had a friendly chat about miscellaneous things and then Donna said “I need to talk to you about Millie”. When Donna had picked Sally up from after-school care last week she had been really quiet and Donna had questioned her about what was wrong Sally came out and said something along the lines of ‘Miss Millie yelled at me for making a mess with my watermelon and its not fair because other kids made a mess too’. Donna, the mum, now went on to criticise me to what I think may have been an excessively nasty level (based on Sharon’s reluctance to tell me too much of the what was said exactly) and then took her leave.

Now to make things clear it isn’t the fact that a parent has complained that has rattled me; it is the fact that ;

  1. The story the parent heard was not exactly what happened;
  2. Instead of questioning ME or my supervisor, the parent has chosen to go to another staff member and make her complaint;
  3. The parent got nasty (extent of which is undetermined – but it was unnecessary regardless)

As a pre-service teacher I take things such as behaviour management very seriously and I do my utmost to make sure that all of my corrective actions are consistent and respectful. I checked myself against the Decisive Leadership Model (a set of principals to guide a teachers response to misbehaviour), as reported and developed by Aitken in 1999 and my comments on the most noteworthy principals are as follows;

Principal One: Respect – I made sure that I spoke clearly and didn’t raise my voice or use an derogative terms. I said please.

Principal Three: Collegial Support – When I questioned my senior colleagues (both after the incident and again after the parental complaint) they thought that the steps I took were appropriate and one even suggested that I come down harder on students in the future.

Principal Seven: Choices and Consequences – Sally made a mess so the consequence was that she had to clean up the mess. I emphasised this point more in the chat we had following the incident.

Principal Eight: Certainty not Severity – the consequences imposed (I think) perfectly matched the behaviour

Principal Nine: Re-establish a positive working relationship – I made sure that I sat down with Sally afterwards and explained why she had gotten in trouble. I made sure that she had an opportunity to ask me questions. Judging from her behaviour following the positive relationship was successfully re-established.

It has begun to become clear to me that the one thing university is not going to be able to teach us (pre-service teachers) is what to do with the parents. There is millions of pieces of literature surrounding classroom management and numerous models to guide us on making the right decision in the classroom – but as of yet we havn’t been exposed to any learning or literature that teaches us how to effectively communicate and collaborate with the people who influence our students the most.

My goal for the next few weeks is to educate myself and find some literature to help me understand where this mother (Donna) was coming from when she turned on me. But for now I would love the opinions of any teachers, educators, child care workers AND parents – Do you think I handled the situation appropriately? Is there something more I could have done? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

 

Until next week 🙂

Namaste x