Tag Archives: colleagues

It’s flipping contagious!

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flipped classroom

Following on from my first attempt at Flipped Learning, a few other colleagues have expressed interest in seeing how it can be used as a valuable tool. So, I set up a few announcements for them in our staff Google Classroom, to introduce them to the concept and to give them some resources and ideas. I’ve copied the announcements that I gave to my colleagues (which also could’ve been sent via email) for you below.

ANNOUNCEMENT 1:
Flipped Learning: giving your students meaningful teacher time while being able to work with others, usually done through the use of videos. Teachers who are not confident at creating their own videos can use videos created by other teachers!

These are the videos I made for the Year 1 class so they could research their own country. As each group watched and listened to their video, they were writing down the facts on their paper proforma. 
What was I doing for the lesson? Roaming the room, showing students how to pause, rewind, replay and helping them find the correct box for each piece of information.
How long did the videos take me to make? None of them are longer than a minute. By the time I added a pretty filter and edited the captions, and saved to my Google Drive, each video took me about 5 minutes in total. 
What did I use to make the videos? My iPhone! I used the Apple Clips app, which allows you to select captions, so that as you talk the text appears on the screen (as mentioned above, you can edit the captions if your enunciation isn’t clear enough for dear old Siri to translate!!)

ANNOUNCEMENT 2:
A short video and quiz to explore Flipped Learning! Click the Google Form below to check it out!
https://goo.gl/forms/YT9rT192xbyNaPRV2

After speaking to my Principal, we also ordered the Flipped Learning book bundle, and as soon as they arrived, I covered them and handed the out the Flipped Learning for Science and Flipped Learning for English to the relevant teachers.

What has happened so far?
Our primary school Art teacher, who also teaches high school Design, Creativity & Technology thought that Flipped Learning would be a great idea to implement in her sewing units. Instead of her explaining (and repeating, and repeating, and repeating herself) how to sew on a button, or use a slip-stitch, she searched Youtube for 2 videos explaining each of these concepts. Her thinking is that she can introduce it, but while viewing the video, students can pause, follow the instructions and then keep going to finished the process. Her question then was, “How do I get these videos to the kids to watch?”
My answer: Google Classroom. The Primary Art classes already had a Google Classroom set up, so I showed her how to:

  • create a new announcement
  • insert the selected Youtube video
  • type a brief description
  • select the students who she wanted to share it with (only the Year 3/4 class needed to see it, not the whole Primary school)
  • send the announcement

(If you don’t have Google Classroom, my suggestion would to be create a QR code linked to the video, so students can access it. Other options would to be placing the video link on a class blog, or common server, Edmodo class, or email it to each student. It really depends on your technology arrangements.)

I’m so excited to see Flipped Learning being used so quickly after introducing it to staff. I have some time off when she is teaching this class tomorrow, so I can’t wait to pop in and see how it all goes!

 

 

Digital Technology Mentoring

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Part of my role this year is to meet weekly with each Primary School teacher for mentoring them in the area of Digital Technology. Last week was my first week actually carrying this out and I found it so exciting!

What does it involve? Anything the teacher wants – whatever sort of technology skills they are hoping to improve, or implement in class with their students

As a GAFE school, the focus on using GAFE properly is high. I helped one teacher create a Google Doc, name it, locate it in her Google Drive and create 2 folders for different subjects. Within the Google Doc, she inserted a table AND merged cells. And boy, was I proud of her! She didn’t write the instructions down, because she made 3 Google Docs and we’re going to continue it this week. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I chatted with another colleague about where she’s going to fit the Digital Technologies into her weekly timetable. Her class will have 1:1 iPads and we looked at integrating them into problem-solving in maths, through coding. She told me that she didn’t really know much about coding, so I directed her to the Hour Of Code. We talked about using ReadTheory in the classroom as well, which some of her students used last year.  For those higher achievers in Literacy groups, I suggested using Book Creator with the task of creating a book quiz to promote higher comprehension thinking skills.

One of my colleagues was busy running the SRC last week during our meeting time, so I’ll be meeting with her for the first time next week. She got started with Google Classroom last year and I’m excited to see what plans she has for it this year, especially as her co-teacher in the adjacent classroom has Google Classroom on her agenda – how can she use it, what can she do with it, etc. That’s her goal, so I’ve been busy delving through Alice Keeler’s blog and emailing her some links for her to check out before we meet next.

Unfortunately Primary School swimming interrupted my meeting with another colleague, so we’re taking a raincheck. It’s her first time teaching the year level she’s got this year, so she’s looking for new ideas and ways of doing things – I’m keen to see where this takes us.

Which leaves me with one colleague – the lady I’m co-teaching Prep with this year. We’ve already set up ClassDojo purely for the Class Stories feature, instead of sending home a paper newsletter full of photos from the week. We’ve already had most parents join and interacting with the photos. I started the week of by uploading the photos myself, but my colleague uploaded photos herself yesterday – win! Last year, she was logging onto the 4 classroom computers for the students – but this year, we’re going to get the students to do it themselves. Yes, it will be slower to start, but upskilling them in the process. We also discussed the BigCat book iPad apps for Literacy groups, and Book Creator for creating a book about numbers to 10.

What else is on my agenda? I’ve been encouraging a few staff to check out the Google Certified Educator Training – not necessarily for the ‘title’, but for the skills. I’ve also been given a timeslot at our weekly staff meeting to talk about technology – new apps, websites, ideas…and hopefully getting staff to present at these too!

I love my new role!

Do actions really speak louder than words?

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Do you socialise with colleagues outside of work?

I moved 5 hours from my family for the job I am currently in. I knew nobody in the town I moved to, except for a long-lost family friend who was nursing at the local hospital.

5 years on, I am engaged to a local guy. He’s a teacher at a different school. Let’s just say that if I hadn’t have socialised with my colleagues outside of work hours, I wouldn’t have met him.

Despite this success, I’m not sure if it’s healthy to socialise with the people I work with outside of hours. As I am typing this, I am counting the number of friends I have locally who are not my colleagues…and I can count them on one hand.

I mean, I’ve met people. I’ve been on 3 netball teams and a regular yoga class. They’re just not people I would call on a Saturday afternoon and ask to come and walk my dog with me while having a chat.

A lot of my friends are teachers. Teachers at the same school as me, at other schools in the area, or friends that I’ve had since uni. When we get together, the tendency seems to be to talk about school. I don’t actually mind talking about school – my students and the actual teaching.

What I do mind though, is the negative attitude people have towards school, that they feel they need to pass around and infect on the people around them. Yes, I’ve been guilty of this myself, I know. The thing is, if I stopped hanging around my colleagues, I wouldn’t be able to moan and whine about teaching. Better still, I wouldn’t have to listen to them carry on about how much they hate Mr Maths, or Miss Humanities. Or how Mr History needs a bigger belt for his pants…or bigger pants. Or how Mrs Administration’s new haircut makes her look 20 years older.

I’ve made a few changes. There are certain colleagues I refuse to spend time with outside of work. I can act collegial towards them at work, but once 4pm on a Friday comes, there is no chance I will willingly spend my time in their company. I feel it would be detrimental to my own health.

Their words are what I’m avoiding, but it’s my actions which are doing the talking.