Skype goes cultural

I was reading through the learning path this week with interest as David mentioned Skype in the classroom. This is about the third time I’ve read or heard about the app/service in a couple of weeks. Skype in the classroom allows you to invite a guest speaker into your classroom, or alternatively speak to another class from around the globe, in an attempt to guess their location by asking a series of yes no questions. I think this is a wonderful way to foster a cultural understanding in a society that is becoming more and more intercultural. This is something I’ve added to my bookmark list of ICT to try in practice.

Been placed. Weight lifted.

So I was just reading Elizabeth’s blog post regarding prac and it inspired me to make a nice polite phone call to prac office to follow up on things. I’m generally quite passive and assume that prac office will get things done and a phone call from me would probably annoy them but I’m tired of wondering. Actually, being placed is about the only thing that I dwell on quite a bit. I am going to a year 2 class which would mean my pracs to date will have been;

Prep/Yr 1 composite, Year 2, Year 3/Year 4 composite, Year 5/Year 6 composite. Look at that for a pattern, I will have been placed with every year level. I think that should have me placed to make an informed decision on what Year level I would like to do my intern with :). If I can’t decide then, I could always try the ‘Which Year level should you be teaching‘ app ;).

FWIW, Prac office said that they were onto our unit now, I she had just update another ten students, excluding mine, before I called.


Maths Games, Where art thou?

As prac slowly approaches, I’ve taken stock to assess where I sit in the scheme of getting my uni assignments done. I’m pretty confident to have put away my EDP4140 and EDC3100 assignments before the weekend, and EDX2170 is assignment free for a little while yet, so that leaves me ready to tackle the notorious Maths 3280 eportfolio bad boy BUT, …. where oh where are all the great Maths interactive games?

For the eportfolio assignment, I have a solid plan on measurement but I have found interactive online games, activities and resources hard to come by. IXL looks to be one site that I am looking at but struggling a little bit beyond that. Does anyone have any recommendations of sites you’ve used in the past, or present for Maths interactive resources.


My assignment secret

I read with interest Emily’s blog on study tips that can help you go to that next level. When I was High School I’m the first to admit, in the words of Mr Strickland …. I was a slacker.

I’ve since picked up my game. I find I’m able to stay on top of my game with a clear setting of expectations and adhering to them. In practice, that means I set what I need to be done, and by when. An practical example is when working on assignments, once I have a plan in sight, I aim for 300 words a day over a five day period. I know good and well that I can pound out a lot more than that but exceeding 300 always leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy.

Hardly groundbreaking, but what’s your secret? How do you get that 15oo word assignment done when the motivation factor isn’t there.

FWIW, here’s a generic list outlined by Adelaide Uni for a few more pointers.



A role for rote

The greatest take away from my experiences in Taiwan was ESL students’ capacity to retain sight words. I seriously spent a good 11 years teaching sight words in the Sesame Street Language School system and children as young as Year 1 had nailed sight words and reading at a Year 4 standard in Australia, and that’s English in a second language. I guess being taught phonics in a model and drill environment has enabled to strong capacity to retain information. In contrast, in Australia, where a rote learning style is uncommon, children really do struggle with retaining sight words. Gabrielle  posted an interesting sight word page, webtothecore that help students retain important words for reading.

Placed for prac yet?

I just read with interest Dayna’s post regarding professional experience. Like her, I find it easier to pick 9 AFL winners a weekend, mow the neighbour’s lawns, then whip up a roast dinner for 25 than to be placed in sufficient time for prac, although Dayna did find hers :). Last year I was off to Dayboro State School and it was the most wonderful teaching experience since my previous year’s prac at St Flannan’s. My hope if I get to a Catholic school before doing my first 4th year prac at a Ed Qld school again. Anyway, the countdown begins and it’s almost a daily visit to inplace to check placement status. I’m curious to find who has been placed yet and who is still waiting.