Blogging in the Classroom

Last Friday I started individual blogs with all the kids in my grade. They each have a blog and it is theirs to look after and control. My purpose for these blogs is for the kids to have a platform to share and learn about their passions. Each Friday morning I am going to allow the students to follow their passions and learn about anything they would like to. It is their turn to develop their independence in their learning and for them to take full control of this. I will be guiding them and teaching them new skills to help them to learn, research and share their learning with others.

This blog (http://psolarz.weebly.com/passion-time.html) really helped me to realise the potential and worth. It made me realise the connection between these passion blogs and Daily 5, in giving the kids independence and working towards their personal goals. The blog post inspired me! I’m hoping the blogs will be a success and the kids learn to love the time to learn about whatever it is they might like to know.

My Successes!

I have decided within my classroom, I need to focus more strongly on the positive aspects which are occurring, identify these and verbalise them with my grade.

To do this, I feel I need to explore the successes I have had as a teacher so far. What is it that has worked well and that I am proud of? If I can see the positive in myself, maybe I will be able to see the positives in my classroom more clearly.

1. This term my grade have been much more settled, they seem to be happier and more comfortable with me as their teacher. I believe the children have worked out who I am, how I teach and what I expect of them – my consistency and perseverance during term one paid off!

2. I am really pleased with the way my grade are reading to self. They are able to, mostly, choose and read good fit books. I have introduced reading response books this term, I feel these are going to help make the comprehension strategies more concrete for the children.

3. I am pleased with the way the children can sit down and write. At the start of the year, most of the children did not know what to write, they struggled to choose a topic and sit down to write. I provided them with prompts everyday for those children who weren’t sure what to write. Now I don’t have to provide the children with any prompts, they choose and they can do it! I am now implementing some writing workshops outside of daily 5, to complement and enhance their writing to make it so much stronger.

4. I feel I am being more responsive and attentive to the children’s needs this term. Last term I was building my relationships and getting to know my grade. I now feel I am able to work more closely with my grade at an individual level and differentiate their learning. I think everyone in the grade is benefitting from this.

5. I feel more settled. I believe this has contributed to a lot of my other successes and positive outcomes. I am feeling more settled as a teacher and in the role as a teacher and as a result this is positively influencing the learning in my classroom.

I want my grade to celebrate the successes we have, as part of that I believe the children need to look at their successes and I need to look at mine. We are all part of the classroom and we are all learning, in turn we all have our successes, it is nice to explore them!

The World of Teaching!

In becoming a new teacher, with my own grade looking up at me, I have realised being a teacher is so much more than just teaching. Along with the teaching and learning which I have developed through previous placements, there are the extra elements of being a teacher which you do not quite experience to the full extent of its power as a pre-service teacher. In the beginning weeks of term one, I have and am still learning about the happenings of the school and how it operates as well as learning about my students, their individual traits and how to best teach these students. With developing my identity as a teacher, I am learning about my roles in various school based scenarios, for example my role in a lockdown, and when students need first aid. With all this learning about the logistics of teaching and all the behind the scenes experiences which you are not quite ever fully involved in as a pre-service teacher, I am learning to be the teacher I want to be. Remembering all the things I learnt during my course and all the dreams and motivators I had. I am observing children and watching their minds think. I am helping students develop their thinking skills and become independent learners. I am helping students be capable and responsible citizens.

Although there is a lot of learning to occur, and this will be a constant process (which I am eager for!), with a lot of behind the scenes work, for example setting up my classroom, I am loving teaching and know this is where I want to be.

Aligning Indigenous perspectives with Western perspectives of teaching

These two examples demonstrate how western and Indigenous pedagogies can be aligned to create an enriched learning experience. The first is a lesson on descriptive writing which utilises both pedagogies in creating a richer experience for students. The second is an image which portrays the university experience of myself and peers through Indigenous perspectives after reflecting in a western way.

Descriptive writing – surprise writing and 8 ways

Painting 17

8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning

Although the curriculum requires Indigenous inclusions, it lacks ways and definitions on how to incorporate these. The 8Ways (8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning, 2013) is a fantastic framework to help guide teachers into how to incorporate and align western and Indigenous pedagogies. It is useful in realising the ways Indigenous people view the world. 8Ways (8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning, 2013) helps to acknowledge these ways in realising how these could be incorporated into teaching and learning, in entering into a culturally responsive and relevant learning environment to form relationships with all involved.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives and Western Perspectives: A Third Cultural Space

A third cultural space is the space in which two cultures work together and alongside each other to incorporate the perspectives of both into a single approach (Queensland Government, 2011). This might be done through learning about both perspectives and how they influence the other in identifying similarities and combining these to make an effective space. This would enhance the curriculum in exploring more than one perspective, developing new skills and values for the success in life and portraying the respect and value of both perspectives in education and hence society. This third space enables a broader knowledge base and understanding of ideas through exploring through various lenses which would be lost if there were only one perspective being taught. It has the potential to broaden understandings with various perspectives to allow broad approaches to problems and learning into the future.

The Future

There are many possibilities for the design and structure of learning spaces into the future. Which factors of the globe will have the most affect on these spaces? Technology, globalisation, war, poverty, multiculturalism. In the future will classrooms be based on global connections or local partnerships?

In thinking about future learning spaces, I believe it is difficult to predict what the physical structures might look like. However I do believe there will be a particular skill set necessary for all students and teachers to possess in order to succeed. This may include: creativity, innovation, problem solving, persistence and resilience. These I feel, will enable most situations to be successful.