Friday, 24 June 2016

MDTA Reflection 2016

After hours of planning, recording, and editing the final video of my reflection in the MDTA programme so far is complete! Looking back over the last 6 months it was amazing to see how much we have all been through and how much we have experienced and learnt. I have really enjoyed the challenges so far and am grateful for all the support from my colleagues. Enjoy!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

MDTA 'Interview' videos

Yesterday we began creating our videos about our MDTA journey over the past 6 months. The aim was to write a script and record an interview of ourselves - making it appear as if I was in a normal interview and speaking to someone else was a lot harder than I thought!

Hannah and I set off down to Point England beach to film ourselves and were greeted by plenty of seagulls and even a rat wanting to make a guest appearance in the recording. I definitely collected more bloopers than usable audio and may look at recording parts again over the next week - it was a great learning curve and I now know what I need to collect to get my interview ready for next week.

Keep posted to see my interview in a weeks time!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Inquiry Update - Word Worm

This term my inquiry is investigating into how I can support a group of three students to retain high frequency words. Reflection on the teaching programme in the first term highlighted that these students were retaining knowledge that was repeated over a series of days, they enjoyed working with manipulative materials and also were more engaged in tasks where an element of challenge and competition was involved. Often in the first term, I had not taught individual words on consecutive days, therefore the students had not been repeatedly exposed to a word until they were able to commit this knowledge to memory. 

The designed intervention was therefore going to incorporate an element of repetition, overlearning, challenge and competition. I created a digital tool called "Word Worm" where students completed a series of slides based on one particular word. They would complete the same "Word Worm" task daily until they could read this word without teacher support (the teacher would test the student randomly on the word - to make sure the student had retained the word over a period of time the test would be completed when the students arrived to school in the morning).

Here you can see the designed digital tool with a brief explanation of each slide:

In order to incorporate an element of challenge and competition, the students were told that for every 5 words they learnt they would be able to select a prize out of the prize box. A record of the words they had learnt were placed on the wall - this worked as a word bank for students to refer to throughout the date and also was a visible progress chart.

The students have really enjoyed the activity so far and I definitely believe the extrinsic motivation of a prize helped to encourage their engagement. Reflecting on the intervention so far, I believe  in order to ensure that the learnt words are not forgotten I need to create a "test" activity where each new word they learn is added and reviewed. 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Creating a screencast on QuickTime Player

Today, we learnt how to screencast using QuickTime Player on our laptops. In order to practise screencasting, we created a video of how our learners navigate our class site and their learning. Our Year 1 learners use iPads to support their learning and can access the site directly from a link on their iPad screen. They navigate the site as shown in the screencast and then import the appropriate activity onto their Explain Everything by clicking the link. An example of the types of activities we create to support reading through Explain Everything is also shown, as insight into how our activities are built to support the level of which the students are currently working at.

While completing this activity, I realised how screencasting can provide a quick method of creating rewindable learning. The teacher can create a quick screencast to explain activities or ideas to students which can be shared and then accessed whenever and wherever by the students when they require the support.

Here is the link to our class site!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Apple Mac Tips - Meredith Bean

Today, Meredith Bean from Apple came to our MDTA Friday to give us some tips on using Apple Mac functions and features. So that I wouldn't forget the features which stood out to me, I created a quick brainstorm on Explain Everything. Some of the functions I thought were extremely useful in the classroom were:

1. Create student user - Creating a student user account enables students to work on the same computer as the teacher without having access to all the teacher's files (which often have confidential information).

2. Text to speech settings - Depending on where in the world you are teaching you can select the appropriate speaker for the language you are teaching - the teacher or students can highlight text in a document and by clicking the fn key twice (or the function you have selected) the text will be read aloud. This can be a great tool for writing as students can hear their work being read out.

3. Change keyboard preferences - Choose different keyboards in order to get the appropriate letters and macrons for the language you select.

4. Do not disturb function - Limit the times in which you receive notifications by altering the time in the do not disturb settings.

5. Switch controls - Alter controls in order to support students with a variety of learning needs.