Special Ed Blogs

5 Jun

Head over and check out the article called 50 Must-See Blogs for Special Education Teachers over at Edudemic. As a pre service special ed teacher I am constantly on the look out for great ideas, inspiration and resources for special education needs. I am very passionate, and if there is one thing I have learnt over the past 15 weeks of doing this course it is that I need to engage in online communities to heighten my skills and knowledge. This is a great article that lists 50 blogs that ever special ed teacher should follow. I haven’t gone through all of them just yet- but when I do (preferably over my break) I’m sure I will be more inspired than ever. Can’t wait to sit down with a cuppa, a couple of pieces of chocolate (black forest please!) and read some of this. Ripper! 

Great Special Ed Resource

5 Jun

I cam across this great special ed resource called Poisson Rouge. Red Fish Soup. Games for Children. You can read their manifesto here. It’s a great site, with an even greater pedagogy. The epitome of what special ed should be: exploration, play, success for learners, learning at your own pace, age appropriateness, level of ability appropriate as well. I wish that I had found this site while I was on professional experience, but it’s great to have in my toolbelt now, and also just to be inspired by their pedagogy. To leave with a quiote from their manifesto, I will say, “A child instinctively knows if something is complicated or easy, but will will like engaging within their comfort zone to relax as well as venture outside for stimulation, at their own pace, in the order they choose and that suits them that day. Poisson Rouge does not direct, does not control”. A great constructivist and flexible approach to teaching and learning. Love it! 

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Nothing pleases…

5 Jun

Nothing pleases people more than to go on thinking what they have always thought, and at the same time imagine that they are thinking something new and daring: it combines the advantage of security and the delight of adventure.- T S Elliot

This quote was placed on the Week 15 learning path on reflecting on Professional Experience. As I finish up the assignment and course material for EDC 3100, I wonder if I am engaging in what this quote is saying: am I thinking the same thing, but making myself believe that it is new and daring? Am I being self-decieved? Through reflecting, I think the answer is in my last blog post entitled Professional Experience Reflection. I said that ICT’s were great, but what about those who don’t have access to them. Have I missed the whole point of the course. I think I need to adjust my schema. ICT’s NEED to be integrated into teaching, and it is my job as a teacher to ensure that happens. There is no choice, no buts, no maybe’s. ICT’s will soon become the make or break of teaching. I want to MAKE IT. 

Professional Experience Reflection

5 Jun

WOW! What an amazing, exhausting, fun-filled, stress-filled, creative, learning experience, prac was. Three weeks just flew by being in a Senior age group at a Special School here in Toowoomba. I had the most incredible mentor, who was available, always to answer my questions, give me feedback, advise, and of course the scariest of them all- constructive critism. I was continually inspired by the work of my fellow teachers at the school, and felt so honoured to be able to go to this school and learn from them. After reading a fellow EDC 3100 student’s post over at Felicia Van Der Meer: Aspire to be all you can be, entitled Finishing prac, I realised how incredible lucky I was to have amazing ICT resources at my finger tips. The IWB was my saviour. I don’t remember doing a lesson without it. Not only did it synthesise my planning, but it engaged my students and helped them learn. Being in an environment where students need a lot of extra support and explicit teaching, breaking it up and showing it in different forms using the IWB was so important. I think if any school deserves this kind of ICT, it’s a special school. But, I realise that not everyone had this experience. ICT’s are great… But what about those who don’t have access to them. 

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Shape Detective Web Quest

11 May

Shape Detective Web Quest

Tonight I finally finished (and published) my Web Quest for another course I am doing on Mathematics and Pedagogy. We had to design a ‘web quest’, similar to a website for students to navigate through to go through a topic and in the end complete an assessment task. It was a challenging (more technologically), fun, creative and interesting. I feel like it’s one of the most applicable assignments I have done at Uni and could actually implement it in the classroom! But, I am glad that it’s over, especially as I go on prac next week. Check it out if you are interested! 

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PRAC NEXT WEEK..

7 May

PRAC NEXT WEEK..

Don’t Freak out! Breathe….

Digital Citizenship

7 May

As much as it is important to be integrating ICT into all aspects of the classroom I can’t forget that if I want my students to become effective members of society that can handle cultural demands and norms, I need to ensure they have a thorough knowledge and skills set when it comes to technology. It was only once I got into high school that I started to learn more about technology and was rarely ever encouraged and motivated to use it because it was a great way to learn. I was more interested in MSN, myspace or facebook. But now that I have left school I have come to realise how important it is to develop a digital citizenship… This concept is explained here by Mike Ribble in a article entitled Passport to Digital Citizenship. Ribble describes that when people develop their digital capacities (citizenship) they function better in current society. He talks about the 9 aspects of digital citizenship. It’s definitely worth a read- and just reminds me of the importance of teaching and integrating skills into curriculum so that students develop the capacities needed for the future.