Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday 11th October 2009

Dave Vizard was fabulous at Uni on Thursday! What alot to think about........ and to try and put into practice too.

On Friday, the following day, I found myself in a French lesson with a pupil with ASD (Aspergers) and they had a vocab.' test. Whilst trying to remember certain words/phrases I found myself watching his eye movement more than previously and thinking (whilst he scruched his eyes so tight!!) that he was trying to visualise the words he was 'looking' for!! Need to give this some thought as to how I can help him now with his vocab.' - maybe pictures will assist or perhaps a quirky visualisation will help him remember a word.

This week has also seen me think more about the EAL student I work with. The fact that he appears to be able to recite but not recall for use words. The repetative "I am crazy, yes?" he loves to be followed by me saying "Yes" him then saying, "Thank you" and then I have to say "It's a pleasure" or "You're welcome" - if we don't follow this structure, he asks!!

His understanding of pupils being nice/nasty (putting it bluntly) is rather lacking and I have drawn up a sort of 'game' on lamiate, and with cards, where by we can use daily happenings to help him understand this - it can be added to with other circumstances as the need arises.

I have done this to try to ensure that he is included in the way we wish him to be included as a department/school.

Much of his work requires differentiation which the TA's are struggling with due to a lack of support from teaching staff (or so it seems!) - it seemed to fall on me again (possibly my background/language). I suggested a storyboard type of engagement for RE to do with Christmas - pictures to cut/colour and put in order of the Christmas story and then write the English and Polish words underneath to match the pictures. So whilst other pupils are doing the Christmas story in an essay format, he will use this storyboard format. We will see how it works! All this, these ideas, are because of what I am doing at Uni - the fact that I am reflecting on what I am doing and trying to improve it, is great. I am havingto write a reflective type diary at present regarding the EAL student that I a working with too - it really does help to write down all these details and reflect back. I believe it is improving my prcatice in the 'classroom'!

On a different note, I think I have got the basis of my next assignment (have already put it onto the paper copy ready for sesion 4!) ........ bound to change a little if not totally though knowing me!!

My precis is done, my e-resource sorted (waiting to be emailed!), and reading matter underway, I am feeling quite pleased with myself so far!! And I've even managed to do some more reading and searching this weekend regardless that my car was smashed into on Saturday morning and I missed my sons footy match! What's even worse is that just 2 weeks ago, my hubands was written off by an exact same incident - both cars just parked outside the house and another driver driven at speed into the back ....... :(
These are our cars prior to the accidents - neither one of which were our fault - not even sat in the cars when they were driven into (just as well!!)
(See the previous logs for other photos!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pebble Pad

Unusually for me, I didn't like it!! Normally I love any new initiative to do with ICT and grab with both hands, this ust seems to repeat lots of other applications.
For ful time Uni students who are compiling a CV (from scratch) and completing work to submit regularly, I can see a place for it maybe.
I already have a Blog for my relective accounts and I have a notepad on my iPhone and PC (linked together) which is wonderful for uploading websites/texs/files/contacts/etc., for free. The PebblePad, from what I understand, and I stand to be corrected when we have our 'talk' on it, s only free whilst at Uni and for 12months after one leaves. After this, is has to be paid for!
I am unure as to the logistics of access by others to your "assets" and to the limitof 100MB's of space - yes, I know this sounds huge, but my tiny memory stick has more than enough for my needs combined with my pc.
As I say, for a full time Uni student, it may be worthwhile for storing everything on whilst "on campus", but personally, I think it has too much!?!? Maybe I am just well organised as I already ave a CV on my computer and a section where I add any courses I attend, etc., so I suppose I have an e-portfolio already ..... I am open minded enough to be swayed though still and will say no more until we have our session on 12th November wiith Dominic.........
You will only be able to utilise this site if you are a member of staff or a student at Plymouth University at present.
However, tis web address may give you some further insight:
Would love some feedback from others!! :)

New module - Roles and Responsibilities

Well here we are with Summer reluctantly receding into the past and Winter fast approaching, and another academic year on the go!!
Having finished the ICT module (yes, I passed!!) - my marks weren't as good as I'd expected but then I think I may have had too high expectations of myself! My tutor told me that I had some good stuff in there and I had potential! Well, that's good for the ego and enough motivation to make me continue :)
My sister became my 'critical friend' this summer, as I had no idea where my last assignment was heading, initially. I thought I disliked my tutor but on reflection I reckon it was more of a dislike of the actual module (unfortunately she just happened to be 'teaching' it!) .......... behaviour management was NOT my forte!!!! Having now finished it though,I have actually quite enjoyed it - learnt from it? .... yes, I think I have in a strange sort of way! It was a definate learning curve ... vertical ..... but one I have come out of on top (dependant upon my mark!!! .. watch this space! lol)
Today I felt soooooo valued at work - lots of praise for various things! One of which was the EAL stuff I'd done over the weekend! Also the ART testing began today (thanked by teaching staff for that one!) and the on-going, dreaded, IEP's!!!!! Gotta be ready for Ofsted!
Having that feeling has done wonders for my self-esteem and makes me realise how the pupils feel daily (not that I ever doubted that before! - I know how it feels NOT to be appreciated when you feel as if you are doing your best!)
My feelings towards our little Polish boy are no different - he's wonderful (and very cheeky sometimes!!, but all part of his enduring character.) You have to understand that being of Polish background myself I feel very strongly about his inclusion and want to make it work, but I now realise that it's not as simple as that. I think, therefore I am .....!! (Cogito ergo sum ......)
My husband, knowing how I feel, has been very supportive, but has also told me that I am probably rather biased ....... I just want it to work for this kid! However, even I can see that things are rather difficult!! But I CAN make a difference in how things are approached with him and I intend to do that.
It is something that I feel strongly about, but something which I can make a difference to - I have a greater knowledge of background/culture than most at the school, and I have come across bias before. It make me very cross to see it from staff at school though!

On top of all this we have had our lovely (less than 2 months old) sports car (top of the range Z3) written off by a single driver one morning whilst it was parked quite unoffensively outside our house! (See previous Blog)
Having been to hell and back over the last 18 months (after losing absolutely everything just after our arrival here!!) I am thankful to still feel so optimistic!!!

The reflective account/diary is going to be more useful than I thought (thank you Mark and Rachael).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Long time, no Blog!!

Well, it's been a while since I've been on my Blog! Perhaps it's because I' due back at Uni next week and I feel guilty about not having een keeping up to date ..... perhaps it's because I've just seen a friend of mines Blog and it reminded me of mine!!

New module of Roles and Responsibilities and a different tutor ..... looking forward to getting back into it again even though school/work is keeping me very busy at present. But then so is my home life. And then I want to keep in touch with all my friends too, regularly, and find myself slacking... there just doesn't seem to be enough time for everything anymore!!

Now I'm back, I will try and continue.

My husbands car was written offon Thursday morning .... 5 minutes after I'd left with the kids .... a woman ran into the back of it and shunted it 8ft down the road and into a concrete railway post at the edge of the road. The rear wheel has been totally broken in half and the car has been marked/bumped from every angle possible (Ill try and upload some photos!) - we've had it for less than 2 months :(

We had to sell the yacht (mentioned previously) because of his disability we'd not been able to sail and the sale had bought this car ... two seater, soft top, sports car - BMW Z3 (top of the range with all the extras you could think of!!) It was a beaut, and I'm not even really into cars! It took him 2 months to find it, so I hope he can find another or a similar type?! I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

THE Assignment!!!! (Saturday 28th March 2009)

I had felt quite proud of myself initially having written an extremely rough, draft copy of my assignment. However, there are numerous alterations to be made and it still requires some additions too!! I feel that maybe I got a little 'cocky'!! Still, having spent a little time on it today and a bi more planning (along with a glass of wine! ..... will that make it better or worse though?!) - I reckon it's coming together quire nicely now. Thre is just so much information I want to include (and even with all the appendices, etc in the world, there's not enough!) I find it rather difficult to decipher the best bits to include and which I should bin!!
Then there's the citations ........... OMG!!!!!!! I have spent nearly as long on those as the actual assignment! Well may be not, but it certainly seems that way sometimes. An absolute maze which I feared sometimes I was lost in for ever, but hey, I think I can see the exit now.
I have really enjoyed this module - I LOVE ICT!!!!! (even if I still have a lot to learn!) and was so glad that I joined the cohort at this time...... late!!
Here's to the next 4 years .......

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday 14th March 2009

I have been subscribing to a whole host of 'alerts' to do with ICT in schools and student related themes. Some have been very informative and others a complete farce! The following is an article from the following link:

I couldn't help but agree with this story - "too much emphasis on particular software packages and not enough time helping the students aquire transferable skills". Read on and see what you think!

Good signs for schools IT spendingFriday, March 13, 2009

An Ofsted report has found that despite schools investing heavily in ICT, there is still no consideration towards its impact on improving learning. The report has noted many gains in schools' IT and has credited the commitment of schools leaders for it. Yet, it found that only half of the schools that Ofsted inspectors visited were actually evaluating the impact of ICT resources on improving learning. Other findings in 'The importance of ICT: information and communication technology in primary and secondary schools 2005-08' included a weakness in assessment, low standards in database usage by pupils and a general restriction on pupils using different software and learning transferable skills. Assessment was the weakest aspect of teaching in IT, the report said, with one in five schools being "inadequate". "The schools visited rarely tracked the progress of individuals in ICT, established their attainment on entry to secondary school or took into account their achievement outside school. Although the use of ICT in other subjects was increasing in secondary schools, the skills were rarely assessed. As a result, ICT teachers rarely knew how well students applied their ICT skills elsewhere," the report said. Although students used ICT well to present their work, communicate their ideas and, increasingly, to manipulate and use a variety of digital media, the report also found that standards in using spreadsheets, databases and programming remained low. Teachers also gave too much emphasis to particular software applications, "rather than helping them to acquire genuinely transferable skills". Higher attaining children in both primaries and secondaries were insufficiently challenged by ICT teaching, the report also found. In Key Stage 4, for example, pupils studying some vocational courses often spent time demonstrating what they could already do rather than acquiring new skills.Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector, said: "Around 77 per cent of the workforce now uses information technology in their job and the demand for these skills is likely to continue to increase. Schools must equip young people with the tools to ensure their employability. ICT needs to be given high status, both by the government and in individual schools, in line with its importance to young people's future economic well being."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday 3rd March 2009

Well, having spoken with all involved yesterday in the 'practical part of my assignment' , I aim to use it in the lesson tomorrow, yikes, with their blessings!!!!!
It's certainly been a steep learning curve along the way, from day one to date - what with using the PowerPoint for what I wanted to use it for (and being able to 'programme' it accordingly), getting the soud to work and all the slides to connect. Then when it wouldn't initially work, (and this was only at home!), having to find out why!
Having sussed all that out and taken it into school on my memory stick I had to transfer it onto the school drive, and then the IWB wouldn't work with it ... oh boy! Having never used the IWB before either, I was going to have to learn how to deal with that too - just another hurdle to overcome! But today I am now as confident as can be for tomorrow!
Having gained all this knowledge I am desperate to put it all into practice more. May be I can offer to utilise the IWB more now that it's not a 'green-eyed monster', and I have already been asked about adapting and using the game I 'designed' for a specific phonics group ..... things are looking up!