The Look Who's Chalking Teacher Planner includes the following tabs:
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Planner details are in the product section of this website or can be purchased through the Look Who's Chalking Facebook page.
After what feels like forever, the 2017 planners are finally ready to go live! If you have been following along on Facebook you will know that there are six new designs, as well as our original polka dots with owl design to choose from. You can see these briefly in the picture below.
The 2017 Teacher's Planner is modern, professional and sleek. A vital piece of stationery for the organised teacher.
The Look Who's Chalking Teacher Planner includes the following tabs:
Order your copy before Oct 7, 2016 and it will be personalised with your name FREE OF CHARGE!
Planner details are in the product section of this website or can be purchased through the Look Who's Chalking Facebook page.
Talk about mind blown!!
I have spent the last two days at the GAFE Summit held at Kolbe College in Rockingham. This would have to be one of the best conferences I have ever attended. Why, you ask?
I consider myself to be pretty strong when it comes to GAFE (Google Apps For Education), but I have had at least three takeaways from each session I have attended! #brilliant
Favourite takeaway so far is the BreakOutEdu kits that @TeachMissSutton shared. Complete engagement and collaboration was obtained by putting the BreakOut box on the table for us to solve. We were given 45 minutes to solve it and did so with 13 minutes to spare. I would love to put something like this into action for the PD days I run.
For more info on the kits check out this link: BreakOutEdu
Here is the link to all of my Tweets from the Summit. Hope they are of some use to you. :)
Just a quick post for those of you asking for details about the Teacher's Planner I created.
Teacher's Planners include:
This is an extremely detailed planner, addressing all areas of teacher organisation. See the Look Who's Chalking Facebook page for further details and images.
Teacher's Planners are $60 and available for purchase at http://lookwho_schalking.bigcartel.com/product/teacher-s-planner.
On Wednesday, 3rd June, I ran a professional development day about integrating technology into everyday learning at a local Catholic Primary school. Whilst organising this PD I was thinking about some of my favourite resources, and those which my students love!!
I put all of these resources together on a Symbaloo so that they are easy to access. Feel free to explore and play with some of these resources. Some are web and app based, others just web based.
Here is the direct link.
I'm happy to share how I use these resources if you have any questions. Just comment below and I'll get back to you.
WOW!! I have finally completed my first Masters of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) unit. It was a brilliant unit and I gained so much from it, but it'a a relief to be done.
I created a website to share my information. If you want to check out my final assignment here is the link.
On March 18th, myself and two colleagues are running the Key Teacher ICT day on behalf of CEOWA. The role of a Key ICT Teacher within the Catholic schools of WA is to explore and model innovative and effective use of digital technologies within the scope of the curriculum in their schools. They emphasise the pedagogical embedding of digital strategies, tools and techniques and regularly share these practices with colleagues.
The day will be broken up into three main areas, with my area being Flipped Learning. So that got me wondering... How many teachers within my social network have heard of flipped learning, have tried it or use it regularly?
If you could cast a quick vote on the below poll, I would be greatly appreciative.
For further information about the Key Teacher ICT day click here.
With the new school year starting this week I thought I would write a post to our new graduate teachers. Having only just completed my third year of teaching, the new job jitters are still fresh in my memory.
Looking back on my first year of teaching, I wished that someone had shared some honest truths with me before I set foot into my classroom. Whether or not I would've listened is something else (total know-it-all right here), but it may have made me think before acting in some circumstances. I've managed to summarise my key thoughts, ideas and advice for graduate teachers into 5 S's; Self, Students, Staff, Success and Setting.
It is really important to take some 'me' time during your first year of teaching. At times you are going to feel completely snowed under with marking, planning and general teaching duties surrounding you. Make sure you put those things aside and take some time to do something you enjoy, preferably something which requires less brain power. I mentored a graduate last year and often reminded her to take a full day off from any school work over the weekend. You NEED that time to do something for you so that when you return to work the next week you are ready to give your all to you students.
Each day of teaching will bring you obstacles to overcome. Being organised and prepared for anything allows you to stay calm and in control. Make sure you set time aside each week to create a DWP (Daily Work Pad). In it, allow for modifications on both ends of the scale and early finisher tasks. I also like to allow for some 'finishing-off' time on a Friday, as sometimes I'm a little too eager and plan far too much for the week. Be flexible with your timetable and remain relaxed. If Admin need to swap things around then go with it - these things happen in schools, so there is no point getting worked up about it.
I highly recommend you reflect on your own teaching and learning. I know that when you finished your final practicums you were thinking, "woohoo! I never have to write another self reflection!" But trust me, it will help you to continue to learn and grow as a teacher. Reflecting through a blog means that other teachers (and people) can see what you are doing in your classroom. It also gives you a source to go back to and review what you have completed in a term, semester or year.
It is a great idea to include both positive and negative points in your reflections. Mistakes are GOOD!! We all learn from them; whether it be yourself, your students, their parents or other teachers. I often share my mistakes with my students. It shows them that I am not perfect and reiterates that it is ok to make errors and that we learn from them.
At university we are told to get to know each child as an individual. I cannot stress this enough!! Taking the time every morning to greet and chat with each student shows them that you respect them as an individual. It may just be a quick, "how did you go at soccer last night?" Or, "I love that new ribbon in your hair", but it lets them know that you have time for them. Know what is going on in your students' lives and make sure to keep it to yourself (unless necessary). This earns trust. Having another adult that students can talk to and ask questions of is so valuable to them.
I have a Fair Vs Equal policy in my classroom. If you think about it, it's not in the students best interest to be treated equally. Some students need modification and one-on-one time. Some need extension and a private space to work. Some need you to act swiftly when something goes wrong and others need to slowly learn and change from an experience. Each child is an individual and we cannot look at this from just an educational perspective. They all have different home lives, expectations and experiences, and we need to take his into consideration when dealing with them.
I also have Classroom Guidelines rather than rules in my classroom (you can see the 10 Classroom Guidelines posters in my Store). I feel that these guidelines cover all areas, from not talking when others are to respecting school property. Embed the guidelines into your lessons and model them continuously. Students learn so much from simply listening and watching you, so be a strong role model.
Create friendships with other staff members. I'm lucky enough to work with two amazing girls who I spend a lot of time with at school and outside of it. They are both dynamic teachers and I get a lot out of having conversations about learning and teaching with them. It's nice to have relationships like this with other educators as people who aren't teachers just do not understand our work load or what goes on in the classroom. Cheers @MissClareThomo and @ClaireCooper014, you are both an amazing support network for me.
Graduate teachers have the best new and innovative ideas, but you need to look around you and see the wealth of knowledge that the experienced teachers hold. They may be old and have taught the same grade for the last 30 years, but they often know what they are talking about. Treat them with the same amount of respect as you treat your students. They too are individuals and may have something to share with you. I've found that taking the time to listen to more experienced teachers has made me a stronger, more open-minded teacher.
Now for a pet hate of mine... Do not get involved in the cattiness at schools. Yes, it happens everywhere; in every workplace. Remember that you are better than that and above all the drama. Stay level headed and professional. And if it's getting a bit too much for you to handle in the staffroom, then stand up and move away. Don't say something that you will regret. Return when it has settled down. Trust me, you will be respected by all for not getting involved.
As a graduate teacher it is important that you feel a bit of success each day. Know that you are teaching your students valuable lessons and helping them to grow. You also need to grow. We are working in a 21st Century environment and you therefore need to be up with the times. Create a Twitter profile and use it professionally. This will enable you to build your PLN (Professional Learning Network) and gather ideas from other teachers all over the world. Join in with Twitter Chats by following the hashtags and share what you are doing in your classroom.
On the topic of social media, if you have a Facebook or Instagram profile, make them PRIVATE! It is not acceptable to have your students following your private accounts. They do not need to know that you went to thee different clubs on Saturday night and had a chicken kebab at 4.30am after having a few too many drinks. Keep your relationships strictly professional when it comes to your social presence.
Communication with parents is extremely important! As I said above in the Self section, create a blog. Share the URL with your students and their parents. This is a fantastic way to keep everyone informed about what is happening in the classroom, including up-coming events and photos. You can even make your page password protected so that only your class families can have access to the photos you post. If you're not yet ready for a blog then I recommend a weekly email be sent home. Once again include pictures and information about the next week's events.
Another great way to build relationships with the families is by sending an email to one family each day. I write a student's name on each day of my DWP. On that day I take a photograph of that student doing something, whether it be in or out of the classroom, and I email it with a small caption to their parents.
Go along to as much free PD (professional development) as you can. TeachMeets are a great place to start and the best part about them is that you can share your ideas. TeachMeets are run by teachers for teachers (read more about this here). As I said above, your growth is as important at the growth of your students. Read blogs and books, catch up with teachers from other schools, go along to PDs and continue to learn. These small things will help you to succeed as a teacher.
It is really important that you establish a classroom culture from day one. As students walk in the door on that first day, shake their hands and introduce yourself individually to each child. Let them know that you are looking forward to learning, growing and having fun with them over the year.
You need to be a role model when creating a classroom culture. This is when the idea of 'leave it at the door' comes into play. You may have had a really crappy night or your car may have broken down. Whatever it is, you need to leave it at the door when you arrive at school. Your students will pick up on your emotions and that will influence their school day. Remember that when you are in that classroom your students are your number one priority. Leaving those concerns at the door allows you to give your full attention to your students. You can pick up your worries on your way out... Or just leave them there.
I am a big fan of letting my students assist with the set up of our classroom (remember, I teach in a contemporary classroom). After all, that is the environment that they are going to learn in. Discuss with them how they think they learn best and take all of this into consideration. When I was teaching in a traditional classroom my students told me that they sometimes liked to work by themselves. I took this into consideration and introduced the idea of 'islands', where students could move their desk away from their group in order to have that private work space. Get to know your students as learners and use the classroom furniture to assist them in continuing to grow.
Best of luck!!
I loved my first year of teaching (and each year since). You are going to have many ups and downs, constant challenges, minimal weekends during report writing time and every bug that goes around, BUT, you are also going to have one of the most rewarding years of your life. Seize every opportunity and think of how lucky you are to be teaching these beautiful, energetic and intelligent children.
All the very best to each of you!!
It feels like forever since my last blog post but I have an excuse (and a good one at that). On November 25th I had a beautiful baby girl, Alonza. Prior to that I was quite unwell and therefore put my health before my blogging.
Now that my baby girl is here safe and sound, I will be trying to find some time to blog and upload more resources into my TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) account. Let me know if you have any special requests and I will endeavour to write or create something to suit.
I returned to school today for the graduation ceremony. It was lovely to see my students again and wish them all the best for the future. I'm so proud of all they have achieved and feel extremely privileged that I got to have that class for nearly two years. Next year they will be spread out over six different schools but I'm hoping they remain in contact with each other. I've even left our Google Classroom active so that we can continue to communicate on there. I'll wait until they are 'too cool' to use it any more and then archive it.
Anyway, just a quick post to explain my absence. I'm looking forward to some comments requesting blog topics and activities.
All the best,
This week my students completed a buddy activity with our Year Two students. As both classes are focusing on narrative this term, I thought it would be a great idea to get the Year Six students to share their favourite picture books with their buddies.
To prepare my students for this task, I read them one of my favourite picture books, Bamboozled by David Legge. I then got them to complete an inferring task relating to certain pages within the book. We focused on our five senses, sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste.
I wanted the students to display their work in a creative format. I therefore got them to draw eight teacups stacked on top of each other. In these, students needed to draw a shape that was big enough to record their inferring task. Students were then shown one page from the picture book at a time and asked to write down what they could see, hear, smell, touch and taste. This was a great introduction to their narrative writing task.
That night for homework I asked students to choose their favourite picture book, re-read it and bring it in to school. We had a huge range of books with only two students choosing the same one. We buddied up with the Year Two students and read them our books. We then completed a comprehension task with them.
Students needed to define up to six characters and write their names in the smallest circles. They then needed to briefly write the beginning, middle and end in the medium sized circles, and in the three large circles, they needed to draw those parts of the story (beginning, middle and ending).
It was fantastic to hear the language that the Year Six students were using with their buddies, as well as the expression used when reading orally to them. I was a great experience for all involved. Huge thanks to @MissClareThomo and @CarolynPerlini, our Year Two teachers, for their assistance with this buddy task.
There are countless benefits of using Edmodo in your classroom. I use it across all learning areas with my Year Sixes and, after exploring a range of similar resources, have come back to this. It's easy to use, concise and an enjoyable experience for those involved. Below you will find Gabrielle's Top 20 Reasons (in no particular order) for loving Edmodo.
1. Home - School Connections.
I love that students are able to access their Edmodo accounts from school and from home. This allows them to prepare for upcoming events, tasks or assignments when working through their homework. It also allows them to communicate with their teacher (directly) or ask questions of their peers (on the public wall) when working through tasks at home.
2. Resources That Can Be Shared.
I share a range of resources with my students on Edmodo. These include websites, embedded YouTube clips, flipped task links (EduCreations, etc), files, documents and images. This is fantastic as it means we are saving paper and I am showing students a solid range of resources without them needing to 'google' something.
In regards to the YouTube clips, the clip itself plays and none of the advertisements or 'recommended videos' come up, as they would on the YouTube website. This makes me feel comfortable that my students are only going to see items which are appropriate to them and not be distracted by other clips.
Having an Edmodo page allows me to give immediate feedback to my students. I do this in a range of ways. For example: replying to their posts asking them to edit certain parts or expand on others. I can even create a video rubric and send them the link so they can listen to my marking orally and make changes. This immediate feedback keeps students remain on task and it is quick and easy for me to do.
I have Edmodo on my three devices (MacBook, iPad and iPhone), so if something is posted to me for editing I am able to do it on the move.
4. Safe - Closed Network.
Edmodo groups can be locked once all students have joined the group. In fact, they are automatically locked after a few weeks. If new students come or you want to add someone to the group, you can simply unlock it, give them the secure code and lock it again.
Another reason it is safe is due to students only being able to communicate with their peers on the page wall. This means that conversations are viewable to all and therefore must be appropriate. If students need to communicate with the teacher, they are able to send a direct message, which is only viewable to those involved.
5. Virtual Base Camp For Class.
My Edmodo classes truly are a virtual base camp for my students. At the moment I have one student in Russia, another in Indonesia and one in LA. These three students are still completing all of their learning, but through our virtual classroom. Yes, it means a little more preparation time for me (making flipped tasks and PDFs to place on the wall), but I'm more than happy with this as it means they are not falling behind. It also allows for those peer teaching opportunities that are so valuable.
Here's an example of how great this can be. Students who have been absent have continued to work through their guided reading tasks with their groups. This includes them reading the novel, completing their activity, saving it as PDF and sending it through on Edmodo. They then Skype in during the lesson so that they can be a part of the discussion. It's brilliant!!
6. Positive Enforcement - Privately.
I briefly stated this above, but being able to direct message students means that I can give them feedback privately. This can include feedback about academic results or behaviour.
As educators, we need to keep in mind that not all students enjoy receiving public praise for the work they have done. Having Edmodo offers another option to give them this feedback, but privately.
7. Student Independence.
Students in my class work through many flipped tasks. This means that on the night prior to the activity they watch or complete a task in preparation. When I first began this there were a couple of children who did not watch the task. The next day at school they felt left out as students were walking in the door discussing what they were going to do or how they were going to tackle the task. I haven't had the problem of students not watching the tasks since.
This builds independence in students as they are responsible for doing the work. It's a great skill for them to learn, especially in such a safe environment.
As well as the above, it's important for students to become independent with this as in the years to come they will be on other social media websites (some students already are). Being a part of an Edmodo group teaches students the skills of using social media appropriately. We hear of so many horror stories of what can happen, but Edmodo seems to cut a lot of those issues out.
8. Teacher PLN Opportunities.
Having a teacher account on Edmodo allows you to connect with other educators from all over the world. I often send notes to other educators, asking or sharing ideas with them. Through one of these connections I was able to get in touch with a school in the USA who also have a contemporary set up. We often share little snippets of our classrooms with each other.
Edmodo also has EdmodoCon each year. This brings educators from all over the world together for a day of online professional development. Teachers share, inspire and showcase the ways they are using Edmodo and other digital tools in their classrooms. I tuned in for a bit this year and picked up a range of new tools and resources, as well as connecting with many more educators.
9. Edmodo Communities.
This is one of my top reasons for loving Edmodo. The communities that you can join as an educator are fantastic. They work as an open discussion forum where teachers can share resources, ask / answer questions and learn from colleagues. There are so many you can follow. At the moment I am really enjoying the discussions within the 'Digital Citizenship' page and the 'Professional Development' page. I like hearing about where people are on their journeys (especially with tech) and offering advice.
10. Parent Access.
When a child joins Edmodo they are given a parent code. This can be found on the bottom left hand side of the student page. The parent then needs to go to www.edmodo.com and click on the 'I'm a Parent' tab. This allows them to see what their child sees, as well as the grade book (I'll tell you about this soon).
11. Calendar / Planner.
I have to admit that I do not use the planner to its full capability. I only use it to set due dates. This way students have an online resource to turn to when scaffolding their schoolwork. However, several students use this as their diary. They include both in-school and out of school commitments so that they can see upcoming events and whether or not they will have time to work on tasks during evenings. This is also great for their independence and is another step towards maturing into a high school student.
12. Edmodo Apps.
Edmodo apps are another great way to engage students in the class materials, in a fun and educational way. They are very easy to install and open in the Edmodo window. This means that students do not need to navigate between webpages to find what they are looking for.
There are a range of free and paid apps available. All of these are available in the Edmodo Apps store.
13. Alerts / Reminders For Students.
You know how the end of the school day is often a rush and sometimes you forget to pass on a reminder to your students? Well, Edmodo allows you to send an alert to the students. This comes up in bold writing and they also get a notification about it.
I even use it as a reminder tool, 'Don't forget to bring your goggles for tomorrow's swimming lesson!' Alerts can be a maximum of 140 characters, so they are short and to the point.
14. Online Polls and Quizzes.
Edmodo allows you to set polls for students. I really like this tool and often use it to start a new topic or get some feedback on a new resource. The results are displayed on the Edmodo wall as people post them, without any names being mentioned.
The quizzes are another great tool and I like to use them as an Exit Pass before recess, lunch or the end of the day. The teacher simply creates a quiz using multiple choice, true / false, short answer, fill the blank and / or matching questions.
Similar to the quizzes above, assignments can also be posted to students. In this you can give them an outline of what needs to be completed, attach resources / rubrics and set a due date. When completed, students can submit online.
16. Small Groups Within Groups.
I think it is fantastic that I can create small groups within each of my groups. This allow me to scaffold tasks, modify or extend tasks and personalise learning for students. It's also great for group tasks. For example, my guided reading groups have a small group where they can have online discussions each week. This allows them to ask questions of each other when they are reading their novel at home. Some groups even post questions they would like to discuss when they next meet.
17. Student or Read-Only Options.
When I tell other educators about how often I use Edmodo, one of the first questions they ask me is, "how do you control what students put online?" When I first set up Edmodo with my students we had a discussion about digital citizenship and how Edmodo was to be used as an educational tool. They were informed that if they used it incorrectly they would be given a warning. If this continued they would be blocked from posting for a period of time.
The admin / teacher of each group is able to edit members. This means that you can them set as a student, which means they can post of the wall, or you can set them to a read-only option. This means they are still able to see what is posted on the wall but unable to comment. You can easily change between the two.
18. Grade Book.
Any quizzes or assignments set for students can be marked on Edmodo and their marks put into a personal grade book. Students get an instant message informing them of their mark as well as any comments. Parents also have access to the grade books when they log on with their parent code.
19. Connections Between Students From Other Schools - OnlinePals.
After making connections with a few teachers in Western Australia, we decided to create a group where all three classes could communicate during a Mathematics task. It was a great way for students to meet others their age in a safe online environment. It was also a brilliant activity as there were three teachers (tech savvy) sharing resources.
20. 21st Century Education.
In today's day and age we are encouraging the idea of 21st century learning. Edmodo is a safe environment where both students and teachers can learn. There is so much information available on how to use it, so I think it is a great place for educators to start.
So there you have it, my Top 20 Reasons for loving Edmodo. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or need assistance setting your own page up. I'm more than happy to help.
Gabrielle Trinca, a primary teacher, sharing stories throughout her educational journey.