Week 4: Reflections…Module 2

First part of the unit writing journey:

Have started looking at Assignment 2.  Really looking forward to understanding how to plan a unit of work.  Although I have done this previously in another subject, it was long ago.  The Assessment 2 guidelines on Study Desk indicates that this assignment has nothing to do with our Professional Experience placement.  The assessment guidelines state quite clearly that we are better off using the Australian Curriculum for three very good reasons:

  • The vast majority of students in this course can teach something from the Australian Curriculum.
  • The Australian Curriculum and related services provide good examples of all the necessary components.
  • The Australian Curriculum website and its integration with services like Scootle make it a bit easier to design an ICT rich unit of work.

Although I have chosen to perform my prac in an ‘out of school’ environment, I will use the Australian Curriculum and not the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines.  I am thinking that I may choose to write a unit plan centred around the Foundation Years or Year 1.  I did peruse the QKLG and information from the EYLF to seek information on what students were learning in their pre-prep year which was helpful.  Most helpful is the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority website that I will be using to seek information relating to all early years.

I also understand that this unit plan will be written following ‘Wiggins and McTighe’s Backward Design which I found this page explained the full document quite clearly.

As I work through the beginning of Module 2 it was also helpful to look around Belinda’s blog that was suggested in the learning path.  It was good to get some idea about what is expected in the Assignment.  Belinda also provides many rich ICT resources that may help those who are choosing Science as their Learning Area.

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Copyright © 2010-2016 Michael ‘Tex’ Hex / Xteq Systems 

I have chosen the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority to create my unit plan.  The next stage is to choose 2 Content Descriptions from the curriculum.

Construct Knowledge objectives – What they will learn and know.  How they will learn

Transforming Activities – What they will be able to do.

The objectives I chose are:

From the Australian Curriculum:  http://v7-5.australiancurriculum.edu.au/english/curriculum/f-10?layout=1#levelF

Learning Area: ENGLISH / Strand: Language/Expressing and developing ideas (Constructing knowledge objectives)

Recognise that texts are made up of words and groups of words that make meaning (ACELA1434)

Strand: Literacy/Creating texts (Transforming knowledge objectives)

Create short texts to explore, record and report ideas and events using familiar words and beginning writing knowledge(ACELY1651)

So far, so good!  I am so relieved that this unit planning is being carefully and slowly scaffolded to make it easier to follow.  Enough for today though!  Off for a walk with the dog to process all that I have read today!

Next part of the unit writing journey:

The scope:

At the beginning of the unit students will draw on prior knowledge to:

By the end of the unit the students will be able to:

Taking a break away from the assignment to develop my Personal Content Knowledge (PCK)  it was interesting to read about the Khan Academy and the article’s such as this identifying the shortcomings of the academy.  Always smart to read about different perspectives of a ‘proclaimed new idea in teaching.’ Have to agree with some comments from the knockers of the academy though.  Whilst it is a great resource for many students and teachers, I agree with some points made in the linked articles (above) that suggest the academy does little to readjust student misconceptions about certain maths topics and could hinder a child’s learning. I also support the idea that teachers should know how their students learn, as stated in  Standard 1 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.(APST)..an impossible task for Mr Khan (approximately 170 million hits) when the teacher student ratio is 1:170 million!  Anyway it is free and could provide help to many. Further reading of this article suggests that ‘currently we are working on the development of an intelligent tutor that will use this taxonomy as part of its user model, one that associates students’ mistakes with the corresponding misconception(s).’  How smart, tutoring programs that do take into account student’s misconceptions and mistakes, but then I started thinking about a student’s working environment and emotional state that could also affect their learning.  After reading further it was interesting and mind blowing to then read about developing tutoring programs that apparently do take such things into account, aptly named  Intelligent Tutoring Systems. Worth reading.

With regards to the Khan Academy, my 18 year old, Year 12 last year, saw the blog open on my laptop and informed me that the students in his class had often used it adding that the kids who struggled the most, found it very useful and helpful.  He did say that when he used it, it was basically to gather some prior knowledge of the subject.  He believed there was more depth of knowledge gained by listening to and receiving feedback from his teachers!

Back to my learning where I am required to increase my Personal Content Knowledge.   I have already gained knowledge about learning and teaching, but it is important I know about the content of what I am going to teach as per Standard 2 in APST Although I have linked to and gathered many resources, I need to be exposed to so much more.  Great place to start is with the Diigo group and found just what I am looking for, blogged by a girl named Sharon that linked to First steps.

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