Friday, 26 January 2018


Understanding Behaviour and Responding Safely 


  • Connects to PB4L and reinforcing positive and desired behavior. 
  • Understanding ourselves to see what our triggers as teachers are. 
  • This will help us manage our reactions to certain behaviors.
  • Looking at what stress does to us. 
  • We want to understand the difference between Responsive (Rational/ Constructive) vs Reaction. 
  • We want to calm ourselves so that we can react in an appropriate way.
  • Ways of responding to stress. Students may respond in an Active (Run, Throw, Fight) OR Passive (Freeze, Hide, Stop responding).
  • Relationships with students are extremely important Non Verbal support- Calm, in control, attentive, interested, empathetic.
  • Emotional Stages (Ready to learn, Out of sorts, Escalating, Out of control, Calming down) 
  • Teaching and practicing calm down strategies. 
  • Getting students to recognize the signals for themselves. 

So what?

I want to create a PB4L lesson around how to respond when we are upset/ angry. It will be important for students to know how their bodies react to stress and what they can do in class to help them.
- Calm down bench (Outside)
- I feel____ sheet- Get that ready in class (Come in when calm and then place sheet on table so Miss Spies knows).

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Science PD (Stem) with Susan Heeps

Science PD 

Our first session for our science PD was extremely successful. These are my notes below with some big ideas that I will be taking into my classroom. It was a huge benefit to have science experiments modeled to use which helped me understand how they would work in my classroom. 

(Science, technology -tools,  engineering, mathematics) 
Science - Natural/ Physical World
Engineer - Made world

Ice Ice Baby Experiment

The ice experiment involved us numbering tasks in any order. Susan then rolled a dice and we did that number for 30seconds with a piece of ice. The winning group was the one whos ice completely melted first. After doing the experience, I immediately wondered how the other group has won.

They are naturally thinking which action will produce the most amount of change. 
Science is about change
Focus on science - not we are not going to write about this- think about scientists recording/ analyzing, gathering data. 
Science thinking and observing (5 sense need to be used) 
Use vocab after the first experiment
Positioning - Side view/ bird's eye view
"we are doing it again in intervals of 30 seconds"
"which one are you going to repeat"?

Ant learning 
Draw an ant- what do you think it looks like?
Label your ant
Collaborate- Share with others contribute to the group 
Explore the unknown - Look at expert pictures 
What do you notice?
Compare and contrast
Do you need to change your diagram? 
Video of Ants counting - Questions? 
Revisit video / Review / Reflect (Do this with all work) 

Unpack videos and enrich the student's vocabulary. 
How scientists work. - Many different kinds of scientist 

Connecting the Curriculum
Actively involved
Lifelong learners 

Key ideas: 
Doing- then the big ideas. 
Get the meaning out of doing.
Understanding we are learners 
This year I am going to provide a library of experiments
Science- A way of knowing - Explanations generated based on evidence that can change over time. My job is driving their awe and wonder.
Look into:  

I will be doing the ice experiment with my class and seeing what sort of questions arise. I am also wanting to think how I can technology to enhance this lesson..

Friday, 19 January 2018

Mentoring 2018

This year will be my first year mentoring a new beginning teacher. This is her first job out of university, she will be going into a Year 4, 1:1 digital classroom. To prepare myself for the role of 'mentor' I have done some professional readings to enable myself, to give my BT the best start possible to ensure her success. 

"Apparently some of the high-priority needs of beginner teachers are classroom
management, motivating students, differentiating student learning, problems
and needs, assessing student progress, interaction with colleagues and parents,
receiving appropriate advice on school culture, goals and instructional resources,
using effective instructional strategies or methods and emotional support
(Veenman, 1984; Gordon & Maxey, 2000; Senom & Shahratol, 2013).
At some circumstances, even with some efforts, beginner teachers still feel
isolated and hope for individualized precise support to survive the early years
(Lunenburg, 2011). Literatures point out that the environment a beginner
teacher is attached to shapes the quality of the teacher and teaching practices.
Environment is grounded by the culture of the teaching practices and conditions
of the workplace."

The text discusses the needs and challenges facing beginning teachers, it highlights the first five phases B.T will go through.

1. Anticipation—excited about what was learned in pre-service, start their career, anxious.

2.. Survival—faces challenges that were not anticipated in pre-service, over-
loaded with tasks beyond classroom teaching, shocked but need to move on.

3.. Disillusionment—the most challenging phase to survive, learn to cope and
adapt with multiple tasks but even more work piles up, higher expectations
from administrators.

4..Rejuvenation—back into task after a semester break or schools term breaks,
better understanding of their job.

5. Reflection—review what has been completed for the year and plan for the
upcoming year based on the experiences and knowledge gained.

Looking at these phases I can see how they are exactly the phases I went through in my first year. I have seen many teachers in the 'Disillusionment stage' give up and resign. I know it is an extremely challenging phase I need to be aware that when my B.T gets there, that I am giving her strategies to cope and support her. A goal for myself will be not to do things for my B.T or give her the answers- I am wanting to give her many options and allow her to problem solve and make decisions for herself.

Four ways mentors can support new teachers; 
Providing emotional support and encouragement
Giving information about the school’s work style and culture
Promoting understanding of the students and family culture
Providing cognitive coaching ( This will be significant especially in terms of how we teach Literacy, as this is an area that many B.Ts struggles with- we have had lots of PD so I am going to coach my BT through modeling, team teaching, and observations).

Vikaraman, S. S., Mansor, A. N., & Hamzah, M. I. M. (2017). Mentoring and Coaching Practices for Beginner Teachers—A Need for Mentor Coaching Skills Training and Principal’s Support. Creative Education, 8, 156-169.