Day 34 – Practice what you Preach

Day 34 – Practice what you preach

My teenage children will testify that my favourite saying is “How do you know you don’t like something unless you’ve tried it?” Followed swiftly by ” …and if you don’t like it you don’t have to do it again.” This has served me well. I try, unless it involves roller coasters, to stick to this myself. Even using this mantra to my professional life too. So when recently I switched from full time teaching to part time with some consultancy, I have re discovered the need to follow through with my beliefs.

Yesterday, I stood in front of a group of teachers. I would have liked to have said all eager, but I know that some of them were doubting why they needed to spend their time listening to my pitch on the benefits of including mobile technology to enhance both teaching and learning. It’s at these times when your authenticity shines through or is exposed. If you truly believe on what you say then it is naturally communicated to your audience. Whether your audience is a group of teachers, governors or a class of year three pupils.
So today at school I was mindful of my own authenticity, I always reflect on my own performance as it is the last lesson that you taught that should be the benchmark for the next…
What I used in the classroom today : Showbie is a given as it allows me to deliver differentiated resources to my pupils with ease and is flexible enough to deal with the variety of tasks I want to be able to offer. I always use this in conjunction with iTunes U courses.
1) Explain Everything: the task LO today was for the year 3&4 to recognise the value of the digits in decimals. having started the lesson asking what a decimal was and being greeted by a stony silence, the thought of visualising tenth has, hundredths and thousandths was hanging in the balance. I tentatively went through the visualisation of decimals on a grid. Having opened the PDF in Explain Everything the students were able to show their understanding in a concrete manner using the annotation tools. After twenty minutes, the students were confidently identifying decimals in visual and written form, switching between place value and money to put the work into context.
This shows the tentative steps taken by a reasonably confident mathematician. The following screen shot is from a student with  specific fine motor skills. You can clearly see the difficulty caused by the scale of the work. However, mathematically he has gained the correct knowledge. He went on to complete the same task showing the improvement in a very short time within the lesson.
The iPad allowed the student to feel the difference between the decimals and this element and the ability to have a go and be resilient meant that in the end the concept was understood even with physical difficulties.
2)  iMovie Trailier –  in English comprehension is a key element that needs to be a cornerstone of the skills taught. Using a resource from the incredibly creative and inspirational Literacy Shed – Little Boat struck me as the ideal foil for the students to edit and select, as a director would, the images to tell a short story. Using a template allows those less confident to structure their work in order for them to be guided and achieve highly.
The trailers were formed from screen shots that were edited in photos, cropped and enhanced to achieve the best effect.  The finished trailers were ven more valued as they were the result of a collaboration/ mentoring of a year 3 with a year 4 student.

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