Category Archives: Portfolio Artefacts

References

  • Adams, A., Brownell, M.T., Sindelar, P., Vanhover, S. & Waldron, N.                                           (2006). Learning from Collaboration: The role of teacher                                        qualities. Exceptional Children. 72(2), 169-185.
  • Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). (2012).                                     National Professional Standards for Teachers.                                                       Retrieved from:   http://www.teacherstandards.aitsl.edu.au/Standards/AllStandards
  • Curwood, J. S., & Gomez, M. L., & Hassett, D. & Schieble, M. (2010).                                                   Technology, learning and instruction: Distributed                                                    cognition in the secondary English classroom. Literacy:                                         Distributed Cognition in the Secondary English                                                       Classroom. 44(1), 20-27.
  • Dalton, B., and Grisham, L. (2011). eVoc strategies: 10 ways to use                                                   technology to build vocabulary. Reading Teacher64(5),                                        306-317.
  •  Englehart, J. M. (2013). Five approaches to avoid when managing the                                               middle school  classroom. The Clearing House, 86 (1),                                         103-108. 
  • Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research and                                        practice. In J.A. Banks (Ed)., Multicultural Education                                          Series (pp.22-46). New York, USA: Teachers College Press.
  • Gearhart D. (2009). Preparing students for ethical use of technology: A                            case study for distance education. In U. Demiray & R. C. Sharma                        (Ed.), Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance                              Learning (pp. 79-97). DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-867-3.ch007.
  •  Jonassen, D. (2009). Designing constructivist learning environments.  In                         C.M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional Design Theories and                                      Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory (pp. 215-240).   New York, USA: Routledge.
  • Riley, K.G., McGregor, K. K. (2012). Noise hampers children’s expressive                    word learning. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in                                    Schools, 43 (1), 325-337.
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Portfolio Artefact Number 5 – TrackStar Creative Commons Social Bookmarking Page

Artefact

Trackstar Creative Commons Social Bookmarking Tool

Topic

Creative Student Centred Use of Learning Technologies

Domain

Professional Practice

Standard

4- Create and Maintain Supportive and Safe Learning Environments

Focus Area

4.3 – Use ICT Safely, Responsibly and Ethically

To view the TrackStar page I created click here.

Rationale:

The artefact chosen focuses on the creative student centred use of learning technologies. It is a pertinent example of how I informed my students about safe, responsible and ethical behaviour online. It is important to me as it was a defining moment in my practicum, as I realised I was developing my understanding of not only the academic needs of my students but also the moral codes students require to be able to function in a 21st Century society. This artefact demonstrates my ability to develop strategies “to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching” (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, 2012, p.7).

Context:

My co-operating teacher was concerned about students unethical use of information, as they were not using creative commons licensed images or audio when creating their Animoto videos. I needed to think of a way to educate my students on safe, responsible and ethical behaviour online. Students were also becoming distracted while researching online, and visiting sites that were not relevant to the class activities.  In order to solve the issue I utilised the program TrackStar to create a creative commons social bookmarking tool.

Analysis / Reflection / Research:

One of the most alarming issues we face as teachers in regards to technology use by our students is the safe, ethical and responsible use of the internet. Ribble (2013) developed a framework called “respect, educate and protect” which consists of nine proposed themes that should be taught in schools. Ribble (2013) states,

before people use technology they do not learn digital etiquette. Many people feel uncomfortable talking to others about their digital etiquette…Often rules and regulations are created or the technology is simply banned to stop inappropriate use. It is not enough to create rules and policy, we must teach everyone to become responsible digital citizens in this new society.

This quote stresses the importance of teaching students about the ethical and safe use of information.  Gearhart (2009, p. 72) states that students must “understand that inappropriate and criminal behaviours when using technology will have a profound effect on their future,” further arguing that we need to teach our students about how to be respectable digital citizens, stating “we will not survive the 21st century with the ethics of the 20th century” (Gearhart, 2009, p. 79).

During my practicum my students were undertaking unethical and illegal behaviour online and I was unaware of this at the time. By creating the TrackStar creative commons tool for my students I was able to guide students by providing them with a variety of sites that I knew were viable sources of information. Students were also required to post to Edmodo a summary of their learning and what sites they obtained their information from. This ensured that they would complete the task at hand and not get distracted by inappropriate sites.  My co-operating teacher commented on the effectiveness of the lesson and stated that I am now thinking about the social and moral futures of my students not just their academic achievement. This demonstrates a significant development as a practicing teacher to be able to assist students with their overall wellbeing and development.

Conclusion:

I have learnt of the importance and have developed ways to educate students on ethical and safe practice online. I initially assumed that all my students would be aware of the rules and regulations of researching and citing others work on their own, however as I discovered, and as research suggests students need to be explicitly taught.

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Portfolio Artefact Number 4 – Lesson Plan – Digital Novel Inanimate Alice

Artefact

Lesson Plan – Digital Novel – Inanimate Alice

Topic

Literacy in the Discipline of English

Domain

Professional Knowledge

Standard

2- Know the Content and How to Teach It

Focus Area

2.5 – Literacy and Numeracy Strategies

 

Teacher: Miss Denton School: Liverpool Girls High School Date: 29/08/13
Class: 8E2 Topic: Digital Literacy Period: 2
What do you want the students to learn by the end of the lesson?

1.)  Effectively create their own imaginative text using the program Snappy.

2.)  The imaginative text must be a successive episode of Inanimate Alice, based on Aboriginal culture and content.

What syllabus outcome(s) are you specifically targeting? 

Objective A – Outcome 2: A student effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies, and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies.

Learning activities/strategies
Recap on Last Lesson: 10 Mins

Ask students to discuss their Edmodo posts on what they liked and didn’t like about the Inanimate Alice episode in Italy, and how they would adapt the episode to make it more appealing.

Storyboarding: 20 Mins

Students work in small groups to storyboard their ideas for their own episode of Inanimate Alice in Aboriginal Australia. Teacher observation and guidance will occur here, assisting students with researching their counties and developing their ideas.

Informal Group Presentations: 10 Mins

 Each group discusses what they have come up with so far and the class provides feedback and ideas. This is an important element as students get to engage and practice peer evaluation.

Continue Storyboarding Incorporating Peer Feedback: 10 Mins

Students continue to develop their stories, making any necessary changes based on the feedback they received from the class. Students will continue to adapt their work outside the classroom through discussions via the Edmodo class space.

(Students in my class were able to chat to students from Italy who created their own version of Inanimate Alice in Italy. The students enjoyed and made good use of this cross-cultural collaboration.)

 

To view the Inanimate Alice text click here. 

For an explanation on the Snappy program click here.

Rationale:

This artefact was chosen as it demonstrates how I am able to identify the literary needs of students, and analyse and implement appropriate literacy teaching strategies. It is important to me as it highlights my ability to reflect on the transformational nature of literacy and incorporate 21st Century literacy focussed teaching strategies within the discipline of English.

Context:

In order to teach the vast range of abilities and competencies required of a literate 21st Century learner today, I needed to choose appropriate texts and create activities which enabled students to develop these skills. The lesson plan artefact chosen facilitated students development of these skills.

Analysis / Reflection / Research:

This artefact shows that I have analysed current literacy teaching trends and developed my own teaching strategies in line with current best practice. While researching I discovered that teaching literacy in the discipline of English has become more complex. Teachers must involve students in a variety of tasks which develop traditional literacy skills such as reading and writing, but also the ability to think creatively, critically, be able to collaborate in an online environment, and occupy research skills to be able to source viable information online. The National Council of Teachers of English (2013) propose that in order for students to be literate in the 21st Century they must,

develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology; build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought…manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information…create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts.

Academics argue that teachers must provide students with activities such as the ones presented in my lesson plan, in order for students to become literate in our society. Curwood, Gomez, Hassett and Schieble (2010, p.22) argue that “in a digital age, that allows for multiple, multimodal and multifaceted textual representations… the process of knowledge construction has changed… and teachers must engage in new literary practices.”

Examples of the ways I developed my teaching practice in light of the research can be seen in the activities I created which included:

  • student engagement with a multimodal, digital novel Inanimate Alice,
  • employing students’ creative, critical thinking and research skills,
  • students were required to use technology throughout the whole process, through the Inanimate Alice website, Snappy and Edmodo,
  • students collaborated on the task, both with the students within the class but also with students from across the globe,
  • students were asked to analyse and critique the Inanimate Alice text and also to critique the texts of others within their class.

This lesson plan artefact is a prime example of my development of the teaching of literacy within my discipline. I realised by providing students with tasks that enable them to develop 21st Century literacy skills they can use in the ‘real world,’ such as sourcing viable information online and collaborating with other students, they are motivated and engaged. If I asked students to complete this same task based on a traditional novel and present their work as a piece of writing, I would not have received the same level of enthusiasm or standard of work.

Conclusion:

This artefact demonstrates my professional development in terms of literacy within my discipline, as I was able to analyse current literature and trends on best practice, and assess the literary needs of my students, in order to produce appropriate teaching strategies.

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Portfolio Artefact Number 3 – Co-operating Teacher and Head Teacher English Comments

Artefact

Co-operating Teacher and Head Teacher English Comments

Topic

Improving Professional Practice

Domain

Professional Engagement

Standard

6 – Engage in Professional Learning

Focus Area

6.3 – Engage with Colleagues and Improve Practice

Artefact Number 3:

The comments below are taken from conversations with my co-operating teacher and the Head teacher of English.

Co-operating teacher:  ….”I am concerned about the level of participation of some students in the class. There tends to be a domination of two or three students answering questions while others are sitting back and are going under the radar.”

Head Teacher English: …”You can try engaging all students in the classroom by using a teaching strategy such as Jigsaw. I have been using it in my class and it works wonders.”

For information on the jigsaw teaching strategy click here. 

Rationale:

This artefact has been chosen as it exhibits my engagement with colleagues while on practicum in order to improve my teaching practice. It is important to me as it shows how I worked with colleagues to solve the problem of a lack of student participation in my class. It is in line with the AITSL National Professional Standards for Teachers standard number 6 focussing on “engaging with colleagues and improving practice” (AITSL, 2012, p.9).

Context:

My co-operating teacher commented on the lack of student participation in my class and the dominance of a few students. As I was focussed on carrying out the lesson effectively and getting through all of the content, I failed to pick up on this myself. I asked the Head Teacher English for advice and she suggested implementing the jigsaw method of teaching to solve the problem.

Analysis / Reflection / Research:

The comments made by my co-operating teacher made me reflect on my practice in the classroom. I realised I was focussing on getting through as much content as possible but failing to provide students with meaningful and authentic learning experiences.

Academics such as Jonassen (2009, p. 219) argue that constructivist models of learning, such as the jigsaw model, provide the most benefit to students. Jonassen (2009, p. 219) states, “the key to meaningful learning is ownership of the problem or learning goal.” The jigsaw method encourages students to take charge of their own learning and creates a student centred learning environment.

After implementing the jigsaw method I noticed I was able to have more control over what went on in the classroom. I was able to divide the class into groups, so that each group contained a diverse mix of learners, and I was able to ensure that all students were participating, as they each had a separate responsibility. The reluctant or shy students seemed to enjoy the task as they did not have to voice their opinion to the whole class only to their small group.

Most importantly I was able to connect and collaborate with my colleagues, gaining insight into tried and tested ways of solving pre-service teacher problems. By working with others I  was able to develop confidence in front of the class, and spend less time worrying about covering the content and more time on engaging the class in meaningful discussion and activities.

Puguch and Johnson (as cited in Adams, Brownell, Sindelar, Waldron and Vanhover, 2006, p. 169) point out the benefits of engaging with colleagues, stating “in collaborative working environments, teachers have the potential to create the collective capacity for initiating and sustaining ongoing improvement in their professional practice so each student they serve can receive the highest quality of education possible.”

Conclusion:

This artefact is significant as it demonstrates my ability to recognise my weaknesses in my teaching practice and my ability to acknowledge and make use of the advice given to me by my colleagues. It shows how working with others is beneficial not only to the teacher but ultimately the students.

 

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Portfolio Artefact Number 2 – Poetry Word Cloud

Click here to see the poetry word cloud, as well as my   presentation on Portfolio Artefact Number 2. 

Artefact

Poetry Word Cloud

Topic

Issues Relating to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Groups within the School Community

Domain

Professional Knowledge

Standard

1 – Know Students and How they Learn

Focus Area

1.3 – Students with Diverse Linguistic, Cultural, Religious and Socioeconomic Backgrounds

Rationale:

This artefact is important to me as it demonstrates my growing ability to understand students and how they learn, by developing programs and activities which cater to the diverse range of learners within the classroom. The focus of my artefact is on issues relating to culturally and linguistically diverse learners (CALD) within the school community. This artefact is a significant example of how my teaching practice has been developed in line with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) professional teaching standard 1, particularly focussing on “teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural religious and socioeconomic backgrounds” (AITSL, 2012, p.1).

Context:

While undertaking practical experience I taught a class made up of ninety per cent culturally and linguistically diverse learners (CALD). Initially I failed to conduct research on the types of learners that occupied my classroom; therefore I created programs and activities which were not suited to the learning styles or needs of these students. The result was a class full of disengaged, shy and reluctant learners. Once I conducted research on CALD learners I was able to start developing appropriate and effective teaching strategies, which involved students undertaking visual tasks, such as creating a word cloud.

Analysis / Reflection / Research:

The needs and interests of students within a classroom can vary dramatically. If teachers implement teaching and learning strategies which are not tailored to suit these needs and interests, then the classroom can become a meaningless and unengaging space for learners. In my case, initially the students in my class felt overwhelmed by the content, as they did not understand the terms and themes being studied, and they could not relate the information to their prior learning experiences.

After conducting research on CALD learners I discovered I was asking students to complete tasks that were focussed solely on individual writing tasks and I did not provide an opportunity for students to build on their prior knowledge.  Dalton and Grisham (2013, p. 308) argue that “developing breadth and depth of vocabulary for culturally and linguistically diverse leaners (CALD) depends on building connections between words and developing elaborate webs of meaning.” Baumann  and Kame’enui (as cited in Dalton & Grisham, 2013, p.308) further argue that graphic organizers and visual displays are useful for CALD learners in the study of English, as they clearly highlight the relationships between words.

With the findings of the research in mind, I asked students to each contribute five words they associate with poetry in order to create the class word cloud. The students then created a definition of poetry using the word cloud as a guide. The word cloud activity was a success as students were able to build on their prior knowledge, were visually stimulated, they were able to work collaboratively on the task, and the nature of the task was not too complex. Gay (2010, p.8) states that practising teachers often make the mistake of employing “deductive approaches to solving problems,” where discourse tends to be instructive and the teacher focusses on one student at a time rather than a collaborative approach to learning. Gay (2010, p.8) argues that CALD students prefer and require “more inductive, interactive and communal tasks.” My experience in the classroom with CALD learners is evidence of this. As I started to create tasks which were in line with the students’ skills and interests, I noticed improvement in the level of engagement and learning that was happening in the classroom.

Conclusion:

After teaching a class of CALD students while on practical experience I now realise the importance, and the benefits, of finding out what types of learners occupy your classroom. I now understand the importance of adjusting content to suit students’ diverse needs. By creating activities which enable students to engage in a wide variety of tasks, not just written tasks, students are more likely to be engaged and motivated, as they are able to showcase their learning through a medium which best reflects their skills and interests.

 

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Portfolio Artefact Number 1 – Voice Levels Chart

Artefact

Voice Level Chart

Topic

Classroom Management

Domain

Professional Practice

Standard

4 – Create and Maintain Supportive and Safe Learning Environments

Focus Area

4.2 – Manage Classroom Activities

Portfolio Artefact Number 1 - Voice Levels Chart

Rationale:

The voice level chart artefact was chosen as it demonstrates my growth in the area of classroom management. Before using this artefact my class was noisy, inattentive and at times confused as to what they were supposed to be doing. This artefact is important as it inspired me to conduct research and think creatively about how to improve my teaching practice. It is a pertinent example of how I have developed my teaching practice in line with the AITSL Professional Teaching Standard 4 by creating and maintaining a “supportive and safe learning environment, [through] managing classroom activities” (AITSL, 2012, p.1).

Context:

While on practical experience I observed a lesson whereby the classroom teacher utilised an effective classroom management tool called the voice level chart. Being aware that I needed to improve my classroom management, I was in awe of the way this teacher controlled the class. The chart consisted of six escalating noise levels, which the class adhered to according to the requirements of each activity throughout the lesson.

Analysis / Reflection / Research:

Observing the implementation of this classroom management tool made me aware of the importance of setting the learning environment for students. The classroom teacher established this by constantly reminding students of the requirements of the voice level they were to work to. I realised that I lacked this component in my classes, believing that the students were to blame for being noisy, and disruptive. Englehart (2013, p. 103) supports this statement arguing that “teachers encountering difficulties with classroom management focus only on the students rather than critically examining the influence of their own approaches on student behaviour.”

Prior to implementing the voice level chart I did not explore the reasons behind my classroom management issues and rarely conducted research into how to improve my teaching practice. This resulted in failing to set up the learning environment and provide clear instructions to students. I noticed students were confused, unruly and disinterested which led to a frequently noisy classroom. This made the achievement of individual tasks difficult for most students. As Riley and McGregor (2012, p. 325) point out “excessive noise has a detrimental effect on children’s speech perception, attention, reading, spelling, behaviour, and overall academic achievement.”

After implementing the voice level chart into my classroom management my co-operating teacher commented on improvement in providing clear goals for students, achievement of smooth transitions from one activity to the next, as well as increased confidence in my delivery. I learnt that providing basic and clear instructions to students is important because students will know exactly what is required of them. Students will become engaged, enthusiastic and will cease to wonder around the classroom or call out.

This is in line with the AITSL National Professional Teaching Standard 4, focus area 4.2 which requires teachers to not only organise classroom activities but also provide clear directions (AITSL, 2012, p.1). I realised that a lack of clear instructions and organisation in my classroom was one of the reasons why I was having difficulty managing the class.

Conclusion:

This artefact has assisted me in improving my teaching practice, in line with the AITSL National Professional Teaching Standards, as I am now able to set up the learning environment and provide clear directions to students. This has had a significant impact on classroom dynamics, as well as boosting my confidence in the classroom. The success of the use of this artefact has also inspired me to conduct research into effective teaching practice and think creatively about how I will organise my classrooms in the future.

 

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October 26, 2013 · 5:15 am