Initial Ideas For My Unit Plan

Goalfinder Math Natural-Numbers by gfinder, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  gfinder 


Now that I have completed learning path 4, I am sharing my thoughts about assignment 2.

I want to base my unit plan on Mathematics because I have not done any work in this subject for a very long time.  Having taken EDX1280 Numeracy semester 2, 2013, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to refresh my PCK in this area as preparation for Prac.  I’m not sure which year group I will be with yet but i’m hoping year 1 or 2 but for the unit plan I have chosen year 2.  I have already shared my objectives and criteria on the forum here.  I have also done some searches for my PCK and saved some websites which I will return to shortly.  I did share on Diigo this about the misconceptions of Mathematics.

Anyone else doing year 1 or 2 mathematics??

Like Saranna I now need to concentrate and catch up on my other subject and start working on that assignment. Fortunately only one other subject :).


Online Artefact: The why and how of ICTs for improving a student’s learning.

Assignment 1 done!

I did a Prezi presentation because I’ve never done one before and from some of the examples we were shown looked impressive and I was keen to learn how to make my own.  It has taken up a lot of time trying to make it look like and contain “CRAP”…. a design knowledge!  Certainly a memorable acronym that would be good to share with older students!

The colours offered for the free access to Prezi were not great but I did my best with what was available.  I tried to have a colour scheme for each of the reasons in order to distinguish easily between them.

It was difficult not to make it sound to academic, like an essay and I hope I have achieved this?  I extended myself by adding music and a voice over after a forum response from David about adding narrative and music.  I think it improves the presentation because it can be seen with or without me actually being present.  It could be embedded/uploaded on a school or class website for parents to access as they wish.

It has been a really enjoyable assignment and here it is….


Copyright, Creative Commons, ImageCodr

Oh my! Just when you thought that you had a grasp on what is expected…..BOOM….we need to think about copyrights.  Having read Kate’s blog about her confusion over copyright, I was under the same impression….. as long as you reference the image or link the image, all is good…but that is not the case.

Like Kate, I have decided to have a go at loading an image the correct way on a website. Follow these simple steps:

  • Step one: Find an image that inspires calm!
  • Step two: Look for an image within the public domain, where you know you have permission to reuse the resource. Eg; Creative Commons.
  • Step three: Use ImageCodr to attribute the image correctly on your website.
  • Step four: Upload your image to your website by copying the HTML code you obtained using ImageCodr.
  • And there you have it…..

On to my assignment now.  However, I was thinking of doing a Prezi presentation and I will not be able to embed HTML into my presentation.  Hmmm…..back to referencing it!

Can Gaming enhance student learning?

Once again our schema plays a part in how we do things because I never play computer games and I was very despondent about having to play it. However it turned out to be a  nice change from doing reading!

I was amazed at how I got hooked and determined to work out what I needed to do for the dragon to be alone and to move to the next level.  It became clear that a negative and a positive erase themselves and that if you have the same thing in the numerator and the denominator they cancel each other out.  Therefore it was teaching me the skills and strategies of algebra in a way that is conducive to the 21st century child, where gaming is their thing.

The game is called DragonBox and I have to agree that it does secretly teach algebra. It is available for years 5 plus and 12 plus.

Why use it?  Because……

  • It is a visual way of learning math where you don’t even realise it.
  • Provides feedback to the students all the time.  There is a go back button and a help button when necessary.
  • Develops conversation where the students discuss the best way to solve the equations.
  • Kids say it is easier to concentrate because it is fun.
  • Some modelling, no reading of long instructions.

I’m off to check out years 5+……

“Did you know?”…… just for fun.

The “did you know?” video/presentation struck a chord with me and the changes that have occurred in what is actually a very short space of time.

I was watching the news not so long ago when they were reporting on “Napping Stations”.  These are rooms/areas that universities provide where students can have forty winks.  Read more about this from USA and UK.  This makes me think of my children who include napping into their daily routine when possible!  This is another example of how times are changing in education where Universities are providing “Napping Stations” for their students to help them achieve success due to their stressful and demanding study schedules!


Educate, Inspire, Change




This picture popped up on my Facebook news feed today from Spirit Science and it seemed appropriate to share after following the learning path “examples of how the world is changing”.




Because without the advancement and changes of technology Stephen Hawking would find communication with others much more frustrating and difficult if he was still using one of these:



This advancement in technology has been witnessed first hand by Wendy’s blog where she shares her story about her deaf son and the advancements in hearing aid technology over the years.

Stories like these highlight the positive changes in the advancement in technology.

Interestingly, I spoke to an Early Childhood teacher who said that due to the use of touch screen devices the need to teach young children how to use and control a hand held mouse in ICT needed to be questioned. Just another example of the speed in which technology is changing and how important it is to keep up with it.

Is this what Karl Fisch meant from his “Did you know” powerpoint video?


Thinking about Prac and using ICTs


As I was working through the learning path “Using Diigo”, I noticed you can set up educator accounts for a classroom with many positive advantages, which you can read about further here. This made me think about being out on Practicum.  I was wondering at what age/year level could/would/should you start using this ICT?  My initial thoughts corresponded with those of Marianne Edwards in her blog post “wasting time looking for time savers”  because I could see myself wasting valuable time setting this thing up due to my lack of confidence and knowledge in its use.

I am specialising in Early Childhood and the Principles and Practices of the Early Years Learning Framework are founded on beliefs that:

children are capable and competent.

The framework also tells us that as practitioners we need to practice reflection:

Reflective practice helps us to become increasingly thoughtful about our work and motivates us to look deeper and explore new ideas and approaches.

The Australian Curriculum tells us:

In a digital age, and with rapid and continuing changes in the ways that people share, use, develop and communicate with ICT, young people need to be highly skilled in its use.

Whereas, the Queensland Teachers Union news and information letter states:

There are growing concerns regarding teacher workload due to an overcrowding of the curriculum.

However, Am I correct in thinking this ICT resource is NOT appropriate for Early Childhood practitioners (Birth – 8 years) or am I under estimating the students ability as capable and competent learners?  Am I also correct in thinking that I won’t have time to engage in this during Practicum week as the workload of the curriculum should take priority and there will be no time to introduce this ICT?

I do see the potential of its use in the classroom for example, sharing links to a number of online resources/documents that the teacher could feed into a class group (like our ICT and Pedagogy group) as a safe environment for them to access materials via the internet.

I would really be interested in what other Early Childhood specialists think about this ICT resource for Foundation – year 2.  How would you use it in the classroom?



Reflection of week one

EDC3100 Week One Tagxedo

I made it through the first week!  I have learnt so much this week but it has been time consuming.  Hopefully as I progress I can complete the activities more efficiently.

I have used a word cloud to show the things that I have engaged in this week as I come to the end of learning path one.  The software that I have used to create my word cloud comes from Tagxedo. This is an activity that I would like to use in a classroom setting. Could be fun as a spelling activity.

I wasn’t quite sure how to use the software but I managed to do a google search and find a youtube video that helped me.

Are the theories credible or not?

When I was at school the learning was explicit and we were expected to digest what we had been told and learn it by heart (rote learning). Theories and learning styles have developed and changed greatly in terms of how children are taught and how they learn. Since studying my Bachelor or Early Childhood I have heard, learnt and argued the relevance of a number of theorists such as Erikson, Piaget and Vygotsky when understanding human development and I have been exposed to the idea that each of us has a preferred learning style where we favour either visual, kinaesthetic, audio, verbal, logical, interpersonal and intrapersonal styles that guide the way we learn.  I didn’t enjoy my school years and couldn’t wait to leave and start work but having returned to education I find I am stimulated by the variety of modes provided such as reading, video, tutorials, blackboard collaborate and so on to engaging me in the courses I have taken.  I therefore find it hard to agree with “deconstructing the myth of learning styles” where they argue that the theory of learning styles have no value to a child’s learning experiences.

However, as a mature student I now know exactly what I want to do and I am therefore enjoying what I am learning. So would I still achieve even if my learning were solely from rote learning as during my school days? Is it my motivation that drives me to engage, learn and achieve? Or is it the variety of learning styles?  I believe it is a bit of both, motivation and learning styles.


Early Childhood ICT resource the “Bee-Bot”

In a world where ICTs are a major focus in curriculums not only in Australia but worldwide I have fallen upon the “Bee-Bot” a couple of times while I have been browsing the internet.  It is a programmable floor robot that has won several awards; Educational Resources Award 2006 in the Primary ICT category, BETT Award for Early Years and Primary Hardware and The Gold Award at Practical Pre-School Awards Ceremony.  So it must be good right?

This resource is also available FREE from iTunes for the iPhone/iPad but it has limited functionality and you would probably have to upgrade the app to increase the complexity, progression and to add more functions.  It enables children to improve their skills in directional language, Literacy, Mathematics and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns.  I like the way you can use it for language and numeracy activities where children have to solve problems in a fun way.  For example you could program the Bee-Bot so the children discover spelling words using the alphabet mat.  The down side to this ICT is that you have to purchase the hardware.  What do you see as the advantages or disadvantages to this resource?

Please view this video to learn more about the Bee-Bot: