NoRedInk to test

I am teaching year 7s apostrophes over a series of lessons. I initially ran a diagnostics 10 questions test, to see what the students already knew.

The site displays the results in easy table layouts. Whether they could the answer right or wrong, and if you scroll over the box it says how they answered the question.

I spent a lesson teaching the students the two ways of using Apostrophes and they engaged in activities to practice using Apostrophes.


Tomorrow the students will go back on NoRedInk and complete a post-test on Apostrophes. Again the site will display the classes responses to the questions, so I can easily analyses what the students have learnt and what they need to learn.


Stepping up

Brooke talks in her blog about taking over behaviour management.

I too am stepping up and taking control of the classroom and my mentors really stepping back and watching.

I am discovering that balance between being the teacher standing up the front doing all the talking and teaching the content and having that full attention on me. This is not a great way to teach all the time however, it is not engaging or getting the students to do the thinking. Yes it is necessary at times, but not always.

The tricky step is doing activities with students, so that they are doing the thinking, work and learning. Giving the students the work, means less control, each student is doing their own thing. Add working in pairs or in groups and students are doing all sorts of different tasks and making noise all around the classroom. Keeping track of students is tricky and gaining their attention again, is at times difficult over the noise.

How can ICT help. ICT provides ways to show visually, written and auditory, things like the instructions. If you do not know what to do next, read the board.

Timers on the internet.

Using sounds or clips on the internet to gain students attention.

Down time due to ICT set up

Britt talks about having those ICT delays.. One of those ‘Oh my what am I going to do’ moment with using ICTs.

I similarly have found that even though most lessons I am using the projector to display PowerPoints, word docs, YouTube clips etc. The time consuming part of the lesson is the down time the students have while I as the teacher am logging into the laptop, turning on the projector, opening up documents..

In response I am learning to have a quick easy activity that the students can engage in, that gets them thinking at the start of the lesson. I can write a question on the whiteboard and say it aloud and students are occupied momentarily while I set up the ICT.


Had a grade 12 class with 3 students today, luckily, because I had a go at using the Interactive Whiteboard for simple student responses. The lesson was based on being interactive with the students and getting them to demonstrate their ideas and thinking on the whiteboard and discuss which each other the answers to questions. The interactive whiteboard took considerable time to get working and then the markers were unresponsive to the board and words were getting written on the board in a different place to where they were actually written with the pen and then the board decided to write squiggles on the board.

This task could have been done just the same with a standard whiteboard, however the classroom I was in only had an IWB so I had to use this. It did cause some great laughs, however I was thankful to only have 3 students in my class for this, behaviour management would have been an issue if I had a class full laughing at the fail of the IWB.

Begs the question whether teachers need to have Professional development days on new technology coming into our schools frequently. There is no point having new technology in the classroom if teachers do not know to use it.

What ICTs did I use to create my flip lesson

Almost forgot, so I used a program called Camtasia to record and edit my video. Firstly I had a PowerPoint presentation which had dot points of my content. I wrote a script of what I wanted to say for each slide. Found an almost quiet place to sit and record it using Camtasia. It is an easy program to use, you can edit out your voice and use different drawing tools to circle points made or examples on the slides. Then I uploaded the video to YouTube and posted the link to the students Edmodo site for easy access.


Flip lesson reflected

Students love new ways of learning. So a few of my year 11 class engaged in learning through a flip lesson. Students who wanted to learn about punctuating speech were treated to a video made by me, explaining how to punctuate speech. The students who engaged with the task liked that the video did not take long to watch, they could stop and start as the needed to write notes or re-wind to hear the information again. They found the content clear and easy to understand as it was visual and auditory.

One student had difficulty accessing it ICT wise, most students choose not to do the task either through laziness, disorganisation, feeling they already knew the content so it was a waste of time or through not being aware of doing the homework.

Students engaged in the in class lesson activities despite not watching the video, as I set the activity out in a way that they could learn as they practiced from other students who knew how to do it.

I feel as if more students would engage in flip lessons, as it became an expected routine task for them in class. For them knowing that they may be required to explain content from the video in class the next lesson.

For more info about Flip Lessons check out this website:

Poll Everywhere

Question students, get them to respond to activities. The teacher can activate the questions, all you need to do is give the students the website. Activate the question and then students can respond to the questions on their computer, one at a time as the teacher activates them. The answers all collaborate on the teachers webpage, which can be displayed on a projector to the class to see everyones ideas. The teacher can choose whether the responses appear as a cloud of words, a list of responses, as a collage of responses or ticking answers. I am exploring this ICT tool with my grade 11 class tomorrow…

Flip Lesson…

I just read a blog post by Paula  who said she had the opportunity to see a Flip classroom in action. I too have learnt today what a Flip classroom is, I did not however get to see one, but I have been given the opportunity to teach a lesson using the Flip classroom method, in year 11 English. For those of you who do not know what a Flip classroom is, and may want any idea for their ICT lessons while on placement.
A Flip classroom as explained to me is where the teach records the content of a lesson, for the students to view and work through as homework, and then when they come to class, they already know the content and can work on activities that build on the understanding. Rather than the teacher spending the lesson teaching the content and then the students doing the activities for homework.

Cybersafety and my students

What to do if students are getting cyberbullied? Well the Connect.ed module 2 gave lots of suggests of what teachers should do when cyberbullied.. Not.. I am still no clearer on how I would approach my class after reading this module. I am aware of the unseen issue, but not how to address the issue.
Firstly, it seems most victims often keep cyberbullying situations to themselves. The best case scenario is having their friends aware of the situation or the victim telling their friends of the situation, so that the friends encourage the victim to seek adult help.
One we sites mentions raising awareness of technology issues; risks, cybersafety and positive online communities. Teach students how to report abuse.
I think the important area os to build positive relationships within the classroom, that transpire out into the online world. Teach and building students to stick up for one another, support and encourage one another in positive ways. This means doing activities in the classroom that build these positive relationships and skills.