Tag Archives: teaching

GAFE In Action Keynote Speaker

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Guess who’s joining us as another Keynote Speaker at the GAFE In Action Day…

As Leading Teacher for Personalised Learning at JMSS, Chris Harte’s role involves the development of learner portfolios, team teaching, pedagogies for real and virtual flexible spaces and the formative use of data. He is also involved in the design and implementation of Emerging Sciences Victoria, a virtual science school serving Victorian students. Read more here…

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Put Your Mind to Mindfulness

To all the educators out there… Have you caught on to the newest craze yet? If you haven’t practised Mindfulness yourself, or used it in the classroom, it’s time to get onto it! I started using Smiling Minds in my classroom at the beginning of the year, and the level of anxiety and nervous tension around the learning space has decreased dramatically. With anxiety levels rising amongst young children, the least educators and schools can offer, is a safe and mindful place students can go when they need to escape.

Smiling Mind is modern meditation for young people. It’s a simple tool that gives a sense of calm, clarity and contentment. – See more at: http://smilingmind.com.au/blog/#!/category/background/what-is-smiling-mind

The way I introduced the idea of Mindfulness to my students was quite simple. I showed them an image of the brain, and what it looks like before and after meditation. They were blown away! This was as simple as using a google image. I also had a chat with the students about what makes us feel ‘nervous’ sometimes and what can trigger those ‘yucky feelings’ in the tummy. This was kind of like a ‘circle time,’ session. The students were open to sharing their thoughts and feelings, and this helped each of them feel comfortable, and most importantly, ‘normal.’

I then concluded the discussion with, “What are some things we could do when we feel nervous or anxious?” The typcial answers came up, and then I showed the students the Smiling Minds website. We spoke about the benifits of meditation and how it’s a healthy practise.

When we started our first session, students were settled within seconds. It wasn’t an expectation that they close their eyes, or lay on their back, all they had to do was ensure they were in a comfortable position. We now begin each day with a Smiling Minds session. The classroom climate has become much more calm and most importantly, positive. It’s amazing to see the students who would normally get ‘clouded thoughts’ slowly, think more clearly. The kids are now asking for it!

Smiling Minds is a fabulous web and iPhone/iPad App that follows a clear and sequential program, depending on age groups. Try it out for yourself! You won’t regret it. I know I love it… And so do my students!

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GAFE in Action 

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Watch this space! www.gafeinaction.com.au Details about how you can attend, workshops, dates etc coming soon! If you have any ideas or general inquiries about this event, please contact me at: smazzei@stmhadfield.catholic.edu.au #GAFEinaction

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The Power of Feedback

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The report writing period is almost over (for Australian teachers anyway!) Yipee! When I sit and begin to write student comments, I don’t know where to start because most of the time, I have too much to say! Anecdotal notes (see My Focusbook for ongoing reporting, anecdotal note taking, sharing and teacher accountability), feedback, rubrics, work samples, the list goes on. As teachers we’re inundated with all of the various forms of evidence we have. The most powerful though… I have to say is the feedback I leave on student work.

Using the Google Docs and Slide comment functions to leave instant feedback on student work samples, has empowered my students to take responsibility for their own learning. They have become independent, reflective learners by taking on feedback from teachers and peers. When they see feedback, they crave more! Crazy I know. My students have not only developed their skills in being able to take feedback on board, but have also become confident in providing their peers with feedback too. I have also noticed a growth in resilience. The most reluctant students have become more open-minded when receiving feedback.

Another benefit of using this function is that when it comes to writing reports, all of the feedback you ever left on a piece of work stays with that sample forever! Yep… Even once students have clicked ‘resolve’ and attended to the feedback, you can see how it was resolved and if was attended to or not. The video below explains how to use the ‘comment’ function.

By using instant feedback in the classroom, teachers can create active problem solvers, provide personalised feedback and empower students to be independent learners. Give it a go! It’ll change their perspective on feedback. I promise!

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A Sneak Peek into GAFE in Action!

So I promised everyone out there who was interested in my upcoming event, ‘GAFE in Action,’ that I’d keep you posted with any updates. Just this week, I had students complete the Google Basics Exam and I have been blown away! Kids in grade 3 have achieved as high as 93%. I’m so proud of them! I recently just created a Google Classroom group as well. This is going to be a shared space where the kids who are presenting can communicate and share their ideas.

Children are currently in the process of putting their proposals forward about the different Google APPS they want to share and teach teachers and children about on the day.

So here’s a sneak peak of some of the things you might find amongst our workshops… Along with all of the other exciting stuff we have in the pipelines. Genius Hour, Google Drive, Google Teach… Just to name a few.

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Every Kid Needs A Champion

As a Primary School Teacher, I have the pleasure of meeting so many kids. The extroverts, the introverts, the bubbly kids, the class clowns… And the kids that fly under the radar. No matter who they are, or where they come from… They all need a champion. This video says it all beautifully.

After I saw this, I immediately thought, “How can I be a champion to my students?” I knew there were things I knew about my kids, and things I didn’t. I also came across a post where a teacher asked her kids to complete this sentence starter… “I wish my teacher knew…” I knew this would be the perfect way to be a champion to my kids. And it worked! Give it a go! I used a Google Form to do this. You never know what you might find out.

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It’s Happening. My Focusbook is almost ready to release their 12month free trial

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Attention teachers! @myfocusbookapp will soon be giving away 1 year free trials! https://www.myfocusbook.com.au/  Check it out and stay tuned!

What are current users saying?

 

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