Today I had the opportunity to attend a beginning teacher professional development day at St Therese Primary School at Sadleir- Miller. It was a fantastic experience to begin networking with a range of teachers and learning coaches from vast experiences both in education and beyond.
The day was broken into various mini sessions focusing on EAL/D students, Religious Education, Literacy and Numeracy,
I particular found the EAL/D session eye opening as it made me reflect on my own knowledge of my students cultural backgrounds. I recognise that as a classroom teacher I want and need to embrace the cultural diversity within my classroom. I feel like I need to gain further knowledge of the cultural background each student has within their family, not just that they are from a particular culture, but what cultural experience do they embrace at home in their everyday lives.
Within the Literacy session we began with using the talking and listening strips. Mel Batch has introduced this strategy to the English PLT meeting before, so it was a strategy that I have seen, However by using this as a getting to know you activity, it was a fantastic way to engage with fellow teachers. This strategy is one in which I would like to develop and modify as a plenary activity, especially within the Literacy and Numeracy block.
Another element from the literacy session that has resonated with me was regarding reading aloud. I need to BRING BOOKS TO LIFE! As a book reader, I know I want to foster a love for reading in all my students.. In order to do this I need to dedicate a daily session of 15 minutes to bring books alive. I need to involve the students in the reading. I must read with animation, taking on the characters, engaging the student using role play, props and expression.
During the Religious Education session, an idea was mentioned regarding student transitions to and from storytelling. By playing music students are able to enter deeply into a revenant spiritual space, in which they know that we are about to begin or end the exploring phrase of the storytelling. I would like to introduce this concept into my learning environment. My students love listening to music and often ask to have music on during Creative Arts. This would be a easy way to incorporate music into my learning environment, by teaching the student that when they hear certain music they need to begin transitioning.
During the numeracy session we completed an engaging warm up activity involving identifying the number order of numerals from 1 to 54, in a minute. The first time doing this activity I was only able to get up to number 13.. On the second attempt we were instructed to fold our page into a grid of 9 squares, with the second attempt I reached the number 23 in the minute timeframe. After completing the activity we were able to identify the pattern within the worksheet, recognising the importance of problem solving. I know that I begin each numeracy block with problem solving, but can my students reason and explain why they chose that problem solving strategy? This is an area I wish to gain more knowledge and develop my own teaching.
A worthwhile and reflective professional development day.