Like my previous post, I am celebrating the wonderful opportunities that are being offered at our school for the students by imaginative and innovative teachers.
This week’s profile is on our Year Six and Indonesian teacher, Andrina.
Andrina was the first teacher at our school to get a class blog and has been using it daily for the last two years. I thought it might be useful to ask Andrina a few questions about her blog in the hope that it might inspire others to do the same.
1. What lead you to creating the blog for the class?
I knew about blogs. I knew that teachers at Margaret River Primary had a class blog. I had briefly looked at it. I really didnt understand what one was or how a blog worked but I wanted to investigate them. So I signed up for a blog for me and my daughter when she was sick one day. We just played around with the look of it and then tried to figure out how to use the dashboard. I just started out with posting my stars of the day and celebrating what we did in class. The more I used the blog the ways I could see that it could be used.
2. What is the most positive aspect of the class blog?
The most positive thing is the interaction I get with students outside the class. There are a number of students who visit the blog everyday and comment everyday. It has fuelled their enthusiasm for learning and I think it has had a positive effect on their class work They now come to class prepared because they have watched the maths video I have posted. They also do the revision work which prepares them for tests.
3. How has it changed your teaching practise?
It has changed my teaching practice because
3.1 I can set work for students to do before a class in preparation for a new topic.
3.2 I can revise work on a daily basis by setting a quiz or interactive game.
3.3 If I am away I can still set work for the students to do.
3.4 I have a more organised way to keep my websites in categories and therefore I use them more often.
3.5 I am now developing pages of work which the students will be able to refer to either as an independent learner or as remedial work for children who may need some more work on decimals for example. These pages have information, video and links to interactive games.
4. How has it changed the student’s learning?
I think that it has made some students more responsible and engaged in their learning. Some realise the benefit of coming to class with some idea of what we are doing and have embraced it.
5. What do you think could be improved?
I won’t know how it can be improved until I find another reason to use it. If you know what I mean. It seems I find out something new that can be done and then I find a way to use it.
One thing I need to do is to come up with more fun activities to draw the students to the blog everyday. I have used rebus puzzles but I need to find some other puzzles and maybe have a different type each term to keep it fresh.
6. Is it difficult to create and maintain?
It wasn’t difficult to start and it has just developed slowly. And like anything the more that you use it the easier it becomes. I usually spent between 10-30 minutes a day depending on what I am doing. If I am looking for new information it takes longer but I should be getting to the stage that I should be able to reblog posts. I find it enjoyable so I don’t mind the time it takes i also have seen the benefit for some students so I am happy to spend the time providing them with extra work. It is easier than finding activities, photocopying and marking them.