Tackling Translation with Origami Inspired Activity

After settling into a new school I have started to slowly add in hands on activities into my lessons. My NCEA Level 2 Biology class is currently learning the Gene Expression external topic and this week we were focussing on transcription and translation. I was emailed the Origami Organelles website by my Head of Department and thought the Robotic Ribosome model would be a valuable tool to use first.

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Using Social Online Networks in Teaching and Professional Development

My Personal Social Media Use

I have several personal social media accounts. In order to  distance these accounts/pages from my teaching career I have established significant privacy settings on them and limit what I share and post. I also follow the advice of the my school’s ‘Staff Manual 2016’ which states that teachers should act online as they wish students to do as well. Continue reading “Using Social Online Networks in Teaching and Professional Development”

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Getting the most out of tests – Using Spiral’s Canvas feature

My Level 3 Biology class sat an end of topic test for the Plants and Animals External Standard and through marking it I identified some areas of improvement. I decided against projecting the answer schedule but rather to use the Quickfire function to facilitate further practice and learning on these identified weak areas. I selected five questions and decided to let the students use the Canvas feature to answer two of these questions.

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The Sway Series

Here is a quick video demonstrating how I have sent emails to parents/caregivers this year using Sway!


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Letting Students Discover OneNote Features By Themselves

My Year 9 students use OneNote regularly as I find it is an effective modern learning tool in terms of content delivery and setting up collaboration activities for students. I have also found it useful in teaching students technological skills, such as how to screenshot an example of their work so that they can paste somewhere else (as shown in my previous post about OneNote blogging) and when it is useful to use a reverse image search tool (such as TinEye) to gain information about an image.

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Playing around with Piktochart

I stumbled upon this infographic maker late in 2015 and saw potential in using the tool in exam revision and in strengthening student’s literacy skills. I trialed Piktochart with my junior students with the aim of them creating their own infographic/poster to take home and put on their wall (not all students have internet access at home).  Student’s found the task useful as they were able to select a topic we had learnt in class and use eye-catching text layouts and illustrations to emphasize what they thought were the main ideas.

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Legal and Ethical Contexts in my Digital Practice

After some research I have developed an understanding of ethical dilemmas within teaching in a digital context. From the ‘Code of Professional Responsibility for Educators’ a section states that there is a “Responsibility to the Profession: The professional educator, in full recognition of his or her obligation to the profession, shall: Conduct himself or herself as a professional realizing that his or her actions reflect directly upon the status and substance of the profession; district policies, or laws” (Ethical and Professional Dilemmas for Educator: Facilitator’s Guide, 2012). I think this is important to take note of as in our position as a teacher we should make conscious decisions to act responsibly and positively through our actions and choices. We have significant influence on our student’s and families lives on a constant basis. The above code of personal responsibility compliments the latest ‘Code of Ethics for Certified Teachers’, which purpose can be explained as “teachers certificated to practice in New Zealand are committed to the attainment of the highest standards of professional service in the promotion of learning by those they teach, mindful of the learner’s ability, cultural background, gender, age or stage of development” (Education Council New Zealand). There are four pillars to the code which define professional interactions – Truth, Responsible to Care, Justice and Autonomy. Justice can be defined as “to share power and prevent the abuse of power” which stood out to me as significant as per recent news articles about New Zealand teachers possibly abusing their position of power (Education Council New Zealand). Continue reading “Legal and Ethical Contexts in my Digital Practice”

Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Responsiveness in my Practice

The school that I work at currently embraces and develops indigenous knowledge and cultural responsiveness. In terms of my own cultural intelligence I completed the self review in cultural intelligence survey, as adapted from Te Toi Tupu’s website. Within this I felt that I had developed and am now confident in the area of ‘behavioural cultural intelligence’ as I can think of recent situations where I I intuitively change verbal communication styles when interacting with culturally diverse others. One such situation is when I travelled to China in July to teach English and had sought advice from more experienced ESOL teachers on how to improve my verbal communication style to be more effective and appropriate. I was conscious of the pace at which I spoke and of selecting words that were more common and easy to explain the definition of. Furthermore, I have continued this style of communication back at my current school. The China experience and my general experience as a teacher has made me develop more of an awareness in how I communicate with all students regardless of their culture. Continue reading “Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Responsiveness in my Practice”

Current Issues in my Professional Context

The school I teach at has had mixed academic results and has been involved in a number of initiatives in the past. I believe it is on a pathway to establishing a positive school climate and this is starting to be reflected in our NCEA achievements. The school that I teach at has a positive school climate based around the development of students into lifelong learners. Within the idea of life long learning is the skill of leadership.  Earlier this year the school held a ‘Sir Peter Blake Leadership’ week which involved the announcement of a student lead design project of the quote ‘I touch the future. I teach’. Another purpose of the week was to celebrate and acknowledge teachers as leaders of a profession. Continue reading “Current Issues in my Professional Context”

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