Archive | March, 2011

Week Nine:

31 Mar

Week Nine:

This week has been a lot less stressful than last. I have been able to get through all of the sheets for portfolios that I need to in a good time, but I am still waiting on those children who have not been here because of illness. We had athletics this week on Tuesday, which was a lot of fun, but also tiring. It was great after when my team when to Drovers for our meeting. We are starting to work so well together and efficiently, but at the same time we have a lot of fun together. One issue did get raised to me about the Athletics day was that I let Nikita compete in all of the events, even though her Mum came to see me. It annoyed me that I know she is having days off, because she ‘feels’ like it and her Mum lets her, and I knew for a fact she was not sore in her back because she was able to compete without pain in all the events. Rex came and saw me about this the next day that I was wrong to make her do them, and I understand I was, but it makes me angry that the parent allows this to happen without any worry at all to Nikita’s learning. Its not right to teach a young girl that its ok to miss school because she feels like it or to hang out together. I have noticed a pattern of it being Monday and Thursdays on my roll and will keep an eye on this. I was really happy that Faye and Kim supported me throughout the whole thing. I am really finding dealing with parents a lot harder than I thought it would be. I have to start thinking more about how even small things can have a consequence even though I think it may not be that big. One thing that went well this week was Faye coming in to observe my maths lesson.  I was really happy with the feedback and that there were no negatives in my teaching. I enjoy that I can focus on teaching content and become a better teacher of this than managing children’s behaviour. It was great that she gave me some little hints for my class room.

 These were the main ideas and hints she gave me:

-To use a resource that has all the W.A.L.T’s on them, she gave this to me to bind and photocopy. This is so the children can just glue it in their books and not have to waste time copying it down.

-Make my Groups smaller- split up circles. Even if it is teaching the same thing, it is good to be able to focus on the ones in the group that take longer to understand and learn how to confidently use a strategy. I have thought about doing this for a while, but having her say that made me realise how important it is to do.

-Have the children sit in a circle, once the groups were smaller, let all the children focus on the board on the mat, all facing each other. This means all the children can see what they are focusing on and are able to understand the focus of the lesson better.

-Let the children work in peers on the mat, when working with resources. This means they bounce off ideas from each other and it means you don’t need to worry about not having enough materials.

-Another point I got out of Faye observing me was working with children, who’s books I have seen and they don’t seem to be understanding, work with them during maintenance time, while others do this, so they have a better understanding and they are sorting out their misunderstanding without you, as the teacher, moving on without them understanding.

I thought the observation was a success and I was happy with the whole lesson and the children were just amazing! It was great.

I have found out that next week Tuesday night is busy for conferences, but Wednesday will be ok with me leaving early. I am all prepared for them, and can’t wait till they are finished. It’s good that the children do all the talking and they are able to know so much about their own learning.

I’m ready for those holidays, though I am enjoying working hard, it keeps time moving along fast. Overall a great week, with some valuable lessons learnt.


Week eight

24 Mar

Week Eight:

One of the highlights of the week for me was to be able to go and observe Dicey teach a maths lesson. I was relieved to see that his approach is similar to mine and that I was able to feel reassured about maths. I definitely took a lot away from the lesson and have some great resources I will now try and implement in my own maths class e.g. the success criteria for presentation and also using more materials when teaching in groups. See notes in observations section to see what else I got out of it. This week was so busy with fitting in Athletics training, portfolio sheets, maths testing and filling in last minute things. After team meeting on Friday I was a bit anxious to get all of the portfolio things completed. I am trying to be extra organised so I am over prepared for learning conferences. I am feeling very nervous about these, even more than my first year. I think it is because I have had some bad experiences with parents and also feel like these parents expect more from me, which is stressful. I am very nervous about the situation, where as last year I felt great and really enjoyed the process of talking with my parents. I will make sure I write a lot of notes about each child the weekend before the conference week, so I am prepared and can get through any question they give me and be 100 percent confident in my teaching and ability, because I know that I am capable. I have taken a lot of work home this week, trying to get little things that will stack up over time completed. I feel like I haven’t seen my class as Wednesday was Enviro Day and the Weetbix Triathlon, which meant half my children were away, which was quite nice, but I feel like I haven’t had a chance to work with them in the classroom as much as usual, and to be honest its not good. I enjoy working with them and helping them work through reading and writing, but we haven’t had the time to do this. Its been an easy week, thinking about teaching content, but busy with portfolio and outside of the classroom work. I have a lot of release next week so I can everything sorted and be prepared for conferences week, week ten. Bring it on….I will be prepared.

Reflection of observation of Dicey’s Maths class:

21 Mar

Reflection of observation of Dicey’s Maths class:

I was able to go and observe in Diceys maths lesson today. I got a lot out of it in many ways. One thing that makes me feel relived is the fact that my approach to teaching my maths class is similar to Dicey’s and it also is structured in a similar way. I have written a number of notes on the observation which can be accessed in my PRT folder in the observations section. The main points I got out of the lesson and things I want to apply to my own maths class are these things:

– I thought it was great to have the success criteria on the board. It pushes the children to work harder and shows what they need to do to meet the expectations. I think I may use this in my room, making a resource, that can be changed, but every few weeks having a new L.O with different success criteria on it.

 – I thought it was neat idea to get children to talk through their working with a buddy because every child favours different strategies and it is important to share these with one another. It helps the child become more confident with sharing their understanding and talking through problems they come across. I will start to use this within my maths class.

– Extra tip I liked: Thumbs up or down- middle, low and high- shows level children understand. Can use this by quickly assessing if some children are confident or stuck, so you can either move on or stop and talk about it more.

 – I thought the materials where great, laid out in the correct order and made the activity a lot easier to follow. I will start to ask around more for resources I need and realise it is important to use them. The children gain a better understanding or jus have their memories jolted by having these in front of them. (They pick things up better).

– Roaming- I thought this was great to be involved while the children are working on the mat, really effective way to see how on task and on to it each child is. It was great to keep the children on task and focused, also allowed the teacher to get more involved and help individuals. Will get up while teaching on mat and roam to see how children are going.

– Questions where open, allowed deep thinking from children. All answers were given by children, not Dicey. Using more open questions and not giving the answers to the children is my next focus. – get them to explain their thinking, not you.

Week Seven:

18 Mar


This week was very manageable, considering that I had a day off school with the tummy bug. I thought this would mean my week was rushed and way off with my planning and portfolio sheets, but I have discovered it to be the opposite. I was able to get my planning sorted by Wednesday afternoon and also complete a number of portfolio sheets. I am now over prepared in this area, which is great so I can now not stress about using my PRT time for observing other classes. I have completed the H/W sample, Maths Excel Sheet, Weaving art, swimming and now organising I for the writing sample. I have the bike sheet and care code portfolio sheets all sorted now, ready to be completed next week. I really enjoyed the Bike Out day on Wednesday this week. I was really disappointed that I was not able to go along with the children and bike because of my tummy bug, but I was able to break out my bike half way through the day and have some time to ride with the kids. I thought the kids behaved AMAZINGLY! They had great manners and even though they were exhausted they still kept on biking all day. I was really proud. One thing I am really pleased about this week and is allowing me to work towards my goal is having more involvement and authority in the senior team. I have the ability and am not afraid to talk to all the children when they are not doing the right thing, and I feel I am also building up great relationships will all children in the senior team.  I have also found this week I have been able to get along well with the staff and form better relationships in this area too. I really enjoyed this week, but not the being sick part. I look forward to next week, and any challenges that arise. I have organised to go in and see Dicey teach a maths class on Tuesday for an hour. He is in the group ahead of me in maths and it will be good to see the way he is teaching and level he is focusing on. I hope to gain some new great approaches for teaching strategies and for questioning the children.

Reflection: Week six

8 Mar

Week Six:

This week has been so much better than last week! I can’t believe I got through it allJ. I came into school on Monday with a bit of a negative attitude towards the school, but straight away talking with the children and seeing some lovely parents come into my room made me realise how lucky I am and how grateful I should be about life and what I have. I am feeling so much better about this week and I don’t know if this is because I am just feeling better with my health or if I am just enjoying it more. I have had a great week with the children learning how to ride safely. This has definitely allowed the children and me to bond more. I have also picked up some great tips that I can apply to my own biking. I am excited about doing the biking with the children next Wednesday on our Bike Out trip; it should be a lot of fun. What I have also enjoyed doing and achieved in my goal is getting to know more children in my senior team. During Numeracy I have been able to work more with a range of children and they are so lovely and polite about everything. They always say lovely things about their learning and to me about what I am doing with them. They enjoy my class, which is great to hear, because if they are enjoying it, it usually means they are doing well and achieving. This week I have also had a lot of meetings on. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were all busy days. Tuesday was a quick talk about Inquiry and getting resources to use in the class, it is greatJ. Wednesday was a team meeting which was good to cover the bike out and also science road show, which is next week and also Thursday, was meeting with Faye about PRT things. I am glad we finally have meet, because I was getting a bit worried about the whole thing.  I showed her my goal and talked about some of the guidelines that needed to be covered. It was good to see and know what her expectations of me are. Overall had a busy, but great week.

Reflection: Week five

8 Mar

Week Five:

This week we had swimming sports. The highlight of my week was getting to race in the student, parent and teacher race. I was really nervous, like the children, it had been a long time since I had swum. I had a lot of fun, but the only thing that annoyed me was that I got sick on Wednesday. It was a tiring week and by Friday I had had it. I didn’t have time off; I had to get portfolio sheets completed. Something did hit me big though last week and it made me feel very negative towards coming to work was a parent and her complaining to my team leader about talking to my children about my home life. I don’t think what I talked to the children about was inappropriate. I was talking about my values compared to my parents and how we all have different ideas and in life you have to deal with these. The parent somehow was not happy about me not sharing these same values and because of this I got told to basically not tell children the truth in life but not say anything and go on about my parents and I being great friends. I was a bit mad because I don’t think it was wrong to do, children need to be told the truth, and also the fact that the parent did not come and talk to me annoyed me immensely. She also had been told some information, which she should not have been told, and was telling others around the school, when she should not have been. I feel she has mixed things up between me and my team leader and is trying to play off each of us. I was very mad and had to try being very professional when I saw her on Friday as I was not feeling great feelings towards her. It was very upsetting on Friday and to be honest it made me have a very negative feeling on Friday with the children.  One thing I enjoyed about the week was starting up Numeracy Groups with other children from other classes coming into my room. I am teaching stage 5. I like that all the children are focusing on the same strategies and the room is a lot more focused in maths time. I have really enjoyed doing this.

Reflection: Week Four

8 Mar

Week Four:

This week was a busy week with PAT tests everyday. It wasn’t fun to teach, but it was simple to cover. I was very impressed and interested to see where some of my children sat and what their intelligence was compared to what I had seen in the room. I was very impressed with one of my students in particular, Kaelib, he did so well and showed me that he was a lot more capable than he was making out. I have entered the data into MUSAC. I think it is great to have somewhere to store data, and this allows us to easy locate it when we need it. I thought this week was busy with testing and marking, but overall it was positive and the children did really well even though they were tested everyday.