Archive | September, 2011

Week Nine:

30 Sep

What a week, I have had more meetings to organise camp, camp meetings to meet parents, meetings with my own children’s parents to talk about issues that have been raised and now sorted out, and I have also had to organise and plan the camp booklet, which will be given to each children, and also have helped organise our Rippa Rugby world tournament next week. WOW! So busy and I have had so much to do.

I am glad it is the end of the week. This term has gone so fast, I can’t believe everything I have completed or had to organise, there is just so much. It is a great thing to think about how much we have completed, in such a short time, but it also makes me a bit scared, as the next term, term 4, will just fly by and go far too fast, and I am anxious about fitting in everything that needs to be completed e.g. assessments, camp planning, evaluating etc.

 My maths children have been going so well, and I have there final test on Wednesday next week, and I hope I can say a lot of positive things about how well the children have progressed this term and that I have achieved my goal. I know that I have already achieved my goal to be more positive and enjoy teaching mathematics this term, as I have had so much fun and taken more time in preparing meaningful lessons that are pushing the learners in my classroom. I am proud of the work we have achieved together, and even if Jade and Connor have not moved up, they are more positive about the subject and enjoying what they are doing, and when we work together it is obvious they understand concepts and ideas about fractions.

 I have got next week Friday off with leave as my sister is being admitted to the bar. I was a little upset because I knew I didn’t give much notice, but I thought that my principal and team leader would understand, but they seemed to be mad at me, and make me feel bad for asking for time off. I was upset because this is the first time this year I have asked for time off, and with a pretty good reason to go away, and I know I will not be getting paid either, but they got a little angry at me. I haven’t even been away when I have been sick this term, so I thought they would be more understanding. At least I am going and I can be excited about that.

One week to go, not long. Can’t wait to relax and have some time to de stress and be calm, before coming back to a busy and full on term 4.


Week Eight:

23 Sep

Another week is now over, I can’t believe there is only two weeks to go until we have two long weeks of holidays, but judging on how fast this term has flown by, the holidays will just fly by as well.

On Tuesday this week the senior team and I went to visitForestLakes, our camp location for 2011. It was really good to see where the children and I would be sleeping, the activities and what the facilities are like in general. It is tidy and I think it will be a lovely time. We also had a meeting on Wednesday night to organise sleeping arrangements, and I am glad Faye told me I am able to have my own room for the time we are away. I am feeling rather nervous about what to expect at camp and have no idea if I will enjoy it or not, as I am a person that likes my own space in some situations and I am worried 3 full on days with a 100 children will drive me a tad crazy, but I have been told it will be a lot of fun and it is all worth the time spent planning and hours of sleep lost over the time away.  By Thursday this week I was ready to go home early from school. Two days of intense work and planning is a bit too much on the brain and I feel absolutely exhausted.

Some fun things we did this week in class were to organise our Ripper Rugby tournament in our team, we had some games outside and got excited about planning the game and then had the normal tasks to complete for our portfolio for example care codes, cross country sheets and we even got to start evaluate our speech goals for our portfolios. Speeches are finally over and now I can mark these, and add final results and get these back to the children.

I have made great progress with my numeracy focus children (Jade and Connor) they have so much more confidence in the subject fractions and Connor is now easily working through stage 5 strategies to work out problems. I am so happy and both Connor and Jade are enjoying their learning. I can tell by the way they are working with others, the confidence they have to answer questions and the answers they are writing in their books that they understand what we are learning and it makes me feel so proud of my teaching in mathematics this term. I am planning more in-depth and working with groups more, taking time to work through problems when they arise with individual children. I am enjoying teaching the subject A LOT more because of this.

Overall it has been a great week with being busy and finishing so much. I got a sore throat on Thursday morning, which I cannot seem to shake off, and I think it is just because I am so exhausted from this term overall. I can’t wait for the holidays and at this stage they cannot come sooner! I need a day in bed!

Week seven:

15 Sep

I have had such a positive week. It didn’t start off so great, as over the weekend I could not hear out of my left ear. It made me so grumpy and moody throughout the weekend, and as a result of this, I had a horrible Monday too. Luckily I was able to organise a time on Monday afternoon to get into the doctor, to find out that both my ears where extremely blocked and I had to get them cleaned out. It was great; because once they were cleaned I had such a great, positive week, at home and at school. I feel more relaxed and have been positive to the children and Ryan.

 A highlight of my week, that made it even more positive, was that I heard some great things where being said about me, from other teachers, and parents. I got a letter addressed to the school recognising my own time commitment to go and see Matthew, one of my students, play rugby one weekend. I didn’t expect to get the praise, as I just wanted to go and watch him play, but it was really nice to be recognised and appreciated for what I do.  I think that I was feeling down over week 4 to 6 because I had been working so hard, and no one had stopped to tell me how my teaching was going or how I am coping, so it was nice to hear some positives. They definitely made my week!

My maths target group, and my whole numeracy class, have been improving on place value knowledge, as I have been playing a hangman number game (moving from just hundreds to now hundreds of thousands). The children’s knowledge has improved so much and they really enjoy the game. Jade and Connor are enjoying fractions and are starting to understand new concepts all the time, they just sometimes need extra support.

A negative that had to be completed this week, but took so much time, was our team meeting on Wednesday night. We got through so much in the time we had, but still didn’t get out of school until 5.45pm. I ended up getting home just after six, had to rush around make tea for myself (only had time for scrambled eggs on toast) and then head to the gym. We had a lot of important camp things to do, and even groupings for the challenge groups, so we had to really think about placement of each child (some where more difficult than others to place). It was a nice achievement at the end of the night to get all of that organising completed. We are going to visit Forest Lakes next Tuesday night, and I am quite excited to see the facilities and the idea and planning we have been doing for camp will really start becoming a reality. I am excited about going on camp, but worry that I will have no patience by the end of it as we are around the children 24/7 for three whole days. I hope I survive.

We had book week this week. I really enjoyed this and know the children did too. We have D.E.A.R time everyday from 11-11.10am where I even got to read and had so many great readers come in and talk to us. I felt we really got spoilt with this during the week and I believe Sasha did and AMAZING JOB and have told her this already. We had Character Day today and I dressed as Miss Trunchbull. I enjoyed it, and the children did also.  

Overall it was a great and positive week.



Week six:

8 Sep

This week has been so tiring and long. I am just exhausted from the whole term moving along so fast and feeling a bit under the weather to be honest and need a day to catch up on sleep. I even missed out on going to do my ‘Big Thursday’ at the gym with a friend, as I was so tired and only could manage to do one class. It was hard missing it, but I feel a lot better now than what I did on Thursday.

Nothing to exciting happened this week at school. Introduced new activities to the class for fiction texts, the children enjoyed doing these and I enjoyed teaching them. We had enviro day on Monday and I was really pleased with how it went. The kids enjoyed sketching apples, working in the garden and stewing fruits. We all enjoyed ourselves. I would have to say that would be the highlight of the week.

We also walked around the Victoria Park, here in Feilding, to see where the children will be running for cross country. It was a tiring walk and it will definitely challenge many of the children and their fitness.

School photos were on today. The staff photo was all about rugby and we all dressed up in our rugby gear and got a photo taken at 8am. I got to wear all of Ryan’s rugby gear and it was a lot of fun. We had our other staff photo during morning tea and my class’s photo throughout the day.

I am glad this week is over, and cannot wait to have a bit of a relaxing weekend and go away to Wellington to watch one of the first matches for the Rugby World Cup 2011. It will be a lot of fun and we will be taking a lot of photos, which I can bring into school next week and share with the children, as it will connect with our inquiry topic of the RWC and the children will be excited by this.

Week five:

1 Sep

Week five has definitely been a lot quieter than week four. I had my usual planning for week six to get sorted, organised activities for Enviro Day, which is on Monday, and even changed the focus of reading for this next half of Term 3 to Fiction, with 4 new activities that will be taught next week. I got a lot organised and sorted out because of the release time I was given (a day and a half).

On Monday, Enviro Day, I am planning on peeling and cutting apples, stewing them in crock pots and then getting the children to bring in a topping (of their choice) and we will have this as our class ‘snack’. The theme is apples so I thought we would research some information about them, do some apple art, a sketch, and complete a word search focusing on apples. I also have organised a time in the morning for us to work in the garden. It will be a full on day, and I have planned a lot to keep us busy, but it will be a good day too.

The reading focus for the second half of Term 3 is focusing on fiction stories, so I have organised four activities that focus on this text type: Character portrait, word map 2, book review and comic strip. These activities will be taught to the children next week, and then become into the reading programme for 4 more weeks. I even had time this week to make signs for my whiteboard, these are now laminated and have had Velcro put on the backs of them.

My goal for Term 3 was to focus on moving up Jade and Connor, in my numeracy class, to stage 5 for multiplication and division (as they are so close to reaching this point), but as the focus is now fractions I have been working on this same goal, but teaching using fractions. Jade is in a higher group than Connor, and is really strong with her fractions knowledge, so I know she has strength in this area. I need to find time to work with her about multiplication and division, but never have time. I will try and teach these ideas using fractions, as the topics link really well together. I did try and work with Connor a lot more this week, as he needs a lot of help and support, teaching using fractions. I observed that his confidence is growing and in discussions on the mat he was being the ‘leader’ directing the other children’s answers or ideas. He is able to do the work I assign to the children independently, all he sometimes needs is to slow down and read the actual questions, to gain the correct answer. I was really impressed with his progress and with how positive he has been. He loves the fraction games on our class blog. These games challenge him, and let him think he is ‘playing’ while he is actually learning. Good progress heading towards my Term 3 goal.

 I do feel my inquiry unit is sitting still at the moment, and all we are doing in class is moving from one activity, focusing on the rugby world cup, to another, and the kids have kind of lost their drive and motivation for it. I need to keep integrating it into all subject areas and really make connections with the children. It may be different when the rugby world cup actually starts, the children may start connecting with it as they watch the games on TV.

Overall it was a great week and I got a lot done. I have been really organised, and I am all up to date. The cultural festival was on Wednesday night, Chess club on Tuesday, so things have started to finish up now, so all my children should be in class and I believe this will help them become more motivated learning in inquiry.