The final chapter

Hi all

I’ve just been reading this post on ‘Mel’s Blog’ and thought it put perfectly what my feeling are after prac. Life now returns to the normal grind rather than the Prac panic that has been my mindset for the past three weeks. On thing I would like to say to Mel is to try and find time for yourself. As a father who is the primary carer of my children I understand the pressures of someone always needing my attention. But, a good work/life balance is so important to my sanity.

Look after yourself. I heard somewhere “before you can take care of anyone else you must first look after yourself”. It may have been on a plane safety talk come to think of it.

Mel's Blog

I was just reading Adele Lawson post and I really can resonate with what she is saying. I can’t believe prac is over. Woohoooo, I did it!!! The three weeks where prac consumes your mind and life, it is over. I got through it and here I am. Part of me just wants to chill this weekend with my family and not do anything. The fact I am sick also makes me feel like I should just be lying down. After all next week I go back to my normal life but my normal life is working days at one job and nights at another. So really it is just a different type of busy to what I have just had in the last three weeks. Anyway, there will not be any chilling because the final assignment it must be done.

I must say this prac has really brought out my…

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Student free day

Hi Bloggers

Today marks the point where I have attended my first ‘Student Free Day’. It commenced at 8:00am with a whole of staff meeting in the Library. This meeting lasted until 11:00 am. It was extremely informative and well worth it. I learnt about the schools Running Record Policy and also how the school funds and distributes funding where it needs to go. After the meeting my mentor and I returned to the classroom and carried out some planning for the next week. We then attended a barbecue lunch cooked by the Principal and Deputy. After the lunch teachers were free to go or stay and plan if required. My mentor left straight away. I stayed until 3:30pm to finish off some planning activities as my two children would be at home which makes it very difficult to get anything done.

Overall it was a good experience where I learnt a lot about how the school runs and what management requires from their teachers.

Regarding Twenty-one things each teacher needs to do in the classroom.

Hi bloggers

I was just reading a blog from ‘ICTs in Education’ which you can read by ‘clicking here’. This post offers an info graphic with some great ideas that they say should be included in every teacher’s repertoire each year. For what it is worth there are some great ideas on this list that could be incorporated into so many different learning areas. I will definitely be looking where I can use some of these suggestions. However, as I am currently teaching a Prep class some of these ideas wont translate well for children of this particular age.

I’ll be blogging soon about my first ‘Student Free Day’ and last week in a couple of days; so stay tuned.

End of week two.

Good evening bloggers

Well week two has come to a close. Everything is still going well. My mentors feedback is so good. The way she makes comments is very professional and I will try to mirror her style when I am required to give comments. The feedback always starts by highlighting what went well. Examples are then given of how things can be improved and then lastly a positive message about the lesson. It is a really good way to get feedback. Even when the lesson doesn’t go as well as you’d like you still get some encouragement. I find this method makes me more receptive to the negatives and actually helps me to incorporate the mentor suggestions into future lessons.

Here is to week three and the last week of prac.

Of mice and men

Hi bloggers,

Well it happened! I wrote a post way back in August called ‘Murphy’s Law’ where I talked about the unreliability of ICTs. Just as I mentioned in that post sometimes your best prepared and planned lessons can go askew through no fault of your own. Today half way through my lesson I had an interactive activity planned for the class and just as the students started to show understanding of the new concept the SmartBoard first stopped being interactive then stopped working altogether. Luckily as I am a pessimist who always expects the worst to happen I had a back up plan. There are some really good sites out there that have huge lists of activities, games (both electronic and physical) that can be used in the event your plan A goes out the window. One such site is ‘Teaching Ideas’. So why don’t you check it out. It saved by bacon today.

Some great ideas from my fellow Pre-Service Teachers

Hi again

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The information and ideas I get from my fellow Pre-Service Teachers is incredible. how fortunate am I to be have such talented and generous people in my network. Just today I was reading a blog from msheperdashby which has given me some great ideas for my class. Sure, we are teaching different grade but I have been able to take from her blog some great ideas and incorporate them into my own teaching. Thank you so much to all that continue to share their great ideas and resources they have found.

If you would like to take a look at the blog post in particular click here.

A follow up on ‘Learning A-Z’

Hi bloggers,

Just a quick post to fill you in on how the ‘Learning A-Z’ resources went. Today I had the lowest performing readers in group 1 and the highest levelled readers in group 2. The resources I chose were okay but not great. As the levelled readers do not directly marry up between PM and Learning A-Z the lower group was not exactly correct. What I have learnt from this experience is to check to make sure the book is at the level that is required and to also seriously check the worksheets are going to enhance the comprehension and accurately record the learning that has taken place.

Second week about to start

Hi bloggers

So the second week is about to kick off. Today is my first Literacy lesson. My mentor has asked me to perform differentiated comprehension lessons to two levelled groups each day. I’ve been given access to this great resource the school has purchased called ‘Learning A-Z’. It has levelled readers with fiction, non-fiction and different instructional texts. Each book comes in a projectable format with matching worksheets concentrating on different skills; from decoding, comprehension and even handwriting exercises that you can use. These online resources really do make a teacher’s job easier. One short coming I have found is that some of the worksheets are not really at the same reading/writing level and need to be modified slightly to be more appropriate. If that’s all that is wrong with this resource I will be a very happy teacher indeed.

If you would like to have a look then you can ‘click here’. Keep in mind that it is not a free resource.

I’m off now to see how effective they are. Wish me luck.

End of Week 1 on Prac

Hi bloggers

So week 1 on prac has come to an end. The feedback I have received from my mentor teacher is fantastic. Nothing but positives. I’m a bit of a pessimist so all the positives, although reassuring, have me waiting for the sucker punch. I’ve told myself that if I keep on listening to the feedback and incorporating suggestions into my future lesson plans everything will be fine. This prac has me feeling like I’m a member of staff. Not just a prac student which in the past gives me feelings of subservience. The friendly banter in the staff room and relationship I have built with the classroom TA is a positive start. As my wife has said to me I need to concentrate on the good things and as Monty Python says “Always look on the bright side of life“.

That’s me for now. See you all next week.

Day 2. Much better.

Hi again bloggers.

Well that went better then expected. As I said in my last blog, today I taught Geography to a combined class after lunch. It was much hotter today which made it a little difficult to get the class to settle. As per my mentors feedback I ensured that everyone had a big drink and went to the toilet before they even entered the classroom. This really cut down the number of requested for drinks and toilet visits during the lesson itself. As it was so hot there was still some interruption, but no where near as many as yesterday. I created a quick YouTube clip to introduce the topic of todays lesson using Google Earth which really got the kids engaged and interested. My mentors feedback was great and she is extremely approachable and just great to work with. I can feel this prac is going to be great.

If you would like to take a look at the clip I used Click here.