Saturday, 30 November 2013

Time is short

So I'm very busy, but had to squeeze in another post before November is out (already!!).

My list of things to do looks like this:
  • Complete forms about my learning in Science, Maths and English
  • Continue some planning for lessons around a book
  • Fill out a review of the phonics programme that my placement school uses
  • Write up notes about some writing samples from kids in my class and annotate some other work that they have done
  • Add to my file for the term and make sure I'm ticking off all the required content
  • Oh, and plan and write a 2500 word essay at masters level by the 20th December.
Plus all the usual weekly reviews, prep for seminars in the coming week (readings, slide notes, etc) and of course write a blog post every now and then!

Aside from that I can tell you that I now have a cow named after me to go with the dove. Not sure this is quite as flattering, but oh well.

I also failed to win anything in the raffle at the school fair last night. I tried to point out that it's still November but apparently they like to get these things in early.
     My class prepared a fair trade stall, mostly manned by me, which took me back to the days when I worked in a fair trade shop. Still amazes me how hard it is to convince people that paying a bit more is fair, though.

Ah well. The sun is shining here. Might go for a walk later if I can freeze time. Enjoy your day!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Marking can be fun

Earlier this week the children in my class had to discuss with each other what they thought about democracy in Ancient Greece and to make it more fun the teacher made each of them either a Free-man, a 'Free' (or not so free) Woman, or a Slave. After looking at the facts they then wrote a sentence about how they felt about it. These are some of the best comments:

"I was a freeman and felt very powerful, but I don't like it that women don't get a say. I don't care about slaves because they have to work."  

"I was a slave and I felt like I had no self-worth."

"I am -- (Boy's name) and I was a lady and I feel hopeless."

"I was a woman but I feel so sad because he just give me what I don't want."

"I was a free man and I felt angry because women did not get their say. I also wanted to get into the government and change all of that."

"I was a freeman and I was angry because when I spoke my slave did not stop chattering."

"I was a freeman, I didn't care about anything, I'm more of a power seeker."

"I was a freeman but cross because my slave got angry, so I chopped his head off."

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Dove named Mr Bayes

Today I was honoured to be told that the newest arrival in a dovecot somewhere in Somerset (owned by the family of one of the children in my class) will be named after me. Survival rate amongst these doves isn't great however, because the sparrow-hawks often get them, or so I was told. Still it's not every day something gets named after you!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Getting cold

My week in brief...

It's getting cold, and I got a cold, but it's going away now (my cold, not the cold generally. In fact it's supposed to get colder - snow's coming!)

My tutor from Uni came to observe me and a girl in the class confided that she hoped he wouldn't take me away because she didn't want me to leave. After that I felt invincible and the lesson went about as smoothly as it's possible for a science lesson to go when you've got kids with guitars, elastic bands and glass bottles filled with water.

People keep mentioning the word that begins with 'C' and ends with 'mas' but they're not allowed to in front of me at least until December, I've got too much to do! Just a warning.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

A lesson in History

Full week 1 in school ticked off, and a few more observations. I have now recognised several well known characters in the classroom.
     Mr Sporty - nimble and quick, with good hand-eye coordination. Scored an easy hat-trick in hockey.
     Mr Precise - knows the full story of several Greek mythical beasts and twice told me that Columbus did not sail to America but a small island off the coast.
     Miss Stick-at-it-no-matter-what - pressed on all day with her writing despite a flu jab in her writing arm, even switching to her left hand before she allowed me to scribe for her.
     Miss Quiet-but-with-hidden-talents - small and apparently shy, but musically talented as she showed by singing for the whole class in show-and-tell. (One Direction never sounded better).

The class dynamics are interesting, overall it is a great class for a teacher, with no really difficult children and not a huge difference in ability. There is, however, a big split in the genders with 16 boys and only 10 girls at the moment. It is also a young class with only 4 birthdays before Christmas and half of the class born from April-August.

Yesterday I took my first whole lesson with all of the class. For them it was a lesson in History, for me it was a lesson in how to teach. I can say, however, that we got done everything I had planned and that the children could by the end tell me that 'AD' stood not for 'Anni Domino' but it's correct Latin pronunciation.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Official member

Today I was officially inaugurated: my height was added to the chart on the wall, and, not to be smug, but I'm the tallest in the class. Strangely it did make me feel extra tall, although this may just be the effect of standing up after sitting on those really low chairs, or being around lots of small people. Guess I'll just have to get used to it.

Friday, 1 November 2013

A little bit of magic

It's a new month! Think of all the possibilities that November holds!
For me it holds a lot of hours in school and a lot of work, but I'm going to see that as a good thing. My placement has been fun so far and hopefully that will continue.

This week has been half-term so I actually had a few days neither in school or Uni (although not without work) and I was able to take stock of what's happened in the past eight weeks, as well as think about everything that's got to happen in the next seven, before I get another afternoon off.

A few weeks ago it was mentioned by a member of staff that teachers, of course, aren't doing it for the money, but for the sense of pride in helping others. So I was somewhat surprised to hear they were going to strike, but strike they did. Most students took the Thursday off too, but for the few of us who opted to 'cross the picket line' (*ten, cold, people with a banner*) it turned out alright.

I feel the time has come for me to teach you something, so get a pen and a piece of paper and we'll begin.

Choose two three-digit numbers.
I'll use 468 and 615.
Were going to do a subtraction calculation, but one with a bit of magic. Please follow along with your numbers and try to keep up.

Put the bigger number on top.
   - 468
I don't know about yours, but mine isn't the easiest subtraction to make. So I'll replace my top number with 999.
   - 468
That's much easier. Looking down the columns I get the answer 531.

Now I'll add that to my original 'top' number.
  + 615

Now I'll remove the 1 from the front of my answer.
And then add it.
Which equals:
This is the answer to my sum.

If you followed the steps correctly, you will find that yours has worked too. I hope that impresses you as much as it did me. Now go and amaze your friends!