Better day

31 03 2008

I was almost dreading going in today, after a hard week last week I thought this week would be even worse as we led up to the holiday but it has been okay.  3 people are off today though so that might have made a bit of a difference!

We have recently started using Literacy World and the fiction stories we have been reading are really good.  They do not appear to be that hard but there are plenty of words in there that the children do not know and the stories have some interesting morals etc for them to think about.  The ‘Alf the Spycatcher’ one in ‘Under the Bombers Moon’ I have found particularly good for this.

My best reading group are working towards level E and may well get it before they leave p.7 but there are some really obvious words (I think!)  in the stories that some of them did not know.  These included irritable, whirring, anti-climax, kiosk and prototype and that was just one story today.

On GLOW today the pupils practiced using the News part of their electricity glow group to find out their task for the ICT lesson – which was to find out some information from the internet, put it into a word document and then upload that document to the documents page in their glow group.  Unfortunately it took so long to get all of the laptops logged on and on the internet that we did not get finished the word document and will have to try and put it onto GLOW tomorrow.  They were quite excited about doing this though and it was good for them to have to practice reading the WALT and the instructions from the GLOW website.

My top maths group, who have passed level D, are having a real problem with reading the size of angles and with perimeter.  I certainly always thought finding the perimeter of a shape was one of the more straightforward aspects of maths but this group think the end of the world has come when they have to do this!

Glow pushing me on!

28 03 2008

Our acting head informed me yesterday that she had had a phonecall from one of the people involved with GLOW in SLC asking if I would be avaialble to go to the Stirling Management Centre in April to represent SLC at an early adopters conference about GLOW.  It involves an overnight stay and they will pay for cover for the class.  What was the first thing I did?  Googled the Stirling Management Centre of course and I think I will manage to stay the night there okay!  It will be great to hear what other people in other authorities are doing and hopefully make some links with other schools.

That was not all though.  There was another request that was a bit more scary – could I speak at the Headteachers conference at the end of April about how I have used GLOW in the classroom so far.  That will be terrifying – although probably more so for the 3 chldren they want to speak to!  I am off to inform them shortly that I will be looking for very confident volunteers!

These things are all great for my professional development – I said in my application form for the global teachers programme that I was extremely shy as a youngster and I still feel shy, unconfident and nervous with new people and new situations although I think I hide it a lot better now.  I would describe it as inner turmoil now!  I firmly believe I am a quite different person from how I was when I began teaching at Castlefield Primary.  Where are those PT jobs though to put it all to good use!

We have definately hit P.7itis though in the classroom.  Hopefully things will get better after the spring break as although the last term is probably usually the worst in primary 7 I think this long term might have been it this year.  I was hoping for a good lesson yesterday in writing.  I had planned to do a discursive piece of writing and use the examples of school uniform and the cost of football in this country.  I had done this successfully last year altogether as a class but I felt that did not challenge them enough last year so I wanted the end product yesterday to be their own rather than a class generated piece of writing mostly pulled together by me.  We spent a long time discussing it and looking at different examples and I really thought everyone had the idea.  We did the brainstorming in groups and went over it and everyone had the choice of plenty of ideas from that.  When it came to actually planning and writing it though they were pretty stumped and it ended up a really hard session.  They needed a lot of help and I felt I was having to spoon feed them.  I think there were negatives on both sides though – I went too far away from how we did it last year and did actually do any of the piece with them for their jotters and I think they were not listening and taking things in.  I need to be  more in the middle next time!


25 03 2008

I have been so busy reading other people’s blogs that I have forgotten to write up my own in a while.  It has also been really busy for everyone with writing reports etc. 

I had some extra runnning going on at school  a couple of Friday’s ago with Sports Relief which I organised. Nursery and p.1, then p.3, p.4 and p.5 ran a mile in the morning and the the nursery and p.2 in the afternoon, followed by p.6 and p.7.  I have to say that the younger ones put the older ones to shame and the children got slower and more out of breath the further up the school you went (with exceptions of course).  I wonder how much of this is relative to an increased amount of time watching t.v and playing computer games as they get older.  It would be great to be going out and doing that every week.

The class were very unsettled last week, it is a bit disruptive having a short break and then back for a short time before the spring break.  I am not complaining too much though as my birthday was that weekend so more time for me to enjoy myself – or more time to do my last 20 mile run before London!

For my birthday I am getting a wireless laptop – how sad as now I can be working wherever I am!  I have not been spending much time on my blogs, reading other blogs, the school website, flikr, animoto, GLOW etc etc as taking my school laptop home does not help me do any of these things as there is no internet and I get fed up sitting in the spare room at home on the computer.  Plus after it being my suggestion that my husband starts a running blog he is now completely obsessed and I can hardly get near the computer anyway!

World Book Day

11 03 2008

If I thought I was spinning on Thursday that was nothing compared to Friday.  I was running about madly all day and when I stopped and went for coffee with the teachers after school I could only sit and stare!

I had been really stumped for a costume for this year but it was lucky for me my mum and dad had just been on a cruise down the Amazon.  This involved staying the night in a jungle lodge and loads of other trips. It also meant my mum brought back a huge head-dress which when combined with a suitable dress and beads meant I was easily transformed into Pocahontas.  For the first time in my life I had to bend down to get through doors.

The next day Mr Pacepusher managed to persuade his running partner ‘Headless Chicken’ that he was going out with said head-dress on for their 20 mile run to practice for his fancy dress costume for the London Marathon.  Mr pacepusher will certainly not be in fancy dress – heaven forbid that anything slows him down on race day!

The day went really well, we sold virtually everything we had made and the other children in the school liked hearing the stories my class had made up.  Some children read them out at assembly on Friday and I was really proud of them as they were not all brilliant readers.  Plus the stories did all follow the theme of being about how animals looked how they did or about morals.  I am not sure I thought they sounded so good while we were going through agonies writing them!

We made £233 for Mary’s Meals from everything we did – I am sure the home baking and tuck counted for a lot of that!  I am sure some of the other schools will have raised more but since we had done a lot with the WW2 exhibtion earlier in the session that was quite enough for us.

We were back to normal yesterday and it was not a good day at all so I moved their seats into two’s just for a short while and today was much better; although I am sure the novelty will wear off.


6 03 2008

We are coming to the end of our rich task and I am quite glad as I think they have had enough and its hard at the moment getting all of the last bitty bits ready for our World Book Day tomorrow.  I have enjoyed organising it though and going for all of the shopping etc.  My husband was wishing he had stayed at home on Monday night as off we went to Asda and I spent double the time I usually would there, not being able to decide which juice and biscuits to get.  I then felt very greedy going to Morrisons and buying 208 packets of crisps (in multipacks, I’m not that daft!).  The person in front of me in the queue took one look and asked if I was hungry, I could only reply with:

“The things you end up buying when you are a teacher.”

I hope we get lots of parents coming to visit tomorrow.  I want them to see not only what we have been doing for this rich task but also to rope them in for Sport Relief next Friday.  I organised that this morning too, so that is why I was spinning!  We will do walk, jog or run a mile around the school grounds next Friday and I would like parents to come and join in with their child if possible.


4 03 2008

I know I have trouble with self-confidence sometimes but honestly I really did think I had blown it with the global teacher selection day last week.  I have got better at being positive but I wouldn’t have chosen me on last weeks performance!

However I evidently put on a better impression than I thought as I had a voicemail from my hubby at lunchtime telling me I had a place.  I do not remember  telling him he could open the mail – after all how did he know it was that!!!!  But he did and I got very excited when I got the news.  Very scared as well though – as now reality kicks in and I have to come to terms with the conditions that I will be living in and the things that I will see that I know will upset me.

Back to the class though.  They have been challenging for the last week and some leeway has to be given to the horrible weather keeping them in which does not help matters.   We have been doing a lot to get ready for world book day and this is when it gets a bit chaotic as they all end up working on different things.  I think they have just about had enough now as it has got so bitty and they are ready to move groups too.  I am ready for this too.  Don’t get me wrong – we have all had a fab time doing this rich task but I think they need a bit of structure back again although I want to think of ways to keep them working independently and using their decision making skills too.