A busy week!

16 05 2008

I am shattered and it is only 8.30pm!  Here is a week in the life of a p.7 teacher in May who has a fair amount of extra responsibilities:

Monday:  Took p.7 to Choices for Life at the Clyde Auditorium in the morning, dropped the kids back at school and straight into my car to go to the Advisory Service for an ASG meeting.  After that drove back to school and was supposed to have about 45 mins before a council Curriculum for Excellence meeting but I ended up doing a lot to help set up laptops etc for the people organising it.  That finished about six and I went to Braehead to buy more webcams for the school on the way and ended up playing about with them and with Glow until 10.30pm.

Tuesday:  Out of class first thing as we thought our Glow mentor was coming in the morning so I did some stuff on Glow.  Photographer in from the local paper to take P.7 class photo.  In class from interval to lunch doing reading national testing at levels C, D and E.  Out of class in the afternoon with the glow mentor while my class sat their second reading national test.  Cycling profiency after school, 10 mile run and then some work at home in the evening.

Wednesday:  Out of class until interval having review meetings for pupils going to secondary.  In class the rest of the day.  CAT night after school.  Worked at home in the evening.

Thursday:  Nurse was in to do p.7 puberty talks so a little maths first, then p.7 girls talk.  P.7 boys talk after interval until nearly lunchtime.  Some CCC time after lunch so went down to Cathkin High to collect headsets and things to use with Glow Meet.  In class 2.15-3.00pm.  After school I had the other teachers who did the rich task round to the school for a last meeting and to collect all of their stuff that I had borrowed for the Headteacher’s conference.

Friday:  Out of class until 11.45am having more reviews for pupils going to secondary.  In class for 15 mins and then setting up computers for Glow Meet while the pupils were at ‘Star of the Week’.  In class until 2.30pm and then out doing Glow Meet.

On Thursday I had the first of my kids who were going to be teaching lessons out to do their lesson on decimals.  It was two boys and I think they spent more time arguing between themselves about who was doing what than actually teaching anything.  I recorded the whole thing, it was good fun but I am not sure the children learned much.  The boys did some explanation, using a powerpoint presentation, played some games with the class and gave some written work.  They were not sure enough of how they were going to play the game and the written work was a bit easy for most of the class but they made up for all of this in enthusiasm!  I also recorded a self and peer assessment session at the end of the lesson.  The children were very positive about the lesson – more so than I would have been but they are popular boys within the class and this may have something to do with it.  I prompted the two boys who had done the lesson to say what they thought about controlling the lesson and that was interesting. They thought the listening was quite good, I would have said the class was safe and in their seats but very hyper at some points!  Really looking forward to doing more of this next week.

During this busy week, and last week, I was busy trying to get Glow Meet going in our school so that I could video conference at a conference in Aberdeen on Glow today.  Eventually I managed to get Meet working but then still had to get RM to install the webcams and get the sound working.  This has taken up most of time at school this week!  The webcam on my laptop was set up on Monday and worked fine but when we tried out Glow Meet the sound would not work.  I could hear the others but they could not hear me.  Tried to get RM to install the other webcams on the notebus trolley laptops but this was completed in time, there seems to be some problems with it, and could not get the sound on mine working at all.

I am usually in school at 7.30am but due to all of this, I have been rather earlier this week including 7.10am this morning!  Eventually we had to use my laptop with the webcam on it and log in with another laptop with the sound working on it.  I worried all day that it would not work when the time came but after a slow start to get in it did and I had two girls speak.  They were really funny as they had prepared stuff to say and were ready to do that but were not prepared for actually saying hello or introducing themselves!  They did well when it came to saying their bit.  The last thing I told them was to go slow and for once they actually listened and ended up going really, really, really slowly.  I am biased but I thought they did well!

Photos below of the boys teaching:

Mondays are difficult!

18 02 2008

It was hard going today, I was saying at 3pm that it would be nice to have a support assistant on a Monday as I think that would help split groups up etc but unfortunately I don’t.

After playtime we had the laptops and I asked the pupils to go on and read the other schools in the clusters blogs and make sure they left some comments.  However this proved quite difficult as the laptops were really playing up and I would say the morning felt quite disasterous in the end.  They were having problems logging on and then getting onto the internet and by the time they were all engaged with the task it was time to stop!  I had wanted to go on GLOW as well but we ran out of time for this.  I am going to be able to buy three webcams to use with GLOW for video conferencing which will be really good.

In the afternoon they went on with writing their fiction stories in pairs.  I would say this is a case of extremes – either they are doing really well, or doing really poorly.  The ones doing poorly is a lot to do with who they are paired with, I felt myself groaning at who ended up together in some cases!  I found it hard to get round and help by myself yesterday so I am glad I will have my support assistant to help tomorrow, I know exactly which couple of pairs I am going to ask her to concentrate on and it frees me up for the rest of the class.  I don’t know what I would do without her.

We stopped before the end of the afternoon and started doing African flags for our display, this proved harder to organise than I thought as well as none of our atlas books had flags in them that the children could find so I ended up doing lots of searches on Google images.

All of the teachers met this afternoon that are involved in the rich task and most of us said the same thing – that the fiction work was not going as well as the non-fiction which was reassuring.  We also managed to share a few ideas for world book day.  I felt better after that was over than I did at 3pm!


31 01 2008

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday having mentor training for Glow.  I had already set up quite a bit before I went to this with the help of the area mentor since we are an early adopter school and so it was nice to feel a bit ahead of the game – I still feel so unconfident in some areas that it was nice to feel I could do something.

I am really starting to see what the benefits will be of using Glow but it will be a while before it is all up and running, indeed there are some things I still cannot do that are available without RM coming in to do an update of Java.  I have been promised it this week!

I thought the video conferencing looked great and is about the only thing that is available that I had not tried or set up yet.  I am looking forward to trying this with Auldhouse Primary soon, as long as we can get some webcams.

I was asked to show to the rest of the group what I had set up already and it made it sound much better that I had thought it was when everyone sat and related it to Curriculum of Excellence.

My class survived without me very well and were able to tell the deputy head what they were supposed to be doing with their rich task so they were allowed to do it!  I was really impressed when I came in today and saw what they had achieved.  Their non-fiction books, although still needing a lot of work, look really good and they made some excellent african masks (we stole the idea from South Park).  It was great to see them all working really hard today and wanting them to look good.  The group that had worked together least well in doing their research had a book that looked really good.  It was obvious that they had thought hard about how to lay out and present it well.  They told me it was the best they had worked together so far and I am sure they are right.