Thursday, November 09, 2006

An afternoon in the life of a Reception class teacher

The following all happened this afternoon, during a cut 'n' stick activity:

  1. A child had lost their worksheet
  2. Several children decided to see what Pritt sticks smell like
  3. A number of children spontaneously started singing 'Baa Baa, Black Sheep'
  4. A child had 2 worksheets (see no.1)
  5. A child sneezed (big time!) and then just dropped the tissue open on the table
  6. A child was talking animatedly while holding scissors
  7. and finally, a child was eating the leftover paper.

Now, just to clarify, these are not things that are unique to this school/class, nor are they common occurrences here. However, today there must have been something in the water...!

Right, off to write more plans/evaluations/observations...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Submissive Play

Ok, well, since I last posted I have slept (a bit), eaten (a reasonable amount), gone to lectures (quite a lot) and written an essay (every other available minute!).

The essay was on the status and value of play in education. A topic which, until about 2 weeks ago, I knew precious little about. However, I had to write 4,000 words on it, so I needed to find out something. So I read. A lot! (& please can someone thank Denise for lending me all those books - they were a God-send... probably literally!). And stuck in many post-its in a teetering pile of books. And wrote, and quoted, and paraphrased, and summarised. And FINISHED!!
Thus, on Friday, I submitted my first ever essay, which stood at 4,353 words by the end (we could be 10% either way).

And yes, I did say my first ever essay - even my final project was only ~4,800! I did a BSc, which seems to put me very much in the minority on this course. I know of a couple of others who did Business, Environmental Sciences or Food Sciences. However, in general, most people seem to have English or Early Childhood Studies (or similar) degrees. Hence why we are being set 4,000 word essays (marked at Masters level), but being taught how to multiply fractions. Oh well.

Anyway, Michael's been down this weekend, but we've spent most of the time writing lesson plans & sorting out folders of observation proformas, as we're both on placement this week. I'm in school for the next 4 weeks, and he's in this week & then one day a week until Christmas.
I'm a little nervous about going on placement, as it means I have to actually teach. Yes, I know, I know, that is what I'm here for... but I'm still rather nervous about being in front of 26 kids and teaching them something they've never done before. Well, there's something quite exciting about that too, but definitely scary! This week, we're teaching them about nocturnal animals, reinforcing the concepts of '1 more' and '1 less' and on Wednesday, I'm introducing '/r/' (i.e. the sound made by 'r', as in 'rabbit').

So, I'd better go and hunt for some pictures of nocturnal animals and have a think about how to explain 'nocturnal' to 3 & 4 year olds! Hope all is well in the rest of the world.

God bless!