Thursday, 31 July 2014

Casual Teaching on Years 3 & 4

So far this week, I have been working with Stage 2 (years 3 & 4). It has been a fairly good week so far.

On Monday, I had a year 4 class. It was a really great day, everyone was well behaved and enthusiastic about the tasks. That made the day go by smoothly and quickly. Sometimes, with the older grades you get the few students who like to test you by acting up and complaining about everything. Not the case with this class :)

Here is what we got up to;

* Literacy - Point of View with Dear, Mrs. LaRue.

Okay, I admit that I recycled the lesson I did with year 5 a few weeks back. However, when the text is this good can you really blame me? :P My favourite part of the lesson is the part where students have a discussion about why the illustrator has divided each page into two parts; b&w pictures and colour pictures. Some of the great responses were;
* the b&w shows the sad parts and the colour shows the happy parts
* the b&w shows what the dog is thinking about because you can see the thinking bubble
* the b&w shows what the dog is writing about

I'm always amazed with what responses students come up with!

We did not get time to do the reading response part as we had library at 10am. I had something really awesome planned with the iPads, but I can always do that next Monday :D

* Maths - Coordinates
 I introduced this lesson with the question; What are coordinates and why do we use them? The most common answer? Minecraft! To help introduce this topic, I showed a map with no grid on it and asked students to find a street. They struggled. Then I put up the same map with a grid on it, and asked if they could find it by going to the grid reference. They found it within seconds. We then went through how to read coordinates and played a game on the IWB.

After that it was time to play Treasure Battleship! This is a fun game that allows both students to get some practice in using coordinates. One player places their game pieces on the grid and other player (who can't see the grid) asks "Do you have a piece on ________?". The student with the board, then checks that coordinate. If they have a piece, they must remove it off the board. Players swap when all the pieces have been discovered.

We finished off the lesson with a worksheet and marked it as a group afterwards. I like group marking because you can always clarify anything students are still unsure of :)

* Art - 3D Hands
I have seen this on Pinterest for a while now and have been dying to try it out!
If you have no idea what I am talking about, check out this YouTube Video;
The students were impressed with the images I showed and were trying to work out how to do it. Some of them couldn't believe that the paper was completely flat!

A few of the students finished and theirs looked great! The rest who didn't finish kept asking me if we could finish it next Monday when I have them again. I will have to find another awesome art activity for those who finished.

On Tuesday, I was called in last minute to cover year 3. I was thankful that I had had year 4 the day before, so I recycled the same lessons. I only had 30 minutes to eat breakfast, make lunch, get ready and pack my bag! It was an interesting day, with some challenging behaviours at some points.

When I first started teaching, I used to take these days rather personally and as a reflection on my ability to teach. Now I have a more positive take on it and I chalk it up as experience. I think it's good to have to handle challenging behaviours because you learn pretty quickly as to what works and what does not.

Yesterday, I covered two classes. The same year 4 class and a year 5 class. For year 4, they did genius hour. I had read about it online, but never seen it in action. I ended up sitting with a group who were working on their drawing skills. We found a cool website that showed how to draw cars, step by step. I had a go at it too :P

Year 5 involved playing Multiplication bingo and taking them to the library.

Today I have a day off. Will spend it relaxing, scootering and swimming :D

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Scooters, teaching and etc!

This week has been busy!

On Sunday my boyfriend and I bought scooters. The area we live in has a lot of outdoor areas, so it seems silly not to have an outdoor activity. Bikes would have been too bulky to store in the apartment and I don't think that I would be that great at it. Scooters seemed like the most practical option. We went to a whole heap of stores to find a scooter that would be appropriate for an adult. We were not having much luck at first, everywhere seemed to stock the Razor scooter, which was way too small. We were about to give up, when we found The Commuter Scooter at Kmart. It's a lot bigger and sturdier than the Razor as it's made for teenagers/adults. I was a bit wobbly at first, but after a while I got the hang of it. It's so much fun and a good work out too. My arms and legs were feeling the burn after the 2hr ride. We did attempt to go riding after work during the week, but I was too tired. I think it will be a weekend/no work day activity :P

On Monday, the technician from the internet company came out to fix the connection. Turns out the people who lived here before us took a cable out of the network cupboard, so that's why it was not connecting. There was also a cable that needed to be swapped in the building's cupboard. So we were not charged a fee as it was not our fault. Win!

On Tuesday, I had a year 3 class. I was originally told that I was on a year 5, so I had come prepared for that, but then it was changed. The teacher left work so I did not have to do any last minute emergency planning. It was a good day, especially because I had a bunch of students from my 2012 class :)

On Wednesday, I had the same year 1 class as I have had previously. It's nice to come back to the same class because you learn their names and get a picture of what their abilities are. Here are some of the lessons that I did with them;

* Reading Response - I love Dr. Seuss books, my all time favourite book is "I Wish That I Had Duck Feet". If you haven't read it before, it's about a boy who wishes for various animal parts because they would benefit him, however along the way he recognises that they would also cause problems for him. In the end he just wants to be himself.

After reading the book, students had to draw a picture of themselves with an animal part that they would like to have. Once the picture was drawn they had to label it and then write about why they wished for it. Students used iPads to look at pictures of animals to help them with their drawings. In the end students shared their response with the class.

* Time - Years ago, I bought one of those educational clocks. It's been very useful for casual teaching and even in my own class. I brought that in with me and we did o'clock times. After I did several examples on the clock, I picked students to come up and make some times for the class to read. Then we played a whole class matching game, matching pictures to the correct time label. Then they worked independently on a worksheet and then we finished off with a game of bingo.

*  Comprehension, Summarising - Elmer books are always popular with students, so I brought in Elmer and Wilbur. The version I have comes with a CD reading off it, complete with sound effects. After hearing the text, students summarised the story by completing a story map. They then used the story map to help them retell the story orally.

During the day I used GoNoodle. I love this site and the kids do too. It's very useful for brain breaks between lessons and the kids love watching the character grow after completing a few activities. The Frozen song was the most popular activity. If it were up to the kids, we would have sung Frozen all day :P

On Thursday, I was on Kindergarten. The teacher left me work. It was tiring, but a good day overall.

On Friday, I was called in to cover classes while teachers went to help prepare for the big school celebration. I ended up on Kindy for 2 hours and then spent the rest of the day making displays. It was a lot of fun. If I wasn't a teacher, I would be a graphics designer. Taking requests and fulfilling them made me feel like I was working as one :) I'm pretty happy with the way things turned out, they looked fabulous! I will make a modified version of the pennant bunting and upload them to TPT at some point.

I have also been working on new resources for myself, which I have added to my TPT store. Here are some of my latest products;

This activity pack contains 11 activities that can be used with any fictional text. This is pretty useful for me at the moment because I always use fictional texts on my casual days. Some of the activities include; designing a different cover, book review, creating a character, character profile and writing tasks.

I love doing the morning routine on the SMART board. This file includes your typical pages; days of the week, calendar, number of students, weather chart and days at school.

This activity pack contains resources to teach recount writing to your students. Alternatively it can be placed in a folder as part of a writing center. Includes a poster explaining what a recount is, an example text and word wall cards.

Check out my TPT store to see the rest of my new resources.

So far I have one day of work next week. I have a year 4 class on Monday. I have almost finished planning my work for the day. I like having the older grades because you can do more independent tasks with them. I am going to be using the iPads as part of one of my literacy lessons. Should be fun :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Five for Friday!

Eek! I haven't updated my blog for a while! I haven't forgotten about it, I just haven't had a proper internet connection since moving into the apartment. We got the modem in the mail, but it does not connect to the internet. I'm assuming it is something to do with the cabling in the building, so on Monday a technician is coming out to have a look and hopefully get it working. I have missed being able to read up on bloglovin, add products to my TPT store and browse pinterest!

I'm currently using my cellular connection on my iPad and the blogger app, let's hope this shows up properly. If it's a big mess, I shall fix it up once I am on my laptop :)

The apartment! We are all moved in now and it's complete after multiple trips to Ikea and various furniture shops. I love the way we have it set up and I cannot wait to post pictures of it. I get excited when people come over and I get to show them around. 

I have an office! I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but the apartment has a study in it, so it has become my office. We found an awesome high back dining chair for $49 and are using that as the chair for the desk in there. It's super comfy and will be perfect for when I'm working on lesson prep or TPT stuff. Loving that I have a dedicated room for work and that I can simply close the door if things look a bit messy :P

Back to school. This week was the first week of Term 3. I was lucky enough to work 3 out of the 4 school days. I was on Kindy support, which is always fun. I have work next week too, covering a different class each day. I am so thankful that I have been getting steady work since returning from holidays.

Opal Card. In Sydney they've finally introduced electronic ticketing. It is so much better than having to buy paper tickets. It has definitely made my trips to work easier and cheaper. I'm surprised not many people have gotten themselves a card yet. The best part? $2.50 Sundays. Last week, we took advantage of it and caught the ferry to the city and then the ferry to Manly. ALL FOR $2.50. On any other day it would have cost $28. Bargain!

Not sure where we are going this Sunday, but will definitely be doing something. At that price it's a bit silly not to.

Swimming. We have a gym and pool at our complex. This morning we went for a swim. I haven't been to a pool in years. I think the last time I went to a pool was when I was in primary school! It was fun, I did a few laps, not that I can swim very well. I stuck with the frog style stroke. I have no idea what the technical name is, but it gave me a nice work out on my arms and legs. There is also a spa next to the pool, it was a nice way to relax after my swim. 

Hopefully the internet will be up and running next week. Will be back to my regular posts about lessons and resources.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Five for Friday!

I enjoyed writing this last week, so I have decided to participate again this week!

I went to The Voice with my friends. Not to sing (I can't), but to be a part of the audience. We got a great spot, right by the stage. Watched the show and managed to see my cat hat on camera.

We have an apartment! Let me repeat WE HAVE AN APARTMENT! I am thrilled! It is my 'dream' apartment and we got it on our very first application! The area is beautiful. We move in next week :) I'm so happy this was an easy process because I didn't want to deal with this while being at work. I have my boyfriend to thank for that, he did all the hard work and organisation.

Shopping for homewares. The day after we were approved, we went shopping for homewares. I find this exciting. I mean, we did this before in Manchester, but this has more of a permanent feeling. Over there we knew we would have to throw everything out when we returned. We were pretty successful with our purchases as a lot of stores were having a homeware sale. The best purchase was the entire kitchen set (as in everything you need for cooking) for $29. It was one of those magical Target purchases where the item scans at a very, very low price compared to what it should sell for. Now the only things we need to buy are bed frame, fridge, washing machine and bar stools. I can't wait to get our apartment set up. Perhaps the pictures will be part of an upcoming Five For Friday :)

I revamped the logo and banner for my TPT store. The one I had before just made me cringe! I'm happy with the way the new set turned out. I made it to coordinate with my blog.

Mini cold. I call it mini because I don't have all the symptoms. Mainly a sore throat and a sniffly nose. I haven't been sick in over a year now, so this has hit me harder than it normally would. I'm guessing I picked it up at work last week as I was coughed on quite a few times by the kinders. I have found taking panadol before I sleep reduces the sore throat and makes it easier to have an uninterrupted sleep. Have also been eating plenty of fruit and drinking lots of water. I find it interesting that I spent time in the UK and Europe in minus temperatures and snow, but never managed to get sick, yet within a few weeks of being back here I catch a mini cold. Can't wait to stop sounding so nasally!

That's about it from me, will be very busy over the next few days with all the packing and unpacking. I'm so excited!

 Have a great weekend :D