Saturday, May 13, 2006

Q & A

When am I supposed to find time to think and plan?
- Poor young thing, you are still so naive.

When will I lose my idealism?
- You won't, but you will become realistic.
And bitter?
- probably.

Structure or Spontaneity?

This week I have been frustrated by the lack of structure in my math lessons and the ad hoc nature of my teaching – that's a nice way of putting the feeling that I am lurching from one disaster to another. Being from a science nerd background (and a Virgo), I like structure. It gives me comfort and I have an underlying sense that this is what I should have to be a successful teacher.

This has been a thought that has been nagging me all week but only today have I had the head space to nut it out. I have been scrounging math resources and ideas all week but struggling to decide how to put them together in a sequence. I bounce from time to space to number concepts depending on the situation and interest (ok, and behaviour) of the kids. Then this morning I read an article about an 'innovative' way of teaching preps that pretty much goes with the flow of interest. So, I'm thinking what is the point of what I'm doing erm, teaching? My kids may not end up rocket surgeons but they may be able to... really, I don't want to place any limits on where or what they might end up doing – the point I'm trying to make is that I do have to think about now.

They are 6! Learning has to be related and fun. One of the things I loved about the way they taught at this school was the integrated nature of the learning and here I am trying to compartmentalise it to fit some idea of what teaching should be! I think I will collate resources into areas: measurement/growth, space, time, number/counting activities, money, shapes, etc. and then try to apply them to things we do and structure our math sessions around stuff I can link... probably to literacy topics.

Finish making our own number 4 & 5 next week.

E: elephants, enormous > bigger, smaller, same – trace ourselves?

F: fish (we are going on an excursion to buy a class pet!) number, size of fish, volume of water – more or less?

G: growing, measure grass heads growth, measure height. Graph!

H: haircuts for our grass and measure again – how much cut off? Hair colour graph, who has the longest hair?


Cinderella behaved well yesterday. I gave her achievable stuff to do and she worked by herself and was rewarded by doing some math on the computer. She didn't whine much but I was still ready for the week to be over at lunchtime. Sleeping Beauty is doing an sneering Elvis impression regularly and delivered a brain curdling scream of defiance/frustration at us today - ouch. We went swimming after lunch. With only 2 students in the pool we got some hard work done and a bit of fun... and I relaxed.

Left for Friday drinks/debrief and found the person who I was looking for at admin. Our nurse, who I am becoming friends with, was talking with the principal.

Nurse:- Are you behaving yourself?

Me:- Me? Never! (Look at Principal) – except when the Principal is looking (put on innocent face).

Principal: (Laughs and seems to day pointedly) Not even when the Principal is looking.

Could be my perception, but I now wonder if that comment had anything to do with anything I said or did at the primary school dinner? Too late now, eh? If they don't like me they don't have to hire me again next year.

Have found a heap of new education blogs, and a stack of Aussie ones that I will add to reading list when I can be bothered tackling the Html.

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