Sunday, 1 May 2016

Highlight of Term One

I couldn't resist filming these guys singing to their favorite space song while making their 3D spaceships. I just wish I had started filming earlier. Great end to a tough term.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Term Two, yahoo here it goes!

I am really looking forward to Term Two. As I wrote in my last post I had rough Term One. I initially pitched my program too high and had lots of issues. Once I asked for advice and support from my management team  (which was completely provided) I was away. The last three weeks of Term 1 were so much better. I am finding myself feeling very behind after the rough start but will dig away until I am caught up.
As well as missing the mark with my class I was also constantly tired, emotional and did not feel 100% at all. Over the holidays I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which explains how I have been feeling. I have completely changed my diet and have lost 6 kg in two weeks, my doctor says if I maintain my efforts by my next check up I may well be diabetes free. Now that I am not overloading myself with sugars that my body can't process I am feeling a lot better, clearer headed and evenly 'emotioned'. My blood sugars effect my moods really badly I am either very tearful, aggressive or both, I was like that when I had gestational diabetes with my son 14 years ago.
I am looking forward to ALiM and ALL, I always enjoy ALL and have already found some great problem solving sites for ALiM. 
This term I hope to continue making connections with my parents through our planned trip to the observatory and a bush walk planned for the end of the term. Unfortunately my call for parent helpers in any form  was completely unsuccessful but I will keep trying.
This term we are looking at Maori Mythology, the children voted for this. The topic will be integrated throughout our three key learning areas. The space topic we did at the end of the last term was brilliant and the kids really enjoyed it. 
I am going to incorporate science and music into our tuakana/teina time with Sandra every Friday, haven't quite finalised how this will look yet. 
I have been working on my data and am in the process of redesigning my planning sheets to include identification of my target students (ALL, ALiM, At Risk and School targets)
and identification of their 'next step, I am doing this to ensure they are always consider ed when I plan and their needs are in the fore front of my mind when planning.
So as I said in the title Term Two here we go!!!!!!!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Term One Overview

It has been a very challenging term for me. I had a great first two weeks getting to know the kids and we had lots of fun. Week 3 was all about establishing routines and teaching the expectations and procedures needed to follow my Daily Five and Daily Three rotations. I had researched this and spent many hours setting up my program to ensure success and engagement. I created a visual for each rotation and a buddy system so every child had a support person. I was confident I had set my class up for success so when it started to fall apart through weeks 4-5 I struggled to understand why. I have a group of 7 boys who are challenging and need constant management, I was beginning to feel like they were trying to sabotage my program. I was exhausted and unhappy, the class was not positive and I was starting to sound like 'one of those teachers'. I was away sick for the first 4 days of week six and when I returned Friday I knew things were not right and it was not just the kids, but I couldn't figure out what was wrong. After talking to one of our T.A's during morning tea on Monday week 7 I realised I needed a new perspective. I met with management after school and by the time I had talked through what was going on I had basically identified the problem myself. I had designed a great program for seniors working at L2e and above when really 20 of my 27 students are working a L2e and below. So with some guidance and a kick start from management I spent week 7 throwing my program out the window and launched our new Space focus with lots of fun activities and began bringing the joy back to my classroom. With the help of my mum I completely re-did my classroom, making room for daily craft, construction and play. I also redesigned my rotation program to suit children who are closer to juniors than seniors. I looked back to when I taught years 2-3 and pulled out things that worked well. By Monday week 8 I was shattered but the reaction from the kids when they saw the room and the many positive comments and hugs I received made it all worth while. Its not perfect yet, still things to tweak but my class is so much happier, I am happier and we are all feeling success and having some fun with it. Initially I was so disappointed in myself for missing the mark with my program and not initially being able to see what was wrong. But then I realised I am a reflective practitioner who is always willing to seek support and will listen to advise given. This is a strength and I need to give myself credit for this. Luckily enough to have a supportive management and great colleagues.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Korero Mai

Korero Mai Term One 2016.

This round of Korero Mai, I feel, was the most successful yet! I have a mix of students I taught as juniors and students I have not taught before. It was really insightful meeting the parents and having the chance to hear what they have to say about their child. The key focus for the first two weeks of term one (even more than usual) was too get to know our students as people and as learners. I had spent a lot of time talking to my students and watching how they interact with each other etc and had sent home several home tasks for them to complete with their family. The feedback from parents was really positive regarding the home tasks and class activities we had been doing. It was great hearing the parents talk about their child and what they have been sharing at home about their learning. Every parent reported their child was happy and settled and I was really flattered by the positive reactions from parents whose children I had taught previously regarding how they feel about their child being in my class again.
Several parents indicated they would be able to come in from time to time and share their skills and passions with a group of children. The parents were very positive about the physical changes in the classroom layout and the new learning program. They were particularly positive about 'Genius Hour' and are looking forward to seeing this develop through the year.
It was also really valuable hearing from several parents that they were concerned about their children making friends this year as they were not students who had caught my attention for social concerns. Now I know this I can check in with them and support them in making new friends in Kahikatea.
Bring on Korero Mai 2 I know its going to be awesome.

Yay I'm back in!

Wow I have certainly hit the floor running this year! It started with an additional seven students I  wasn't expecting due to a colleague taking leave.  For the first time I had an actual holiday and did not start doing school work from day two of the holidays, instead I had a well needed break from all school work and did not pick up any work until the week before we went back. I am really pleased for me and my family that I took the break BUT I am now working overtime to finish all the prep I would have normally done over the holidays. I had spent a lot of time toward the end of last year exploring options for my learning program and had a good idea of what it was going to look like. However what I didn't account for was the amount of time it takes to create the visuals and sort supplementary resources. Thank goodness for my husband who has spent too many hours laminating and cutting for me.
Having said all of that the original version of my program would not have worked in that form with this class so I have been tweaking it for the last three weeks and possibly saved myself from making a bunch of displays and resources that were not needed.
It is all coming together now and i am excited to see how it works with this years group of children.

Getting back into blogging

I have been trying to blog from my computer but have forgotten how to do it so I am going to try posting this from my phone and going through the notification email it will send me. Fingers crossed as I have plenty to blog about!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Filling the Bucket

In response to the Management Teams commitment to filling our bucket and it's extension to all staff I have decided as a part of our Hauora to do this with my students.