My Pond of Knowledge

A portfolio of classroom learning, both students' and my own personal.


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All we are saying….. Is give peace a chance.

War! What is it good for?
Absolutely Nothing!

That’s what the song tells us, and in real life it is also true.

I feel like I am waging war on every flank. I walk from my car, along the path and I feel like I am going in to battle. Against my ideals, my plans, some of my students with their interesting behavior and needs, against the help from Admin, against Departmental expectations, against the constraints of my classroom – it feels like Kellie vs The World.

And on Friday I could not come up with a game plan other than this:

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Yes, just before lunch I started to dismantle my lovely table groups. Now, I didn’t rush to this point – I asked colleagues for their opinion. And in a scary turn of events they were unable to come up with an argument against the move.
‘We’ have trouble interacting appropriately with each other, and try as I might, I am not able to provide the opportunities or guidance for this to improve.
I’m not sure if it is a generational change (please, please, I hope not) or a product of circumstances- a Kindy with super large numbers in sessions, a room with no direct access to outside (and yes, I have asked to have a door put into the wall- but seems that the land we look out onto is owned by the Council and not by the Department), a class with a large number of parents who work and travel away a lot and for quite long times (and we’re kidding ourselves if we think this doesn’t affect the 5 year olds, or the 35 year olds who remain at home as the single parent).

I walked out on Friday in disgust. It was a knee-jerk reaction, but I felt I had to gain some “control” since I often feel that “our room” is rolling away from me, what I want to do and where I want it to be. I can see so many cherubs who need “help”, who need me to sit and listen to them… and the rolling room doesn’t allow this.

So, last night I took another look at my programme. I have rejigged my Literacy Groups – making them a whole lot smaller.
Today I went in and realigned the tables. They are still not back in groups 😦 but they look a little bit friendlier (thanks Karen for the suggestion- and all the other support).
I started Organising the cupboards- since I have a few who just grab any thing at any time, and empty containers and repack without sorting. I also turned these cupboards around- not something that I usually do, but I can either say it 1000 times and become frustrated or be in control of when equipment is touched and used.

I’m not saying it is ideal. I’m not saying that I am happy, but I am in need of a game plan so that we can all work together and start traveling on the same path.

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I asked another colleague if experiences like this are like childbirth- that we simply forget about the pain and suffering once it has passed. I’m hoping so.

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Boys…. there is a difference

I’m a bit passionate about supporting Boys with their learning. There are books, hundreds of books which tell us that boys learn in a different way than girls.

I have a son and a daughter. I work in a classroom. I’ve read the books – but I didn’t really need to to know that it is true.

My son is 10. He has had an “assignment” for a few weeks. The brief is to select an electrical appliance and explain how it works.

Sounds good.

He has had several lessons where he has been able to research on the computers. He has to produce an A3 poster with his research.

Yep, he’s disengaged already.

At school we are submitting our preferences for 2013: teaching year levels.

I love teaching 5 year olds, and it is still my first preference… but I have also asked to work in Middle Primary – because sometimes hands on is best practice, regardless of your age… and especially if you are a boy.

This is a video of my son explaining how the toaster works. I tried to record his first “meeting” with the toaster – it was great to catch his excitement and realisation that he had a great deal of knowledge already – based on experience….. however, my daughter’s iPod had no memory to store the video. 😦 So this is Take 2 – so you can at least get the idea.

 

 

Now, we just need to fit it on an A3 poster…..