Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Fun - 20/3/09

This week was busy and flavourful. For me, as a teacher, I was significantly challenged and stretched in the after school hours through meetings, professional development and the start of my Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership. During school hours, I balanced normal teaching alongside assembly preparation and organisation for Harmony Day festivities.

Fun This Week...

The focus this week was on addition and subtraction. For fact practice, my group worked on adding a one-digit number to a two-digit number, and adding two-digit numbers with no re-grouping. We touched on subtraction with re-grouping, but students struggled to understand this. It is an area that we will need to work on some more, perhaps taking a step backward before progressing forward. We had some fun practising addition with a boat race game we found on Smart Kiddies - a maths teaching resource.

Harmony Day Activities
One of our students has arrived at our school from Malaysia. She is from the state of Kedah. We looked online at some facts and photographs of Kedah to get a greater sense of this student's background. We asked additional questions that came to mind. We then did a craft activity on the twin towers (Petronas Towers) in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The pictures were really colourful and effective on a black background.
Other classes learnt about harmony through stories, playing soccer together, making a paper chain with their names, poetry, multicultural games and craft activities. Each year level was responsible for determining how they wanted to approach the theme and presenting what they learnt in assembly.

In our school we aim for fortnightly whole-school assemblies, however due to other events that occur on Fridays, there are generally only three or four per term. Year levels take turns to host the assembly. The parts to an assembly are:
  • a welcome
  • an acknowledgement of country
  • the singing of the national anthem and school song
  • one or more class items
  • the presentation of merit awards (usually 2 per class)
  • other announcements; and
  • the presentation of a class award for good audience behaviour
Sometimes these also include school band performances and special awards. Families are welcome to join us for these assemblies and parents make a special effort when their child is part of the hosting class.
This week's assembly was a special "Harmony Day" assembly, so as well as the normal routine we had a parade of national costumes, class presentations of Harmony Day activities and two special songs that everyone in the school had been learning. It went for longer than usual and concluded a long, hot, tiring day and so students were more restless than usual. The general feeling, however, was that it had been successful.

Eco Bus
Because our school is taking great strides in terms of Environmental Sustainability, we had three bus loads of visitors come on Friday to see our approach. The Enviro Squad was on the job, proudly explaining our recycling system and taking visitors on a tour of the school. Tim and Tina, the Trash Twins, were out and about enthusiastically promoting the appropriate use of our bins. Everyone was doing their bit in the classroom and on the playground to demonstrate what we've learnt about protecting our environment. It was a superb effort from all the teachers involved in the Sustainability Committee and a credit to the school community's commitment to Environmental Sustainability.

Readers' Theatre
Students learnt and performed a readers' theatre of the story "The Amazing Laundry Hamper" This was a fun story with a lesson to encourage children to be helpful and clean up after themselves.
We're planning a performance for parents in two weeks time. They will be able to come along to see students present readers' theatre scripts and hear the Fife and Drum band play. The performance will be in the morning, so if we find that parents are unable to attend, we may see if some of the students from Years P-2 would like to come and watch.

Rowan of Rin
To read the next installment of our Rowan of Rin literacy unit click here.

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