Thursday, July 23, 2009
It was the first week back, but already the holidays are a distant memory. This week I began my 4-week role as an acting School Leader C. What does this mean? Well, as a beginner, it meant dressing up and sorting Mathletics for everyone across the school whilst also trying to start a new term with my class. I don't feel that I juggled it all particularly well this week but, for a beginner, I think I'm doing okay. I'm enjoying the opportunity and hope to learn and grow through it during the next few weeks. In the classroom we had a great start to the fresh term.
Fun This Week
Reciprocal Reading and Cooperative Reading
Mr Tucker's class is using a new series of Reciprocal Reading Texts this term and groups are focused on using the roles as they read.
My class is trying a version of Cooperative Reading where students take responsibility for planning the reading and writing they will work through during the term and meet together in small groups to discuss and support each other. This week students chose groups and books and then planned the reading and writing tasks they will complete each week. Two groups have an author study focus - Andy Griffiths and Jackie French. Three groups have a book focus - "Hating Alison Ashley" by Robin Klein, "The Red King" by Victor Kelleher, and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" by J.K.Rowling. And two groups have a genre focus - horror and action. I look forward to seeing how the process continues next week as we begin the routines.
Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus
Our writing focus for the beginning of this term is on expositions and persuasive writing. To kick this off, I read "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" by Mo Willems. We discussed some arguments for why pigeons shouldn't drive buses and then students wrote an exposition on the topic. Some decided that they actually wanted to write in support of pigeons driving buses. I am trying to encourage students to choose a few key points as their paragraph starters and then add supporting details. I am also encouraging students to include stronger vocabulary and linking phrases. Hopefully this will flow more naturally with continued practice this term.
Mr Tucker taught two dancing lessons for our students who don't do Fife and Drum. We will be preparing dances for our end of term performance. This week's theme was "flight" and it was really great to see all the students moving creatively and developing their own choreographed dances in small groups. I am really impressed by how well students are collaborating on tasks these days.
This week we got Mathletics up and running in the school. We launched it in Year 4 and it has been exciting to see how quickly students have taken to the site. Mr Tucker's class was listed in the top classes around the world and most students have achieved their Bronze certificate for this week. Mathletics will make up the maths part of our homework this term and Mr Tucker and I will be setting tasks for students to complete.
Minister's Fitness Challenge
Mr Tucker introduced the Minister's Fitness Challenge and showed students the website where they can add the activities that they do each week. This Challenge is an initiative to encourage children to engage in physical activity for at least 60 minutes each day.
NAIDOC Week Festivities
This week we celebrated NAIDOC week (even though it was officially July 5-12). Each grade did their own NAIDOC Week activity which they shared with the school at the special assembly on Thursday. The Funky Fours practiced the song Down River and also learnt about the symbols used in Aboriginal artworks. They created their own designs using oil pastels on black paper. On Wednesday students enjoyed a musical performance with an Indigenous performer. He shared about Indigenous culture and involved students in bopping along to some great music.
Today we had our athletics carnival. Despite the frosty morning and a few early slips, the day was a huge success. We have lots of great little runners and had great participation rates across the school. Mr Tucker did a great job of organising the day.