Having had such a bitsy week with sickness the week before, it was great to get back into gear and have a proper week at work. Things are starting to come together better and we are working out how our routines are going to work and how to manage differentiation across classes. The Year 1s in my class got to spend some more time with the other Year 1 students, which they'd missed out on in the previous week. Next week we hope to get started with home readers, Spelling, and Maths groups, so it may be a little rocky to begin with, but it always is at the beginning.
Fun this week:
Last year we had a trial lesson with Footsteps Dance Company to see whether we wanted to use them this year. We were very impressed, so had them back this week. Rachel worked with students across all grade levels and taught them a dance to perform for our Thursday evening performance. The Year 1/2 and 2 students learnt how to "Walk Like an Egyptian". It was a lot of fun and found it irresistible to join in with them during the practices!
SouthCare Helicopter Visit
On Friday morning the SouthCare Helicopter landed on the oval adjacent to the school. We took classes down to watch, and then students got to walk through and see the inside. Our local milk suppliers provided a free carton of milk to all the students. (It's always funny to hear how much the kids love the milk - it must taste different when it's given to them in a small carton!) These visits are always very exciting and get the kids nicely hyped up for the rest of the day!
Build it Up - Year 2
I took my Year 2s out to look at the construction that is taking place in our playground. To see what is happening and try to make sense of the bits we can see. We will visit again throughout the term to see how things are progressing.
The Earth - Year 1
The Year 1 students began their Integrated Inquiry. They learnt about the meaning of Biodiversity and watched segments from a video called "Earth" which looks at how animals interact with their environment and with each other. They learnt that living things require water and the sun.
I spent a lot of time during the week organising the new Mathletics passwords and logons for 2010. Students should now be able to access Mathletics again and teachers can use it (and Rainforest Maths) in their Maths lessons. I have been doing this in my Maths lessons, using examples from the board and students working in teams at their desks writing answers on small whiteboards. This builds the skills as well as developing teamwork.
I also invented a class game to practise representing 2-digit numbers using bundles of 10 paddle-pop sticks and loose sticks. I put an interactive hundreds chart on the board. Students took turns in their table groups to make a number, check it with their group and then tap it on the Interactive Whiteboard (thus changing its colour). The class continue to make the unmade numbers until all have been completed. Students found this particularly exciting and got plenty of practice at representing numbers with bundles and singles.
On Tuesday one of my students brought in the book "Flanimals" by Ricky Gervais. She was very excited for me to read it to the class, so we read some during our Library lesson. We had our computer lab lesson straight after library, so students used 2Publish+ to draw their own flanimal and write about it. We put these together in a display folio to send home for students to read with their parents. It was a great opportunity to springboard from one student's interests and allow everyone to experiment with their own creativity.