I can’t believe we’re halfway through the year already – this one really seems to be flying! I think it’s because I’m thoroughly enjoying myself this year. This class are fantastic – there are no problems with behaviour or motivation so we can get on with enjoying the learning journey together. It makes it a lot easier to try new things and to have fun.
I wanted to look back at my aims for the year to see how far I’ve got and to see if I need to change any of my goals for the year. So here we go!
1) Assessment involvement
This area is not going as well as I had hoped earlier in the year. Nothing’s really been mentioned about me taking over as assessment co-ordinator, although the head did compliment me in a governors’ meeting on my expertise in the area. I may need to be a bit more pro-active on this one and really push for more involvement.
2) Using more technology in class
This is going very well. The blog has become a vital part of the class ethos, and I have been making pretty good use of technology, I think. We use Google docs for collaborative writing, Wallwisher for gathering ideas, Audioboo to upload recordings of the class to the blog, have used the Easispeak microphones well, Moviemaker for films and sound recordings with still images, I am enjoying my Visualiser… That is all I can think of for now but I am always willing to try new things. Just must remember to keep using the things that have worked well in the past!
This has gone pretty well too. I have felt a bit let down as I have not been to any extra training on drama techniques, just 2 planning sessions, but I have been doing my best to use drama more in class. We had an excellent session where we flew to Turkey on an imaginary plane and had a mini holiday there. Our work on Robin Hood let to some excellent writing, and more recently we held a very involved debate about ethics linked to a “relic” we imagined had been stolen from Cyprus – we had to decide whether to sell it to build the village a hospital, or whether to return it to its rightful owners.
The trouble I have now is with timetabling. I have been dedicating an hour a week to drama but this is now at risk of squeezing out my DT time so I am going to have to do some creative work with my schedule…
4) Poetry course with Norwich Writers Centre
Wow – this was amazing. I am so glad I did this! Working with the poets was inspirational for both me and the children. Their attitudes towards poetry completely shifted over the course of 4 weeks from indifference to “AWESOME”!!!! An incidental benefit of the course has been introducing me to Norwich’s lively performance poetry scene that I previously knew nothing about and am now thoroughly enjoying!
5) ICT co-ordinator
This is definitely something I need to work on. Although I am not ICT co-ordinator, my PMR says that I am supposed to be helping with the curriculum in ICT… I really need to get going on this as nothing has happened at all with it so far. I also haven’t managed to do any ICT “techie brekkie” training sessions. This is mainly because no one wants to do training early in the morning, and I do clubs 4 lunchtimes a week. I think I am going to have to cut back on these clubs, which is a shame, but I am getting quite tired through having no lunch breaks and also other teachers are starting to want to use the ICT suite themselves some lunchtimes. So maybe then I can start to do a training session every other week or so. I’ve also asked for a few slots in staff meetings to demo a few useful sites and tools. But generally, as targets go this is the big one I need to stay focused on.
These have been a big success. I have really enjoyed both of the Teachmeets I have attended this year! I have learnt a lot and met some brilliant people. The trouble is that they are addictive and now I want to go to more. I am simply going to have to get myself a car!
Another great thing is I persuaded the SMT to let us have a Teachmeet style staff meeting where people can share their good practice and ideas. This will be fab!
7) Problem solving in maths
Finally, this has been another big success story this year. This has shown me that NRich is a resource for the whole class, not just G & T children. My class love our problem solving lessons, and after marking the recent maths tests I can see it’s had an impact as many more of the children attempted the more difficult multi-step problems towards the end of the paper than I have seen previously. It’s not working perfectly though, as I feel 3 days a week in set is not giving us time to cover topics in adequate detail. We are moving to 4 days in set and 1 in class solving problems. That’s as far as I know, these things are subject to change and there is also a chance we will move to 5 days a week in set. However, I think that even if we do I am going to make a point of still doing an extra problem solving session in class as I have seen massive benefits from this approach.
I enjoyed looking back over that… It has been a very good year for me. I am feeling much more confident in myself and think I am doing a good job for the kids, which is, after all, what it’s all about.