Teaching Talia

Week Four Reflections

Posted on: March 28, 2007

Today was AMAZING. I had the best day I have EVER had in ANY prac EVER. It was brilliant. Jenny is away and so Fiona is subbing for the end of last week and the next few weeks until Easter holidays. I basically spent the day busily writing notes on everything she was doing, and I even took my own lesson at the end of the day. Here’s some things Fiona did that I thought were really great (I’m just trying to put together an ideas bank as well), and also my reflections on them.

Miss Mary Mack. Remember that song? “Miss Mary Mack, mack, mack. All dressed in black, black, black. With silver buttons, buttons, buttons. All down her back, back, back. She jumped so high, high, high. She reached the sky, sky, sky. And she never came back, back, back. Till the fourth of July, july, july.”

She sung that song with them and did a little clapping rhythm with them (music smart) and then shen it came to back she clapped behind her back, and when she sung high she clapped above her head. The kids didn’t know she was going to do this, but the adapted really well. I thought that it was a really great idea just to get them al focused and attentive. That was the first thing she did that day.

Marking The Roll. Who would have thought that just marking the role would be so interesting!? Fiona asked the children what language the would like to learn today. Apparently the other day they had been saying, “Jumbo” which is ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ in Swahilli. I was brain waving that we should choose French this time (I know an intsy bit of french) and low and behold, we did! (Just another one of my magic moments). So when the role is taken usually Jenny will say “Good morning Mattie” and Mattie will say, “Good morning Jenny”. But this time Fiona said, “Bonjour Mattie” and Mattie said, “Bonjour Fiona”. It was so adorable and I thought that it was a really great idea for getting kids to recognise different languages and cultures.

Diary Of Events. Because Fiona is relieving Jenny she is writing a diary that starts off saying, “Dear Jenny, while you were away we’ve been very busy…” Then gives the date and some beauitful pictures and explanations of what they’ve done. When we talked about it Fiona planned that after she’s demonstrated what she wants to the kids for a few days she will get them to start writing their own explanations to go with the pictures and get them to write their names on the pages that they’re on. We also spoke about how this is a really great we to keep a record of how their play has evolved and what they’ve been doing. Plus kids love to see pictures of themselves!

Behaviour Management.  Malakie was sitting on a chair and so Fiona asked him to please join the group. Or when he wanted to answer a questions she explained to him that if he wanted to answer he needed to be part of the group first.

Another Malakie incident was that he was angry for not being included and so ripped up Tahlia’s picture she’d drawn. “That’s not very friendly” and language like that was used. That was good because it’s language they’re use to from the You Can Do It program etc. Fiona asked the class what Malakie might be able to do to fix it. They suggested sticky taping it up together, and Tahlia liked that idea so that was what Malakie had to do in his lunch time. Fiona also explained that there was something else he had to do, and the other kids knew it was say sorry. It was a great way of doing it- asking him what else he needed to do and when he wouldn’t say anything asking the other kids to help him out.

She drew on the carpet with chalk! What a simple and effective way of getting kids to sit in the right places and make a special spot for two ‘kangaroos’ to sit!

Bushwalk. I love the Fiona took the kids out of the class, and out of the entire Prep grounds. They were all lined up outside with their hats on and Fiona showed them two bags. A Woolworths green bag, and a plastic bag. She then got them to answer some questions about what happens to the plastic bag etc. and encouraged the kids to recycle their plastic and use green bags. They brought both the bags on the bush walk. I loved the purpose of the bush walk- to find new things for our ‘feel and touch’ table, and to explore. The kids knew that if they saw rubbish they should pick it up and put it in the rubbish bag, and if they found something special then they could put it in the green bag. We saw a Kangaroo while we were out there, which was pretty special. I was the one who spotted it, and while it may sound silly, I was proud of myself for spotting it and then actually mentioning it. I am prone to keeping important things like that to myself.

They found lots of things and afterwards Fiona went through them. There was a coke can squashed and put in the rubbish and Fiona used the opportunity to briefly talk about recycling. She asked them what colour the recycling bin lid was! They all knew it was yellow, and that was a really great way of making it relevant to them.

Guessing. Another thing that Fiona did that I liked was if she was thinking of something she gave out clues and the kids were able to guess. She was talking about what recycled paper becomes and she was giving out clues and then Ben guessed toilette paper, which was right.

Games. Fiona played two games that I liked. One was at going home time, and the other at first break time. At first break they played “current buns” when five kids were current buns, she sung a song, “Five current buns with sugar on the top…” and then said a child in the audience’s name and they came out and paid her the money and then took one of the kids out to lunch! They kept going like that.

The second game was elephants balancing. Have a balance beam in the room. Get one kid up to balance along it and sing the song, “one grey elephants balancing, step by step on a piece of string. He thought it was such a wonderful time that he called for another, elephant!” and then they pick another kid to come up. They balance and song is sung again and then the last kids picks a new kid. When it’s fully up they all fall off because the string BREAKS, and they go out to see if their parents are there and a new elephant is selected. the game continues until everyone is chosen.

So I enjoyed Fiona’s teaching so much that I’m going back tomorrow!


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Just finished my Graduate Certificate in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with UNSW.




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