Teaching Talia


Posted on: July 17, 2007

Today was an experience.

I was a little disheveled this morning when I was told that I was taking the day all on my own. But I got my act together, and made the morning happen.

I really am a planner, I swear. I NEED to be. This was obvious after today. I had  heaps of ideas for the morning session running around in my head, and a few things planned out- but nothing on paper. I hated working like that.

I should have planned, but circumstances the night before left me with little time.


I am still getting my head around the whole ‘ability’ of Preps- it seems to be such a rapidly changing environment. I am always conscious of not ‘pushing’ anything on them, and I find the balance involved in the negotiated curriculum a really hard thing to achieve.


As always rotations went pretty well. I love the structure and predictability of them. I am using a bell for behaviour management purposes with rotations, and that is great!

With the rotations, I wanted to really cement what we had done the previous week, and so I did some similar activities- just with a variation. I was really trying to work on their early mathematical understandings, and some letter recognition.

The activity where they match the capital letter to the little letter, to the picture is to help them with their key board skills. I noticed again in library today, when we were on the computers, that some children are having trouble putting in the right letter, just because it’s a capital. Hopefully just a couple more focus lessons on that will help that a bit.

I want to work on number recognition (hence the dice rotation)and some basic math skills from the number strand. I have heard Chloe H tell everyone that 1+1=2, and the other day we were talking as a group and everyone was just ecstatic about working out what two plus two might be, on our fingers. So I think that they are ready for that, and definitely interested, which I guess is that key.


The bigger/smaller, and odd one out sheets was a bit of a pre-test. I really didn’t know what level they were at when it came to things like that, and so I wanted to see. It was interesting- the results. Everyone knew big/small, and the majority knew which was the odd one out. This might be something that I could look at as well, because it’s a really interesting subject.

 I am still at a loss as with what to do with spare ten minutes. It’s such an awkward time… In the afternoon today I read a story, which was good, but even then there was about 3 minutes after the story. I need to search for some good books that we can have more of a discussion on.

I am trying to make an effort to think of some short little, MEANINGFUL activities that will help fill in those awkward gaps.

 I find it really hard to think quickly on my feet- always have. And so that part of Prep in really challenging. I haven’t found it such a challenge in the other years I’ve been in, and so to combat that I’ve decided to have suggestions in my head, or in a book, to help me think of quick activities.

 Back to the morning sessions. My thoughts are that it was really unstructured, and this was my biggest fault. I didn’t enjoy the lesson so much because of that either. I thought that I had some great ideas- google maps, The Sims, drawing the plans… all good ideas, just not put together really well. I’ve learnt from it though- plans, plans, plans. Particularly on days like today when I’m really able to do that.

 I had to get seriously angry a few times today. But I think that overall my control is improving. I am really trying to mix up my ways of getting their attention. I hate to yell, which is inconvenient, and my voice is not very loud, which is also inconvenient. When I talk loudly for any length of time my voice starts to leave and I go croaky- the pain of never fully getting over the worse cough of my life, which I had for a month and only left the week before school started. Every now and again I still cough.

 It was a bit hard to concentrate today, and harder to keep everyone’s attention because of all the moving, but I kept them when they wouldn’t get in the way, and we dealt with it.

 Another really overwhelming thing I’m finding is how BIG the curriculum is. We are doing SO many things, and it’s really blowing my mind a bit. I was proud of myself for continuing on with the ‘designing a house’ that Jenny had started the other day. I was not 100% sure what we were meant to be doing with that, ’cause it wasn’t my idea, and nothing was really ‘said’ about it yet. But I thought that it was important to keep on it, and I remember Jenny saying, after we’d done the activity the other day, that we needed to follow it up and make it meaningful. Students are still struggling with the concept of a ‘plan’, as opposed to a picture of the outside of their house. We’ll need to work on that.

Like I said, SO many things happening. I had really grand intentions of starting the site word chart on Monday, but it’s Wednesday tomorrow and I still haven’t done it.

 To be honest, with a lot of the ideas, and things we’re doing, when i go home and think about it, I always come up with ideas to present it to older kids. I wish that I had seem more ‘teaching’ in my observation times, and less play. But what’s done is done, and things couldn’t be changed back then.

I am learning lots when Jenny does take over and do things with the kids. I think one of the things I need to improve on is making things SOUND more exciting and amazing then they really are. If I do that then the kids get excited about it. Jenny made home readers sound SO exciting today that even I wanted to take one home! But this doesn’t come naturally to me, and is yet another thing for me to work on.



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




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