So my second day was nothing short of chaotic! Well, this morning was, at any rate. I haven’t a clue how it happened, but I managed to miss my 6 o clock alarm, and only wake up at 8:11, giving me 4 minutes to get to my placement. Of course, this was impossible, but I did manage to sign in for 8:33, an impressive feat even if I do say so myself! I was absolutely kicking myself, I mean, this is my second day of placement, and I was late! But the teachers were all really understanding and just said that I’d obviously needed to sleep! I had gone to bed at 7:30 and woken up for an hour and a half at 9, and then gone back to sleep, having not eaten dinner as I felt so rough,, but ugh! I will definitely be setting numerous alarms for tomorrow morning, it will not be happening again, I assure you afouuu.
Anyway. So, this morning, I helped to put the correct lids on the felt pens (a rather pointless task as they will all be mixed up by tomorrow, but was still a therapeutic task) The morning register was slightly delayed, as the internet was down, and there is no paper copy of it, I imagine that now that has happened, one will appear at some point! I would like to take the register at some point, I think tomorrow when I have my meeting with the class teacher, we will be able to discuss the things we would like to be doing.
The first activity of the day was handwriting; ‘ad’ and also ‘Eddie’, both joined up, which did prove difficult for some children. The phonics lesson (although affected by the on again off again internet) was a lot better than yesterday’s; individual children stood up and segmented and blended on their own; the ‘i’ sound in ‘high’, so ‘igh’. They then had to think of lots of different words that had that spelling and sound, which was also difficult for the children as they hadn’t had the video in which lots of examples would have been found.
After playtime, there was a numeracy class, and luck would have it, I was given the highest ability group… Although, to be fair, as they are year 2, I didn’t struggle too much, and actually, I think I may have found it harder to work with the lower ability group, especially as there would have been more explaining of ‘why’. The task was to find what makes 20, and I was given twenty pencils, pegs, counters, and two measuring sticks with which to work with. I was also given 8 children and had to manage them on my own. Again, I wasn’t given a table (……) so we were working on the floor, and then milk and fruit snacks were handed out but several sums were written in each child’s maths books, so I am quite proud of myself! The majority of my time was spent counting pencils with children, and then taking 3 of them, and asking how many were left, and then counting the remaining. The rest of my time was spent trying to settle down one child, and I actually figured out why he was so fidgety and disruptive to the rest of the class; he is bored! He is incredibly talented in maths, well at least at the maths we were doing (he also proudly, and on numerous occasions, told me he was the best in his old school) For example, I would ask him how many more pencils he would need to get to 20 from 8, and without even hesitating he would tell me 12, whereas other children would take a few minutes. So I did try to give him a slight challenge to keep him on topic; its something that we had a lecture on, that bored children often aren’t pushed enough. So I asked him if he could give me three numbers that would add up to 20, but I’m not sure if it was of a too high level, because he didn’t answer it properly. Also, I’m not 100% certain I explained myself properly, but it was difficult to, as I had to keep an eye on the 7 other children who were squirting milk everywhere…. All in all, I was proud of myself for having properly participated in a maths lesson ! Yay me! Another point I have about this lesson, is that in the plenary at the end, the teacher asked how they would explain adding numbers to a year 1 child. However, they were not interested in the slightest, about answering this question. So instead, the teacher asked, if they were broadcasting a radio show about mathematics from their very own radio station (they actually have a station…) how would they explain it then? and the response was so much better! And that was also in another lecture; the wider audience that work will be seen by. A lecturer was talking to us about how a child may not want to please their teacher, but may be motivated into participating if their work will be seen by a wider audience, e.g the internet, or in this case, listeners of a radio show! And it actually happens!
After another story time, it was lunch, and I didn’t go on duty today, instead I helped clean up the mess left over from school dinners (absolutely disgusting, food everywhere!!!) and then helped set up for the next lesson, which was art again. I was in charge of managing the painting table, chaos oh my lord. Acrylic paint strikes again, ew. I got some on my blazer and my trousers, but thankfully I was able to get it out! So the mark making on the maps were a little out of hand for some people; so many mixes of paint colours! The children really enjoy doing it though, and many say that this is exactly the reason they were sent here; because there is such a big emphasis on the arts, and being creative.
At some point during the day, there was the ‘Gingerbread Man’ activity, which my partner led in this time, and I supported, which made the whole thing slightly less frantic. As it is sort of a dance, I thought that this would be an easy enough task for me, but as they also have to recite part of a story at the same time, it makes it harder for me to teach, but there you go ! I will get better at it in time!
Today I also stayed for the afterschool club, which was for the children whose parents work late and I just sat and drew pictures with children I don’t normally have contact with, which was nice. They also had a circle time, where they showed the rest of the ‘class’ things they have made, and that they are proud of, which was very sweet! They also have snack time (and along with another girl, were given pizza bread, and jam sandwiches to take home; not bad i think!) We were a lot of help even if I do say so myself, we did the washing up and oversaw the children’s activities and also were there to make sure there were not too many children and not enough adults! I think I left the school at 5:30, which made for a very long day! I do think that today was a lot better than yesterday, maybe because I knew what to expect, or maybe because of those extra hours of sleep (im terrified of falling asleep tonight!!) or maybe because the children are warming to me and seem to really like me, which is always a nice feeling! I had one child come and stand next to me for an entire carpet time, and got slightly tearful when asked to sit down and two girls hanging on to me. A lot of children like to play with my hair, which is lovely but I am very painfully aware of the risks of nits and I could not handle it if I was plagued by them….
I am looking forward to tomorrow; here to hoping that I will have a less chaotic start!