June 01, 2011

SCT 6: The Beginning…

What follows is a brief outline of the class that were the focus of my Directed Task.

Vital Statistics:

Class: Top Set Year 7 - Levels ranging from 5< Level <7

Pupils: 30 in total - 15 Boys and 15 Girls

Selected Pupils:

Child x - The highest achiever in the class who is currently working at low/mid level 6. This pupil would welcome the challenge of being stretched to level 7, maybe even level 8 work!

Child y - A middle ability pupil, strong in some areas, weaker in others, working between level 5 and 6.

Child z - A pupil at the lower end of the spectrum. Whilst their mental maths is fairly strong (perhaps explaining why they are in the top set), they seem to struggle with most of the work and are not the most confident mathematcian. I was told they are currently working at level 5, though they often fail to produce work at this level.

The class as a whole are very strong and a pleasure to teach. There are no serious additional educational needs that need to be addressed. A couple of pupils require worksheets on A4 instead of A5, but that is it. Whilst there are many EAL pupils, they are all fairly confident in english.


May 18, 2011

(Wanted) Dead or Alive…?

So it’s been a while since my last blog entry... a very long while. So consider this a quick message to my avid followers that all is well in the world of this trainee teacher. Any rumours of my passing must be forgotten, I may have been absent from the blogging world but I am still very much part of the realm of the living. The only part of me that has died is my social life.

Needless to say the last few weeks (or months!?) have been ridiculously busy, priorities had to be made and unfortunately blogging was never going to be one of them...

I’ve no doubt ‘The Blog’ has its place in the journey we have taken during the course, but in terms of becoming a better teacher, I have found it significantly more beneficial planning and evaluating lessons rather than burning the midnight oil with my lyrical blogging prose.

That said, it seems I will have to submit some mandatory blogs ‘reflecting’ on my teaching particularly my AP2.

They will follow in due course...

Until then.

Adieu.

Jx

Dead or Alive


March 07, 2011

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead…

Evening...

So... it's week 2 of that make or break 6 weeks between half-term and Easter. The Masters has been handed in. Pretty much all of the Uni work is done. All that is left is to see out PP2. Simple. What stands in the way? The trifling matter of the 150 lessons I still need to plan. Yes, I said 150.... ish.

The countdown has started.

Do I mean the countdown from 150 lessons to 0? Sort of. Do I mean the countdown to the end of PP2? Sort of.

I mean the countdown of the lessons I need to plan before I can finally go to sleep. Thats right. Sleep.

I'd wager there are not many PGCE students who are too familar with the concept of sleep at the moment... Sure, it will be in the back of their minds, a distant memory... that thing they used to do when it got dark outside and the midnight hour approached. What did it feel like? I can't remember, it was so long ago...

The days are long, the nights are longer. The lesson plans keep on coming. They are relentless. They do not sleep. Not unlike the "Uruk-hai" of Mordor... they keep running all night. Lessons plans need no sleep, they just need to be done. It is the PGCE student who must go without.

PP2. I love it.

For the first time in all of my weeks on PP1 and PP2, last week was the first time I felt like a teacher. The change in attitude, persona, confidence, was all evident. It was noted. It was a good week.

If this is as hard as it is going to get, I think I am over the worst of it. I will survive. Afterall, as Bon Jovi would say:

"I'll sleep when I'm dead"

Jx

I


February 08, 2011

These Days…

Hello Everybody,

Its that time of the month again, time for me to "reflect" on the happenings of my life as a PGCE student... and yet again this will be set against a Bon Jovi soundtrack... This one is called "These Days" (from the 1996 album of the same name).

So what has been happening since last time??? A strong case could be made for "lots has been happening", and an equally convincing case could be made to argue "nothing has been happening"... you decide.

For now I will just focus on the first two serial weeks of PP2 at undisclosed School B.

I'm liking it. A lot. Really I am. Lots and lots. Without having taught any lessons, I already feel a greater part of this school's community than I ever did on PP1 at undisclosed School A. Maybe I'm just more confident in my ability to teach, and therefore embracing the whole experience a little better. Maybe its because it has been made very clear that the support is there if I need it and they really do care about my professional development. Or maybe I'm now in a school I could see myself teaching at. Credit to the SPO... They did alright :-)

Now let us spare a moment to think about our first Masters essay... The rumour mill has been running riot around Westwood; an ill breeze of terror and fear sweeps around the campus like Mary haunting the Celeste.

First I heard 3 out of the first 8 marked were failed. Then it was 25% of all of them. Then I heard 50% have been deemed insufficent to merit a pass... It is only a matter of time before I'm quoted a 113% failure rate... such is the sheer panic that seems to have blinded the mathematical cohort!

I'll be honest. I'd like to pass, I really would. There is nothing I'd like more than to not have to do it again. However, at the end of the day, having to resubmit would not be the end of the world. No tears will be shed. Its only an essay. Its only life. I'd expect a good amount of formtative feedback, then I could improve, resubmit, jobs done. I see no reason to panic.

Results tomorrow??? I thought that was the case. Everyone else tells me it is on thursday...??? Who knows???

Now to re-focus on PP2. I have a really good feeling about my school. It was flagged as a challenging school, but I see no evidence of that. Every school has its challenges, that just makes it normal. It is the pupils that make it special.

It is my job to make them realise: "These Days, the stars aren't out of reach" - (Bon Jovi, 1996)

Jx

These Days


January 17, 2011

SCT 5: Interactive ICT Resource

SCT 5: Using GeoGebra to investigate the angles in a polygon.

sct_5.docx

dynamic_shapes.ggb

hint_file.ggb


January 13, 2011

Keep The Faith: PP1 Reflections

Evening All,

So I've been asked (repeatedly) to blog about my PP1 experience, with reference to my AP1 report, perhaps regarding my thoughts and opinions, etc...

In keeping with the Bon Jovi motif that is now running through my blog, this ones Keep The Faith.

How did everyone find PP1? I think it was a mixed bag of broken hearts and shattered dreams, a theatre of disillsuion; almost a realisation that maybe there is no hope for the future of this world. Some just called that monday morning.

Oh my god, has mathematics always been such a detested subject? Has it always been the low-point of a childs life? The Albatross around a teacher's neck?

I've heard people refer to teaching as the "best job in the world" (anon et al, 2010), I doubt they were ever maths teachers.

Almost every lesson is a battle, a war of attrition, where moving the trenches of learning forward an inch can be classified a victory. Why do we fight on? What is it that intangible force that drives us forward? The enigma that gets us through the day?

Is it the coffee in the staffroom? The idea that in 20 years lesson planning won't take quite as long? Or maybe it is just the challenge? That feeling that no matter how bad it gets, somebody somewhere will be thankful that you made that difference.

I really enjoyed PP1 at unspecified School A.

Also, the emergence of "Team W" will never be forgotten. Thank you Wanjun ;-)

Maybe not all lessons went the way I wanted, maybe my classroom management needs a lot of work, maybe my lesson plans can best be described as "works in progress", maybe one day I WILL learn all the names of the pupils in my class. But do you know what? I have faith that day will come. I survived PP1, and thats the best I could have hoped for.

My mentor and I both agree that I still have a long way to go, I'm far from the finished article but I am well aware of that, but we also agree that I have the right attributes to become a good teacher. I'm good at the things that come naturally, and I can learn the skills that don't.

My preference for teaching A-Level quickly became apparent, and those lessons were the highlights of my placement. My biggest challenge became my biggest success, so maybe there is hope yet.

In the immortal words of the rock legend himself: "Keep the Faith"

Jx

Keep The Faith


January 12, 2011

SCT 4: Group 4's Wall Display

Writing about web page /jbird/entry/sct4_group_4/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view


SCT 3 – Group 4's Maths Trail

Writing about web page /dknowles/entry/sct_3_group/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view


December 05, 2010

Livin' on a Prayer…

Hello readers!

So Ive not blogged in a while; honestly I don't know how anyone has the time! You may be thinking that was quite an adventurous use of the semi-colon just then... Does anybody really know when to use that properly? (English / English with Drama / Drama with English students form an orderly queue to correct me).

Ive been thinking of ways of making this blogging malarky more interesting (for me) so that I may blog more frequently... my solution [hope you're sitting down for this... (to be honest, if you're on a computer standing up you are strange... and yes Ive just realised Ive used brackets within brackets - call the grammar police Im a mathematician, thats how we integrate)] ...ok I realise I am "divagating" (thank you Word of the Day) BUT to make it more interesting for me to blog I have decided to...

...title all of my "reflections" using a Bon Jovi song title! OMG I hear you say (I learnt that off a kid), he can't be serious? Bon Jovi; you mean the greatest band of all time (note semicolon again)? Yes my friend, the very same. That is exactly what I mean.

As for this entry, as Im currently at  ~Placement School 1~ which happens to be a faith school, this one seemed very apt. Yes thats right, not only am I going to use a Bon Jovi song title, but I am ALSO going to make it relevant to my reflection. These are no ramblings of a mad man, this all makes sense.

Now as their career has spanned over 25 years and dozens of multi-platinum selling albums, Im confident that I will not run out of songs! This is a big moment for the Blogging World of Warwick Uni, my reflections just got a soundtrack.

Until next time...

Rock on.

ps, Ive really enjoyed teaching A-Level maths (I thought I would hate that, I was wrong) and I do not enjoy teaching regular maths quite as much. The kids just don't seem to want to learn until 6th form!

Bon Jovi: the Legend.


October 16, 2010

Word of the Week…

And the Word of the Week is...

"Assidere"

- Latin word meaning "to sit beside". Which I am led to believe is the root of the word "Assessment".

Who knew?


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