All entries for October 2010

October 20, 2010

The Art of Persuasion

I've been planning my year 8 persuasive writing unit and am beginning to realise that the teaching profession requires a lot of persuasion; persuading your pupils to really engage with a text, persuading your department to let you try out a new idea on your class and, most importantly of all, persuading yourself that at 9pm taking time out to watch The Apprentice really isn't all that bad (and probably well deserved). 

All this hard work did pay off on Monday when I experienced my first Warwick observation (eek!), closely followed by a lesson observation from my subject mentor that afternoon. All went well however and I finished the day on a high. Almost all of the comments were positive and the only thing I really need to focus on is giving myself a bit of a rest and letting the pupils take charge once in a while. I attribute this to my semi-control freak nature, but am intending to loosen up the reins a bit after half term with a host of exciting interactive activities. 

One half term down...bring on the break!

Ok, so I'm not a Pro Blogger

Hmmm, having never blogged before, I've only just realised that all but one of my entries was set to "private". Having now corrected this, the whole words is open to read about the thrills and spills of my GTP year. Sorted!

October 15, 2010

My First Big Moan

There was a great cheer from year 7 at the end of yesterday's lesson when I announced that another week of tests had finally come to an end. I also let out a sigh of relief as I entered their reading scores into the school datatbase, knowing that at least half of the tests were marked and out of the way before the weekend.

Meanwhile, year 8 have been playing Estate Agents. We've been preparing for their first non-fiction assessment piece, which will involve writing a brochure to advertise a house for sale. I was beginning to worry about year 8s commitment to the subject but my first big teacher moan, 10 minutes at the start of Tuesday's lesson expressing my concerns about book presentation and completion of work, seemed to pay off. Taking in their books that evening demonstrated a dramatic improvement and offered lots of opportunities to award credits in time for a far more positive start to Wednesday's lesson. Let's just hope it continues.

October 07, 2010

Managing the APP Marking Mountain

So my year 7 class had come to the end of their Transition unit, which meant only one thing...assessment, assessment, assessment - I felt a bit sorry for them really, with a reading test and Blackwell spelling test in their first week, followed by their reading and writing assessments this week and, little do they know, baseline testing next week, involving another 3 hours for completing old SATs papers - Well, I DID feel sorry for them, until I took on the mammoth task of marking! While I was familiar with the APP grid, it was the first time I was faced with more than 60 pieces requiring formal marking according to six AF points, and the first few books seemed to take hours...literally. 

Giving back the assessments today, during what I can only really call an "admin" lesson, was a whole other game in itself. Who'd have thought that glueing a sheet into the back of a book and writing two numbers in a grid could cause so much drama and send the classroom into chaos. 

At least I don't have to plan any lessons for year 7 next week but I will, of course, have 120 SATs papers to mark... and that should keep me well and truly busy!

October 2010

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