Week 4 – Getting into a Routine

So last week was the first ‘proper week’ of my course. For the first few weeks, my time is split between 3 days on placement and 2 in seminars about WSI and my curriculum area. I’d really been looking forward to this starting, especially getting back into the classroom again after a whole week at uni!

My first few days were just filled with observations in the Maths department, watching excellent teachers deliver excellent lessons. I picked up a few tips and tricks, and had a lot of chats about the way the department works. I really feel part of the team already – though the chocolates I took in on Monday probably helped with that!

My timetable currently has year 8, year 10 and year 12 classes on it. By Christmas it’s expected that I’ll be teaching the Year 8’s and 10’s, then potentially the year 12’s in my second block in January/February. I did find this quite daunting to begin with, but the more lessons I’ve watched, the more I’ve been itching to get up there and do it myself. So I was really chuffed when my mentor asked me to prepare a starter for year 10 to deliver this week.

I’ve had loads of fun planning it. I’ve gone for a card sort on basic algebra to recap what they have already done at the end of last week. I also have 2 (!!!) extension tasks, just in case. I’ve probably over prepared but I’d rather that than the other way around.

My mentor also asked me if I fancied teaching a full lesson NEXT week on fractions with the same year 10 set. When she asked I was a bit worried about it, and said maybe just a starter. But the closer it gets the more I want to teach it all! I may change y mind if tomorrow’s starter goes horribly but right now I think a full lesson would be good for me, for 2 reasons:

  • No time like the present. Get the first one out of the way and it’ll seem less scary!
  • I think planning a WHOLE lesson may be easier than just a part lesson because you can carry through ideas.

The latter half of my week was spent at a school ‘Hub’ learning about WSI and teaching Maths from REAL teachers, who are living and breathing it now. I think these sessions are really useful for practical tips on how to manage a class and what it will actually be like in a school. Uni tends to be a lot more theory based and, let’s face it, taught by people who haven’t really been in a classroom as much of late. That’s not to say I don’t get anything out of it though.

Fridays at Uni have been great for speaking to other trainees and getting advice on subject knowledge so far. This week we also had a really interesting session on Problem Solving, which  highlighted its importance in the new curriculum but also just as a skill in its own right. Learning the right way to teach those skills to a class is also no mean feat, but we got lots of really good advice.

I was really sad not to be in school on Thursday and Friday though. I really did miss the environment, and I am so eager for my block to start. Though I guess I should be grateful for now, because all the non-school time is good prep for assignments!

Speaking of which, I have a LOT of reading to do. Someone has ALREADY reserved one of the many books I’ve taken from the library!!!

I hope you all had a good week, and to hear from some of you during #ITTChat this week. I won’t be hosting this time, but I will be taking part! 🙂

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