Phew! Whole weekend lesson planning for the second week of prac and still no time for my other assignment. This is in part due to the high standards I set myself on prac to be highly prepared and deliver engaging lessons.
So week one down and I have to say although I had feelings of trepidation for having an all boys Year 6 class, I have been pleasantly surprised. They are a great group of boys and I have a very organised and helpful mentor. As it is an International Baccuratele school they do not use the c2c, rather they have a UOI (Unit of Inquiry) that they explore each semester. I arrived right at the beginning of a new UOI all about ‘Where we are in place and time’. First day of prac I was responsable for the first inquiry lesson which was on Women’s suffrage in Australia. Hmmm… how to engage Year 6 boys in a topic that I was sure they would not be the least bit interested in. I decided to do up my lesson into a Prezi to make it more interactive for the boys, combined with other activities within the lesson to get the boys moving around, such as group work and think pair share. The boys responded well to the Prezi and my mentor was also impressed as it kept the lesson flowing well. I went on the following days to teach about The White Australia Policy and Refugees and the boys used their time in the IT lab to do further research on the topic and create a presentation. The workload is huge as it usually is on prac and particularly more so this time, as I have had to re-research the topics from scratch. I have found it really interesting though and have learnt some new information along the way. My mentor is so pleased with my lessons he said he is happy for me to takeover and teach the whole UOI while I am there. So week two I am teaching about Aboriginal history and rights plus some more maths – which I have also had to re-investigate and refresh on.
My only disappointment from this prac I would have to say is the lack of good ICT resources. I had lots of great ideas that I wanted to do and use, to no avail. Partly due to lack of resources and partly due to a teaching culture that just doesn’t use it that much. This is reality for a lot of schools I guess and probably more of what I will strike when I am teaching.
Interestingly the staff meeting on my first day by the head of the school was all about ICTs and the need to get on board. They are looking at implementing more by way of each student having an iPad next year and for teachers to do PDs to get up to speed more! Great news!
I will say though they are using a program called Mathletics, the boys love it! A great way to engage them with maths and for them to keep track of their own progress. To learn more about this great resource, check out the blog of Miss H.