Thursday, October 05, 2006

My prac

For those of you who didn't know, I was on prac for 3 weeks at a local primary school teaching Year One children. There were 19 of them in my class and they were comparably an easy class. My co-operating teacher was Nadia. Only 28 and she's been teaching for 7 years. Let me show you some of the things I did with the kids while I was there.

Oh, before that, I have to show you this:

Smart, don't you think? The blackboard/whiteboard functions as a sliding door as well! It goes through into the computer lab cum store room and then connects to the next Year One class.

Okay, now, the stuff I've been doing with the kids. As they were starting to learn about wetlands, most of my lessons were planned based on wetlands. One of my targets was to make sure that the children were able to differentiate between the different types of roots mangroves have. This way, they'd have something to look out for when they go to Bicentennial Park for the excursion. One of my lessons involved a game. The children were split into groups and they had to choose a few person to match the pictures to the labels. Of course, they had to decide as a team which labels are to which pictures before I said start.

Of course, after having gone on an excursion, I had to ask them to draw what they saw or remembered.

Okay, so we covered the plants of wetlands. We also had to learn about who lives in there. And of course, a familiar animal they could think of was the frog. And so we learnt about frogs for the next week or so. One of the things we did was to learn about the frog's life cycle. I used art to teach them about this. I used an idea dad told me a few years ago but instead of using only paint, I also used wobbly eyes. Look at the effect!

Notice how Max has drawn his frog and where he has placed the eyes! Haha!! Doesn't it look like that Japanese cartoon? Er, what's the name? Kero Kero Keropi or something like that...

We also made an origami frog. It was not easy for the kids, I tell you so it was great to see the frogs actually jump! Nicholas was so into folding the frogs, he could remember the steps and offered to fold more frogs for Friday Fun! We built a pond for the frogs to live in and the boys had frog races, too!

And when you have enough (or more than enough would be ideal) resources provided for the children, you will see that their investigating, curious, hypothetical selves will show. Just look at how Harrison and Calvin are enjoying themselves! Yes, they may not know how to read the entire book as it is way above their level, but the pictures will spur them to find out more.

We even learnt to draw and label the different body parts of a tadpole and a frog!

Not everything was about frogs and mangroves and wetlands. Nadia wanted to reintroduce patterns to the children. We used colour counters and asked the children to come up with a pattern of their own. Any pattern. Most of them came up with colours depicting their favourite football teams. Here is Calvin and the colours of the West Tigers:

Lachlan with the colours of the Parramatta Eels:

Martin and Harrison working collaboratively to get a long line of Sydney Swan colours:

We did lots and lots of other things as well. I spent a lot of my lunchtimes with the kids playing catch and just simply holding hands walking round the oval. I taught them a percussion item to perform for assembly and we became friends. At the end of prac, there were surprises. Maddy gave me a card and a bracelet:

Corey found a pinecone and said, "Here, Miss Voon. Everytime you miss me, just look at this pinecone and it will remind you of me.". Aw......

Rachel passed me a scruffy looking piece of paper which contained this:

On the day I returned to school to collect a book I forgot and to watch the assembly item, the class presented me with a special card they made:

I would like to thank the kids, Nadia and my advisor, Robyn for having provided me with so much fun. I have learnt a lot from the prac and I will work hard to ensure my next prac will be even better.

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