Back to School Book Tag

THURSDAY TAG DAY IS UPON US ONCE MORE.

I’m taking on the Back to School Book Tag today. I KNOW I KNOW. I’m late. Please forgive me. I saw this on my friend Amy’s blog recently and thought I needed to take that on… so here we go!

bts tag

English – Name your favourite author’s (or book’s) writing style

I don’t wish to be predictable in this here tag (lol, lbr, I’m predictable af), but I can’t beat Melinda Salisbury’s writing style. It’s just gorgeous. She is the QUEEN of worldbuilding in my eyes. PLUS… she gave the world the god that is Luvian Fen, so who am I to complain?

Maths – A book that made you frustrated

This again might be one that you might all guess that I’d say, but Caraval. EVERYONE was like “It’s going to be the next Night Circus” (and I LOVED that book) and then it just wasn’t. I’ve put off reading the rest of the series because book 1 frustrated me so much… I just wanted more!

Science – A book that made you think

This was a hard one because I think there’s a lot of books that I read which make me think. However, I’m punting for They Both Die At The End and Scythe because of their dealing with the issues of death. I read both of those books and they left me thinking “What would I do in those situations?” Knowing I was going to die, what would I do with my time? Who would I spend it with? That’s one of those eternal thinking points for me from these books and I don’t think I have an answer for myself yet!

Social studies/History – Your favourite book from a different time period

I am a MASSIVE fan of a book from World War 2. You don’t get many YA books (well, that I know of) from that time period, but there’s a good chunk of MG books out there from that time period and I am ALL ABOUT THEM. Shout outs to Hitler’s Canary and Letters From the Lighthouse though – loved both of these!

Art – Your favourite book with pictures

ALL OF THE PICTURE BOOKS. Gotta love a David Litchfield illustration, or, of course, an Oliver Jeffers illustration.

Drama – A book you would love to turn into a movie

SO MANY and yet SO FEW at the same time. I don’t want what I know and think about a book RUINED because it is poorly made into a film. However, I would love The Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy to be made into a series of films. I bloody love Twylla.

Music – name a character you think (or know) would have the same musical taste as you

This is another one that’s hard because I don’t really know. However, I think Emily from No Big Deal might be the one I go for. She’s got a very diverse music style and I like to think that I do too. So maybe her?

Lunch – A food you would love to try

All of the yummy food that’s mentioned in the Sam Wu books. I ALWAYS read them and want to try the foods straight away.

Bus ride home – A book or author that is relaxing

LOL. I don’t know that I read books that are relaxing. However, I’d go with something that I can get lost in and instantly Kiran Milwood Hargrave and Sophie Anderson’s books jump into my mind. PLEASE. Oh, and Alice Broadway. A story I can get lost in is relaxation to me.

Extra credit – A book someone else told you to read and you ended up enjoying

I think if everyone hadn’t shouted about and made me read Six of Crows, I wouldn’t have known how much I bloody love Kaz Brekker and his crew… so thanks everyone!

And there we go! If you’d like to have a go at this, please do!

Speak to you tomorrow!

S x

 

A-Z of Back to School (part 2)

Hello everyone!

Last week, I posted the first half of my A-Z of Back to School post and this week it’s time for the end of that post! I had such a lovely reception to last week’s post, so I hope you all enjoy this one just as much. (I’m well aware we are WELL into the swing of things, but I really wanted to share these!)

BTS 2

Here we go…

N – Noticing change

Now, this could be anything from how much taller your class from last year seem to be, to changes around school. There’s always a lot of things that change over the SUmmer (it’s 6 weeks – you’d expect some things to change!)

O – Overpreparing and not needing it

I don’t know if this is just me, or if it’s everyone. I always overprepare for that first week. I have so many activities ready to go, but then I end up not needing them. I think it’s hard to pitch things at first, so there’s always too much to do and that’s OK. I have an activity that I’m still waiting to do 3 weeks on (it’s not an essential activity, just something a little fun).

P – Picture books aren’t just for EYFS

One of the things I love doing the most is using picture books to inspire writing. As a Year 5 teacher, this may be looked upon with scorn, but there’s a fair few of my writing units based on picture books. I use them not just for writing, but for inspiration for everything. I think people can forget that within picture books there are some amazing stories. I think picture books should have a place in every classroom up and down the land, no matter how old the class are!

Q – Quick toilet breaks

Man… going to the toilet whenever you please is such a luxury that Summer Holiday Me doesn’t realise. Those first few weeks back are all about retraining your bladder to only go to the toilet at break time/lunch time and after school. It’s a real thing.

R – Reading a whole new bunch of books

Another lovely thing about getting into a new year and a new class is that their tastes might be entirely different to the class you just had. My new class love a scary story, whereas my class last year weren’t that keen on them (or at least never expressed that they were). I’m loving finding new books and new authors that I’ve never really delved into before.

S – Stationery

WELL YES. Do I need to explain this one? I love a bit of stationery and a new year is the PERFECT excuse to have to get some new stationery. I think teachers fall into 2 categories with stationery: obsessed or non-plussed. I am definitely the former. Even as a child, there was nothing more exciting than going to Stationery Box and Woolworths (man, I miss those places) and getting my pens, pencils, rubbers and stuff for the year ahead. Stationery, like books, is just one of my loves!

T – Turning the alarm back on

BOOOOO. This is always the worst. You’ve had 6 weeks of not having to get up via an alarm (or however long you’ve had without an alarm) and now here we are, alarm time again. It’s not fun at first getting up to the sound of your alarm… *weep*

U – Using my favourite stories again

I can’t wait to get to use my favourite stories again. I’ve just done a unit of writing with The Day the Crayons Quit; we’re moving on to doing Journey by Aaron Becker next. I bloody love being a teacher and using books. It’s something I could rabbit on about for words and words.

V – Venturing into the unknown

This year I have more responsibility than I have done in previous years and that’s a new thing for me. I don’t really know what to expect. It’s my first year as a qualified teacher when we are expecting Ofsted, which is again something I’ve never experienced before. These things are all TERRIFYING and thrilling… most of the time.

W – Working differently

I think as every year passes there’s things that I’ll start doing differently. For all I’ve worked in school for 10 years now, I’ve only been a qualified teacher for 1. I passed my NQT year this Summer and I’m an RQT this year. I think with a new bunch of kids, a new bunch of responsibilities and a new outlook on teaching (and its politics), I’ve got a few things I’m changing.

X – EXtra responsibility

Lol, I’ve mentioned this 3 times in succession now! So, I’m PE lead, MFL lead, Library lead and one of school’s Maths Mastery lead teachers. That’s a lot to have on my plate, but you know what? I’m someone who loves a bit of responsibility. I love a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, there’s days I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed and worried that I’m not going to do a good enough job, but I know that I’ll put my heart and soul into these roles. If I’m not the right person for the job, then I’m sure I’ll find that out too!

Y – Yes, Miss!

It’s those lightbulb moments that make this all a bit more bearable on the days when it’s just a challenge. I love watching a child who DOESN’T understand something just click and when they do get it, there’s the inevitable “YESSS” moment. That’s always a lush lush touch.

Z – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Getting back into work is EXHAUSTING. I love my job; I work with an incredible bunch of people; my kids are wonderful, but my lord is it exhausting. Going from living life at your own pace to having to be FULL ON is a lot. So yes, I’m tired. I’m always tired ha! (I imagine you’re either exhausted or have had enough of hearing about being back to school now, so congrats for getting through this post ha!)

And there we go! My whole A-Z of being back at school. I really enjoyed doing this! I hope you enjoyed reading this!

Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know the A-Z of… I might make this into a series!

See you tomorrow!

S x

A-Z of Back to School (Part 1)

Hello there! Friends, teachers, non-teachers, educators, non-educators, readers and everyone!

Today, I’m coming to you with something a bit different. Something a bit serious, a bit fun and a dive into the world of teaching. As you may know (if you’re new around here, hello, come say hello to me!), I’m a teacher and as it’s September, it’s back to school season. Yes, we’re 2 weeks into the term now, but hey ho, this post is better late than never, right?

I stole this idea from someone on twitter (I don’t remember who it was! If it was you, let me know) and it was great fun trying to fill in the A-Z of back to school while I was flapping on a train a few weeks back. So here goes…

bts 1

A – Anxiety

Being off for 6 weeks and then going back to work is a scary thought. I can’t lie and tell you that I wasn’t anxious about going back to work because I was. I’ve had a few ridiculously anxious days since being back too.

B – Bye Bye NQT Year!

When you qualify as a teacher, you have to get through your NQT year (Newly Qualified Teacher). It’s a good year where you get loads of extra support and more time than “regular teachers” out of class to use to help you keep progressing as a teacher. It’s a scary year being an NQT, but it’s a great learning curve! I passed my NQT year which was a PROPER lush feeling!

C – Chatting about Summer

YEP. That first week that’s all you talk about: what you got up to, what you didn’t get up to, how your Summer went. To be honest, after the first 3 conversations, I’m over it hah!

D – Deleting emails

This might sound like a funny one, but deleting the emails you’re sent over the Summer from companies is a proper delight. I love a good clear out!

E – Excitement

Along with the anxiety, there’s a whole load of excitement. A new bunch of kids, a whole new bunch of responsibilities and a new outlook on things. Sometimes you need to step back to see the wonderful things and then dive back in. We also got a library over the holidays which is WONDERFUL.

F – Friendships

Working in a school is like working in a microcosm of the real world – there’s people you’re really close to, there’s people you only speak to at certain times, there’s people you don’t really speak to. One of the things that keeps me going is the friends I have at school. I’m really bloody lucky to have the colleagues I have. Some of my best friends in the world are the people I work with. Friendships make my job so much easier!

G – Getting to know a whole new crew

Having a whole new 30 children to get to know is a daunting prospect. If I think of how well I knew my class from last year, I think to myself “there is no way I’ll know a class that well” but I will. I know I will. I can’t wait to get to know this new class – they’re very different from my class last year!

H – Having routine back in my life

You all know that I love a bit of routine in my life. I talked about it in a blog post during the Summer. Having the holidays and there being no routine messes with my head, so having routine back in my life is SO SO lush. As much as getting up when it’s dark is SHITTY, it’s nice to be back into a routine.

I – Imposter syndrome

I could go on about this for words and words. I think imposter syndrome is something most people feel at some time in their lives. I have days where I think I feel like I’m just “playing” teachers and someone is going to come along and take this all away from me. Or when someone emails me and I’m the one who is in charge of that thing… like… CLEARLY A FAKER HERE. Ha.

J – Juggling 72934745639 things at once

Teachers have many hats that they wear during the week and it’s sometimes hard to keep all of those things afloat at once! There’s SO MANY THINGS that need to be done and prioritising is SO BLOODY important! I’ve learned that and I’m learning that some things don’t NEED to be done.

K – Knowing I’m chasing my dream

Many many moons ago, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I think I was about 8 when I knew I wanted to be a teacher. It took me an awfully long time to get there, but it was something I never gave up on, even when I went off path slightly. I think if you’ve got a dream you want to follow bad enough, you’ll get there. Never give up on that. Knowing that I’m living out the one thing that I’ve wanted for all of these years is still quite surreal.

L – Lost PE kits/jumpers

THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE LBR. Please label everything ever. This makes it so much easier to give it back to the rightful owner. “Miss, I’ve lost my jumper/PE kit/pencil” is one of my least favourite things to hear ha!

M – Mourning the departure of Summer

I can love my job but also be SAD that the Summer holidays is over. Getting up when my body is ready, making plans with my friends to see them DURING THE DAY and just reading all of the books is SUCH a lovely way to spend my time that not being able to do that anymore is SAD TIMES. But also, I love my job.

OK. Well we’ve made it to the middle of the alphabet! Come back next week for the rest of the alphabet!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of “A-Z of Back to School.” It was certainly a lot of fun to write! Share your thoughts in the comments: I’d love to know what you thought!

See you tomorrow!

S x

What we’re reading!

Hello!

How are you all?

Today, I thought I would share some pictures of the books my class are reading… cause they’re all reading some absolute corkers.

Starting this academic year, I really wanted to get my kids excited about books and about reading. I’m such an advocate for reading for pleasure that I want my kids to know that they can enjoy reading and that it doesn’t always have to be something they’re tested on… they just get to enjoy what they’re reading.

We did a whole hour about our reading habits and our reading identities where they got to tell me about their own reading preferences, which I found really interesting. Learning so much about these new little people of mine really gave me the chance to recommend books that I knew would be right for them!

I was DELIGHTED with the range of books that they chose from my shelves. There’s some of my absolute favourite books of recent years in these piles. There’s all sorts of representation in these books. There’s stories these children might never have come across. A lot of these books are my own copies (as in they don’t belong in the school library) and it gives me such joy to know that I’ve read these books and that I can talk to the kids about these books if they want to.

I love that there’s such a mix of books in these piles. There’s well known authors and there’s indie authors. There’s an anthology of stories among some incredible stand alones. There’s 2 children starting off the Perfect series (which is a series that I adore) and there’s some books I’ve wanted to give to children in so so long. There’s a non-fiction book in among fiction books (which fills me with delight!)

My classroom is definitely the “reading classroom”. It’s where you’ll find all of the books (except the library). That’s something I’m really proud of. I’m a reader through and through and if I can help just one child find their love of reading then I’ve done my job!

Our class reader, which was voted for by the children on transition day is The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone. As I have an audible account, we’re actually listening to it on audiobook and I’m really enjoying that! It’s read so brilliantly by the narrator and it’s giving me an extra bit of time to enjoy reading and listening alongside them.

Image result for the dreamsnatcher

As well as general reading, I always try and theme my Writing lessons around a book (I just think it gives everything a lot more purpose). We started the year with a letter to ourselves, so I thought we would continue with letter writing in a fun way. We’re going for letters to complain and using the amazing The Day The Crayons Quit as our model text/inspiration. A lot of people will frown at me using this text in Year 5, but I think it is PERFECT.

Image result for the day the crayons quit

I could ramble on for hours about the love I have for reading and the importance of reading for pleasure, but I won’t ramble on (if you’d like me to, then by all means let me know in the comments because that’s something I can talk about for words and words… it’s what I did my dissertation on!)

Let me know if you’d like any more tales from the classroom and I could probably make it into a series! Leave me some questions if you have any!

Speak soon,

S x

Libraries are for winners!

Recently, I have been given the task of leading the school library, and I have to say it is my utter delight to embrace it. I’m aware I am in a very lucky position that we have an actual library (it’s shelves in the corridor at the minute) and that many schools aren’t as fortunate as us. That’s another conversation to be had.

Today is Part 1 of 2 posts filled with ideas of the things I’ve tried with the library since half term and there will be some sharing of resources too – please feel free to download these and use them as you wish! We’re just starting to use them and the children are loving them so far.

The first thing I implemented was a “Blind Date With A Book” – I wrapped up 9 books, covering a range of interests and reading ability, and put these on display in the library. I’ve been doing this for about a year with the staff to encourage them to read more widely and it’s worked a treat with the staff, so I figured I might as well try it with the children. It’s amazing the feedback I’ve had from the kids! The kids are now being much more brave about the book choices they’re making because they’re learning not to judge a book by its cover!

Can you guess what any of the books are?

Over half term I also added around 60 books to our collection (thanks to publishers and my own collection!) of library books. Now this is A LOT of books to be adding, so to point children in the right direction, and give them some guidance about the kind of books that are appopriate for their age range/ability, I made some bookmarks. (These aren’t attached at the bottom of this post, but I will in due course!) These book marks have made a massive impact on the kids reading as they’re now aware of what’s new and want to talk to me about the new books they’ve read.

As you can see, there is a bookmark which also says “I’m exclusive”. I used that bookmark for proofs I had of books which were not even out yet and the kids are LOVING THAT. “Miss, how come you’ve got books even though they’re not out yet?” I’m very fortunate to be sent proofs by publishers, so passing them on to my kids so my kids can get joy from them makes my life 10x better!

A massive massive shout out to our wonderful BookBuddy, Lisa Thompson, who sent us this box of amazing books. Our kids have been poring over them and they are going down a treat. Check out my #BookBuddy post to find out more about the scheme!

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So there you go, post 1 of 2 (I think it may end up being more!) of ideas that I’ve started to implement in our school library!

What things do you do in your library?
What are your kids reading at the minute?

Talk to me in the comments and let me know if you’re going to use any of these ideas!

S x

Y6 SATS Survival

Yes, We’re getting to that time of year again.. SATs time.

Now, they don’t HAVE to be stressful. I know schools all deal with them differently. There is no right way for the collective, there’s only a right way for your school, for your kids.

For us, we bring the kids in early, ensure they get into school, have a good breakfast (there’s a full English offered to the kids every morning of the SATs) and some air before they sit down to do their tests. We find it works. The staff all help and there’s a brilliant sense of community built up. The kids all remember it too!

This run up to SATs can be stressful for everyone who works with Y6 (so everyone), but it’s amazing when you find a resource that works for your classMornings are a brilliant time to use for a bit of quick revision. When the kids are coming in, waiting for the register, that’s a brilliant bit of time that can be used.

Recently we’ve been using a few different Twinkl resources to help us with the time, using resources that are engaging and fun.

These powerpoints are a brilliant start of the day thing – slap them on the board, the kids work through them (you get 10 weeks of powerpoints – 5 slides per week, working on Arithmetic, Reasoning and Problem Solving). By the time the register is done, they’ve finished and you can go through it quickly. These have helped us find children who all have similar needs and can get support for them when necessary. Just like in Maths, there are SPaG morning PowerPoints which are great to use for some quick revision!

These Maths mats are great too! These can be put out and the children can just have a go at them straight away. They come in differentiated sheets too! (You’ll find these for all year groups from Year 1 to Year 6 for Autumn, Spring and Summer! They’re brilliant, we are a big fan of them!) Not only are there Maths mats, but there’s some excellent SPaG mats too! Again, like the Maths ones, these are differentiated AND you get the whole year. They all follow a similar pattern and kids very quickly get used to how they work. We have the answers printed out too and the children self mark, or peer mark. 

One of the things we’ve noticed recently is that pace of reading is something the children need to work on, so when we found that Twinkl were starting to do 60 Second Reads – focusing on different elements of reading – we were keen to give them a go to use these for some Guided Reading focus lessons. The kids loved doing the 60 Second Reads: WW2 cards, with some brilliant responses too! These fit in lovely with our WW2 topic. There’s a whole host of different topics out there in the 60 Second Reads!

These resources are all great, and they get the kids’ brains working through a short, sharp burst of revision. There’s a whole host of resources on Twinkl to help with SATs. There’s a load more that I’ve not mentioned too! There’s stuff for SPaG, Reading and Maths! What more do you need?

What resources do you help for your Y6 prep for SATs?
Do you have a go to website?
Is there anything for revision you’d like to see that you can’t find anywhere?

Talk to me! I’d love to talk SATs prep in different schools!

S x

Let me go home…

So I’m going back to my “host school” today and I can’t wait. I’ve had a week of training following half term and I am itching to get back into the classroom! 

I say host school, that’s what the people of the SCITT call it. For me, I call it “home”. It’s my school. It’s the school I went to as a kid, it’s the school I’ve worked at for the past 9 years. It’s very much a part of me. Part of the dream of being a teacher is being able to teach at this school. I’d love a teaching job at this school.

Being away from my school taught me a lot. I learned a lot on Second School Placement. Second School Placement was HARD. I can’t deny that for a second. I struggled a lot at times. There were times I wanted to just chuck the towel in. The behaviour at my second school was a total challenge at times, and it took me a while to remember that their behaviour choices weren’t a reflection on me as a teacher. They weren’t an attack on me. I had some really rough days at SSP. I also had some brilliant lessons. I had some really touching moments. The kids were a delight, the staff were brilliant with me. I felt very welcome.

I learnt a lot about being me, the teacher me, while I was away. I definitely think SSP helped me develop my sense of my Teacher Self, my teacher identity. My identity comes with my reputation, my history, at my school. At SSP, they didn’t know much about me, so I could be who I wanted to be, the me I wanted to be the most, the teacher I know I am. I’m looking forward to taking that teacher identity back to my school. If you were to ask me if I could put my finger on the parts of that identity that were important, I don’t think I could. I just developed that sense of “me” as a teacher being away from school.

My host school and my SSP have both been brilliant for me. Being in my comfort zone (Year 6, surprisingly) at my host school helped me to really go for it. Being well out of my comfort zone at SSP made me challenge my own thoughts, my own preconceptions about myself, education and teaching. I learned A LOT while I was gone. Some things I will take back with me because I thought they were incredible. The power of experiencing somewhere new is that you can see how things are done elsewhere and cherry-pick the things you want and leave behind the things you don’t think will work for you.

A lot of people will read this and think “she’s been in the same school for 9 years? And she wants to stay there? She must be crazy!” and possibly. I know I need to spread my wings. I know I will learn an awful lot by spreading my wings, second school placement proved that, but I also know that I’m not done learning in my current school. I’ve got an awful lot of learning to do still until July, when hopefully I will qualify.

The thing I love the most about teaching is you never stop learning. Regardless of if I’m at home, or if I’m somewhere else, spreading my wings, I never want to stop learning. I want to be constantly evolving and getting better.

S x

Some weeks are better than others…

Monday brings a reflection of the week gone and my word, what a week last week was.

If you didn’t already know, we had Ofsted in. I don’t have much to say about the experience, except it was stressful, frustrating, exhausting and tough. I did lots of teaching (as a student, I’m slightly different to the rest of the staff in terms of observations) and a lot of helping people out. I have very mixed feelings on Ofsted, but those thoughts are for another blog post in the future. There were some positives from the inspection, and some areas to think about. The one thing that is sticking out to me the most however is the absolutely incredible spirit of the brilliant people I work with. The amount of enthusiasm, effort and sheer joy we have every day for our school, our kids… it’s incredible. Find people you love working with, and it will make even the hardest of weeks bearable.

Besides Ofsted, there’s not been much going on. I went on a behaviour training day at a local primary school, situated in one of the most deprived parts of Newcastle. It’s always interesting to go somewhere else and see how they work there, so to see somewhere with similar issues to my own school was brilliant. I took away a lot of ideas and things to think about from the day – for me the best kind of day.

Yet again I’m poorly. This is week 3 of being poorly. It’s exhausting and just frustrating. I want to be better again, but I guess that’s not happening. I’m just hoping that it will all be OK soon!

I want to take a little minute to say thank you to anyone who took time this week to check in how I was. A massive thanks to Mr Johnson for asking me every day, it means a lot. I’m not great at looking after myself and finding ways to swich off, so to have people telling me to do so and checking how I am makes a difference.

So yeah, last week was hard for a multitude of reasons… Christmas in primary schools is lovely though. 

Thanks for sticking with me!

S x

Week 11…

So last week was a bit of a blur, mainly down to being pretty exhausted and poorly. Today’s round up isn’t going to be brilliant BUT there’s a few stand out things from last week! I’m feeling slightly better now (thanks NHS!) so hopefully this coming week will be better! 

I’ve been doing a bit of PE teaching the past few weeks and I’m still finding my feet with it to be honest. I’m not sure what makes a PE a good lesson, so I need to do a bit more reading about this (if you teacher types have any suggestions, I am all ears) but we have been doing Netball in Y6 – more specifically High 5. The first half of my lesson seemed to be a bit disastrous, but then by the end it got better. The kids seemed to really enjoy the lesson and my TA (who is just lovely) said it went really well! We were practising skills and then playing mini games. I have a PE observation this week (eeeeeeeeeeek) so I could do with all of the good luck possible!

I went down to Year 2 to help out as their TA was off poorly and I got to be involved in their book tasting session! It was lovely! If you’re interested in book tasting, I’ve written a blog post here: Book tasting…  The children seemed to really love it! I am hoping to do it in my next placements too!

My training this week was Writing training – we looked at using Literacy Shed and how to create a unit of writing. We looked at a video called Francis, and how to develop a unit of Ghost Stories from the video. I love a bit of English training – reading and writing are 2 of my favourite things to be involved in teaching! I also was lucky enough to go on a Maths course this week with the class teacher I am working with, centred around developing mastery and mastery with greater depth. I love Maths, number especially (I know, I’m a bit of a geek, deal with it)! There were some very interesting things to take from the course, as well as some encouragement to know that I am doing things right! 

Last week in 3 words? Exhausting. Tough. Fun.

So that was my week. Sorry it’s not as comprehensive as usual! I am still feeling quite under the weather, but I am happy to answer any questions you might have! 

S x

 

 

Maths week: Week 10

Last week was pretty mad at school! It was Maths week! Every subject is having a curriculum week and Maths was the first subject up! There was a whole load of activities going on, some I got to join in with, some I sadly missed out on! 

Monday was formal observation day. The head and the maths coordinator observed all of the KS2 teachers on Monday, just to see what was going on in all of the classes! I was lucky enough (ha?!) to get it to coincide with needing a formal observation, so I was more formally observed, BUT it went really well. The kids were really engaged! We were looking at multiplication of 3- and 4-digit numbers by a teen number, and we used a brilliant NRICH investigation at the end of the lesson, which really got them thinking. I will definitely be using that investigation again! I got some lovely feedback from my observation from both the Maths coodinator and the head teacher, so that was a great start to my week!

Keep your eyes on my blog over the next few weeks to see what Literacy we were geting up to in Year 6. I am so proud of them that it deserves a whole blog post to it!

On Wednesday, the parents and governors were invited in to see a Maths lesson too! At one point there were approx. 14 parents, the chair of governors (who is also our class governor), all 31 of my kids and the 2 adults supporting for my lesson, so that was a very full classroom! I am very lucky to have the support I do and I couldn’t get through my lessons if I didn’t have the amazing TAs I do! For Wednesday’s lesson, we were looking at negative numbers. I’d be telling lies if I said I wasn’t nervous at the prospect of parents coming in to my lesson, but it went well. I would even go so far as to say in future it’s something I would like to encourage. It’s important to build those relationships with parents! As ever, the kids were brilliant. The chair of governors had some lovely things to say about the lesson too, so that’s always great!

We also went on a trip to the Hatton Gallery, at Newcastle University. We have started looking at Pop Art in Year 6, so to coincide with this there is a brilliant exhibit on at the Hatton. We went and learned a bit more about Pop Art and then the children got the chance to produce their very own piece of Pop Art too! I’m hoping to make a display of their work, let’s see if I can find a board at school to use! 

This last week went over in a blur! I was poorly for a bit of it, and I am still a little poorly BUT I am definitely looking forward to the week ahead. This week I’m teaching more Maths, leading PE in Y6, on a Maths course, finally getting to observe a few other teachers, it’s Anti Bullying Week and we’ve got auditions for Christmas Play too! EEK.

This week: exhausting, draining, brilliant.

Don’t forget if you have any questions, I am more than willing to answer! Comment, tweet or message me! 

S x