03 December 2010

A full week

It's been a while since I've actually had a 5-day school week, and I have to admit that it was really good to have it this week. It was great to get back into routine, and to be able to follow through with various activities with the children.

This afternoon, it was jigsaw puzzle time. Each Friday we have time set aside for "Fun Friday". This is mostly a reward to students who complete all their homework and classwork on time, but occasionally we do other things. The last time we had the jigsaw puzzles out some of the students discovered that one puzzle was missing a piece! Oh no. That was not what I wanted to hear. Not that they were particularly expensive, but 48 & 100 piece children's puzzles are not that easily available here, so I was not happy for a piece to be lost after only a few months. So today I told the children we needed to make ALL the puzzles, and make sure we were very careful about putting all the pieces away in the correct bag. Well, they did a great job. We didn't get them all finished before school finished, so I stayed in the classroom to make sure we didn't accidentally when the cleaner came through, while Mr Dy took the children downstairs to go home. A short time after he had gone, the cleaner came it, and was captivated by the puzzles, and sat down at the hardest puzzle of the lot to help put it together. Meanwhile I'd finished two puzzles. The first had a piece missing, but fortunately I found it when I finished the second one and had a piece left over. Hooray. Only 3 to go now. I was working on the next one when Mr Dy came back to the classroom, and settled down to work on another challenging puzzle. I tackled another that was partly finished, only to discover 2 pieces missing. OK, Mr Dy have you stolen my puzzle pieces? No. Are you sure? Let me look? Hooray, found them! Another puzzle complete. Two to go. Mr Dy was next to finish, so then we all worked together on the final puzzle. It was so much fun to do this with Mr Dy and the cleaner. I'm not good at names, but she was really happy when we finally finished it (and she had done quite a bit of it), although she did tell Mr Dy it made her head hurt! Hooray. I can happily report that there are no pieces missing! The children will be very pleased to hear that on Monday morning.

So as well as Jigsaw Puzzle Friday, we had a packed week. Today was Gr 3-5 assembly, which went well. On Tuesday we had music for the first time in a month or more, and on other days we also had all the "Specials", including swimming! Brrrrr!!! The water was the coldest I've felt it. Once I got moving around it was OK, but some of the kids were shivering. The pool gets very little sunlight, and the weather has been rather windy lately as well, so it was definitely cool. Yes, we even did some learning. In Language Arts we're working on Persuasive Writing, which is really interesting. Getting the children to come up with reasons for things to be different is really challenging. The whole idea of questioning "why" you do something seems to be culturally not done. We'll keep working on it though. In Mathematics we continued working on our Multiplication Facts, so we now only have one fact left to learn. I love teaching facts using Number Sense, because the children discover how easy it really is, and with the strategies we teach now, it's not so hard to learn the facts. Some people might think you have to learn 110 multiplication facts (0 to 10), but in reality you only have to learn 66 facts. Why because if you know 2 x 8, then you also know 8 x 2! I love it!

Oh, that's right, we also had a staff meeting on Thursday afternoon, and on Wednesday afternoon I finally bought a cupboard to store my teaching resources in, so I could use the bookshelf they were on previously for the classroom library. Now I can go and buy some more books! Yay! Then this morning I had an observation by the principal of part of my Language Arts lesson. Looking forward to receiving her feedback on that. She will come back sometime soon to see a Math lesson where I have the whole class rather than just half.

Well it's time I headed for bed. Hope you enjoyed this reflection on a "normal" week. Normal weeks are good, even if I am rather weary by the end of them. In His strength!

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