16 August 2015

Reflecting on the first week

Amazingly the first day of school went fairly smoothly. We divided the fourth grade students into the two classes and headed into the building to get the day underway. I ended up with 18 students the first day, 19 on the second, and my full complement of 20 on the third day. I deliberately didn't plan to start core teaching on the first few days, but rather did some assessments (Mathematics number facts), getting to know you activities, and a couple of foundation lessons for beginning the Daily 5. There was plenty of read-a-loud time, and a good review of basic grammar, ready to start Write Rights next week (tomorrow).

My classroom wasn't completely set up on the first day, and I still haven't taken any photos of the classroom since 8th August, but here are a few that I took on the 8th, so you can see I was almost ready to get going on planning.

This wall is on the left as you walk into the room.

Starting to look more organized.

Yes, all the table tops were clear except for stuff to go to other places, and my backpack and lunchbox. Yay!

One of the two shelves behind my desk loaded with teacher resources.

This is the other shelf behind my desk. I love this one.
Those divided shelves make it much easier to keep folders upright.
I'll take some more photos in the next day or two showing what it looks like now the boards are up, and we've started using the room.

I have had one major challenge. A couple of days before school started, my new assistant decided that she didn't think she could work with me. I'm not going into reasons here, but it is partly my own fault for showing frustration when she didn't get something. A new assistant has been found, but is not going to be starting straight away, so for the next 3-4 weeks, I'm going to be managing on my own. I'm fortunate that my special needs student has her own assistant, and that young lady has been very helpful with a few things like escorting the students to and from lunch and recess. Others have also helped out in various ways, but there are limits. The other fourth grade assistant is going to be having very big Khmer classes until the new assistant comes, so I need to be very appreciative of her as well. I know that in Australia, having a full-time teaching assistant is probably unheard of, so I'm not complaining too much, but it is going to stretch me. At this point in time I've very glad I only have 20 students this year.

Now I've still got a few jobs to do before I can go to bed in order to be really ready for the coming week. so I'd better post this and get on with those jobs.

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