Saturday, May 31, 2014

I Want To Talk About 'Houses'.

Not our lovely houses that we all escape to each afternoon when school is done, the students have gone home, our desks are tidied (well some of ours are...), devices are charging, chairs are up, student work displayed, whiteboard turned off, doors locked, things picked up off the floor and for me balls are picked up in the yard and all those other things we do most nights before we head home but I digress!

I want to talk about introducing 'houses' at Epsom PS for the first time in our history. And that is exactly why I want to introduce houses - to start a new chapter in our history. There are discussions to be held about houses creating a competitive atmosphere, there are discussions to be held about houses promoting a sense of belonging and there is the nitty gritty to work out like colours (please not red), names and symbols down the track. How exciting to be changing the course of history at Epsom PS.
Tristan found an interesting little book in the teacher reference library. It is full of great ideas for house names.
Would love to hear your thoughts.....

Friday, May 9, 2014

I Like To Skip......

With Epsom PS participating in Jump Rope For Heart this year (last time we participated was 2000 when our current grade 4 students were in Prep) we have been lucky to not only have the National Field Officer visit our school from Sydney but to also have a pro skipping team visit from Eaglehawk North PS. It has been difficult 'watching' all this from afar and hearing snippets all too few. I love the act of skipping - I think it takes me back to childhood pleasures of skipping along void of any adult stress and pressure. From the school's perspective it easily meets AusVELS and is not expensive especially when some fabulous resources come form the Heart Foundation. Win/win! I have been planning a great day to act as our grand finale - our 'Jump Off' where I hope that children will participate in demonstrations to the school community, rotational activities and an awards ceremony.

I would love to hear what you have been doing with your class or what you have seen our in our school yard?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I Organised A School Event.....

Last Friday I organised my first whole school event (not counting the Dahlia & Arts Parade) as the new P.E. teacher. 
The day started with a normal literacy block, recess, walkathon, parent cooked BBQ lunch and then nine rotational activities in the afternoon with multi age groupings.

Luckily the weather gods were on our side and the oval was looking brilliant in it's green glory. I was super organised and got in early to book some SEDA (Sports Education Development Australia) students who were very switched on: helping in classrooms, assisting during the walk and then running their own activities in the afternoon. This helped immensely. I also timed the Grade six students and the prep students a few weeks ago so I could decide on a timeline of events. I was very pleased with the timing of the entire day.

There were so many positives from the day including watching students persist with the walk along the bike track, eating their BBQ lunch with parents who came to watch, help or participate; as well as seeing the colour and noise of 180+ students engaging in physical activity. But the biggest plus for me was seeing the multi-age groups in action. Watching the older students assist the younger ones, encouraging them with You Can Do It terminolgy and keeping them with the group when moving to the next activity. Fabulous!

So a big thank-you to the teachers who all worked very hard running their activities and to the parents who organised the water and BBQ.

Friday, February 28, 2014

I work 4 days.....

Well actually like all parents I work 7 days a week but I am in paid employment for 4 days per week this year. The week goes so fast with Thursday now becoming my Friday. At the risk of rubbing it in a little as I know there are a couple of jealous mums (well a tiny bit anyway) in the staffroom, I actually underestimated what an impact working 4 days would have on my life outside of school - I didn't think 1 day would make a big difference! The 4day/3day split seems to have doubled the amount of time that I have on my weekends now - not sure how that happened? My household runs so smoothly, the washing is up to date and I am not spending my Sundays cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping. Bliss! The best bit is with my big cherubs at school, Fridays are all to myself to plan however I like with no sporting events to run them to, no board games to play and the best bit....I can go to the hairdressers during the day which is what I did today along with starting an inspiration book on 'The Davey Reno 2014!'

And what does this have to do with reflecting on professional practice? It makes me a happier teacher!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I work outside.......

I didn't realise what a joy it was to spend most of my day outside and I didn't realise how very tired I would be every night after school. Being out in the elements is so different to being inside your own classroom decorated to your own taste. I don't get much of a say in how my 'outdoor classroom' looks but I do get to look at the sky, the trees and happy, energetic children wearing red.
I am still educating my students on my 'outdoor classroom' and finding verbal and non-verbal strategies that fit in with the noise of the trucks that drive by! Don't get me wrong though - I am enjoying every single moment of it....including the PE paperwork. Not sure if I will still feel this way in winter, time will tell.
This week in PE we have been working on our bicep muscles as well as sharing, in the junior grades so what better teaching resource to pull out than the parachute. Oh what fun we had alongside of our learning this week with lots of giggles and much energy used. 

What is the best part about the space that you work in?