03 October, 2013

Turning the corner


Something happened this week.  Even though I've reached the end of my teaching week and I am ABSOLUTELY exhausted (I also subbed on Monday), something was easier this week.  I felt more relaxed, more in control, more like I wasn't an impostor!

This week was the end of the first unit for 3 of my grades...only one more week before we have a whole week off school.  And I'm really happy with the work being handed in, finished, photographed etc.

KG1 (3-5 year olds) have been doing a unit of relationships and behaviour, so we have been looking at both the relationships of different groups of people and the behaviours they have and also the relationships certain colours have and how they behave in a certain way when mixed together.   We did a lovely little class where I got them to explore with a bunch of cellophane windows that they made (choas, but the good kind).Then they experimented with 2 primary colours on a piece of paper to create some coloured paper.  This week they created a representation of their own family from people they had been cutting out of magazines (in the weeks past).  Lots of skills such as identifying, cutting, sorting and gluing. (and I love that someone chose the queen as grandma)
 KG2 (5-6 year olds) have been doing a unit about homes around the world reflecting local conditions.  We looked at houses and homes from all around the world: they created collages of their houses around the world.  We also talked about what their homes look like inside...what we do in our houses to make it a home.  We particularly looked at decoration, pattern, art, etc....and carpets (a big one in SG where the floors are mostly marble and people do have carpets).  The kids made their own carpets by decorating foam rectangles (yes, we did all the cutting, holes and tassels!)  They LOVED this exercise and were so excited to take their carpets home today...I wish the texta/marker didn't rub off every time we touched it (could have been solved by using sharpies but I don't know if I'd trust them with permanent markers!), BUT this was a great project (and my idea so I'm really happy about that).
We also designed tiles on paper squares and I was astounded by how well they got the whole concept of the pattern changing when we put tiles together.  Next week we will be decorating REAL tiles that will be installed behind the sinks in the art rooms (can you believe that they designed a new school with no splash backs on the art sinks).  FUN!!!!
Grade 4 are finishing up a unit where we looked at elements of composition in photography...the kids heavily used their ipads and produced an ebook at the end of the unit which showed what they learned. Quite an achievement for a not so techy person like me.  
My grade 1 class is still a bit of a struggle for me...I have to go to their class room, which means heavily modifying what we are doing in the unit (no paint as they have carpet in their rooms!).  And somehow this week I totally lost what they did last lesson.  I have NO IDEA where it went!  That's the problem with being in 5 different class rooms in 3 days with no real breaks in between!  
But it is better.  I know more kids names, I feel like I can do it, I can get a class of 21 4-5 year olds to listen to me. Not to say I'm not looking forward to having a rest day tomorrow.  I've put my name down to sub on my days off going forward, but tomorrow I'm taking a day off!

Oh, and I also used a skill that has been on the shelf for a while this week.  I spoke Norwegian to 4 of my students.  2 KG1s (1 Norwegian and 1 Swedish) who had been totally un engaged with my classes so far.  The difference with speaking to them in a language they could understand was PHENOMENAL!  2 other Swedish girls in Grade 4 suddenly engaged with me and really made an effort.  They loved it when I told them that I had been in their position..in a class in Norway with no Norwegian.  It felt great.  Now I just need to learn Russian, French, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Malay, German, Spanish, Chinese........


  1. Well the teaching profession is somewhat different to when I was a school teacher or student...or is it just Singapore? Anyway good stuff. But never forget it is still only a job.

  2. Lovely to turn the corner and not go around the bend.
    Maggie XXXX

  3. that's greta news George. Love seeing and hearing what you get up to with your teaching. Loved the Vietnam pics too. Hoping I get back there again but I must admit I have so many other places on my list Id love to go....

    1. Viet Nam whether Hanoi or Saigon based surely has to be up there, but yes I acknowledge I am biased...Barcelona, Prague, Delhi... nah a BaBaBa in Saigon...

  4. Lucky students! Jeg skulle ønske Herman hadde en sånn lærer som deg da han begynte på internasjonal skole i Kenye og følte seg helt utenfor. Så flink du er!

  5. Well done, that's all very impressive. Sorry just catching up after a busy week last week. mum xxx


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