This week I continued with teaching numeracy and taught my first phonics and literacy sessions. While I feel my teaching was an improvement on last week, there is still a lot that I can improve on. Firstly, I still need to be more active and engaging with the children. It has been difficult this week to really be as energetic as I can having come down with something horrific, but it was certainly noticeable that when I managed to man up and carry on, it made a big difference to how the children react. The more of a conscious effort I make to improve this, the more natural it will come across and more readily it will be a part of my teaching persona with the children. The thing is, the more I have to think about what I'm doing, the less focus I have about the little things in the class, so it's a delicate balance as I continue to learn. I'm totally full of respect for Key Stage One teachers, it's a much more physically demanding role I would say, as you really have to put on a performance for the children. Either that or be totally crazy!
The second improvement I need to make is to be much clearer with my objectives. I have already planned for next week’s literacy and started with a ‘Can do’ statement of sorts that will enable me to focus on what it is I want the children to have learned by the end of the lesson, and I can use this objective to differentiate my class more effectively. I think my problems recently have come from confusing myself with a plethora of objectives that are too vague, owing mostly to my lack of confidence with the level of differentiation involved.
Speaking of which, differentiation is my final target for teaching development for the next 5 days, as this week I have struggled to differentiate the class effectively, losing sight of the objectives and not making them clear and explicit to the children. Instead of working from the generic objectives, I should use them as a guide to produced a focussed objective or two from which I can target the learning effectively and hence the assessment will consequently be much easier. Again, it's simply confidence. I'm relying on other sources to help and trying to cover so many bases, but by doing so I'm just losing track of what's important.
On Thursday I taught my first KS1 PE lesson, which I thought went really well. The children were acting as stars on a catwalk, using the various apparatus as precarious catwalks before turning and posing for the waiting paparazzi. They were able to get feedback from the pictures taken around the room as well as peer assessment – I asked children to pick out someone they saw doing something different and interesting. After a fairly difficult week, this really picked me up again. PE isn't one of my strongest subjects, so it's something I've targeted specifically as getting better at. Later in the day, I went to observe a KS2 PE session – Hockey outside – with the aim of taking a group next week with a specific focus. This is an ideal opportunity to reflect on and improve what I learned from KS2 outdoor PE in Y3 placement and I’m looking forward to it. I'm sure by the end of placement I'll be more than happy to take PE whatever the level of the children!
I'm really looking forward to the coming week, and it's an attitude I really should have had from the start. I'm not saying that I've been dreading every day at all, quite the opposite, but after reflecting on my practice this weekend I think that week 3 will be when I really kick into gear and fix what I'm doing wrong. I'm adamant.