Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Student Choice in Their Learning

Why do children love choice in their academic work, well they just do. Think about it  if your principal asked you to do something according to the book at precisely the same time each day, wouldn't you think it's time to change it up? Well it's the same with children. They need choice. 

When I first began teaching which was about 15 years ago, I taught according to the prescribed mode. That means Reading, Writing and Math were at particular times of the day and all class members had to do the subject as I saw fit. But that is how I was trained and that's the way I thought would work. For me I found this system draining and the children themselves did not enjoy the routine day in and day out. 

During my professional development time with a particular North Auckland School we were part of a school cluster which shared information and ideas. One day we had a day of lectures, workshops and teaching which we elected to do. One of these Lectures involved an Australian Principal who explained the way her students learned and teachers taught. Essentially the students dictated the learning. They choose the curriculum subjects and objectives they wanted to learn. The teachers became facilitators rather than teachers. The students called them by their first name.
So then in my classroom I decided to try and implement these ideas into my classroom. I photocopied a number of learning sheets and wrote down a number of topic ideas for the children to choose to complete by the end of the that period. Now remember this was radical teaching for me at that stage. How did it work? It worked pretty well actually. Yes there are those kids who are unfocused and don't complete all the learning material by a set point, but what it did is it gave students choice in their learning. The students themselves told me they preferred this method because they felt they had some sense of control. For me it was great in that the class were on task, doing topics they wanted to do first and then knew what to  do once they finished. 

Fast forward 10 years and what do I see? In many classes in Hastings at least, I see a number of classes who have combined together. That means two classes as one. The students design their timetable for the day and get on with their morning or day work. If I the teacher can help I do. Of course while independent learning is going on, the teachers take reading, writing and math workshops. This enables students to opt to take classes which they feel will aid them. 

The jury is out whether I like the two classroom idea. I prefer the once classroom idea really. There just seems to be bodies everywhere in this system. It's slightly easier for the teacher because it is two people planning the classroom learning. But sometimes it's nice of have control over what it is you want to teach students yourself and not give it up to another teacher. 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

New Math Resource for Pre-Kindergarten Kids

I was teaching in a Year zero or Kindergarten classroom the other day and luckily I was given heads up on what the teacher wanted to me to do. I made a couple of great one page printables where I taught the kids about healthy teeth. You can check out my page and download it for free in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. The actual post is in the previous post.

 Math Numbers Cut and Paste Activities.

But this got me thinking, I decided to focus some of my resource making on Pre-Kindergarten as the American's like to call it or Year One's as us Kiwis like to call it. I love puzzles and cut and paste activities. So I decided to do a bit of research and found ideas about how to make puzzles and cut and paste ideas work. I made the following math activity where kids cut out the pictures and paste them on a puzzle to cut and paste and then assemble. Sure at first it will be a bit of work for the kids, but after a few, they will get the idea.

At least I know have some resources for Math for kids this age in the future. I quite enjoyed teaching these little people and I am looking forward to teaching that age group again.

Now the behaviour of some of the kids in the other classroom was another story altogether and some day I will discuss that in future blogs. Thanks for being here and viewing my blog. You can check out the 20 page Cut and Paste puzzle activities here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Look After Your Teeth free worksheet

Hi, are you a teacher of very young children, or do you have little ones at home and you want to reinforce the notion that kids should look after their teeth, or they will get cavities and rotten teeth? Why not use the free sheet attached.

Print and have your kids cut and paste the pictures under the correct picture. It is pretty self explanatory. Have fun. This activity should take about 15 to 20 minutes with 5 year olds and that's
without coloring in.

Click on the link and it will take you to my shop for the freebie. Oh, and hopefully you'll take a sneaky look at my other products, fall in love with them and buy them. Ha, te he he.

Little Bo Peek and Humpty Dumpty Clip Art

I love making clip art and I made these on my Ipad Pro with an apple pencil. This set was made on procreate. I have used Illustrator and P...