Difficult standard to pin down, particularly with the two schools I’ve had. I was looking through IEP’s a couple of weeks ago, and a class I recently picked up, I found out, has a boy with EAL. He seemed to speak fluent English to me, and didn’t seem to have any problem accessing the work, so I decided to speak to him.
He says he’s only spoken English for 2 years, which according to the info I’ve seen, isn’t really long enough to be completley unaffected, but when I asked him, he brushed it off, and when I offered to help etc. in any way I could, he was insistent that he can understand everything necessary, and based on his activity in lessons, I’d probably have to agree with him!
I had a boy in detention tonight, nicely arranged to coincide with a year 8 tutors meeting, but I got a letter from the boy’s mum asking if I could move it to a different night, so I had to phone up to discuss with her. We agreed to move it!!
Had last two year 9 sessions getting familiar with the test. I think they were all pleased to not have to go through that any more! Went through the feedback they recieved with small groups, but they’re largely not interested!! Strangely enough, the bottom (very bottom) set were more interested in it than the top set. They all struggled ridiculously with the searching task on the test. “It doesn’t have the answer” “it’s not here” etc. etc. Zero initiative, despite them spending every opportunity when they’re off-task surfing the internet, playing games etc. etc. Very frustrating!
Hmm, this entry could turn into a rant about frustrations…year 12 up next!
We’re doing past papers with year 12. The idea is, at home they answer a paper, in lessons as a group discussion we go through the paper with the mark scheme, see how they did and give them what they could have put to improve etc. All good in theory. Not the most brilliantly exciting lessons, but that’s the format they’ve decided on, and it should work. But this year 12 group is so unmotivated, decide to skip lessons, come with answers to the wrong paper, don’t participate in the discussion unless it’s dragged out of them etc. And worst of all, they don’t listen to the advice given, their answers are equally as wrong as the previous time, despite having gone through a virtually identical question previously. I’ve discussed it with both of the classes teachers, but we haven’t really come up with any good ideas. They’re just not taking it seriously!
Sounds a lot more formal than it was. I had a boy in lunchtime detention, who forgot to turn up. Unfortunately for him, I bumped into him and his mum after school (on their way to another meeting) so we discussed the situation, and the boy has agreed to make up the detention tomorrow! His mum gave me her full support. I don’t think he’ll forget tomorrow!
So taught the same lesson (roughly – some adjustments) to top and bottom sets this week. For our chocolate project, we were creating our financial model to work out costs and selling price of the chocolate bars. The top set, who are allegedly working at level 6+ were given less help, so they had the opportunity to work more independently, but with one exception had no clue what was going on. The normal teacher was despairing as well, which was good as it meant it wasn’t entirely down to my instructions! The next lesson would fall on the bank holiday so that means it’s another 4 weeks until their next lesson. It’s impossible to teach a class with this little contact. That’s 3 lessons in 8 weeks!
With the bottom set (there are only top and bottom sets incidentally) they were given a lot more assistance, templates etc. and…they still struggled. It’s not a problem of understanding, just lack of initiative. As soon as I reminded them anyone who hadn’t finished would be staying in at lunch time to finish, the work rate picked up remarkably. I still had three problems who didn’t do anything, so I had two of them back for lunch time detentions, and one after school, they all achieved more in the detentions than they have all year I think! The next lesson was supposed to be extending the model, but for quite a lot it will be finishing the basic version. Oh and the number of calculators being used…?!? About 50% of their ICT (at least) this year has been using Excel, and they still can’t associate with using formulae etc.
So it’s my week A cluster of year7 classes.
Into control on all of them now. Had quite contrasting experiences in all of the classes.
Monday’s class, I slightly overestimated how much they knew/had picked up about flowol’s workings and so my instructions weren’t really clear enough for them…which gave me a little extra work to do afterwards, getting everyone up to speed! They were all working at roughly the same pace though, which made it fairly easy to manage.
Tuesday morning’s class is a lesson behind, so we were on the first lesson of the unit. There was quite a lot of variation in this class, although they didn’t struggle as much as the other classes had on this lesson.
Tuesday afternoon…I really enjoyed. I adjusted my explanations as a result of Monday afternoon, and a large part of the class were very enthusiastic and engaged. The feedback I got from the lesson was based on how much they were actually learning and being pushed along, as several of the flowol tasks were repetitions of previous tasks. With this particular set there is also one boy who is working below level 4 and without any LSA support, so really need to think about differentiation. This is all something i’ll need to consider when doing this lesson with the tuesday morning group next time…
We were passed this guide, which basically goes through all the legal responsibilities, duties etc. of teachers. Bit scary. It’s duplicated in various documents sent by the many unions I seem to have joined. It’s important to know what’s required, but I don’t think you should get freaked out by it all…or you’ll be too scared to do anything! Let me at the school trips!
Thursday was tutor review day, so 15 minute appointments with members of my form and their parents, going through the academic report, evaluating targets set last year, and setting new ones!
Quite repititive really. I made a few contributions but mostly I was the scribe…writing down the targets, doing various bits of admin etc. Very interesting to meet all of the parents of my form, gives you an interesting new perspective on the pupils!
Today was supposed to be moderation day. Well it was moderation day, but I hit a deer last night and my car wasn’t in any state to be going anywhere!
Last day of term today. Just the one lesson – double year 8 before lunch.
Had planned the unit so that this lesson was a “fun” lesson (I keep telling my classes, all ICT lessons are fun! but they’re not convinced. We were designing labels for our chocolate bars. Not sure it was really that beneficial in terms of learning and what they achieved out of it, as their concern for things like who they were marketing to etc. seemed to be too much for them to take in on a day when all they wanted to do was “go on games…”