I've been a big slacker this week so far, haven't I? I'm just trying to get adjusted to my new schedule, and I haven't been on the computer much. I've been trying to keep up with my workouts, which requires much effort, and then I just feel like vegging with Patrick - I haven't been in much of a mood to write. Tonight I will make the effort! I confess, I haven't taken many photos either - okay, none actually since stage started. Tsk, tsk, shame on me. But there is very little light and motivation this week, especially since my concentration is elsewhere.
Stage so far has been pretty good. I have a delightful group of grade one students, and a really good cooperating teacher. The class follows a program called "The Daily 5" which encourages literacy independence. Essentially, students pick from five different reading or writing activities and spend two intervals of twenty minutes doing these tasks independently (or as independently as possible for their age and for this early time in the school year). They can read by themselves, read with a partner, or do writing, brain or listening activities. While all this is going on, a small group of students are conferring with the teacher, which is a time to check up on how everyone is doing and carry out assessment. It works very, very well, and the students are actually excited to read!! I am really excited about the program actually and want to do it in my classroom in the future. I'm just not sure if you have to actually apply to be a part of the program or if any teacher can do it - I still have to get a bit more informed about that. If you want to find out more information, go to the website and it will tell you what you need to know. I'm in the process of reading their book which my CT lent to me, but I will be purchasing my own copy shortly as it is an invaluable classroom tool.
Other than that, I am still in the early stages of the field experience, so I haven't started doing any teaching yet, although today I brought them to library by myself, and then read them a story. I find I need to work on projecting my voice more because they don't all immediately listen when I attempt to get their attention. The teacher obviously has a lot more experience in that domain... also, I find it's a delicate balance between shouting and being assertive, and I'm still trying to find the right mix. They are testing me big time, of course, as they know that I am not the real teacher and they don't take me entirely seriously yet. Overall, though, I think things are going fairly well and I am loving grade 1. They are not as "baby" as I imagined they would be. They are pretty good, in my opinion, but I guess it's all relative when you start comparing different grades and different schools.
I just found out that my friend Tania got engaged over the weekend!! I'm so happy and excited for her, and she might even get married next summer if all goes as planned. I will be very, very busy in terms of weddings next summer... Oh my God! I am booked as a bridesmaid twice, then Tania's wedding, and probably our friend Mike too (although I'm not sure if that has been confirmed). It will be a lot of fun I'm sure but I'll have some schedule arranging to do.
Alright, well, I'm going to have a coffee and unwind - catch up on some reading and scrapbooking. I'll leave you with a photo that represents what's on my mind lately (it's a section of the QEP, short for the Quebec Education Program)...