Placement Journal/Reflection – Week 2

This week I just decided the do a weekly wrap up, because well quite frankly I have forgot what I did on what day 🙂

I continued with the daily routines as well as picking up my teaching load.

I focused on number patterns eg: 10-11 all have a 1 at the front etc. I also continued with my data handling where the students created their own graph using the birthdays from the class. We first created tally marks on the board as a class with a numbers to represent the tally marks. As a class we created a large version of what their graph would look like, they then moved back to their table and finished their own (See image below).



I was introduced to number bingo … It is so much fun, the students love it!


<<—– This is the sheet which the students get (1/4 of an A4) The students select from a variety of numbers (e.g. 10-20; because we we focusing on number patterns and getting them to write 15/12 etc in the write order.

Once students have written all numbers, the teacher stands out the front and calls our numbers; students can then cross off one number at a time (e.g if they have 11 written more than once they just cross 1 off at a time)

Students yell bingo when all of their numbers are crossed of, students can then come and call the numbers for you 🙂

Maths was my main focus I also continued with Jolly Phonics as well working with them with our Narrative; Fairy Tale unit. I used cloze exercises for literacy as well as discussions about the characters from the story.


My relationship has continued to grow and they are getting a lot more comfortable with me being the teacher in charge in the classroom. I am continuing to develop behaviour management strategies which the students enjoy while also being them to attention [most of the time :)]

I created a basic table for marking their number formation, adapted from Pinterest link
Instant Data

I used the table to see what numbers the students really were struggling with.



My university supervisor said to me after observing me
‘This may sound scary .. but you look like a teacher!’

This definitely wasn’t scary, I think if I was told if I didn’t look like a teacher that would be scary!!

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Placement Journal/Reflection- Week 1

So I have just completed my first week for my final year placement – if I am going to sum it up in a few words, it is fair to say ‘It’s been AWESOME!

But I suppose soon as this is a blog post which I will be using to help me reflect I think I may need to write a few more words than that.. So this is how my week unfolded …


We had a student free day @ school so we had some professional development as a team
Our staff PD focused on affective sentences and restorative justice. We also looked at sites like KidsMatter for information that could be used to assist parents.


This is an example of what an affective statement looks like – All the steps are assigned a behaviour which could occur if that step is missed.

This day for me was brilliant, not only seeing the types of PD days that schools may run as a staff, but for someone coming into the profession, it was very helpful.


The kids came back to school today, and were very excited to be there 🙂
I only took Jolly Phonics on tuesday so that I could be slowly eased into the routine and teaching.
Staff meeting followed at the end of the day where Student Support Plans were the focus. Once again for me this was helpful to see how it all works; it was also helpful because I got to see how the teachers and the school as a whole differentiates – As part of Flinders I have to completed a differentiation portfolio while I am on my placement.


Wednesday was definitely a bigger day for me in terms of teaching load.

I began a new unit with them where I introduced narrative and in particular fairy tales.
We focused on The Gingerbread Man for the week. My first lesson we focused on a cloze exercise which followed a story as as well strategies they can use to read a word if they were unsure.
We completed the cloze as a class first so that I could scaffold their learning, then the students moved back to their desks and completed their own.

— I was happy with how this lesson went and the majority of the students could work alone with minimal help/supervision.

I then moved into jolly phonics with them.

After recess we had fun and games and a computing lesson which my mentor teachers lead and I assisted along with the SSO.

After lunch it was all me again. I continued to work the my narrative: fairytale unit – this time we focused on the characters; firstly what is a character then we moved into emotions.

This lesson we used De Bonos Red Thinking Hat: Feelings to think about how the character  of the little old lady from the gingerbread man would’ve felt at certain points of the story.

I used emotion cards to help the students identify some of the emotions.
Blank Face

 I also used this time to have a mini art lesson to where we focused on how to draw faces e.g.: We need to draw the detail now; eyebrows, eye lashes, teeth etc.

I split the class up into their table groups and assigned each table an emotion to draw into the faces.

The students loved this lesson which I was very happy about. Here are their finished products…


Next thing the students had finished their faces so it was time for me to think on my feet..
I decided to take the students outside for a game of fruit salad with a twist; instead giving the students a fruit, they were the characters from The Gingerbread Man.
– The Gingerbread Man
– The little old lady
– The little old man
– The Fox

They loved this .. I also integrated some maths into the game with clockwise and anticlockwise as we are currently completed a maths unit on clocks.
To finish the day we just closed with sharing

So I went to taking 1 lesson being Jolly Phonics to taking 2/3 of the day .. I loved it 🙂


This was another big day for me again, I started a new mini unit for maths.
We started learning about graphs and what they are used for.

As a class we used 4 different types of cookies (including a gingerbread man 😀 ) to create a class pictograph.


Students picked their favourite cookie type – coloured it in, and stuck it on our class graph.. Here is our final graph, we then discussed the results as a class


I will be continuing this unit. We will be making our own graphs next week 🙂

I also took Jolly Phonics lesson: which was ‘sh’ – the following pictures shows our task 🙂


The students had sport and art after lunch so I had some planning time with the 2 reception teachers.


My mentor teacher was out from recess till there was an hour left of the day so I had my school supervisor observing me for that period. It was definitely interesting to see the difference of how the students acted when their teacher wasn’t in the room.

They were testing me so I taught them a new rhyme to make to stop

‘Hands on Top’ (teacher)
‘That means stop’ (students)

This worked great .. It got them to stop fiddling when I was talking.

I took them for maths – Days of the week and counting up to 20 and backwards from 10 .. (I also threw in a bit of clockwise and anticlockwise for a little teachable moment as we were sitting in a circle) The students played snakes and ladders so practice their counting and for some fun..
But then the real fun began .. We made gingerbread men!!
The dough was already made and rolled for them so they cut them out and used raisins for their eyes.

Throughout the rest of the we iced our gingerbread men and decorated them with sprinkles… completed a ‘ch’ booklet that they could take home.

We then watched the gingerbread man on the IWB.. That didn’t take as long as I thought so once again thought on my feet (lucky I am good at it!) and we had a bit of fun with drama. The students walked around the room showing me an emotion.. We used the same emotion as our face drawing task earlier in the week. We then simply finished off the day with some sharing to relax the students.

And that is week one done. I am feeling confident and I have had discussions with my mentor teacher after every lesson run of things that I could try to improve on .. These include lowering my voice for instructions and reinforcing good behaviour once I have asked them to behave a certain way.. Which I began doing the lesson after anyway 🙂

I say bring on the next 5 weeks .. I’m loving it 😀

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Pre-Final Placement Thoughts

So tomorrow I begin my 6 week block for my final placement for university…

There is many thoughts currently going through my head as well as emotions which keep changing and freaking me out quite frankly.

Nervous; Excited; Scared; Overwhelmed; Curious…
These are a few of the the emotions I am feeling right now.

Last years placement saw me in a year 6/7 class.. I was TERRIFIED at first.. The thought of teaching upper primary was daunting to me. However; I ended up being so comfortable teaching them, I formed relationships with the students, I didn’t want my placement to end with them, I wanted to stay in that classroom teaching them.

So right now with me about to go into a Reception class – which is on the opposite end of the spectrum of what I will qualified to teach. Right now after experiencing year 6/7 last year, Reception is now the daunting year level for me. I am thinking that once I get into the classroom and take upon the role of the teacher and I am in the class day after day I will feel a lot more comfortable..

So here is to wishing myself luck; and I will hopefully be updating my blog along the way 🙂

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Spreading the word … #teachersinspire

I began this hash tag a few months ago now and I want to spread it further and have a lot more people frequently using it. I have had discussions via twitter of suggestions how I can do this.

The main purpose for #teachersinspire is to allow educators to share and locate inspirational material in one place on twitter.


See my blog post #teachersinspire for more details.
To explain it the simplest way, it started from sharing quotes and moved from there.
@Melissa a graduate from Flinders University (’12) suggessted creating an original hashtag , which I thought was brilliant!


Personally I love being inspired I mean who doesn’t…
People I follow on twitter, and I am sure there is thousands more to which I am not yet following, are constantly sharing inspirational material which of course inspire me, open my mind and make me think.

I created #teachersinspire because I thought it would be great to contain all inspirational tweets related to education in one place.


Since I started the # it has slowed down and I wanted to speed it up again and get lots of people using and sharing it.

Everyone has those days where you just feel down and need a pick me up or a little something to inspire you. No ideas coming into your head when it comes to finding new ways to engage your students? I want #teachersinspire to become a place where you can go to help you with all of these; whether lesson ideas, videos, images, something which sparks something and simply inspires you.


After having discussions on twitter with @Selena and @Jacqui my brain was ticking.
Jacqui was keen to help me spread the world and suggested sharing this # with CEGSA
Selena suggested having a frequent forum; where topic can be discussed.

I frequently try and involve my self with such forums such as #21stedchat – #futuristex and #ntchat

These are a great way for educators around Australia .. even the world, to share and discuss ideas in one place. Previous discussions in the # listed above have inspired me and get me thinking in the past, so why can’t my # do that exact same thing.






























Keep an eye out on twitter for updates on the #teachersinspire chat and please join in!

Jess 🙂


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Staff Meeting 19th Feb

So I attended the staff meeting as I usual would when at my placement school on a Tuesday.

At the beginning of this staff meeting we watched a video – By @SirKenRobinson – which is always amazing and inspiring.

The following video is the one that we watched during the staff meeting.

Changing Education Paradigms

After watching this video one of the teachers said she had watched the next edition to the video (which I am still looking for) in which he compared the school system to McDonald’s. So let me explain what was meant by this..

McDonald’s is a chain ‘restaurant’. It has the same menu at every store you go to no matter where the location

Now compare McDonald’s to a 5 star fine dining restaurant – These are not mass produced and are unique, they have various menu selections and specials which are constantly changing and being redeveloped.

Now to look at the education system – One system for all; whether Australian Curriculum or IB/PYP (framework used in conjunction with the Aust. Curric)/ But do all students fit one? No, there will never be a school let alone a classroom where everyone learns in the exact same manner.


For example; you need an assessment piece for English and your classroom has been focusing on story writing. Should you get every single student to sit at their desk and write there story from left to write line after line – Or could we think of other ways.

If handwriting is not part of your assessment why must they hand write a story?

Some students can express a story verbally in detail using plenty of description to enhance their story; however, as soon as it comes to writing in down, they lose it, they don’t know how to get their thoughts onto paper.

How about record the child telling a story for their English: story assessment piece. They could write down some basic notes to help themselves if they liked, or maybe they would just like to tell you the story.

Remember – Ask the students how they learn and communicate best.
Personally I know I am a visual learner. I can not sit and listen, I need something visual to assist me.


For example: Last year (2012) I undertook Earth Sciences @ Flinders. I sat in a lecture theater listening to people tell me all this information with the help of some diagrams. I passed the topic but I do not think to the best that I could of.

Shortly after the topic had finished i series regarding Volcanoes and the Earth aired on Discovery. I LOVED IT! I understood what was being said and I was engaged and interested – more importantly I remembered and was able to explain to other people; however, I could not in my exam.


Image found @


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Summer School; Pro’s & Con’s

Over this summer; 2012/2013 I attended summer school through CDU.

I was recommended to do summer school so I didn’t have to over load during my last semester of my final year with the topic I had to catch up on.

The topic was Teaching Indigenous Studies.

The was many pro’s and con’s to attending summer school – below I have listed them.



I was able to work at my own pace up to the assignment submission date.


I found it very hard not having face to face contact with my tutors. Yes you could exchange emails; but sometimes you need that face to face time to understand what is truly being said – Plus you don’t have to wait as long for their reply.


I missed being surrounded by peers to bounce ideas off of one another and to get help and advice on assignments. There was a chat board but it really isn’t the same.


There was weekly readings; and I will admit I didn’t do these. I missed going to tutorials each week and having discussions with teachers and peers. Once again this was available online in a similar manner; but it was more a read and respond board than a discussion board.


After reflecting on the process on summer school I notice I have more con’s than pro’s. However, the pro is a high one, because summer school is over the Christmas holidays I was able to work study in and around all my holiday plans and work.

In my case it was worth attending summer school instead of overloading because I want to enjoy my final year and more specifically final semester of my uni experience.

If anyone was to ask me if they should do it I would get them to ask themselves if they think it would benefit them; and hopefully my pro’s and con’s help others in the future.


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So I have been on twitter for a while and towards the end of 2012, I have become a lot more involved with all things education. Thanks to an awesome teacher @ Flinders University – Selena Woodward 🙂 ( @teachertechnol )

I have been chatting with educators around Australia and around the world! It has been an eye opener as to how twitter can help educators.

So Saturday night I was posting inspirational quotes and images.


2After some sharing and discussions Melissa (@MelissaMulh ) suggested making a new hash tag so everyone can share inspiration with each other.

LOVE IT! Such a good idea – Thanks Melissa!

So brainstorming began, turns out there is already some hash tags revolving around this idea, so I had to find an original one#

#teachersinspire was born 🙂

At the moment it is still a baby and growing with only a few people using this hash tag. I am hoping it will eventually take off so that educators on twitter can share their inspiration with everyone 🙂


It is my final year at Flinders!! Through out this year I am endeavouring to print and post similar quotes and images that I will be posting on twitter and stick them up around the education building. I am hoping to get pre-service teachers thinking beyond the university walls and to explore what else there is to offer, because it isn’t all about text books, the best teachers teach from the heart.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins


Below are some of the tweets that are using #teachersinspire already 🙂

7 3 4 5 6

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