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Panicking about the first week back!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by EBF, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    First day - settling in, set them fun tasks to find out where things are, setting your expectations, write the class rules together, singing, story telling and educational games.
    Next day - straight into it not totally full on. Build up on this until Monday then it's business as usual.
    Children like and need routines.
     
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Just to re-inforce this I've highlighted/ underlined part of Marshall's quote.

    And if you don't establish those routines/ expectations in those first few days, you'll find it harder to establish later on.
     
    hammie, pepper5 and Marshall like this.
  3. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    Get clear in your own mind what routines you want in place in terms of coming into class, register time, lining up, classroom monitors etc - really focus on getting those established first of all. I'd go very light touch on the other stuff and generally just focus on getting the structure of the day established - so if it's things like phonics time so this is how we hand out the whiteboards in our class, light touch of maths input and the like - more getting the structure and pattern of the day established than masses of curriculum content.

    I have one daughter who's the age in question and she wouldn't be able to succeed with a whole-class writing task at the moment - fine in a smaller group (she has some SN but not massively so), but if you looked at her data on paper in terms of being given a sheet of who was at what phonics phase and book band - you'd assume "yeah, will be fine to write where they went on their holiday"... but you'd get a pile of letters plonked on top of each other and probably going off around the page and over the table (I have the wrecked table cloth to prove this one)!

    They get "with it" very quickly but it's the year group I find probably the worst for the end of first day "oh how the heck am I ever going to get these kids to where they're meant to be - they're so young" feeling like you've been run over by a truck shock value! (Doubts if my own child will ever get beyond the stage of trying to stick her coat on her legs and pants on her head at present though!) My other child has just come out of Y1 and now believes they absolutely know everything about anything in the world!
     
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Your first paragraph is absolutely correct, but these two made me smile and chuckle to myself as I remember exactly how it is teaching year 1.

    They do write all over the table (but paper on a roll from IKEA and use that as a tablecloth!) and if you give them whiteboard pens to do so, love rubbing it off later as well!
    And yeps, your description of getting a coat on is exactly how it is! Getting a whole class changed for PE can take the entire lesson if you care that shorts are on the bottom and t-shirts on the top!
     
    Lara mfl 05 and (deleted member) like this.
  5. EBF

    EBF New commenter

    Thank you all so much for your advice. It is very much appreciated.

    Unfortunately or fortunately, both in many ways, my school doesn't follow any schemes anywhere in school, and as a result I have been unsure where to go but I feel more reassured now. I have mapped out a basic plan - or got some ideas for the year to tick off those curriculum areas but nothing set in stone.

    No offence taken @JosieWhitehead, admittedly I was at first and then after reading your later posts I am not. I understand it came from a good place and you were trying to help so thank you very much.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Yes, I certainly was. I taught in Colleges of FE, though, and it was quite normal to have our year's work mapped out in a scheme of work, and then we did our lesson plans to meet it, week by week, so that we knew we had covered the syllabus plus had time for past exam papers before the exams. It was obviously a different situation. I have spoken to others who have taught in FE and they all said: 'Yes, it was the same for us. The Head of Department wanted the Schemes of Work on her desk before we started.' I do wish you well and hope that you'll come back and tell us what a wonderful class you have and how you're enjoying your time with them.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    I remember when learning about AFL/formative assessment on my primary PGCE, the lecturer saying when it was first introduced as a ‘thing’, secondary/FE teachers had more of a culture shift than primary. Primary teaching by its nature is more flexible - you’re generally with the class all day, can spend an extra 10mins on maths and a little less on English one day if they really haven’t go something, or add an extra English in place of art to address a miscnception or whatever, very easily. Plus you know the kids really well, making afl much easier. Primary teachers had always tweaked lessons as necessary to address what pupils can’t do. In secondary, there is no flexibility in timetable, there’s an exam syllabus to be taught and teachers tended to just plough on and teach the syllabus, regardless of whether pupils had understood and were ready to move on. I have no idea if there’s any truth in it, but it seems to fit with what you’re saying? I imagine things have changed now, before any secondary teachers are up in arms that’s I’m accusing them of doing afl at all!
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. efm

    efm New commenter

    Over 20 years ago I was panicking about my first week back. Still am! (Think that means I still care?) All great advice, especially the routines. Seek advice but follow your instincts too x
     
  9. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I had subjects to teach from beginning to end and the end culminated in their exam, so I guess it wasn't so flexible for sure. However, it was important when dealing with adults and it led to examinations which would then lead to work. I used to visit the children in my local primary schools once a week, to generally help on a voluntary basis, as many retired people do. I thought it was nice that they found 5 minutes at the end of my time there for me to read the children a poem that I'd then written for them and to get immediate feedback. They said how they enjoyed just stopping for five minutes in their day, sitting cross-legged on the floor and to be carried into sometimes a world of fantasy and make-believe in the poems I wrote for them. In my own classes, for certain this wouldn't have happened, ha ha They'd probably be dreaming of boyfriends etc.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Same here!
     
    efm, Lara mfl 05 and (deleted member) like this.

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