Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Bad Dog!

My dog has blagged two dinners tonight!  I fed her before going out at dinnertime, then she kids on to my husband  that she's not been fed (pawing and drooling like she's starving!) and he feeds her again!  Sneaky!

ICT in English

On Tuesday had a great lecture on ICT in English by Trevor Millum, who is a former Director of NATE (National Association for the Teaching of English).  His ideas on how to use ICT interactively were fantastic and I think I've probably got ideas for serveral lessons already out of that lecture.  I really loved the brick wall idea, where you use the highlight to block cover words making a brick wall effect, and then randomly uncover the words to try and guess the context of the text.  He used it with a food label on a tin of cadbury's hot chocolate.  As we uncovered the blocks we were guessing - is it a recipe?  Is it a poem?  Is it an instruction manual?  It was really difficult to ascertain what type of text it was for ages!  Pure genius!  I also loved his way of taking a poem and sorting it by alphabetising the content.  You were then left with an amount of random words in alphabetical order and you can make of them what you wish. You can then ask pupils to sort words, ideas from this, perhaps make up their own phrases, lines of poetry.  Quite often the ideas from the original poem would surface!  It was all really inspirational stuff, and very practical and achievable too.

2nd Placement

On Friday I visited my 2nd placement school for the first time.  I had a very enjoyable but tiring day.  The school seems quite similar to my first placement in demographic although it is much bigger, and all the classes have more pupils in them.  Not sure yet what I will be teaching them, but it looks like I may have to do some more of the dreaded poetry with the 2nd years and maybe the 1st years as well.  I really must get to grips with my fear of the poetic!  I would happily talk about any novel or play till the cows come home, but poems are problematic for me!  I think it's just a mental block thing.  Sometimes I read a poem and think wow! and sometimes I think what a load of pretentious twaddle.  Anyway I think I will just keep it simple and do a lot of related activities that don't have to rhyme!  I honestly dont hate poetry per se, I'm just very selective about what I like and what I "get" without having to try too hard.  Crikey, I hope nobody from the English department reads this!

It's such an unusual position isn't it?  Being parachuted into a department and having to hit the ground running, gauge your colleagues, fit in to the order of things, not get in the way, be useful and interested but not too needy and demanding.  I've had various jobs in the outside world, ie not in education, and I think I'm pretty experienced in the art of fitting in with work colleagues, but teaching is a whole new ball game.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to starting afresh on Monday, and being prepared for a lot of hard work over the next few weeks.