Sunday, 29 March 2009

Mossgiel Ploughing Match

I got up early (the new 8am - yesterday it would have been 7am!) and got a few hours work done so I could go and see the Ploughing Match at Mossgiel, Mauchline. It was a lovely sunny day - but I was glad I had gone in the morning as the wind picked up later and it got really cold.

I really enjoyed it -there were quite a lot of entires in the ploughing match - and also stalls, food (including haggis, porridge & an entire spit roasted pig) and vintage tractors, etc. And there was a birds of prey display ...

Although I had got really cold at the Ploughing Match, by the time I got back to Ayr I was warmed up, and it was still such a nice day (& I was celebrating end of placement) that I headed down the coast to Culzean and spent a few hours walking round the gardens.

Now I'm trying to catch up on the rest of my write-ups....

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Peaceful evening in Ayr

I've had a lovely day. Woke up early and got some of my 'post placement' work written up ready to hand in on Monday. Then I headed off up the road to visit my wee nephew. Had a lovely time playing with him in the house and out at the park (it was cold!!!), followed by a fish supper for tea, then headed back down to Ayr. It's a lovely, peaceful evening - I got back in time to catch the last light in the sky and the crescent moon above Arran. Now I'm sitting typing up more notes from my placement ready for handing in on Monday. I'll be spending a lot of tomorrow doing the same thing I think...

End of placement

I really enjoyed my last day with the class. It turned into a real fund day for them as they had swimming, and it was their last swimming lesson so it was a fun session with the floats.

Then it was back to school and some language work, before the "topic party" - celebrating our Scotland topic and my last day all together. They had taken it really seriously - some of them brought clothes to change into (tartan dresses or party dresses!) and they had rehearsed their entertainment. One of them had made home-made shortbread, so with that, my shortbread and irn bru and the entertainment we had a great time. We had some presentations from pupil groups about aspects of their topic work, then a slide show and Scottish music - where they were able to demonstrate their learning by pointing out features, etc on the photos. Then 2 pupils entertained us with Scottish tunes on their fiddles, we had a great recitation of a Scots poem complete with actions, and then a whole group performed a song they had written for me!!!! And in keeping with the theme, they had used Scots language. It was great!

In the afternoon we had PE which was also a really fun session. The teacher did a game called "mattress madness" with them. There were a lot of good learning points in it, but it was also a whole lot of fun.

Several of the pupils gave me lovely cards they had made, and wrote messages for me saying how much they would miss me. And 2 of them had made me a book describing some of the work we had all done together over the last 5 weeks. It was great - and also demonstrated what they had learned.

It's going to be really strange on Monday, having no class to teach and instead sitting at lectures for 6 solid hours with only a 20 minute 'lunch break'.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Last day tomorrow...

I got my report from the school so I've now passed my placement - only got to submit my targets and wider aspects to my tutor for final checking.

I had the class on my own for the whole day today!!!!!!!!!! And I survived it!!!! I really enjoyed it actually. Stayed at school until almost 6pm, but that's all my marking done and my planning done for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to tomorrow (got them all on my own again) - but I'm sad too that that's me finished with that class. My Maths set made it to the room ahead of me and quickly wrote a goodbye message on the board, saying they'd miss me...... And they were using mini whiteboards in maths and kept writing messages about missing me. Awww.

Anyway, I'm going to award myself a well-deserved evening off now and watch Monty Halls on BBC i-player, with a glass of wine.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


I went over to Arran on Friday evening. It had been another lovely day, and I was hoping the weather was going to hold. Saturday started off a bit dull - but we headed out for a walk anyway - and gradually the cloud and mist lifted, the sun came out and it got warm. I was just wearing a t-shirt after a while as I was too warm!!

We had a lovely walk up the footpath to the top of the Brodick hill, then out across the new forestry track towards Clauchlands Point. It's really lovely now that the views are opened up.

We then headed over Dunfion, where we got great views across to Goatfell and into Brodick Bay.

By the time we got back along the front in Lamlash there was blue sky with hardly a cloud in sight.

It was a lovely, relaxing day for me before the hard grind of the last week of placement.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Ayr sunset

Thursday was a beautiful evening. I couldn't bear to just stay in and work, and decided that it didn't really matter if I had to stay up until 1am to get all my work done, I just had to get out and enjoy the lovely weather. So I went for a walk along the beach.

It was so calm... I was really enjoying my walk, watching the birds and the sunset over the sea. I spotted a lone kayaker - and felt quite jealous, wishing I had my boat with me down here - it would have been a perfect evening for a calm, relaxing paddle, enjoying the wildlife and the scenery. Instead I watched from the shore, and snapped a few photos of the kayaker in the sunset sea.

The kayaker can be seen in the distance here - he (she?) was quite far out from the shore. The kayak is just visible if you look hard - at the top right of the sea in the photo.

I was just hoping that the weather would hold out for another 2 days for my trip to Arran on Friday evening....

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Busy day

I went in today to find there was a teacher off and some juggling being done to arrange cover - so I ended up teaching 'my' class from 9-10.40 unexpectedly. Then I was teaching them (planned) from break until 2.30 anyway - so I've taught practically the entire day today. And doing the same tomorrow (planned this time though). I'm exhausted (as usual!) but also 'high' as it's been a really good day.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


I passed my crit today, whew, can relax a little now.......

Still got a lot of work to do, lots more paperwork, lesson planning, wider issues, etc - but it does mean I know I'm doing ok and can relax with the pupils and enjoy teaching them a bit more now.

I also asked the pupils to 'crit' my lesson - we had a debrief session where they told me what they had enjoyed about the lesson and what they thought I could have done differently to make it easier for them to learn. I have to say, they are well practised at this! Their comments were pretty much spot on, helpful and useful - and it was really interesting to discover which parts of the lesson they had enjoyed the most (not always the bots I expected!).

Off for a walk on the beach now and a break from paperwork for the evening.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Placement Update

My teacher is back at work now, she came back on Friday (thank goodness). My crit is 1st thing Tuesday morning, so I'm busy not just planning all my lessons for this week, but also making sure that they're written up neatly in the correct format. Also making sure the rest of my file is up-to-date - hours of work - self-assessments, pupil assessments, wider issues, ASN task, formative assessment task, special interest topic, lesson plans, sequence plans, class lists, class plan, lists of main resources .... it feels never-ending! At the same time, it feels like time is speeding by very fast. I can hardly believe that's the 1st 3 weeks of placement over already!!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


Yesterday morning on the way to school ..... the mist was really thick, couldn't see a thing along the esplanade. Unlike Orkney mist, though, it had burnt off by about 9am.

Sunday, 8 March 2009


It feels ridiculous - but I'm sitting here trying to type lesson plans wearing a pair of fingerless gloves! My hands were just so cold and sore, the flat isn't warming up nearly as much as usual because of the wind. It's definitley more of a challenge to type with gloves on though!

Saturday, 7 March 2009


It's almost 9.30 Saturday evening and I'm still sitting typing up reflections and assessments for the week past. And I still have to finsish them and then type up all my lesson plans for next week - it's going to be a busy day tomorrow as well. My lessons for next week are basically planned - with notes handwritten - but I have to get all the learning outcomes worded properly, which takes ages, and get them all typed into the correct format - which takes even longer! And then make any resources I need......

I spent till after midnight last night making a powerpoint quiz for my topic lesson, which I'm very proud of. If you get the answer wrong it tells you it's wrong and goes back to the question page; if you get the answer right you get the sound of applause and taken to a 'well done' page and then on to the next question. It took over 2 hours to make it though! And so far tonight it's taken me about the same again to get last week's reflections and daily plans/assessment notes typed up.

And the weather's turned bad - the wind has picked right up, the curtains are blowing (despite the 2 layers of insulation tape round the windows) and the front door is rattling!!!!!!!!!!! Oh joy..................

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Thursday evening ...

... and I'm exhausted. Only one day to go and it's the weekend!!!! And then I can ...... work all weekend again getting all the lesson plans, assessments & other paperwork up-to-date and ready for next week. It will all be worth it in the end, honest!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Full morning!

Survived a full morning teaching the class - I'm exhausted now though, and still got notes to write on today, lesson plans to finalise for tomorrow, and marking to do (29 pieces of writing!).

Monday, 2 March 2009

Interactive Whiteboard

It's going to be my first attempt at using an interactive whiteboard (IWB) with a class tomorrow - fingers crossed.....

I've just spent ages playing lots of multiplication and division games on the BBC website and elsewhere trying to evaluate them for use with my maths groups. Things like that take ages to do, I've spent about an hour finding 2 games to use, in some ways it feels like a waste of time when I've got so much else to plan. But it has to be done.... and in time I'll build up a bank of resources to use and I'll know which ones are good without having to play hundreds of them first to find out!!