Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Fitting everything in...

Here in Australia, we have started implementing the National Curriculum. With it, we have been given units of work, with all our lessons mapped out for English, Math and Science (so far). Is it just me, or is it really hard to fit everything in?! I've been having to condense what is in the lessons (while maintaining the lesson intentions of course!) otherwise I find I go overtime every lesson! 

At my school, we have been given a timetable (just like high school) which we have to stick to. So I might have 1 hour of math timetabled, followed by English, followed by Literacy, followed by Science etc. This is to ensure we are covering the mandated hours for each curriculum area. To ensure I stay on time, I have been using my clock to set the time for any given task. 
 Whenever the kids start an activity (or D5 activities etc), I tell them how long they have. We count the minutes on this clock in 5s. They can then refer to the real clock while we are working to see how close it is to the time they need to be finished by. This has been a necessity because my class this year is so very slow at getting anything done or started quickly! It is also giving us heaps of experience in telling the time!
I also bought this cane rocking chair on the weekend. I've placed it near the door so after lunch we can come in and sit where the breeze will get us while I read! Boy, has it been HOT!


  1. We are totally stressed out with the C2Cs too. English is the worst! I heard today the Science Sparks are rewriting the Science to make it more manageable. Sure is HOT!

  2. Wow that sounds so hard to me! I would be running over time a lot I bet! Do you find that this system helps with kids who transfer schools? I've gotten 6 since Christmas and only 1 of them was on the same level as my kids - I've had to do a lot of reteaching of concepts for the other 5! We have a pacing calendar here of the standards we're supposed to teach each week, but there's really no consequences if you fall behind. I'm curious if a more rigorous schedule would change things!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

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  4. I agree, but we don't even have access to the C2C lesson plans! Even though my tax-payer dollars and the tax-payer dollars of the parents of students in my class paid for the C2C to be written, we are not a government school so we have to implement the Australian Curriculum but do it on our own.
    I spoke to my principal about this the other day but suggested it might be a blessing in disguise for me because I hate being told what to do. LOL!
    I showed the list of subjects and the cross-curricular priorities and general capabilities to my parents at the Parent Information Evening this week and they couldn't work out how we squeeze all of this into a day!
    I must confess though, I am a supporter of the idea of a national curriculum and am definitely up for the challenge!

    The Learning Curve

  5. Kathy, I agree English is the worst! How we are meant to fit all of that in, I have no idea!

    Jennifer, our national curriculum should help with students changing schools because all schools should be covering the same content, even if they are like Jane above and don't have access to the same lesson plans. I'd much prefer to have a pacing guide than be told exactly hot to teach something. Luckily we don't have to follow the plans religiously, but we have to make sure the year level is doing the same thing (at my school anyway).

    Jane, I feel for you not having the materials that we have, but I don't really think you'll want them! 4-5 pages of 'stuff' for a one hour lesson plan isn't my idea of fun reading! Let me know if you want to look at anything though...

  6. C2C - don't mention it!!!! My poor little Year 1 class had the spelling words of 'along, morning, second' this week - and 1/2 don't even know their alphabet correctly. And our school hasn't even purchased the set literacy texts, which change every few days - try teaching literacy without the required text!!!!Don't mind the maths, or the science, but with you on the English side of things.
    As for hot, Brisbane has been fairly warm these past few days....

  7. It has been great to see this. In NSW we haven't seen any of these lesson plans yet. Actually I thought the curriculum was still in draft form and was told at the end of last year that there wasn't even a science curriculum done yet.
    Would love to see a copy of these lessons if possible. Are you able to find them on the net at all??

    Look forward to hearing more about the NC and how you go implementing it.

  8. Jane, c2c is not the national curriculum. It is ed QLD's interpretation of the national curriculum & as such it is designed for implementation in QLD public schools. Having said that if any school regardless of private, state, in another state or even country wants to gain access to it they can if they go through the correct channels!

  9. Being a first year (grad dip) teacher employed on "day 8" last year, and not having done any early years pracs, I was given a year 1 class, which I was worried about, but pleased I had work. I admit I struggled with C2C, which was meant to make everything easier. The lesson plans were huge and, being a first year, I was trying to understand how I was meant to fit it all in. I made it through a semester with loads of very happy parents, was offered a year 6 class which I accepted, and then left for health reasons. The lesson plans for year 6 were huge too though. While teaching year 1, we did contractions in the last week of the first semester - imagine that, contractions in year 1! I seem to recall doing them in about year 3 in my childhood. The new curriculum has taken Queensland kids a lot higher, and moving them much quicker, than before, and I believe, to their detriment. A slower transition would have been better. There is also no allowance for public holidays, school sports carnivals, or even I noticed, get-to-know-your-class time and discussion of class rules, in the first week! No wonder we all felt pressured!

    1. Last year was difficult, even for teachers who've been teaching for a few years or more. LOTS to fit. I know I didn't feel like a very effective teacher for the semester. In term 1 when it came to parent-teacher interviews, I certainly didn't feel like I knew the kids academically as well as other years. Luckily for me, in semester 2 my school decided to only focus on 1 of the C2C units each semester in English since there's a lot of repitition. We are going with that again this year. This has relieved a LOT of pressure that we felt under last year. We are also free to not use the lesson plans now (we had to at the beginning of last year) and just use them as a guide - as long as we are meeting the objectives of what the unit is about. Talk about relief! Are you returning to work this year?

    2. I have been told by a lot of other teachers I really was given a baptism of fire - day 8 and then a complete change of grade mid-year. I earned the respect of colleagues who saw me working hard and really wanting my kids to learn. I like the idea of only one C2C unit per semester (or was it term?). The pace was amazing for all subjects - English, Maths and Science. The problem is it was all written by people sitting in an office, and not those on the ground actually presenting it to the kids. I plan on returning to work, but unfortunatelyI don't have anything at this stage; maybe another day 8 call? Otherwise it will be relief work. Will wait and see. Am trying to get as organised as I can in the meantime - typing out spelling lists for all grades, powerpoints for various aspects of English grammar, basic science concepts. Have done some for relief teaching too just in case. I wonder if you went back to school today or if your school was closed? Hope day one goes well either way!


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