With the new year comes a new blog theme and a resolution to post more frequently! I am constantly thinking about education and how I can best meet my students’ needs, I just need to blog about it more often!

With just a few days of holidays left, I have been thinking about school quite a bit and considering what the year ahead will bring. While this post is not focussing on literacy education, I thought it was worthwhile to briefly share what I’ll be doing in 2012…

What am I doing this year?

As you may know, I teach at Leopold Primary School, in Victoria, Australia. I am teaching Grade Four this year. Having only taught Prep, Grade One and Grade two in my career to date, I am looking forward to the challenge. I will again be team teaching with Kathleen Morris and it is great we have been given the opportunity to continue the partnership.

I have 26 students this year and I have taught a number of them in previous years. It will be terrific to continue the learning journey with these kids and get to know my other students too.

I am the Grade Four leader in 2012. There are four classes in the Grade Four area and none of us have taught the year level before. I am feeling positive about this fact. It will be great to have a fresh outlook for Grade Four and we’ll be able to go in our own direction, taking into consideration our school goals and the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) of course!

What am I looking forward to?

A change in year level means a change of classroom. Kathleen Morris and I have left our lovely, big, open classroom for two smaller connecting portables. While we will have less space, we’re making the most of our new surroundings. We have spent a lot of time cleaning, organising and decorating our “new” rooms over the holidays. Our students will be in a great learning environment from day one and we are determined to train our students become as organised and orderly as we are!

I am really looking forward to blogging with my Grade Four students. As you probably know, blogging is a big part of my curriculum and my Grade Two students achieved so much from the experience. My new Grade Four students will really be able to extend their literacy skills and develop more tech knowledge throughout the year. It will be great to see what they can do! Some of them will be familiar with blogging and I’m sure the others will catch on quickly. Kathleen and I are hoping to have a lot more students earning their own blogs throughout the year.

Literacy is one of passions in education. My experiences in Prep, Grade One and Two mostly focussed on teaching young students strategies for reading, writing and spelling. I am looking forward to teaching more advanced students and really extending their learning, understanding and skills. Using more complex and interesting texts, honing in on skills to really develop their writing and having more sophisticated and mature conversations will be terrific.

New challenges…

* Becoming familiar with the expectations for this year level

* Extending students who are already working at or beyond Grade Five level

* Teaching “joined” handwriting

* Adapting the Daily 5 and CAFE models for my new students

* Team teaching in two connecting portable classrooms instead of one open room

* The Bike Education program


What year level are you teaching this year?

What are you looking forward to and what challenges will you face?