This week, my classes covered self-realisation, a new way of blowing your nose and found an alternative sidekick for Pinocchio.
I’ve been teaching our lower primary kids all about procedures and using imperative verbs. When I asked for an example of a recipe, one child described how to make soup. “Cut some vegetables. Add water. Pour in a can of soup.” Sounds like a Delia Smith fan to me.
In my phonics class this week, we focused on shooting stars. For the independent work time, I had the students trace the ‘Starlight, Star Bright’ poem, and then colour a picture of Pinocchio wishing on a star with his pal Jiminy Cricket beside him. One of the boys coloured him entirely brown, and said to the others, “That is a giant cockroach!”
Be careful what you wish for
Practicing speaking is an important part of language development, so I always build in time for the children to talk in my lessons. This week, I asked the children what they wished for after seeing a shooting star, which in reality was a shiny holographic star on a stick that I swished around. One class was materialistic and wished for Elsa crowns or Optimus Prime toys, whereas another wanted to go to space and grow the greenest grass. One boy, who is usually reserved, told us that he wanted to be a crocodile and proceeded to clamp another student’s head between his arm-jaws. The best one, though, was from a girl that wished it was her birthday every day. When I told Tom that night, he said, “She’ll be so old.”
In one particularly dull lesson, I taught the children how to separate sentences. It’s amazing how quickly they forget to use uppercase letters and punctuation. To make it more interesting (for me as well), I told the students that a full stop sounds like the ‘puck’ noise made when you pucker your lips. Now, rather than saying, “What goes at the end of the sentence?” I make the sound effect and they know to check. I just hope they don’t tell their other teachers.
One talkative student had a bit of a moment in class this week. Stopping mid-sentence, he abruptly declared, “I’m the only one with a high voice.” Give it a few years…
The dark side
I celebrated Star Wars day with a crudely drawn Darth Vader on my board. Some children recognised him but only a handful understood the joke of “May the fourth (force) be with you.” One overexcited pupil exclaimed, “Tomorrow, may the fifth be with you.” Nope.
Fine motor skills
Teaching young children, it is important to improve their pencil grip and control, building those muscles in their hands through tracing, colouring and forming letters independently. One newbie to my class had good control but pressed too lightly, so his pencil was barely visible. When I asked him to press harder, he squeezed the pencil until his knuckles went white but wrote as lightly as before.
One of the less glamorous parts of teaching nursery children is wiping snot off their faces and showing them how to blow their noses using a tissue. One child said his mummy had taught him a different way. Blowing out sharply, he quickly caught it with his tongue in one swift movement. His neighbour wasn’t the only one to gag.
When my new reading class did not know the word ‘cod’ I immediately sucked in my cheeks, moved my squished lips up and down like a fish and flapped my hands like fins beside my face. One of the children shouted, “Oh, a clownfish!” They’re too smart.
Finally, I leave you with an uplifting thought. One of my students who has only recently learnt to read and write, loves sharing her jokes and stories. She came into the class with a tatty pile of plain paper that had been sellotaped together. It was an entire book complete with illustrations. She passed it to me to read and proudly said, “This is my third book.” If a seven year old can do it, what is stopping the rest of us?
If you enjoyed reading this, check out my Teaching page for more. Until next time!