The final week of the pracs here has been a great experience! I have really enjoyed my time in Proserpine and at the centre.
While I learnt a lot in my final week of professional experience, I was also extremely nervous about taking the class for three days. However, I think my lessons went really well as most of the children were actively engaged in the activities I had organised. After my first consecutive teaching day, I decided that I wanted to teach for the entire week. I was so grateful that the teachers at the centre actually allowed me to do this!! For my three teaching days, I planned heaps of activities which were based on follow-ups of the observations that I took.
Activities Initially we had students playing on the bikes in the outdoor learning environment. Gradually, it started to get a little ‘safe’. So I started policing it by distributing speeding tickets and fines to students who were breaking the rules. The students loved the idea, and wanted to take over my policing role and also wanted to use the stop and go signs.
Throughout the week, I started undertaking more activities for the students to extend on this learning. The activities started with learning about colours and their meanings – red to Stop and green to Go. We then extended it to shapes and their properties (specifically octagons and circles used in stop and go signs) and even incorporated learning about letters (S and G). In order to teach the students about road safety, I read relevant stories during group time and ensured students had shared understandings of the topic.
Finally, the students completed an arts and crafts activity where they drew up kindergarten roads, and collected plants, grass, sticks ect from their outdoor learning environment to collage onto the roads they created. They also developed ‘Stop’ and ‘Go’ sings to include on the poster to remind themselves to follow road safety rules.
More activities I took another observation of the students when they were highly engaged in visiting the prep classroom on their excursions. They were so amazed with how the classroom was set up and what the older students were learning about. To follow up on this observation for a small activity, I engaged the kinder students to help me set up our own prep classroom. Once we did this, the students really enjoyed playing in it, and learning about all sorts of ‘grown up’ things such as the alphabet, months of the year, days of the week, weather etc.
One of the many other activities involved learning about sunflowers. We first watched a YouTube video to see how the sunflowers grow. After this we read a story about sunflowers. I then gathered some resources so that the students could grow their own sunflowers and gain a better understanding of the process. They painted on their pot, planted and watered their sunflowers, along with making a poster for their fridges at home to remind them to continue to maintain and care for them. This was a really engaging activity, and the students all enjoyed participating and learning about sunflowers.
Throughout my practical work experience in Proserpine, I have had a number of amazing learning experiences and these experiences have taught me to better equip myself as a teacher. I have learnt the importance of working closely with parents/carers and the local community to provide children with quality-learning experiences.
This opportunity has taught me the importance of working collaboratively with the children and staff at the centre, and how important it is to have parents/carers and the community’s perspectives to improve learning experiences.