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Being observed again

New student teachers started last week and one wanted to observe senior chemistry classes so she has joined 2Chemistry which is an interesting experience at the moment for myself and I’m sure for her too.

Last Thursday I felt a bit nervous, I hadn’t been observed in over a year and I felt as though i was stumbling through explanations (I probably wasn’t, and the students didn’t seem to notice, or were forgiving). She was excellent at diving in, wandering around and working with the students.

On Friday it was a smaller class with quite a few away on EOTC and I felt more comfortable, we worked steadily. The student teacher commented on my pacing and asked me about it. It was good feedback for me.

Today I felt as though I had explained calculating concentrations well and I had spent a lot of time preparing, but hit a problem when students came to try it for themselves, they got stuck and didn’t know what to do or were overthinking the first problem. It was a good experience for both the student teacher and myself to handle the situation and see my response, to change the lesson on the fly and work through it.

Also interesting I think for her seeing a teacher not long out of being a PRT


Oh dear! so very annoyed, a website I have used many times in past years I set for my year 9’s to use and its causing no end of problems! 

The result, homework not done, they are now scrambling to do it another way or to do it again because their work was lost or deleted from the site.

Looking at the speed of sound today, a students asks:

We know the speed of sound and the speed of light but what about the speed of dark?

The question stuck with me and after school when browsing my YouTube subscriptions this was up today…

…excellent timing


Our e-learning professional learning group had Campbell from eTV show us how it works and what we could do

I was pretty impressed, theres a lot of my favourites such as Cosmos, David Attenborough, Crash course, Brian Cox, Mythbusters, etc

My homework tonight is to look for new teaching favourites

Rubens tube experiment

To kick start the year 9 sound unit, I have done 5 lessons and 5 practicals or demonstrations. Each one demonstrating an aspect of sound or waves

1. Tuning forks (sound is caused by vibration

2. Slinkies (to show longitudinal and transverse waves and movement of energy)

3. Rubens Tube (standing waves of fire - change pitch and frquency and observe)

4. Sound can’t travel in a vacuum (a bell ringing in a sealed jar, pump the air out until you can’t hear the bell)

5. Musical instruments (guitar, drum, etc a range to apply all learning of sound waves - complementing their current research into an instrument of their choice)

Upcoming classes have many experiments, demo’s and practicals - measuring the speed of sound (outside with wooden clappers), measuring intensity of different sounds (using a smartphone/device decibel counter), altering pitch and frequency (using a smartphone/device oscilloscope)

and more i’m sure I will encounter

/Grump - Reflection 17/6/14

Today numbers are returning to normal though 10H1 is still small.

My day ran smoothly with 3 groups of students from 9CC even coming in at lunchtime to do extra work on their projects

However, there are frustrations with 9XA as I explained to them at the end of class

My gripes:

  • not tidying up after themselves, not respecting equipment and class environment

  • not respecting each other right to learn by distracting disruptive and unruly loud behaviour

  • not respecting their teacher by interrupting


I explained the impacts to them and their learning.

  • misuse your learning time - fall behind, not learn, therefore, not  passing assessments and missing opportunities

  • as a class missing opportunities for class and group discussion as unable to manage own behaviour

  • misusing equipment leads to not being able to use it. Need to keep the trust.

What I am doing to minimise this

  • Reinforce settled start to class - line up, equipment out, do first up task.

  • remind class and talk to individuals, groups and class when they need to monitor themselves


Regrettably, i also am taking out the project time in class as 2 classes in a row (with mini chats and warnings) they are not using the time. They will get opportunities to ask over Edmodo or work at lunchtime. It is not structured enough for where the class is at the moment.

I can review it to put back in after a week I think.

Reflection 16/6/14

The biggest thing on my mind during the day apart from immediate needs are illness. My own cold went from getting better to now getting worse again as I am struggling to shake a cold and sniffles, which is probably putting me on edge and fraying my nerves and cool a bit. 
Classes have been upset and ruffled by the measles outbreak, Friday was messy as every student had to have their immunisation status checked and attendance for the day i heard was around 40% with students out under quarantine or being sent home to bring proof of immunisation and all sports and cultural teams being put on hold until the spread has stopped. 
My year 11 class was the most affected on friday, period 5 we had 7/31. So we did a class of revision, I put up exam questions and students used the whiteboards to co-operatively 
answer them without notes in as much detail as possible. This was a very productive and enjoyable hour. 
Today my year 10 class was effected with having 11/29, we continued with electricity and each student made their circuits individually, they each got the equipment and got a chance to put everything together with no other help unless they went and asked. 
I’m working to keep classes in normal routine, settled and making the most of the situation we have. 
Over the next couple of days more students will be coming back to classes as their immunities are checked and proof is provided to the school. 

10 Ways To Survive Report Writing - Real Schools

Interesting as it is the time of year when I am furiously writing reports around marking and moderating internal results and still trying to make classes as engaging and interesting as possible.

Avoiding a comment bank and being too general.

My format is usually:

Feedback comment. Feedfoward comment.

And its always to do with their learning and achievement especially with their feedfoward comment being on what they can do to raise or maintain their achievement and learning in Science.

Living world project

New project started with year 9’s they are growing plants and investigating how plants grow and reproduce and the impact humans are having on plant communities as well as how this links to climate change

As always it feels chaotic to start but I’m hoping for things to go well

This will require them to use their devices and look up a lot of information and make a lot of decisions about what information is reliable, applicable and correct for them to use

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