Primarily Good News (Vol. 1)

[Disclaimer: this next post contains teach speak, in other words, words that only undergraduate students completing a degree in primary education use. Nah kidding, you’ll get it, I mean, it’s teaching not rocket science.]

All good Primary teachers know how to plan, and plan for success. The old adage: if you plan to fail then you fail to plan is probably true because the reason why my blog this week looks so typed-on-an-iPhone-on-a-Thursday-morning because it is.

Now I am honest with you. You best believe that! First things first I need help – no not with hitting the right notes to a Taylor Swift karaoke medley; we will do that later. I need help with PLANNING. #badblood

DO YOU PLAN?

I asked this question to my Bachelor of Education (Primary) third-year peers at Australian Catholic University (ACU):

How much time do you spend planning a lesson plan?

Where do you go (online) to find inspiration?

What is the best way to structure you lessons using the given template?

More on the results of these questions in a moment. Let me fill you in on my own thoughts about planning and lesson plans generally. In my head I thought it takes days to write one lesson plan. My first assignment for my first placement unit at ACU was excellent. I received a credit for my lesson plan on sport. I based it off my collaborative lesson plan with two other teachers at the time: Shōgun Ninja Obstacle Course. A little side note – each teacher was a different role: Sensei Smith, Ninja Master Joseph and Shogun Beere. If I would add to this lesson I would turn the lens of roles and titles to the children and offer groups of four different groups for them to enter into.

The obstacle course was huge! It felt massive in our tutorial room because we used the entire space. Eight obstacles (four corner of the room obstacles and four “walk the pirate plank” obstacles – I wish we took a photo but the picture would probably wouldn’t do the memory justice).

Now before we began the promised obstacle course, before we laid a single crash mat down, before we even began capturing the sharks to place in the trap door in the floor below the plan, we started in a small room with a white board and a marker to plan.

Plan the beginning the middle and the end of our thirty minutes lesson. A lesson that included all of the above and music by Mozart (for the post-game yoga cooldown), Kung Fu Panda 🐼 (those cats where fast as lightning 🌩), and my personal favourite (Johnny Depp’s least favourite no doubt) Pirates Of The Carribean – for the swashbuckling, poop 💩 deck swabbering (is this even a verb bru?), rigging scurrying, shark infestation shimmying obstacle course.

So I hear you say “it’s a ninja course, there’s no pirates in ninja land.”

To that I say lovingly “Shhhhhhhhh… you’re right but kids like ninjas and pirates so we squashed them together in one obstacle course. What could go wrong?” Lots and lots! Luckily for us nothing bad happened.

Where were we?

Oh yes! The small room where the three of us planned this activity.

Craig, Clayton and I met up several times over a period of three to four weeks before the due date to confidently plan out what needed to happen in order for us to pull of our daring obstacle course.

Materials:

  1. Crash mats. Four of them for each pirate plank walk activity.
  2. Hoola Hoops. Twelve of them. Four at each corner activity. Three for the hoop plank squeeze and another five for the lava pit of despair and desolation (actually we just called it the lava pit – it’s for children ages about six-seven here remember)
  3. An iPhone
  4. A Spotify playlist
  5. Four songs queued: Mozart, Hans Zimmer x 2, Kung Fu Panda.
  6. Our scripts
  7. Our lesson plan for the supervising teacher

Now the plan is import. Each step of the way we could refer back to our plan. Look at the information and remember exactly what part of the lesson we were at and how much time was left for each rotation. A quick one second glance was only necessary because we knew it almost like the back of our hand.

We pulled off the lesson that day without a hitch, transitions could have been tighter but I found the activities I would help other people on I was more confident, demonstrated lead teaching abilities, and used ICT like my Spotify playlist to compliment the lesson (rather than distract from it).

This is where it gets really interesting, as soon as it was my turn (we were being individually assessed and given extra points if we collaborated with our group during the 3×10 minute activities) to demonstrate an activity I made I lost a lot of confidence because I consistently doubted myself during the game and questioned my own rules and was unsure how to explain a certain action clearly. Now clearly I remember my flaws like they were yesterday and I’m positive that I can build upon them and I’m even more positive that I received a HD for that lesson but I know that in those small moments I could improve on that area of confidence. What was going through my head to undermine the lesson? How did I resolve it? What was the thought that pushed these doubts aside and let me complete the Bean Bag Bombers lesson effectively even though I was feeling these things. I feel it now when I teach my Kindergarten class.

I think I finally understand after much research and self-😘 and self-🤳 and self reflection. What is it? Well it’s another question.

If I was in the students shoes doing this game, what am I thinking and feeling about this game or activity?

Even when explaining the game I know I have a limited attention span, especially with five year old Kindergarteners.

Wow! Okay, I do apologise you got the full story of a sports lesson. Imagine that, now we are back to present day. Woo! It’s a Thursday morning, I’m preparing for a three week block of placement. Three weeks. That’s 21 days. That’s ~480 hours. That’s like— okay I’ll stop thinking about how long placement is. It’s like less than a month though. It’ll be over before I know it and all the more chance to use every moment at school to learn about the way a full week of a full time teacher operates.

Now you may be able to tell I am a little nervous. Understatement of the decade. It’s not the kind of palm sweaty, knees weak, arms heavy nerves. No. It’s more of a oh-gosh-I-have-22-small-humans-to-care-calm-and-create-messy-paintings-that-resemble-something-beautiful-but-I-don’t-know-what kind of feeling.

Assessment. It’s a word. It’s a big word in our world, the teaching world. It’s a bit of a big world too. I mean an intergalactic one. Teachers luuuuuuv assessing students. There are four types of assessment I know about: assessment to learn, assessment of learning, assessment for learning, and finally assessment that drives Lewi nuts because he’s using NESA and ACARA but they are not terribly compatible for each other learning.

How do I survive? Ask lots of good questions, and lots and lots and lots and lots of dumb questions too.

Do not be afraid to sing, dance, jump and shout in front of your class. You are a dancing queen, and if anyone says otherwise they’re just jealous of your sweet sweet dance moves you’ve inherited from every David Bowie and Mick Jagger music video from the 19whatevers.

How do I plan my lesson for a Kindergarten class?

I wrote blogs like this to get ideas flowing but I want a mentor to help me plan effectively.

I want my fourth year to encourage us to be mentors for each other with a precision almost scientific ability to work together and not get distracted by Instagram or Facebook (that last one is just me probably – but I find group work this year was at an all time low for me. I found I was feeling more frustrated and upset with the outcomes of my assessments this semester and last semester).

So what did me peers say about planning lessons?

So far, I’ve asked many but one one student sticks in my mind who said as a passing comment “only thirty minutes”. He creates well structured clear lessons. I understood each sequence. While observing his modelling of a mathematics lesson, he was incredibly confident. He clearly spent time practicing the lesson before delivering it.

Something I get so absorbed in is this. Writing. I forget once I have written the words, they will fall away into an abyss of nothing unless I spend the appropriate amount of time practicing my lesson plans.

So perhaps the new question should be:

How much time do you spend practicing the spoken modelling of the lesson (at home, in the mirror, before the lesson)?

I am someone who will be able to ad-lib my way out of a tuna can but when it comes to following a script – HELP.

Committing the exact script to memory is not required to be a good teacher. Look at Eddie Woo, he is clearly passionate about students learning. He does not need a paper script in front of him. He has been teacher many many more year than I.

Now I have a script. Tomorrow I will not need it. On Monday I will have a teacher observe every action and word I say. Two years from now on Monday I will be in my own Kindergarten class (wishful thinking) teaching a mathematics lesson on Chance my way (adhering to the strict guidelines of NESA and <insert name of the primary school I am employed at here> of course)

Clearly I know good teachers are creative, confident, enthusiastic, energetic, egotistical (sometimes), a little crazy (in the best of ways), with beautiful minds, and even more beautiful smiles.

I know I can be on of those teachers because I’ve had many in my time being a small human with vegemite on my face and a runny nose – simultaneously? I can’t remember I was only five.

Love always,

Lewis Beere

😘🤳💖

“I accept myself warts and all.” – I read another blog on acceptance:

“This reminded me of a story one of my mentors, Linda Pransky, shared at a workshop. She explained there was a time when she had problems with mice at her home. She decided to get a rescue cat to solve the problem. She told the cat that he was a working cat, and if he did not do his job he would be taken back to the shelter.

The cat, however, did not seem to understand his part of the deal. When she brought him home, not only did he not want to catch any mice, he didn’t even want to go outside for the longest time. Linda, rather than sending the cat back for not performing his duties, fell in love with him and cared for him. It no longer mattered to her that he wasn’t a mouser. She had compassion for his timidity and loved him exactly as he was. Overtime, the cat became more comfortable. He started to go outside, and then one day, much to Linda’s surprise he came home with a mouse.

Linda saw that when she got her cat he was scared. It took time, care, and love to help him acclimatize and settle down. When he stopped being scared, his natural cat nature came to the surface. He became himself and part of his cat nature was to catch mice. When he wasn’t catching mice, he was doing the best he could do at that point in time. When allowed to feel safe and secure, he eventually was able to express his natural self.

When we humans are scared, we also have the tendency to not act in accordance with our true nature. Our behavior can range from small indiscretions such as shutting down or losing our temper to huge acts of violence. Whether large or inconsequential they are all demonstrations of our suffering and not an expression of the truth of who we are.

I have experience working with inmates who have committed violent crimes. I was always struck by how they saw things in the moment they committed their crime. From their point of view, I understood why it made sense to them. I am not condoning what they did, but I can see how there but for the grace of God go I. Given the same circumstances, with the same understanding, I would choose the same behavior.

Check out the full source RohiniRoss.com; sign up to the online newsletter.

💖💖💖💖💖💖🐼💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

Shapes are all around

Fractal patterns, Australian wattle, our blood and the blood red moon, and a building in New Zealand. Patterns are everywhere and they are beautiful.

Watch this space for an exciting mathematics video coming soon featuring games, ideas and activities for Kindergarten, Year One and Year Two children.

Building passion ft. Paul The Trombonist

I have even more of a reason to be thankful of humanity today. Paul The Trombonist over the years has taught me a lot through my Facebook feed and being a part of his email mailing list. I have been fired up to the point where I’ll never forget the ‘o’ in trombonist.

He can make quotes from Warren Buffet sound achievable.

‘Invest in yourself and follow your passion.’

It takes time to build my creativity and passion. Now imagine learning how to navigate the communities on the internet. Which community / niche/ audience is are ‘my people’? What if they don’t like what I do?

All thinking that I dispute, and I recommend you do to. My understanding of creative ventures has always been this misunderstanding of solitary confinement. I release radio podcasts and interviews after I have honed my craft in the studio. I then look around on the internet (after four years of releases) and ask the question: why does the internet – who I see many viral videos of famous celebrities and people – craft these wonderful stories of rags to riches business successes. Where’s my success? I can guess and say I have not seen what is going on behind the scenes.

I have even started saying the phrase hobby… when talking about my music and radio producing passion. HOBBY!

Now Paul The Trombonist has flown across my radar some three or four year ago when I was a kid with musical dreams. I say was because I believed my guitar and radio passions will never become part of my career unless I attach it to something everybody can understand and respect – becoming a primary school teacher. Working with small children is challenging to say the least. I have been the guitar teacher, the children’s party host, the pre-service placement slave, the casual educator at many before and after hours centres believing truely a parent or somebody – oh anybody – will see my passion for music and say give this man a record deal.

The first step to success is understanding their is a problem or misunderstanding with how I see success. Now, a big fat disclaimer here: I have not purchased Paul The Trumbonist’s US$997 marketing education course, however, his enthusiasm and passion has inspired my to write this mini-reflection on what is holding me back today and into the future.

I want to graduate my degree as a teacher not to start earning a juicy salary as soon as possible – that’s crazy, I could have no soul and work for Facebook.

Paul is passionate. Paul is so passionate it sounds like he could say ten thousand words in a single breath. Paul makes me smile. Why? He’s on a road to help others. He’s reframing how we can look at internet ads and affiliates. In a webinar I watched for two hours (delivered in a relatable way with humour and excitement).

I started to get to know Paul on the web as an excellent trumbonist. Now, I know him as a passion builder. That’s a word Paul used to describe his company Today I learned he’s also passionate about creating others careers and success through Facebook, Amazon Affiliates, and more fun and education into this world. How? It’s not complicated – and before you say “Hey Lewi! Paul’s paying you to say this?” Not Wow! I think I found someone with the most enthusiasm in the world. The way I talk I have heard friends and family say ‘Lewi, you say ‘’Oh my gosh’’ a lot.’ because I am excited by life.

Why?

I play.

I play music, I create a weekly radio show called Breaking Bands on 2RRR 88.5 FM.

Fruits or Vegetables?

My hands go deep into the dark wet dirt I have prepared for planting. One, two, three, four. In goes the tomatoes, kale, chives and lemon bale for another morning of planting new seeds. I have been given packets of seeds of fruits and vegetables. A range of herbs including oregano, leafy greens and the ever popular in my tea (and hardly growth) mint.

I look down at my hands at the black soil and water running down my gloves. I begin thinking about all the organisms and microorganisms surrounding my hand in that moment. The thought brings my to a weird satisfied grossed out feeling that cannot be solely described by a single emoji or text speech. My curiosity stems from getting my hands dirty from a very young age.

People, for the past 10,000 years have relied on their own hands to harvest fruit. And vegetables for nutrition and daily sustenance. In the city, a vegetable patch is an economic and efficient way of growing herbs and spices. The supermarkets provide everything now there seems to be no need to grow any fruit and vegetables but even in apartments now, including the Central Park apartment in Sydney (an award-winning building with a living ecosystem growing on its exoskeleton) no. Wonder why we have a prehistoric yearning to grow our own.

I feel that when I stand around a table with my friend, Hugh talking about the plants. We talk about plants like they’re children. ‘How’s the strawberries coming along?’ ‘The banana plant has taken off, it’s creating too much shade for my strawberries, I’ll need to place them elsewhere.’

Even my family have taken this on-board, which is encouraging and wonderful to see someone who is passionate inspire others to not only tend the garden but observe its growth with scientific methods: checking the pH of the soil (soil acidity), the sunlight exposure, the time of day to water (and not to water – in the hottest parts, especially summer). Pests and eco-friendly herbicides and pesticides.

Accounting for all the conditions and circumstances are correct. Let’s start harvesting our plants.

What parts do we eat? [Here’s a short list]


    • Bulbs: onion, garlic
    • Tuber: Potato, Jerusalem artichoke, yam, cassava
      Root: Carrot, parsnip, beetroot, radish, turnip, swede, sweet potato (kumara)
    • Leaf: Brussels sprouts (yum!), cabbage (double yum!), chard, Chinese leaves, cress, endive, kale, lettuce, spinach
    • Flower: Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini flower,
    • Fruit: Cucumber, courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant), apple, pepper, squash, tomato, watermelon
    • Nut: coconut, almond, chestnut, hazelnut, pistachio, pine nut, cashew
    • Seed: Brazil nut, peanut, bean, pea, lentil, sweet corn, rice, oats, wheat, sunflowers
    • Stem: asparagus, kohlrabi, bamboo shoots, onions, celery, rhubarb.

(Compiled from Williams, 1993, Visual Factfinder. London: Kingfisher, p.188)


Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. – Hebrew 10:24 (Today’s Interpretation: Let us eat two fruit and five vegetables. Now, lettuce pray.) Our Father Art in Heaven…

Need TLC? I’m Counting On Love [Magazine Analysis]

At the end of the day we all want attention, hugs, and someone to tuck us in at night. That’s why I’ve decided to review OK! Magazine’s article by Suzy Kerr and why it is evident that everyone needs love even tabloid jounalists.

At the end of 2018, is it okay for mainstream media to perpetuate sexist, misogynistic and washed out headlines from the likes of Suzy Kerr writing for OK! Magazine USA. Suzy, is this really what will continue bringing your readers in? I say no more to these style of shocking headlines debassing celebrity to a weird voyeristic levels I cannot fathom. Now, before you read take a look at celebrities taking their children to the park or celebrities take their children to Disney On Ice. If you like that let’s-perve-on-where-are-they-now angle how about cute baby photos with this headline? Please enjoy the review of Suzy Kerr’s OK! Magazine USA article:

Jill Duggar And Derick Dillard Have Some Odd Habits, And ‘Counting On’ Fans Are Keeping Track

Headlines like this are, perhaps, to the author’s mind humorous. The suggestion of ‘keeping track’ may imply something deeper – and the next 400ish words will conflate that implication. Whether that is the author’s intention is unknown to me but I notice  a pattern in MSM that will not stop, an unrelenting truth seeking damaging money-making business without accountability or class. Speaking of class, look at any article from the NY Times.

Anyway, if Catherine Lumby taught me anything on how the representation of people portrayed through the (sometimes foggy) lens of media organisations like FOX News and Russia Today teaches future generations to either (maybe too simply put here) love one another or hate through spreading misunderstanding or disinformation. The moguls (who get torn to shreds every week for 15 minutes [not enough] by Paul Barry – go Bazza! – in Media Watch) are analysed, broken down, and exposed for their true motivations: ad revenue and egotism. Main Stream Media (MSM) is driven by one thing, that’s called capitalism and a free market economy. Remember all those classes on neo-liberalism, OK! Magazine is the base of that tall pyramid called mo money mo problems. Wherever Clive Palmer is, and anyone with enough money is allowed to talk. See the poster advertisement slam on 2GB.

 

In 2015, Catherine delivered a guest lecture on the Murdoch press. We focused on  headlines encourging voyeristic behaviours (OK! Magazine USA), normalising victim blaming (The Sun), and may even promote sexist ideologies and insight violence against a group of people. Remember to read between the lines (not literally though because you see nothing then). Let’s look between the space on Suzy Kerr’s piece on OK! Magazine USA’s post. I see the tweet has received one heart on Twitter (heart-warming?). OK! is syndicated daily on all social media platforms so less heart-warming.

[Whatever I say on this blog is posted here, and here only (unless SMH wants to take this somewhat current caffeine-fixed pre-service primary teacher on board for a short stint – I’m worth your while).]

Counting On is a popular show aired on TLC. In Australia, you need Foxtel to access TLC or if you have a way with keywords on YouTube you can find full episodes. I know lots of friends in High School and Primary School used to follow along and watch the events unfold and I’d listen to them talk so much about it and then suggest other shows like The Chasers War On Everything, Summer Heights High, goodness even Big Brother would be better than this voyeuristic (let’s watch someone’s family grow u). Emotions and past events aside, peoples fascination with the family still holds strong with headlines like:

Jill Duggar And Derick Dillard Have Some Odd Habits, And ‘Counting On’ Fans Are Keeping Track

From <http://celebrityinsider.org/jill-duggar-and-derick-dillard-have-some-odd-habits-and-counting-on-fans-are-keeping-track-229453/>

Jill Duggar reveals a huge secret from her husband Derick’s past!

From <https://twitter.com/OKMagazine/status/1078109460743290881?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1078109460743290881&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fcelebrityinsider.org%2Fjill-duggar-and-derick-dillard-have-some-odd-habits-and-counting-on-fans-are-keeping-track-229453%

 

 

 

 

Day 1 of Placement

“Everybody stand up high,

Reach for the sky.

Touch your nose and then your toes,

And then do a spin and sit back down with hands in lap.”

Kindy behaviour management. Does this work? Perhaps, this is one I came up with a class of Year 4 children for Kindy.

Today I begin placement at Victoria Avenue Public School. I will focus on teaching standards 6.1, 2 and 3.

The expected Graduate Level focus area for 6.1.

Questions to discuss with other teachers:

  1. Have I consulted the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers to identify your professional learning needs?
  2. Do I think the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers would assist you to plan, implement and reflect on your teaching?
  3. In what ways would the APST assist me to prepare a professional portfolio?

ICT in the classroom.

TEDX