Friday is one of my main teaching days of the week, therefore, I always look forward to this day. I love having lots to do and getting to spend time with different classes within the school. I begin each day in my CM2 class then throughout the day go to various areas of the school to teach. I really enjoy being in the CP classes as this has been my first experience of teaching children in the early years. I was anxious going into these classes in the beginning due to my lack of experience. However, I have found that that my confidence has grown each day and I now feel comfortable teaching this age group. I enjoy coming up with new lesson ideas. With the CP classes I have found that interactive lessons work best and allow the children to really engage. I have been teaching the topic of colours now for two weeks and I was looking forward to continuing this with the classes. They are all very enthusiastic about the topic and therefore work very hard when I am teaching.
In my fist CP class of the day I introduced my lesson idea of the colour wheel. The children were each given a circular piece of paper that had the colour names written on in segments. The idea of the lesson was that I put up the various coloured flashcards on the board along with the spelling and they had to colour in the corresponding word. Once this was completed they would get a second piece of paper with one segment cut up, after pinning this to their coloured in sheet they were able to spin the top piece of paper to reveal a colour. Creating the wheel took up most of the lesson, however, with the time we had at the end everyone used their colour wheel as a learning tool. I asked the children to show me various colours and they had to find it on their wheel and hold it up. This was very successful and allowed me to gage their level of understanding of this topic. Having taught all three classes for a few weeks now I have a good idea of the class level. I found that my first class of the day were very confident and did not struggle with the colour wheel. They proved that they were very competent in relation to the topic of colour. All of the children in the class were able to answer my questions and did not struggle to recite the colours.
I found that the other CP classes that I went to see after lunch struggled more than the first class. I don’t know the reason for this, however, this has been a trend over the previous weeks. When colouring in the wheel a lot of the children were getting mixed up with the colours, colouring words the wrong colour. I was very confused as to how this was a challenging task as I provided them with the colour and the name. I am curious as to whether these classes are younger that my first class and are therefore working at a lower level. Reflection on this, I believe that in future lessons I could simplify the lesson for those unable to recall information from previous weeks.
Differentiation is something that is not practiced in France. All children in all classes work on the same textbooks and complete the same tasks. This is something I have found very interesting as in Scotland, differentiation is a major aspect of teaching. We are taught about the importance of ensuring children are working at the level that is right for them. However, if children are forced to complete the same work from primary one level and are given the time and attention from the teacher, who is to say that not having differentiation doesn’t work? I have found that being in a French school for four weeks now has allowed me to see that all children seem to be coping with their work. They are all very capable at the level they are working at. This shows that the sue of differentiation is not essential. If children work at the same level from a young age, they can all work at the same level at the same time.
Overall, I had a successful day and week teaching. I challenged myself and thought of new and creative ideas for lessons. I am looking forward to going into next week as I am teaching even more lessons. I am excited to finally be teaching my CM2 class the topic of going shopping and I hope that I am successful with CM2 as I have been with CP.