I was having anxiety dreams last night about going back to school. Essentially first day of school jitters, again. It took me ages to actually get out of bed this morning as well for the same reason, but this afternoon? After having finished a full day of teaching? Good gracious I love my job!
This is my 3rd round of Spring term. I've now completed two full years of this job, so the same topics are coming round again. The reception tykes are doing Traditional Stories, which I love because it means I get to whip out Do You Know The Story? sung to the tune of What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor? I started my morning with some cutting and sticking, making A4 sized cards illustrating each of the verses. This meant that I got to harass the librarian (one of my favourite people at school) in order to locate fairy tale picture books with nice illustrations for my cards. The kids did great, the song is fun, and I love singing it because it fits in a portion of my voice that requires me to sing big in order to actually hit the notes.
Interestingly 2 out of the 3 classes said the name of the stories rhythmically, while the 3rd class just shouted out willy nilly. Of the two that did it rhythmically one class sings regularly as a matter of course, and the other had been singing for 10 minutes before I arrived due to a combination of confusion about when I would show up and my running over time with the first class. I've been wondering ever since how I could prep the 3rd class so that they also speak the titles rhythmically....
Music classes being over for the day it was then on to RE! A class that continues to amuse me by virtue of the fact that the school has me teaching it. (I feel distinctly unqualified.) Whatever; this week we were talking about anticipation! Particularly as it refers to Christmas and even more particularly as it refers to Jesus's birth. Also about the concept of the light/dark - good/bad metaphor. (I spent most of the class desperately hoping none of the kids would link it to race because I don't feel qualified to tackle that one either. They didn't, but they did immediately link it to Star Wars! ....of course.)
We had a class discussion where I drew a giant light bulb on the interactive white board. Good things about their holidays were written inside the bulb, and outside we wrote the bad things that had happened. (One child's grandfather had died. That was sad and we had an impromptu and completely spontaneous moment of silence for him.) We then read Isaiah 9:2 and 6 (Miss Casey? What's an extract?) where Jesus is described as a great light. They got to respond to that however they wanted- writing about light/good, dark/bad or drawing a picture or whatever.
They worked quietly! (mostly) And raised their hands when they needed help! And my most difficult kid did his work! And the results were varied and interesting!
When most of the class was finished we had about 10 minutes left and I had already gathered them at the front of the room where we were sitting in the dark,
Kid A: "Miss Casey? Um. Why are we sitting in the dark?"
Me: "I think it's a metaphor. I'm not really sure what point it's supposed to be making...I'm supposed to have a candle but instead we've just got the glow of the board lighting your faces."
Kid A: "So my face is lightness but my body is darkness?"
Kid B, sitting off to the side: "Hey! I'm entirely in the darkness...I'm on the dark side!"
Cue mad scramble by about 50% of the kids to join Kid B on the dark side. So I invented a quick game- the dark side had a minute to come up with something evil, then the light side had to counter with something at least as good at the evil thing was bad. I, as the arbitrary arbiter got to choose which was more extreme and therefore won. Then we switched who got to go first. (The obvious flaw in this game mechanic being that whoever goes second necessarily wins.)
The first evil suggestion by the Dark Side was killing the Queen. I don't remember what exactly the Light Side came up with, but as it pertained to the whole world: they won. Then the Light Side came up with "being nice to everyone in the whole world" to which the Dark Side countered "The Devil eating the Universe!"
At which point I sent them all down to lunch.