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Teacher Burn Out: Should I stay or should I go?

Whether you've been at a school a year or a decade, moving onto new pastures can be a tough decision to make. There is often guilt attached to leaving students and fellow teaching staff- but there shouldn't be! More than ever, teachers are leaving the profession they once loved. Before making the leap to a new life outside of teaching, you might want to think about moving on to another year group or even another school. It could reignite that passion and energy for this most rewarding of all vocations.  Just like clouds, every school is different! From one-form entry schools , to inner-city schools to mixed-group village schools, there are so many variables - not be mention different ethos' and leadership styles. Maybe you're ready for a change?  Should I Stay or Should I Go? When answering the below questions, consider what is most important to you and your well-being. Think about how sustainable your current work routine is long-term - you don't want to be burned

Engaging Phase 6 phonics activities

Alongside many year 2 teachers around the country, I have had many a weekend wondering, "how can I teach these phonics lessons in a more interesting way?" The Letters and Sounds document only goes so far with ideas, particularly for phase 6.

The first lesson of the day for my class is phonics. Therefore I want it to be fun and engaging to kick start our day and resulting in super writing (and spellings) in our English lessons later on. When my phonics lessons are creative with lots of partner work, my class often use what they learned in their writing and comment on how they remembered it from phonics. It makes me want to put more of an effort into the planning and resources I use (not that I want to spend more time doing it!) So to help anyone else who has felt this way, I've got a few useful tips and activities that could save you some time and energy.
year 2 phonics lesson activities phase 6

PhonicsPlay is a great website full of interacting games and planning. The games are fun and my class love all the silly noises and really enjoy participating. It's a great way to do phonics lessons however can get repetitive and less entertaining if you rely solely on it. For the end of phase 5, I used the planning objectives but didn't always use the website during the lesson. I haven't used the Spelling Play website so I would be happy to hear some opinions on that (comment below please!)

Find the correct suffix - Click the link to find my free TES resource with a plan and flip chart for this activity. I put words with suffixes (correct and incorrect - happiness and happiment) on tables around the classroom. My special detectives quietly went around the room searching for the correct suffixes to write on their whiteboards - their concentration filled me with astonishment and I felt truly joyful!! Once the time was up and we had discussed some of the correct words, they wrote a sentence using one of the words. Then they swapped with their partners and helped each other improve their sentences. This was a brilliant activity that led to some great use of suffixes in our English lesson that day.

year 2 phonics phase 6 games and activities
Find the correct suffixes!
Contractions puzzle - My class still ask to play this even though it was a few months ago! I got some blank postcards and wrote a contraction on one half and the expanded version on the other. Then I cut the postcard in half using a curve or zig zag so that each is unique. In class, I'd throw the cards around the classroom randomly and they had to collect one and find the correct partner to pair with. Sometimes we would play this with the rule of no talking so they had to read the cards themselves (it saved me a headache). This puzzle idea could also work with present and past tense verbs.

primary phonics phase 6 lessons and ideas for learning Thesaurus Fun- Whats a better word for...? This is a question I find myself saying quite often in year 2. So we have lessons dedicated to using thesauruses to find different words to improve our sentences. Of course, a clear understanding of the alphabet and order of letters isn't something we can just expect our pupils to have so it's been useful playing games and races to find where certain letters are in the alphabet. (If you were looking for yummy, where in the thesaurus will you go?) This is a great activity for my high flyers who need to expand their vocabulary and want to do so independently.

I hope these games and activities are helpful. If you have any activities to share or an idea to improve one of mine, please give a comment!

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