Category Archives: 3.1 Teaching & Learning

Key Features to a Successful Science Lesson

A good science lesson has to be prepared thinking about the Es and Os and effective ways to develop the skills required of a successful science learner, the lesson should include the following:

  • The impact of science on their own health and well being
  • The health of society
  • The health of the environment
  • Engage in a wide range of investigative tasks develops skills for them to be creative, inventive, enterprising adults
  • Experiences of science must lead to a lifelong interest
  • Should take into consideration their natural curiosity and desire to create and work in practical ways
  • Lessons should be challenging, engaging and enjoyable
  • Effective teaching should use a variety of methods including: active learning, planned play, development of problem solving and analytical skills, scientific practical investigations, use of relevant contexts to teach children, use of real materials, living things, effective technology, development of collaborative learning and independent thinking, emphasis on children explaining their own knowledge
  • Relating lesson to real life jobs such as engineering/medicine/forensics
  • Lessons should also link to literacy, numeracy and ICT
  • Children should be able to develop skills to be able to observe and explore, classify, fair test and find associations
  • Children should be open to new ideas, thinking critically and creatively
  • There needs to be a positive ethos where learners feel comfortable to volunteer answers
  • Use of questioning techniques to consolidate the learning children have participated in

Relationships To Primary Practitioners

Relationships are vital to our future profession as they determine the success rates of our learners. The children who come into our class have brains developed by the relationships they have with the people around them.

The child’s brain is very flexible and so can learn to survive in different situations/learn different languages. However, the child’s brain also learns to protect itself from harm very quickly, this is vital for safety but has the potential to be detrimental to learning. Suzanne Zeedyk created the analogy “a child who protects them self from domestic violence is like a child who would run from saber-toothed tigers in the past. The domestic violence = the tiger”. In our profession this is essential to consider as we could have children in our class who live in fear. As practitioners we cannot expect the best work from these pupils if they do not understand how to concentrate in a calm environment as they will be waiting in fear for the worst to happen and this will disrupt their focus and learning. This easy stress these pupils develop is unhealthy for them as they are not old enough to understand how to control their feelings effectively. On the other hand, a child who has a “calm and collected” mindset is also likely to experience unhealthy stress as they will never have experienced this feeling and are much more likely to panic due to not understanding what is going on.

As a future practitioner it is vital that I get to know and understand my class so I can create a classroom atmosphere that is comforting for all pupils to learn in. Knowing the children will also allow me to set achievable goals for them. This will help to boost the children’s self esteem rather than knock it because they are able to cope with the work load that they are given.

A Lesson On Drama

For our first drama input we were set a task to watch a short video clip and think about this in relation to our own practice along with a set of questions.

Throughout this clip the lesson structure was made evident. Agreement – warm up – provide stimulus – development of ideas – visualisation – soundscape – bodyscape – performance – evaluation.

Each section of the structure is of equal importance for a successful lesson:

  • Agreement: allows children to understand the rules and what is expected of them. 3 key factors to always consider are communication, cooperation and concentration. (If something goes wrong in a lesson usually it is due to a downfall in one of these areas).
  • Warm – up: this is important as it differentiates between a regular class activity and drama itself, also it allows children to focus their mind before being set to a task. There are a variety of warm up techniques for voice, concentration, teamwork and to get “warmed up”.
  • Provide Stimulus: decides a focus for the learning.
  • Development: This allows all ideas to be linked together and become something more interesting than a still image by itself for example.
  • Visualisation: Allows children to think creatively about the topic being discussed. Throughout visualisation you could use the thought-tracking convention to establish what the children are thinking.
  • Soundscape: Allows children to think about learning in different ways. How can they create the sounds they are thinking of with their body/the floor/objects around them? Soundscape can be used for cross-curricular learning for example in reading – what noises do you think the character can hear, use soundscape to show me these noises.
  • Bodyscape: allows the children to create a visual picture of the place we are creating. Can also be used for cross-curricular learning as class can recreate scenes from reading books or could help them to imagine what places might have been like in the past (history).
  • Performance: Allows children drive and motivation to do everything else in the lesson.
  • Evaluation: As a teacher this allows you to understand what the class has learned and what we need to look at in the next lesson. It is a calming experience to end an active lesson and allows the children to see that they have had a learning experience not just play.

Drama Conventions Used:

  • still images
  • thought-tracking
  • frozen scenes

CfE Es and Os Addressed:

  • The children have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and being part of an audience. (EXA0-01a, EXA1-01a, EXA2-01a)
  • Thought-tracking has allowed the children to communicate thoughts and feelings through drama. (EXA0-13a, EXA1-13a, EXA2-13a)
  • Soundscape allows the children to experiment with voice. (EXA2-12a)
  • Bpdyscape allows the children to experiment with movement and sustain different roles. (EXA2-12a)
  • Performance allows children to present drama – asking the children about levels and audience seating while they are creating their performance allows children to take account of audience and atmosphere.

First Experience of Dance

Before participating in the dance workshop I was nervous about having to teach dance in the primary school. I assumed it would require me to learn the basics of many different dances, however, I have now realised this is not the case and has made me feel much more confident in teaching dance. I now understand that there is many ways to teach dance that will not put me in a situation where I feel uncomfortable. Three key suggestions that I will take from today’s workshop are:

  • I will always make sure to proof-check my music to make sure its content is age appropriate.
  • I will start lessons with different dance related videos if possible to grasp the young people’s attention. These videos will also allow me to have discussions with the class around dance.
  • Finally, I will try to use dance styles from different religions in order to promote cross-curricular learning e.g. dance and R.M.E.