Day one and two of placement!

Day one When I arrived at my placement I felt slightly nervous as I wanted to make a good first impression. All my nerves were for nothing as I was given a warm welcome. Once we were shown around the … Continue reading

Day one

When I arrived at my placement I felt slightly nervous as I wanted to make a good first impression. All my nerves were for nothing as I was given a warm welcome. Once we were shown around the school my partner and I split and we went into our allocated classrooms. When I first walked into the room I felt quite overwhelmed as I didn’t know any of the children’s names and I didn’t know what to do with myself. However, as there is only ten/twelve children in the class I learned them very quickly. First we had P.E. The children did various games that related to handball. Some of these included: bouncing the ball twice and passing it round your back, and rolling a ball to your partner and copying the amount of hops they do before swapping places. After P.E we practiced for the Halloween parade.  This was enjoyable as I got to hear the children perform their poems and songs before the concert. Walking into the staffroom for the first time made my stomach turn as I didn’t know what to expect, as from my experience in other schools it can be quite a possessive place when it comes to seats etc. I walked in and it was so relaxed and friendly and I felt like I fit in straight away. After lunch we returned to the classroom for ‘Literacy’. The first task that was set was reading a book that was a suitable level for the child. My job was to circulate and help the children if they got stuck on any words while the teacher ran an errand. At first I felt a bit scared as I’ve never been in charge of a class before but I quickly got used to it and began to enjoy it. The next task was set which depended on the child’s primary. The main purpose of the task for everyone was practicing phonics, and grammar (common and regular nouns) for the primary three’s. Again, my main purpose was to circulate and help any of the children if needed. I found out new tactics when helping children, e.g. by sounding out the word with the child it can help them figure out what the word is.

Day two

 Day two was particularly busy as it was Halloween and Christmas all in one day. Let me explain. The school along with others all over Scotland were being filmed by STV for the Christmas choir TV show that will air Christmas Day. During the day we celebrated Halloween with the parade and had a variety of different activities going on. In the afternoon myself, my partner, the deputy head teacher and the choir were at Saint Leonard’s Church in Ayr to record the two songs for the STV show.

So far I am enjoying my time at my placement school and I am looking forward to the weeks ahead.

Integrated Arts Week 8 – 31st October 2017

This week’s inputs looked at the different ways we can give children ownership and control of their learning. In contrast to last week’s structured framework for dance and drama, this week focused on allowing children almost complete control. Giving children the opportunity to have a say in their learning shows respect for their abilities and …

Continue reading “Integrated Arts Week 8 – 31st October 2017”

This week’s inputs looked at the different ways we can give children ownership and control of their learning. In contrast to last week’s structured framework for dance and drama, this week focused on allowing children almost complete control. Giving children the opportunity to have a say in their learning shows respect for their abilities and …

Continue reading “Integrated Arts Week 8 – 31st October 2017”

Week 7 & Week 8

Integrated Arts – Drama (Week 7 & 8).   I have decided to combine one post for week 7 and week 8 drama inputs. I felt that there were many […]

Integrated Arts – Drama (Week 7 & 8).   I have decided to combine one post for week 7 and week 8 drama inputs. I felt that there were many […]

Voice management

As teachers our voice is our main teaching tool. It’s how we communicate with children throughout the day. It’s how we set rules and manage behave. Our tone and volume can tell children a lot about the message we are trying to portray (GRAD, 2017). It is therefore important that we understand how to take […]

As teachers our voice is our main teaching tool. It’s how we communicate with children throughout the day. It’s how we set rules and manage behave. Our tone and volume can tell children a lot about the message we are trying to portray (GRAD, 2017). It is therefore important that we understand how to take […]

Week 5

Integrated Arts – Music (Week 5). This week focused on using Apple software called ‘Garage Band’. This was to enable us to navigate our way through the software and compose […]

Integrated Arts – Music (Week 5). This week focused on using Apple software called ‘Garage Band’. This was to enable us to navigate our way through the software and compose […]

Integrated Arts- Dance and Drama

“Song, music and dance can help children become more imaginative, self-aware and collaborative global citizens” (British Council, 2017). This statement for me, sums up the importance of the creative arts and this week I got to develop my knowledge and skills in dance. I used to do dancing when I was younger and thoroughly enjoyed it and found it was … Continue reading “Integrated Arts- Dance and Drama”

“Song, music and dance can help children become more imaginative, self-aware and collaborative global citizens” (British Council, 2017). This statement for me, sums up the importance of the creative arts and this week I got to develop my knowledge and skills in dance. I used to do dancing when I was younger and thoroughly enjoyed it and found it was an exciting and fun way of keeping fit.  However, I haven’t done it in a long time and so I was very anxious and apprehensive of this class. We began the class by taking part in a warm up and playing a few games.  Some of these games were a lot of fun and would be great resource to use in the classroom.  One of my favorites was called Splat. Splat is a game that involves following instructions therefore if the teacher shouts splat the children would lie on the floor or if they shout up they have to lift someone up.  This was a very enjoyable and interactive game and one that i would definitely used throughout my placement experience.

We then looked at the 10 movements that as educators we should all know to make a fun and creative dance lesson: balance, hop, jump, kick, roll, slide, gesture, twist, turn and reach. These were discussed in the first dance input however i was off that day but i quickly caught up and was surprised to learn that as long as we know these movements we could create a dance lesson.  Knowing this information put my mind at ease as it showed me that as an inspiring teacher, I don’t need to be the best dancer to teach and involve the pupils in a fun dance lesson.

Following on from the games, we then had to get into groups and create our own dance using the 10 movements.  Once we had created that piece of dance we had to perform it to the rest of the class.  I was very nervous and anxious to begin with, but after doing it I realized it wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be. We then as a class, came up with a move for each number from 0-9.  Once we had done this, we went back to our groups and using one persons phone number and the moves we just came up with we created another piece of dance.  I found this very interesting as it showed me that you can create a piece of dance as easy and simple as that and it would be a great tool for children.  We then added the two pieces of dance that we created together. Then, as a class we were all given a piece of paper which displayed a Halloween move and we had to interpret a dance move from the image we were given. Once, each group had their move ready we showed every other group and put it all together as the beginning of our group dance.

This was the Halloween Dance Move my group were given.

I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and I am looking forward to the next dance input.  It opened my eyes to how simple strategies and games can help create a dance lesson.  It showed me that even as young adults we are all individuals and even though a simple movement like ‘jump’ can be interpreted in so many different ways from each individual and therefore it is the same with children. Children are so creative and therefore will be able to use simple movements in a range of creative and fun ways to form a dance piece.

The rest of the afternoon focused on drama. We focused on a book called ‘The Tunnel’ by Anthony Browne.  I found this lecture, in particular, very informative and interesting.  We learned about various drama concepts such as voice in the head, mime, role on the wall, vox pop and thought tracking.  The one i found to be the most fun and creative was voice in the head.  I loved the idea of stepping out the story and explaining and demonstrating the thoughts and feelings on their side of the story. I think this would be a great lesson to teach with children as it gives them a chance to be creative and dive deeper into a character, instead of just looking at what appears to be on the outside they get to take their own interpretation of how that character may feel in the inside. Being given the chance in the workshop to look deeper into these concepts and put them into practice was very enjoyable and interesting.  I felt out my comfort zone at first because I do tend to get quite shy when it comes to acting and drama, however by doing it in a group made it a lot easier and more fun.

A mind map I created of some of the drama concepts we learned.

Through participating in drama and dance lessons it has highlighted to me just how important teaching the expressive arts to children is. Expressive arts gives children the chance to “find out about and express their feelings and emotions and those of others” (ParentZone, 2016). In my opinion, it also allows children to be creative, expressive, develop their communication and social skills and encourages team building.

References:

Education Scotland, (2016). Parent Zone Scotland. [Available: https://education.gov.scot/parentzone/learning-in-scotland/curriculum-areas/Expressive%20arts] [Accessed: 29th October 2017].

British Council, (2015). Why song and dance are essential for a child’s development. [Available: https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/why-song-and-dance-are-essential-childrens-development] [Accessed: 30th October 2017]

 

Dance and Drama 24/10/2017

During this week’s integrated arts inputs, we focus on dance and drama. I found both inputs to be enjoyable and extremely engaging. Similarly, to the visual arts and music I feel that each input within this module is enhancing my self-esteem, capacity and knowledge within all aspect that underpin the integrated arts education. The initial … Continue reading Dance and Drama 24/10/2017

During this week’s integrated arts inputs, we focus on dance and drama. I found both inputs to be enjoyable and extremely engaging. Similarly, to the visual arts and music I feel that each input within this module is enhancing my self-esteem, capacity and knowledge within all aspect that underpin the integrated arts education.
The initial input was dance, this was our second dance input, during the previous week we produced a group dance using the ten principles of creative dance. According to Cone (2009) creative dance for children should be fun, safe, meaningful and most salient creative dance should be a child led activity. It is paramount when teaching children dance to demonstrate the movements, that the children are to incorporate within their routines (making reference to ten principles of creative dance), likewise ensuring that their creative ideas are kept within reason of the learning intention and success criteria. Over the past two weeks of dance I have been able to reflect upon why I should embrace dance as a perspective teacher. Creative dancing provides children with a wealth of opportunities;
• A sense of empowerment and achieving
• Improves physical and mental wellbeing
• Acquiring communication skills and cooperative working with peers
• Increases self-assurance which can be transferable across the curriculum
• Creative dancing enables children to bring their ideas to life and express themselves in a diverse way, rather than the usual teaching conventions.
The principle objective of the dance input was to consolidate and build upon our dance routines from the previous week by using a variety of dance related techniques, we initially practise our routines in order to refresh our minds. Bloomfield (2000, p.49) denotes this method of creative dance as “pure dance”. “Pure dance” emerges solely from the “rhythmic, spatial and dynamic structures of movement” (Bloomfield, 2000, p,49). They are notional in essence and the children’s knowledge of their routine is constructed on their individual capacity to acquire the basic movements of dance (Bloomfield, 2000). Once we improved the fluency of our group dance, we came together with the rest of the class and together we created a further 10 movements (0-9), after we established these movements we went back to our original groups and used one of our phone numbers to create additional sequence to our routine, within the primary setting an interdisciplinary approach can be deployed, for instance I could give each group 11 maths question that they children have to answer in order to find their 11 movements. Again, we refined our routines with the additional movements, also furthering the routines with adding effects such as cannonball, changing place and a beginning/ end. Similarly, the lecture gave each group a different picture (relating to Halloween) when then created a movement for our pictures and can together as a class. We then combined each movement that where inspired from the pictures, this is the beginning sequence of every groups routine. Bloomfield (2000, p57) sums up what we have learnt during the dance inputs nicely; “preparatory experiences when children experiment and build upon their short sequences and phases from which they gain their experience from creating a complete dance. So far, I have found the dance input to be rather stimulating, before the input I did not particular like dancing, but I have gained self-confidence and empowerment by creating dances and performing in front of peers. I feel I have acquired enough understanding to implement creative dance within a primary setting.
The second input was drama, the nucleus was ‘Falling into Stories’. This method of drama is employed by the teacher using a story as stimuli and is when the children think about the story by using drama to create a response to the scenes that occur within in the story. This is language in action using drama. Bloomfield (2000, p.39) establishes the important of the written text “is the representation of a performed work and may be a detailed published text specially written for children, an overview scenario put together by the teacher or children”. When teaching drama, it is vital to bear in mind the subject of drama is fluid and there is no complete lesson plan, as a teacher it is rightly to create a beginning and an end, the middle part of the drama is unknown, there is where the children have the freedom to create their own drama. What I gathered from this input is drama can be anything, as long as the teacher follows the drama convention to lead the learning. During the input we explored the children’s story ‘The Tunnel’ by Anthony Browne, which is about an unfriendly relationship between a brother and sister with very different characters, but a significant event happens and at the end the brother and sister appreciate their relationship. We looked at different drama convention we can use;
• Freeze frame
• Though tunnel
• Improvisation
• Hot seat
• Teacher in Role
• Vox pop
• Role on the wall
• Thought track
• Voice in head
• Mine
Initially the lecturer read the first few pages of the story, we then paused and in groups we considered the two main characters, by using the role on the wall convention of drama teaching. Booth (2005) denotes the role on the wall as the use of a human outline on paper to allow individuals to write and respond to the qualities of the character, during the workshop we use the outer line to record initial thoughts on the character, and at the end the inner outline to record thoughts on the characters at the end of the story/ drama. Booth (2005, p.43) establishes role on the wall as a representation of “collective understanding of the character life and attitude as it develops through the drama”. Likewise, we were introduced to voice in the head, Mason (2008) implies this convention is when characters speak aloud their thoughts and feeling, while the drama scene is a freeze frame. The group in which I was working with we focused on the scene when the brother is about to enter the tunnel the with his friends and he bothering and badgering his sister to join in the fun. During the workshop we only explored a few examples of drama convention and the relation drama can have with stories, it is important as a perspective teacher also as a student teacher to be engaging with children literature, as there are many advantages to this as the children have the ability to explore the story more fully and is a great method of understanding the views of the children in relation to the story and principle characters. Similarly, there are many opportunities to use drama and literacy to create a cross- curricular approaches to learning.
Like any week throughout this module I believe I am developing in confidence, self-esteem but also resilience. I am doing activities I never thought I was cable of completing, for instance acting and dancing in front of peers. This module is building me up to be a more confident individual overall, the confidence and self-assurance I have gained is transferrable to all module and my teaching practise. At times throughout this module I have been definitely been pushed out and beyond my comfort zone, it is a feeling I have never experienced before, but is placing in the perspective of some pupils I will be teaching who may not have the confidence to perform in front of an audience, it is important to be understanding and empathises with pupils, and make adaption to the lessons in order for all pupils to be included in some way.
References
Bloomfield, A. (2000) Teaching Integrated Arts in the Primary School. Oxon: David Fulton
Booth, D (2005) Story Drama: Creating Stories Through Role Play, Improvising, Reading aloud, 2nd ed. Canada: Stenhouse Publishers
Mason, J (2008) Practical Drama for Schools (Level 2- Upper Primary). NS: PACE Theater Company

Cone (2009). Following their Lead: Supporting Children’s Ideas for Creating Dance. [online] Available:  http://moodle.uws.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/109357/mod_resource/content/1/Purcell%20Cone%20%282011%29.pdf. [Accessed: 15 October 2017]

Natural Disasters

This weeks sustainable development lecture and workshops were based around Natural Disasters. Although this is often a sensitive subject, I think it is appropriate for this subject to be taught in the classroom as it lets the children know about how natural disasters can effect people in our world today, educate them of the different natural […]

This weeks sustainable development lecture and workshops were based around Natural Disasters. Although this is often a sensitive subject, I think it is appropriate for this subject to be taught in the classroom as it lets the children know about how natural disasters can effect people in our world today, educate them of the different natural disasters that are happening more frequently in our world, and what we can do to help.

We were asked to focus on the preparation and actions people have to take before, during and after a natural disaster. I created 3 mind maps and uploaded this to the Padlet website which challenged my digital literacy skills as I am not familiar with Padlet. However, this is a great resource to share ideas and look at my peers work. Here are the 3 mind maps that I created :

This was a fun and creative way to summarise what I had learned about natural disasters and I would definitely use this method in the classroom. For next week we have to focus on one natural disaster and create a PowerPoint presentation to deliver to our peers. Skills such as working in a team and digital literacy skills will have to be applied for the task to be a success.

Drama

When I first heard we were going to be taking part in drama lessons at uni, my legs started to tremble and a feeling of sickness and nerves took over me. When the word drama comes to mind, I think way back to primary school and how I was really never interested in the subject. […]

When I first heard we were going to be taking part in drama lessons at uni, my legs started to tremble and a feeling of sickness and nerves took over me. When the word drama comes to mind, I think way back to primary school and how I was really never interested in the subject. However, as I know I will have to teach drama in the classroom, I wiped away past experiences in my mind and focused on the future. I was willing to take part and be open to new experiences.

The Curriculum for Excellence (2004) states that when children take part in drama it allows children to have rich opportunities to explore themselves and to be creative.

Through our seminars we have learned many teaching techniques that are illustrated in the mind map that I have created:

Drama allows sensitive subjects such as bullying t be spoken about and put into context. It allows learners to think about thoughts and feelings of others and the learner also has the opportunity to feel what its like experiencing being in other people’s shoes.

 

Integrated Arts Blog

As this was our first week of dance, I was very nervous and apprehensive about starting this part of the module, as I would not consider myself to be a dancer. However as the workshop went on I found myself to be really enjoying it and putting a lot of energy into the tasks we … Continue reading Integrated Arts Blog

As this was our first week of dance, I was very nervous and apprehensive about starting this part of the module, as I would not consider myself to be a dancer. However as the workshop went on I found myself to be really enjoying it and putting a lot of energy into the tasks we were given. During the class we were shown many interactive dance games and starter tasks which I found very useful as I will be able to use these games within the classroom/ gym hall setting when I become a teacher. Some of the tasks were good icebreaker tasks to ease the class into dancing and build confidence and therefore would be good to use in a classroom if children felt uneasy about dancing.

One of the tasks we were given was to split into groups of about five and draw round the body of the smallest person in the group. After we had drew round the person we were to mark on the drawing several different muscles, bones and organs to make us think about the different parts of the body we were using through our dance session. I felt that this was an excellent task to use in the classroom because children are getting an education and knowledge on different body parts, where they are and how we use them.

The picture shown is my groups finished task of drawing round the body and filling it in with names of muscles, bones and organs.

Music

 

Our second workshop of the day was the theory aspect to music and looking at making lesson plans on how we as trainee teachers could bring music into aspects of the children’s learning such as literacy or math’s or relate music to the IDL project the class are working on and various other curricular areas. During the lesson we looked at a paper called “The Power of Music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people” by Susan Hallam. This paper showed me that music in the classroom is an essential part to a child’s learning and how bringing aspects of music into the lesson can capture children’s attention and focus. My group chose to look at bringing music into the various aspects of the child’s learning such as religion. For example Christianity, where the children could learn different types of hymns and listen to choirs from different churches.

 

References

 

Hallam, S (2010) The power of music: It’s impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people, International Journal of Music Education [Online] pp.269-289. Available: http://ijm.sage.pub.com/content/28/3/269 [Accessed: 29 October 2017]