Placement Day 4

Day 4 already! Today was a busy day for P3, as well as their usual Literacy and Mathematics and Numeracy classes, they had to take part in the ‘Big Bird Watch’ for the RSPB. This is part of the ‘Developing … Continue reading

Day 4 already! Today was a busy day for P3, as well as their usual Literacy and Mathematics and Numeracy classes, they had to take part in the ‘Big Bird Watch’ for the RSPB. This is part of the ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ strategy.  We all got wrapped up to go outside as there was snow lying on the ground, and the children had charts supplied by the RSPB that they had to identify the birds they saw from and mark how many down.  We talked about the different ways we could identify the birds: by sounds, colour, size, beaks, what they were eating.  We saw crows, blue tits, robins, magpies and seagulls. Although it was very cold the children really enjoyed this experience; this enhanced their social skills and taught them that they are making a valuable contribution to protecting wildlife in their area.

3rd Placement Day

I am thoroughly enjoying the placement serial days, I can’t believe it’s week 3 already.  As my class were undertaking Standardised Testing, I was able to spend some time in a P1 class this week.  In Literacy, they had chosen … Continue reading

I am thoroughly enjoying the placement serial days, I can’t believe it’s week 3 already.  As my class were undertaking Standardised Testing, I was able to spend some time in a P1 class this week.  In Literacy, they had chosen to talk about a time when they were happy, and had to write a sentence about this and why it made them happy.  The teacher made a word bank out of words the children suggested, and they had to do a black ink drawing to accompany it.  I was impressed by some of the sentences that were produced, and learnt how, at early level, to assist them with their spelling by letting them ‘have a go’ at spelling difficult words, then writing the correct spelling out underneath for them to copy.

When I returned to the P3 class, I was able to help a group with Maths.  The topic was money, and they had to work out how much change they would receive when given an item to buy and an amount of money to buy it with.  Resources we used were whiteboards, and plastic money.  It was interesting to see how different children engaged with the resources as some did a calculation on their white boards whilst for others it worked better to see the coins, and draw them out as the answer.  Then it was outdoors for muddy movers where they had to construct a bridge in groups and go over them. The children enjoyed this, and I saw great teamwork as they figured out the best strategies for using the equipment available.

Review: Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

The chapter challenges the reader to view questioning as a complex and powerful tool of communication. Hargie argues that, while many people ask questions, few realise the form and delivery of the question informs the answers they receive. Questioning as … Continue reading

The chapter challenges the reader to view questioning as a complex and powerful tool of communication. Hargie argues that, while many people ask questions, few realise the form and delivery of the question informs the answers they receive.

Questioning as an essential skill for constructivists teaching. If pupils are to build their own knowledge they need to be able to come to conclusions through investigation. Questioning from a teacher can provide the opportunity for examination of ideas which build and expand schemas of knowledge. Piaget refers to this as accommodation the process where new information necessitates the alteration of existing knowledge schemas (Wadsworth, B. J., 1996). In this chapter Hargie warns of the dangers of poor questioning techniques, from the sinister creation of false memories in the Orkney Satanic Abuse Inquiry  through leading questions to the more benign confusion caused by embedded questioning which can confuse young children.

In terms of teaching practice then it is not enough to question children but to know how to utilise different methods of questioning and be aware of the context and delivery of these questions. This should include using both open and close questioning and avoiding using leading language.

Briefly mentioned in this chapter is the marked increased of teachers questions in the class room compared to the minimal questions from children. Inquiry based learning requires children to have the context, time and skills to question (Chesters S.D. 2012). Understanding the importance of questioning then, is not only important for teachers to question effectively put to also create a classroom environment which encourages and enables questioning also.

References

Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Wadsworth, B. J. (1996) Piaget’s theory of cognitive and affective development: Foundations of constructivism. 5th ed. Longman Pub

Chesters S.D. (2012) Socratic Pedagogy and Classroom Practice. In: Chesters S.D. (eds) The Socratic Classroom. SensePublishers, Rotterdamlishing.

 

The Skill of Questioning

Broad themes It is clear that the main idea of the chapter is that questions are powerful tools and that the answer to a question can vary greatly depending on the questioning methods used.  The key themes of the chapter are the purpose of questions, types of questions, the effectiveness of different types of questions … Continue reading The Skill of Questioning

Broad themes

It is clear that the main idea of the chapter is that questions are powerful tools and that the answer to a question can vary greatly depending on the questioning methods used.  The key themes of the chapter are the purpose of questions, types of questions, the effectiveness of different types of questions and the different contexts in which various types of questions may be used.

Claims and evidence

 The chapter emphasised that today’s school students do not answer questions in class due to the fear of their classmates reacting negatively. This was followed by a US Study that showed that as children grow older, they feel less comfortable to ask or answer questions within the classroom. I agree with the statement as since starting university I have personally found it very difficult to speak out loud in front of such a large group of people which makes it difficult for me to answer and ask questions whilst in lectures or workshops. However, I know that as a developing student teacher, this is something that I need to work on.

Analysis and evaluation

I disagree with asking children leading questions especially when a child discloses personal information about abuse to an adult. It is a adult’s responsibility to never ask a leading question or to put words into a child’s mouth but take only the information that a child has disclosed.

Knowledge and understanding

One theory mentioned within this paper is the “Funnel Sequence”. This is when a person is initially asked an open question allowing their response to have many possible answers. As the conversation goes on, it gradually progresses to closed questions being asked meaning the question should then have only one real answer. This method of questioning looks like a funnel as it starts off wide with open questions and then the questions gradually become narrower.

Chapter five, ‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’, in Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

Den Building

As part of the Situated Communication course we ventured outside and tried our hands at den building. Most of our dens would probably not have sheltered us with a great degree of success. Thankfully the purpose of this endeavour was … Continue reading

As part of the Situated Communication course we ventured outside and tried our hands at den building. Most of our dens would probably not have sheltered us with a great degree of success. Thankfully the purpose of this endeavour was more to do with metaphorical building rather than literal, building ourselves into cohesive teams who could communicate with one another rather than structural integrity.

Group Leadership
We were assigned groups based on our birth months, this made it more likely for us to work with people we previously hadn’t. In this newly created group we began to establish a group dynamic. No one put themselves forward as leader initially and this continued throughout the project. Decisions were made collaboratively, not with a formal vote but by people putting forward suggestions of where to place items or how to attached various structures. Most people contributed through questions “What if we put the tarpaulin here?” or “Do some of us want to go a get some more sticks?” which lead clarifications “You mean like this?”. If there was a disagreement it would always be followed by a explanation which I hope meant that no felt excluded or that their ideas where not appreciated. We also joked and while we took the task seriously we were not overly competitive which lead to a relaxed atmosphere within the group.

There were two parts of this activity that I personally felt were challenging. Firstly I am aware that I can be a dominating character in a group situation and tried to make sure that I was listening more than I was talking. I think I was successful though I consider it an ongoing goal.

Secondly I struggled to use positional language. We needed to guide poles through tree branches for the roof of our den. This required one person to manoeuvre the pole from in the tree and one person on the ground to direct them.  I kept  saying “move the thingy a bit this way” coupled with hand gestures rather than the more clearer “move the stick a bit to the left”. This was particularly unhelpful when directing a team member who cant see you! This is a clear area of development for me which I will work on going forward.

Explaining
The group explanation was well done following a logical and chronological format. There was one spokesperson from the group which ensured clarity and that a common understanding could be reached.

Environment
We were lucky in that the environment was not overly noisy and the nature of the assignment and our enclosed location in the trees meant that we were physically very close to each other. When it came to explaining our den to the other groups we have to be more mindful of where we stood and that we were facing the group face on.

Although it was fairly quiet being outside is a more stimulating experience than in our usual sterile classrooms or lecture theatre. I found that my attention wandered somewhat or that I would be hyper focus on a manual task which meant that I didn’t listen as well as I could have. If there was a word to call the full attention of the whole group for examples “Guys, what if ..” or if someone called my name I would be engaged more readily. In a teaching situation I would also use children’s names, if possible be in the same location or  use a bell or other unique sound to call the attention  and gather groups before speaking.

Negotiation
We were wholly unsuccessful in  task to ask another group for part of their den which seemed essential to it’s construction. However the negotiation itself was carried out in a friendly manner and each group’s reasoning was well thought out. The most challenging aspect was having to continually say no to people and to also continually approach people asking for something which would effectively ruin their work.

 

 

Communicating Outdoors

Today I explored my communication skills in an outside environment, and was given the task of building a den with members of a team. Group and leadership Within my particular team I did not feel that there was a specific … Continue reading

Today I explored my communication skills in an outside environment, and was given the task of building a den with members of a team.

Group and leadership

Within my particular team I did not feel that there was a specific group leader, although there were a few team members who were perhaps more vocal than others at suggesting ideas.  We worked well together and managed to agree on individual suggestions relatively quickly. I feel that all team members were able to voice their ideas and everyone listened to one another respectfully. We all had a clear idea of the design of the den and a similar vision of what it should ultimately look like. As the den took shape, we were enthusiastic and this made it feel fun, we had plenty of laughs along the way. I didn’t feel any resentment within the team and we encouraged each other to get involved as much as possible. The most challenging part was communicating with the team members I didn’t know very well. I found it far easier to communicate with team members I already knew as I had an idea of what their strengths would be in this task.

Explaining

The group who were explaining their task did so very well.  I think this was due to one specific member being chosen to talk, instead of different members trying to communicate at the one time.  This kept their communication clear and concise and meant that all aspects of the task were communicated in a logical manner. A number of people did state that planning could have been better, that most members rushed into making the den, and that planning  happened as the den evolved.

Environment

Being outdoors is a wonderful setting for learning as it keeps things relaxed, informal, and provides a change of environment for learners who may not ordinarily perform well in a classroom situation. I felt that students in this task came to life and were perhaps more outspoken than usual.  Being outdoors also provided an opportunity for everyone to communicate as freely and loudly as they wanted. Communicating outdoors is more challenging than indoors due to natural noises and distractions. Our group appeared to be distracted by the team members working close by and also by birds and dogs making the odd appearance.  We chose to build our den within a group of trees, which was nicely sheltered from wind and did make it easier to hear each other talking, although we were talking far more loudly than we normally would indoors.  

Negotiation

Negotiations were unsuccessful and I think this was because the teams felt like a tight unit who had all contributed to the den building, and were therefore not willing to compromise on anything which was their own hard work.  There were plenty of offers made for various parts of our den which were declined, and we had all agreed early on that we were not willing to trade anything because we were all so pleased with our end result. I found it challenging to continually decline offers when other members were communicating well and in such a friendly manner.

Placement Day 1

Thursday 23rd January Today was my first day of placement in primary 1/2. Whilst in the class I found it very interesting and exciting to see all of my knowledge and understanding in practice as the children worked on their literacy and numeracy skills. Interesting observations When explaining the learning intentions and success criteria the … Continue reading Placement Day 1

Thursday 23rd January

Today was my first day of placement in primary 1/2. Whilst in the class I found it very interesting and exciting to see all of my knowledge and understanding in practice as the children worked on their literacy and numeracy skills.

Interesting observations

  1. When explaining the learning intentions and success criteria the teacher used toys called “learning ladybug” and “successful snake” to engage the children and keep them focused on what is expected from them.
  2. In the morning when the children arrived, the teacher reinforces the days of the week, months of the year and asks the children the date.
  3. In maths, when looking at number patterns/sequins the teacher used a washing line and gloves to teach the children how to count in patterns of 5. The gloves with 5 fingers were a great visual for the children as they could easily count the fingers if they needed to.
  4. When completing the writing task the children used number lines to help them identify missing numbers in the sequence.
  5. One successful method that I noticed the teacher using to ‘chunk’ up the lesson was to use interactive videos on https://app.gonoodle.com/discover . I noticed that the teacher used this strategy to help the children when they were becoming restless or beginning to lose focus. This not only improved the children health and wellbeing by getting them up and moving as all the children were very keen to join in and dance along. In addition the videos developed their understanding as they were related to the task i.e. patterns.