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.
Today in situated communication, we were learning more about how to use Glow and shown how to upload audio files and videos to our blogs. We also had a workshop in the performance studio where we got to practice our … Continue reading →
Today in situated communication, we were learning more about how to use Glow and shown how to upload audio files and videos to our blogs. We also had a workshop in the performance studio where we got to practice our storytelling to group of peers, and they then gave us feedback. It was nerve-wracking as I felt very conscious of my body language and voice when I was standing up in front of my classmates but they were very supportive and I got really nice feedback along with potential opportunities to make the story better. I was so glad once I’d done it, and felt a real sense of achievement. I only have to emulate that in the actual assignment now!
Finally we took part in a role-play workshop where we had to act out certain scenarios given and reflect on how we would do them in the classroom if confronted with them. This ended with a question and answer session on aspects of placement that have arisen that we wanted advice or feedback on, which was very valuable.
Some interesting observations that I have witnessed during placement days 2 and 3. During maths lessons, the teacher would blow bubbles to allow the children time to think of their answer to the math question. This allowed the lower ability children the opportunity to process the question and think about the answer. After the numeracy … Continue reading Serial Days 2 and 3
Some interesting observations that I have witnessed during placement days 2 and 3.
During maths lessons, the teacher would blow bubbles to allow the children time to think of their answer to the math question. This allowed the lower ability children the opportunity to process the question and think about the answer.
After the numeracy lesson, the children were given a selection of activities that they could choose to do after they had finished their work. (The Planning Board). Some children chose to complete calculations in the sand or with playdough and others made pictures of calculations with the help of number lines and an abacus. For the plenary of the lesson the teacher took photos of the work completed by the children on a camera and then put the pictures on to the whiteboard. The children then had the opportunity to sit on the “share and shine” chair and talk about their work and share it with the class.
What I liked most about this idea was how excited the children were to share their work with the teacher and the rest of the class and also how supportive they were of each other’s work – It was really great to see!
During literacy, the teacher introduced the ‘say and trade’ activity to help the children with word recognition of their common words. Each child was given a posted note with one of their common words and then they began to walk around the classroom. When the music stopped the children would join up with a partner, say the common word on their posted note and swap over. This was a good way of getting the children to actively participate in their learning whilst developing effective communication skills with their peers.
In the afternoon when the children returned after lunch the teacher put on the NumberJacks subtraction video for the children to watch to calm them down and allowed her time to set up the tooth brushing station.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.